Guitar Technique: The Finger Gym – Strength Development – JustinGuitar – Guitar Lesson [TE-001]



hi how ya doin Justin here today I am going to show you an awesome finger strength and independence exercise that I called the finger gym now a couple of things out of the way first of all one this is very much like weightlifting there's lots of kind of similarities between this exercise and go to the gym the first one is you don't want to overdo it when you start out so I'm going to show you the exercise in a second but you really want to be doing like five minutes a day of this if you go into doing like half an hour an hour especially if you started doing that right away you're probably going to hurt yourself so really start nice and simple don't give it a hundred percent of all your energy to start off with just get your fingers used to it and kind of work into it over a couple of weeks so it's think of one thing number two if it hurts at any point if your hand hurts then you need to stop and go and see a doctor okay this is a really intense muscle workout in your hand and if you're really doing it properly your fingers should feel sore just like you've been to the gym that feeling of when you've been to the gym you're kind of little bit achy or you've done some you know weird exercises or movements that you're not used to do and you get those kind of sore muscles you should feel that in your head if you don't feel that in your hand then you're probably not doing it right so you want to feel a bit of that but not pain if it's painful if it actually hurts and if it hurts after you finish doing the exercise especially then you really want to go and see your local GP and I get it your head looked at in case there's something going wrong so other things that are really important but just before we get going it's not a speed exercise okay this is a hand strength and finger independence exercise that's the point of the exercise so doing it fast is not going to help very much we like going and doing bench presses at the gym and doing them really fast you're not really going to get very much benefit from it except for looking a bit stupid so that's not that not the deal it's got to be real slow and real strong also worth noting that later on if you start doing lots of fast legato stuff actually the touch should be very light for that okay so this isn't a lingard to exercise this is a finger strength exercise so make sure that you got it right in your head what exactly the point of the exercise is and it's also really important that you get the tempo even so make sure that the beat is really nice and consistent I'm going to show you this new close-up but you've got to make sure that the debate is consistent if he can the best idea is to do it with a metronome and last thing before we get to a close-up is just to do with hand position really trying to make sure that you keep your thumb on the back of the guitar neck now I know a lot of times when we're playing especially doing blues or whatever we put the thumb around the top and the fingers are at an angle but really when you're doing this exercise with what I think is in that like a proper position and the reason for that is because that's how we're going to work the muscles best you know a funny Jim analogy again would be if you were a shot putter you wouldn't go and take the benchpress machine and kind of angle your body around it so you were kind of making like a shotput motion that would just be silly it wouldn't be the right way to work the muscle group so that you know you want to keep your fingers really nice and parallel with the fret all of the way through this exercise so let's get to a close-up and start doing it okay so to start the exercise the first thing we want to do is try and make sure our hand is relatively parallel to the fingerboard not out of a dodgy angle like that you want to try and see the difference so a lot of people might start trying to do it like that with the the the palm kind of pointing toward the ground you want to bring it up it doesn't have to be exactly like parallel parallel but in that vicinity okay so first finger goes down in the first fret and we're going to play that note and then we're going to hammer the second finger down in the second fret of the same string okay and the idea here we're trying to hammer it loud enough to make it more or less the same volume as the first note okay it doesn't want to be this where it's really loud and you don't want to go go over the top and like really crunch it you know you want to keep your technique nice give it a good hit then after you've done that you'd play it on the second string same thing first finger and then hammer the second finger down nice and slowly on the second fret on the third string fourth string fifth string sixth string and then back up okay so that would be the finger combination one and two okay you wouldn't want to do it any more fast than about that even that's pushing a little bit it doesn't want to be fast it's not fast exercise I can't emphasize that enough it's not you don't there's no benefit from doing that okay so when you finished one and two you move on two fingers two and three again trying to keep that hand nice and parallel by the first note hammer the third finger we do that same combination starting with the second finger and hammering on the third finger all the way down to the thickest string and then all the way back up again we finished that we move on to doing the third and fourth fingers okay try and keep first and second fingers kind of roughly hanging out in a line roughly same thing they're really working on they're getting a good nice strong note though a little finger really help with your accuracy making sure you get that nice and solid okay once you've done third and fourth fingers you go to one and three again really trying to get a nice positive connection with that third finger as it's hammering down what you'll notice is sometimes it feels like you've got it hammered right in the right place and that's really good if you hit slightly to one side or the other the note doesn't quite ring out as true it's still correct but you want to really be trying to work on getting that third finger to land in a really nice way so the note is as strong as it enriched and round as it could possibly be so once you finish fingers one and three you move other fingers two and four exactly the same thing that we've been doing before I'm doing it a touch fast here now just because I'm