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Feel the Strings

Josh Graves (2401) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

This same exercise is used in three different ways.

#1: First use the 1 and 3 fingers on your left hand and, just like in the previous page, play the sequence all the way up to the twelfth fret and back down. For the right hand on this one, use alternating free strokes with the m and i fingers. This time, start with the m, and again alternate every stroke. Some players use the same finger twice when coming down a string, and at first this can feel much easier, but this is a bad habit and with a little patient practice alternating at all times will simply be more effective.

#2: Now use the 2 and 4 fingers to fret the same exercise. This may not be comfortable at first, depending on how much you use the pinky. Do not continue any of these exercises if you feel overly fatigued, or any kind of numbness or tension anywhere. Rest and continue with caution. Good technique is not worth an injury. For the picking hand on this exercise, alternate between T for downstrokes and either m or i for upstrokes (I use m). This is an invaluable method for steel string fingerstyle which can be quite difficult to master. Again consistency and smoothness should be strived for, so that the T and the m attack sound very similar. Listen closely to your practicing (or better yet record it) to ensure that this is the case.

#3: Now were gettin' tricky~ Use the same right hand technique you used in #2 (you can't practice enough of that one), and use the 2 and 3 fingers on the left hand for fretting. Stretch your fingers before this one and be patient if it doesn't seem possible, it will be. If you have serious difficulty then transpose the exercise to a position where the frets are closer together, but the goal is to be able to begin at the first fret.

Always stretch and rest between these exercises.
Feel the Strings - Page 2