It’s time for some guitar finger stretching. Practicing finger stretching exercises for guitar will not only help you develop a better reach, but they will also help you build some strength and independence in your fingers.
Before starting this guitar lesson, I’m going to give you a warning. Be careful with these finger stretching exercises! If over done you will injure yourself. They should be practiced for very short periods of time.
You should feel a stretch in your hand, but you should not feel pain. If you feel pain, stop immediately.
With that said, these are 3 very helpful finger stretching exercises for guitar. I call them “The Worm”, “The Spider” and “The Slinky”. Once you play them, you will probably get an idea of where the names come from.
Guitar Finger Stretching Exercise #1 – The Worm
(Video Guitar Lesson 1 of 3)
Note, the numbers underneath the guitar tablature above indicate the left hand fingers you should use.
With this exercise you are starting high on the neck of the guitar and working your way down. At first you will probably not get very far. But over time you will be able to work your way down the neck.
You are going to place all 4 fingers down first. You are playing chords here, just picking the notes one at a time. Each different chord shifts only one finger down a fret from the previous chord. There are 4 different chords in the cycle and then the process will start over again. You can continue this process all the way down the neck. Take it slow.
Guitar Finger Stretching Exercise #2 – The Spider
(Video Guitar Lesson 2 of 3)
You can do the next exercise on any set of 2 adjacent strings. Since you are working your way up the neck of the guitar with this one, it actually gets easier. You could reverse the direction and come back down as well.
So to start with, you are going to play this finger stretching exercise for guitar on the 4th and 3rd strings.
This is the same guitar finger stretching exercise only skipping one string in the middle. This is more of a stretch.
Here you are skipping 2 strings in the middle. The more strings you skip, the more the stretch.
Guitar Finger Stretching Exercise #3 – The Slinky
(Video Guitar Lesson 3 of 3)
As well as a good guitar finger stretching exercise, this is also a good picking exercise. Be sure and use strict down and up picking. This can also be done as a sweep picking exercise.
Again, practice these finger stretching exercises for guitar in small doses. And soon your fingers will be a limber as a Olympic gymnast 🙂