A guitar technique lesson by Jochen D'hondt
Here are some finger stretching exercises that will improve the reach and fluidity of your fingers.
Every guitarist, especially jazz guitarists, runs into chords or scales every now and then that take his fingers stretching ability to the limit. The exercises below will help you develop your stretching ability. If you practice them regularly, you will be able to stretch your fingers much further than you do now.
A word of warning and some advice before we get started:
I will start all the exercises on the high E string but it’s free to choose on which string you start.
I also start from the 12th fret going up, but if this is too easy for you and you want the exercises to be harder, just move down on the neck (start on the 5th fret for example). The space between the frets increases as you move down the neck, so the closer you are to the nut, the harder it will be.
Make sure you keep your first finger fretted at all time, else there won't be a lot of stretching.
I’ll give you the exercise for stretching diagonally between fingers 1 & 2. By now you get the idea and it’s up to you to work this exercise out for stretching the other fingers.
Again, if these exercises are to easy for you try playing them closer to the nut (for example starting on the 5th or 1st fret). There are many variations to these exercises, try finding some of your own.
That was it for my first lesson for Jazzguitar.be, I hope you enjoyed it and see you next time!
- Jochen D'hondt