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3 Finger 4 Finger Spider

John Metcalfe (120) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 80
Pages: 1 2

I learned these exercises when I first started playing guitar, and still use them to keep my fingers strong and fast. If you are a beginner, your fingers will probably start burning after a couple of minutes of this, DON'T over do it, and remember always practice with a metronome.

Let's start with the 4 finger spider. I find this to be easier because your left hand stays in the same position throughout the process.

  1. Play the first note with your pinky finger on the 10th fret of the third string.
  2. Second note will be played with your middle finger on the 8th fret of the first string.
  3. Third note will be ring finger on the 9th frett third string.
  4. Fourth note is index finger on the 7th frett first string.
  5. Fifth note is middle finger on the 8th fret third string.
  6. Sixth note is pinky on the 10 frett FIRST string.
  7. Seventh note is index finger on the 7th fret on the third string.
  8. And lastly, the eighth note is the ring finger on the 9th frett First string. Then start the process all over again


I know ... I know, this sounds horrible, but remember, this is purely an exercise for finger independence. If you look closely, basically what is happening is a 4-3-2-1 decending pattern on string 3 and another decending 4-3-2-1 pattern on string 1.

Now that you have the left hand down, don't ignore the right. Pracitce the sequence with an upstroke on string one/downstroke on string 3 (outside-to-outside) pattern, and an upstroke on string 3/downstroke on string 1 (inside-to-inside) pattern.

The great thing about this exercise is that it can benefit the beginner and the super-advance guitarist. Once you have mastered the 1st string 3rd string senario, try it on string 1 & 4, then 1 & 5 etc etc. Once you have it down in on frets 7-10 try frets 5-8 and then 3-7. Makes a big difference huh?

***** Classical Guru's Note *****

For any Classical guitar players, I usually play the following patterns, always using 'p' on the lower note.
  1. p-i-p-m
  2. p-i-p-a
  3. p-m-p-i
  4. p-m-p-a
  5. p-a-p-i
  6. p-a-p-m

    These last two really mess with your head because your left hand is doing a "psuedo" 4/4 time finger pattern, and your right hand is doing a "psuedo" 3/4 three finger pattern.

  7. p-i-p-m-p-a
  8. p-a-p-m-p-i
3 Finger 4 Finger Spider