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The Best Way to Build Finger Strength for Guitar

publication date: Dec 16, 2009

In the next few blog posts, I will be sharing some of my answers to real guitar questions. Today is the issue of finger strength. If you don't play any sort of instrument, chances are that your fingers may need a little bit of power before you can start to shred! Finger strength is definitely one of the first hurdles to overcome. But keep in mind, there are actually 4 things to consider with your fingers:
 
1. Finger Strength
2. Finger Flexibility
3. Calluses
4. Muscle Memory

1. Finger Strength
There are thousands of ways to build finger strength alone, and it's a bad idea to waste a lot of money on gadgets. Get a tennis ball or stress ball and squeeze away. However, even though your fingers may be strong, you could still have problems.

2. Finger Flexibility
Your fingers must be nimble to reach tricky chords and to move quickly. It's a good idea to gently stretch your fingers to loosen them up. Although this sounds funny, you fingers are made up of ligaments and muscles just like your legs are. Be careful though not to stretch too fast. Ease into it.

3. Calluses
Calluses are the key to your fingers not hurting. To gain calluses, practice 20min a day for 2 or 3 weeks.

4. Muscle Memory
Muscle memory is actually more important than finger strength as you learn how to play. Spend your time on chord switching correctly. First, make the shape of the first chord; then, jump and try to get all of the fingers to land in place at the same time for the next chord. Do this exercise very slowly to properly gain muscle memory. This teaches your fingers the right what to switch, and speed will come over time.
 
So remember, it's not just about finger strength. If you want to run a marathon, you have to run--not just do leg exercises!

Stephen
Christian Guitar Lessons







 

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