Saturday, 4 May 2013

Confession #16 - Finger 3-4 Independence! (Exercise #1)

To play lead guitar effectively, you need to have co-ordination and dexterity in your fretting hand.  For fingers 1 to 3 of your fretting hand (finger 1 is your index finger), this is something that can be achieved just through your regular practice and playing.

However, when it comes to finger 4 (your pinky finger), developing co-ordination and dexterity is a greater challenge   It is not a strong finger, and tends to want to do whatever finger 3 is doing.  Thus, your practice routine should include some exercises to help develop your finger 3-4 independence.


Here is an exercise you can use to start that process.  Start with your fretting hand in 5th position (i.e. finger 1 is ready to fret notes at the 5th fret).  Change to the 7th, 8th and 10th position in measures 2, 3 and 4, respectively,  as shown in the TAB.  I have also indicated the fingering for the fretted notes.

Take it slowly at first, and gradually build up speed.  Play as slow as you need to so that you are playing it correctly.

Finger 3-4 Independence - Exercise #1
(Click to Enlarge)

Note that there are no sharps or flats, so this piece is in the key of C, but it doesn't have that happy major feel to it.  Instead is has a bit of a dark feel to it.  This is because it is in the Phrygian Mode.  The repeated open E string makes us hear the other notes  from the C major scale differently.  I'll talk about modes in a future confession, if I ever get around to understanding them myself. :-)

Next Week's Confession - Spice Up Your Rhythms! (Part 1)

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