Easy Finger Exercises For Guitar

Easy finger exercises for guitar are designed to give you finger flexibility. 10 minutes daily practise will get you quick results. If you want to play lead guitar or combined chords and melody, you need to get muscle memory.

I’ve had arthritis in my hands from the age of 16 and have played for over 42 years, these exercises keep my fingers supple. Over time you will get speed. They are simple, easy and quick.

How To Do The Exercises

Grab your guitar! Tune it! Place your palms together in front of you and push them gently together, spread your fingers. When you press gently this stretches the muscles in the back of your hands and the webbing between your fingers. Shake them out and start!

Look at the chart below and analyse it.

Each number is a finger. 1,2,3,4Easy finger exercises for guitar

Place your first finger on the bottom E string on the Fifth 5.

Look carefully at the chart and note the downward arrow.

You will play from top to bottom of the first column (1234), then move on to the top of the second column(2134) and work to the bottom.

Then move onto the top of the third column (3124) and play down to the bottom. Finally, start at the top of the fourth column (4123) and play to the bottom.

A Planned Approach

You play each set of four numbers on each string until the top E string, then move your fingers back to the bottom E string and start the next set of numbers.

Then move down to the next four numbers.

Go very slowly at first and gradually speed up. Preferably, do it to a metronome to keep the tempo moving steadily. It will help with keeping time with chords and lead too.

Finger Agility Exercises

Mindless Practise

This is what I call my mindless (meditation) practise. I can sit down for 10 minutes and workEasy finger exercises for guitar my way through the chart without having to think. This can be a great thing, as there is no pressure to perform.

You might grab a few minutes waiting for your partner to get ready for work. Or while dinner is being made ready. After a while you can make this a very relaxing way that you start your practise before tackling a new chord or song.

If you do this practise everyday for just 10 minutes, you will improve!

Let’s Talk About Pick Strokes

Each time you place a finger down you need to play that string. You could do all down strokes or all up strokes. But the best way is to alternate. Down, Up, Down, Up.

Now you are practising two skills, one for your Fret hand and one for your picking hand. If you play slowly one note at a time and look at how you play each string, you will find the most comfortable way for you to play this exercise.

Alternating your picking will allow you to slowly build to a great speed but patience please.

Hints and Tips

When you first start playing this exercise you may feel a pull at the back of your hand. Don’t worry, that is only the ligaments that move each of your fingers stretching for this new technique.

You may find yourself speeding up, as you move from string to string and then start to make mistakes. This is the time to slow down on that particular sequence. It’s not a race and in fact all great guitarists will tell you that you don’t improve unless you slow down.

A slow steady practise will give you consistency and accuracy and your dream guitar hands over time.

Grab your metronome and set it to 60 beats per minute, this is a nice pace to start at. Indeed, if you raise the time on your metronome by 2 everyday, you will never notice that your speed is increasing! If you don’t have a metronome you can check them out here.

Above all else, try and find ways to blend your fundamental practise in between the fun stuff. If you are not having fun and slowly improving, it’s a recipe for disaster and you might quit.

There is not always a dramatic ending to your guitar playing. You just notice you walk around your guitar instead of picking it up or it stays in the closet. When practise becomes too boring or too difficult, anyone will fade away. It’s human nature. Therefore, choose carefully what bits of practise that you do each day. Some fun, some skill!

Easy Finger Exercises For Guitar – Conclusion

Why should you bother with finger exercises? That’s a good question, one I didn’t ask for most of my life, as a guitarist. I hope it doesn’t take you as long as it did for me, to realise that I needed to have a little structure in my playing.

Although, I could play close to 300 songs I wasn’t really improving my guitar skills over the years. That was sad and it wasn’t until I wanted to play chords and melody that I found it way too hard. That is when I found these exercises and became serious about making little moments to practise. This wasn’t a great big commitment, just small daily steps.

I had to start learning all over again, as I didn’t have the finger dexterity to move one finger at a time and hold other strings down for the chord.

I hope that you will be able to blend this chart into your life and reap the rewards.

Please leave a comment about your journey, as I would love to hear from other guitarists.