conscious of this exercise not taking too long for the lesson again if you do it with a metronome like 60 beats a minute or something would be fine that's fingers two and four there lastly one and four Oh okay now that's all of the two finger combinations of which there were six okay run through them again it was fingers 1 & 2 then 2 & 3 then 3 & 4 then 1 & 3 2 & 4 and then 1 & 4 okay once you've finished all of those doing hammer ons I would recommend that you go on to doing the flick offs or pull offs so for that would be the same finger combination so 1 & 2 would become 2 2 1 and we'll play the first note and flick that 2nd finger off I call it a flick off because that's kind of the motion is a flick rather than a pull or a lift like lifting if you can hear if I just lifted stray off the second notes not not very loud was it's almost like we're plucking the string even without having starting with a note without picking anything at all I can flick that 2nd finger off and get the note under the 1st finger so that's again what we're trying to do kick flick nice strong low on the second one onto the second string third string fourth trick continue over to the thickest string and back up again now notice the tempo as well for the whole exercises nice and even is not we're not looking at that we're after so it's nice and even this of course is fingers through three to two now take it nice and slow really try and get that flick off Oh okay then forefinger to third finger this is usually everybody's favorite just nice and slow again doing a little bit too fast here just don't worry your lesson to go for too long we can give it a good flick and then 3 2 1 much that we're trying to keep all the fingers nice and parallel to the frets Kevin for two – most likely you're going to find your thumb approximately behind your second finger and now lastly for two one remember it should be more like this speed okay don't worry about rushing and if you can do it with a metronome okay so that's all of our two finger combinations both as hammer ons and flick offs so once you feel really confident with the two finger versions you might want to move on to doing three fingers which is kind of a more advanced version I guess so we'd now be thinking in terms of triplets so the first finger combination would be fingers one two and three and we'd be thinking so one triplet two triplet so dividing each beat into three again that doesn't mean you should be faster you should slow the beat down so the actual notes are no faster together really so the idea here it's exactly the same as before we're picking the first finger having the second finger and then hammering the third finger and then moving that across again really trying to concentrate not just on keeping your fingers in a nice position keeping a good rhythm but also making sure that every note is as good as it can possibly be second finger combination there other groups of 3 is fingers 2 3 & 4 you so I'm particularly getting that little finger nicely placed kind of takes a little bit of effort okay next for your combination one two four Oh course these are three note groupings very important for doing Logano scales and all of those sort of things and even though for that style you want to be playing pretty light having good finger strength and independence is definitely a really nice place to start from second finger grip here now one three and four really trying to get the tempo nice and even not Nathan a nice doctor even notes all the way through and should we do it with a metronome if you can okay so that four groups of three fingers so fingers 1 2 & 3 2 3 & 4 1 2 & 4 & 1 3 & 4 okay and lastly the most tricky of all of them is doing all four fingers and you want to be doing this nice and slow really trying to make sure you get every note solid as you possibly can you and of course you would then do all of those as flick offs again so 3 2 1 etc then four three two what a four-to-one cetera and then four three one then of course which is the hardest definitely flick off I have to really concentrate again especially by the end hand is already a bit tired so keeping especially nice and slow keeping those notes really even can be quite tricky so just to remind you of those really important things again first of all it should make your hand feel sore but not painful if it hurts please please please please stop and go and see a doctor it's really really important you don't want to end up injuring your head so take it easy at the beginning don't go really hard at it ease your way in you might want to start on an electric guitar as well because the kissing sounds a little harder than it is on electric so you might want to start on an electric guitar give yourself a nice kind of easy run-through really really important that you do this slow and strong that's really you know that's the key thing for this exercise so trying to do it fast completely defeats the purpose waste of time just don't bother there are other exercises that are better if you try and work on your fast legato playing it's not this one trying to keep the tempo even really big deal doing it with a metronome it's going to be so much help one thing that I've got for you on the website is a guitar Pro 6 file that you can play along with so all of those combinations each one through twice I figured that up at the 5th fret which is where are most often practice it just can only keep the rest of my arm in a nicer position than the first fret I say you might want to do that and then just literally you'd open up the file hit play and it'll play through and you can play along that works as a kind of as metronome but helps you keep track of what notes you should be doing as well also really important is the hand position and the hand technique so try to make sure that the fingers stay nice and parallel to the frets the thumb is approximately behind your second finger in between the middle and the top of the neck ok it doesn't want to be if you imagine there was a lion down the middle of the neck this way you wouldn't ever want your thumb being below that that would be bad so from the middle up would be okay if it's just kind of creeping over the top that's ok as well but generally it wants to be behind it'll help you do the exercise well well I hope you find this exercise really useful remember there tabs and extra worksheets in the guitar profile and stuff like that on the website see if a plenty more lessons and so it was very soon you take care of yourselves bye-bye

