Bluegrass Banjo Sheldon Friesen

Banjo lessons, teacher, performer – Vancouver / Surrey, BC

Archive for the month “July, 2006”

Left Hand Finger Independence Exercise Two

A number of posts ago I suggested a left hand independent exercise to enable you to have greater control over where your fingers go on the fret board. That exercise actually focused on the actual brain signals we send to our fingers. Essentially it was a motor control development exercise.

In this post I want to again look at developing left hand finger independence but in this post, I want to focus on actual muscle development and stretches.

First, place your fingers on the fret board with your index finger on fret 10, middle on 11, ring on 12 and pinky on 13. Do this so all four fingers are on the same string. Any string is fine, but if your like me you’ll find that the second string is probably most comfortable.

Now, lift just your pinky and move it from fret 13 to 14 on the same string while keeping your other fingers firmly planted on their existing positions.

Next, lift your ring finger from 12 and place it on 13 where your pinky finger was previously.

Then, move your middle to the 12th fret and finally your index to fret 11.

It’s almost like playing leapfrog with your fingers on the fret board.

The main focus with this exercise is the stretch the pinky has to make from the rest of your fingers and also the ring finger stretching away from the middle finger.

Do this leapfrog drill up the neck a little ways then try it in reverse until you eventually work your way back to the original starting position.

You’ll find your muscles limbering up and your ability to stretch your fingers increasing to enable you to play those fancy licks with greater control.

Pick Away!

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