LILY

15 thoughts on “Easy Finger Exercises For Guitar”

  1. Wow! Thank you for this valuable information. I finally arrived at your website because I really want to learn guitar, especially to play faster. When I see people who can play guitar I think they look very romantic. And I want to be like them.
    Therefore, I am very grateful to find a step by step way to learn guitar from you.
    By the way,  for beginners like me, are there any specific types of guitar suggestions from you? And how long do I need to practice every day to be good on finger playing?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Asmadi, playing guitar can be fun and romantic too. This is just one exercise a would take about 10 minutes a day. Not a lot to become better.

      Wishing you much success with the guitar.

      Lily 😁🎶

      Reply
  2. Wow! This is a great technique and exactly what will work for me . This is superb and in all honesty, worthy of a read. Thank you so much for sharing here. Left to me, I’d say, I really fancy this a lot because it has increased my level of knowledge on the training of my fingers to be more flexible and a lot faster to move. Great one to see

    Reply
    • Thanks Rodarrick,

      It’s great that you enjoy playing guitar and understand that these little practise exercises can help you improve. 

      Lily 😁🎶

      Reply
  3. Many thanks to you for sharing such a beautiful article with us .I was really pleased to see an article on Music Instrument .And if it is a guitar, then there is no point .Because I have a guitar and the guitar melody pulls me in a lot .But I can’t play very well .I’ve been learning a lot to learn and I’m very happy with that .But I want to learn better and I need finger practice .So that is to say, your article is very helpful to me .Simple Finger Practice for Guitar I need it very much .And the benefit of having me online is that I can always get better at practicing it .You certainly deserve the praise for explaining this simple practice in your article .I will definitely be practicing these exercises given in your article and hopefully something good will happen .I’m having a finger problem and I’m having more time .But after reading your article, I don’t think this is a problem anymore and I can .And I hope you have some ideas that will inspire me even more because you are a guitarist too .

    Reply
  4. I have to agree with you, these finger exercises are such that we should incorporate into our playing. Obviously, it doesn’t take a whole lot of commitment t o achieve and master this. We all know how difficult this can be, but the important thing is to try. This has been really informative. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  5. I have a guitar, but never have spent a lot of time with it. I need to pick it up and practice these exercises. I love music and I’ve played the piano since I was 8. Funny how in piano lessons I was given exercises such as this one when I first started playing, but I was never given any practice exercises after I’d been playing for a while.

    I think exercises such as these are great to practice at any stage of playing. Great article, thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  6. I have a guitar, but never have spent a lot of time with it. I need to pick it up and practice these exercises. I love music and I’ve played the piano since I was 8. Funny how in piano lessons I was given exercises such as this one when I first started playing, but I was never given any practice exercises after I’d been playing for a while.

    I think exercises such as these are great to practice at any stage of playing. Great article, thanks for the tips!

    Reply
    • Hi Willow, they really help, so are worth a few minutes a day. When you start playing guitar again,  learn simple fun chords and songs. This will keep you coming back.

      Lily 😊🎶

      Reply
  7. Hey Lily; Playing the Guitar seems to bring much consolation to the mind as it seemed to have use up one’s concentration. The numbers on the chart sound like fun to use. That should make it easy for a beginner. I once started a lesson in playing the Lead Guitar, My tutor said I was picking the chords too tight I had to stop. Do you think people with thick fingers will not be good fit for playing the Guitar skillfully? My fingers are thick.

    DorcasW

    Reply
    • Hi Dorcas, thanks for the great comments.  Finger exercises are great for flexibility.  I honestly don’t think having thick fingers would be a problem.  You would have more fingertips to put on the strings and if you bought a larger guitar the strings would be slightly further apart. We all have this problem when we start playing, please try again. The other option is to learn to play Bass as the strings are thicker and more spaced, thick fingers would be a real asset.

      Don’t let it stop you. Making music is fun.

      Lily 😊🎶

      Reply
  8. This article is really helpful. I like playing guitar. In fact, it is my most sort after instrument. But it’s sad that I tend not to get my fingers firmly on the strings. It seems as if I will never play a guitar very fast.

    It gets me fascinated when I see guitarist playing very fast and efficiently almost without errors. To me, this is a dream on my part. But here, you’ve been able to come up with something I could do to help make my fingers know my keys very well.

    Reply
    • Hi Leon, I know what you mean. Watching some of these people play it seems so effortless.  But they all practise a lot so it’s worth the practise.  Hope this exercise helps.

      Lily 😊🎶

      Reply

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