35 Comments

  1. wouldn't it be easier to start on the 5th fret where the frets are closer,then as you get better start moving up to 1st fret.I also noticed you keep your ring and pinky fingers tucked in,is that just so you can demonstrate the technique?

  2. This kind of exercises come in really handy. Even for changing chords, as you develope your fingers' independence. Totally recommendable.

  3. "The finger gym" was also my nickname in college.

  4. Oh my gosh my fingers😭😭😭

  5. How long did it take till you guys saw progress? I did it the first time today and my Fingers are super weak – il do this daily now!

  6. What if my hand gets stiff and in weird shape when going down the strings?

  7. hey Justin, too late I already hurt my finger the first few notes, but u r right if you not hurt probably you do something w rong

  8. Everybody's favorite. Bahahaha.

  9. Ok let's start 3:04

  10. Justin you're a Prince dude. Thanks from the U.S. of A, and just know that your efforts to share your knowledge and experience of playing the guitar is definitely not in vain. ✌🏻🇺🇸

  11. 1-2, 2-3, 3-4

    1-3, 2-4 , 1-4

    pull of: 2-1, 3-2, 4-3, 3-1, 4-2

  12. absolutely beneficial … guys don't rush to play before mastering these basic exercises … thank you Justin

  13. it hurt at 2 and 4 HAHAHAHA

  14. you can feel the muscle pump after. thanks

  15. It is really helpful
    Nepal

  16. what make is this guitar Justin has here ?

  17. genius

  18. Thanks Justin! You are the man!

  19. Sounds like something your girlfriend would like..😂

  20. My finger tips!!! 😣

  21. These lessons are great. Thanks Norm Macdonald.

  22. fucking boring

  23. Curious, Would literally stretching out your fingers as in opening them as wide as you can without doing anything on the guitar help out here? I've got a lot of time sitting at my computer and I feel like it would be much less boring if I just stretched my fingers while working here and there for 10 or 15 minutes.

  24. Needed some tapping exercises for my left hand. My goal with this exercise will be to play "Rob Scallon – For that second". After just one round I can already feel the improvement. Thanks Justin 😉

  25. Great lesson Justin, I am always doing Finger Gym in different formats but this is good doing the power Notes and Pull Offs and making sure the thumb is where it should be behind the fret Board. I often do this in front of the TV so that I always have a guitar with me..I'm one of your customers and will be buying some stuff shortly..Happy New Year 2019 to you and family..

  26. Norm Macdonald here. Lol. Thanks for the lessons.

  27. Agreed, I donated, this is better than any thing a paid teacher has shown me so far. Thank you. First timer- age 61

  28. Now I am thinking seriously if it is a good idea to buy a guitar.

  29. this is the kind of thing I needed the first time around learning guitar

  30. I’m gonna do this when I get tired of practicing chords..I just started learning a few days ago

  31. Not many teachers do what you do

  32. I have a name now for my pinky. I call it Frodo Baggins

  33. How does one distinguish between a sore feeling and pain, both send a relatively similar signal to the brain, the difference is length and intensity, a Sore is a temporary pain that only lasts minutes at most, pain as in “Needles And Pins” pain is a longer lasting, and is generally much more intense.

  34. thanks

  35. This guy kind of looks like Norm Macdonald. The Young Norm Macdonald not Old Macdonald

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