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.
- Play the first note with your pinky finger on the 10th fret of the third string.
- Second note will be played with your middle finger on the 8th fret of the first string.
- Third note will be ring finger on the 9th frett third string.
- Fourth note is index finger on the 7th frett first string.
- Fifth note is middle finger on the 8th fret third string.
- Sixth note is pinky on the 10 frett FIRST string.
- Seventh note is index finger on the 7th fret on the third string.
- 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.
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.