Ask any veteran guitarist how important hand and fingering strength is. If a guitarist is expecting to advance in range and technical difficulty it is vital. Having a good teacher, an ear for music, and the dedication to spend hours improving your art is crucial, but without good fingering technique, you won’t advance to meet your potential.
Know your place
To promote advancement and pick up that next level of technical difficulty, one must know their current abilities in order to push themselves to the next stage. Having an experienced teacher to assess your abilities across the board will help pinpoint your current needs, and help you move forward. You will want to search for a teacher here and find a quality mentor who can help you improve.
Challenging yourself to face greater degrees of difficulty doesn’t simply mean you will be playing harder songs or trying to play faster solos. Moving forward is built around how you use your fingers. If you are the forgotten guitarist of the 80s hair band Saigon Kick, or you are a student who likes to play guitar in church every week, improving your skills is vital to any guitarist’s hopes of reaching their own potential greatness. Just remember that skill level is irrelevant, as all student types are capable of developing.
People do yoga to improve flexibility and core strength. Your hands and fingers are no different. Have you noticed that forming certain chords is a real stretch and holding them is difficult and hurts your hand and fingers? If so, you need to strengthen your hands. There are several devices out there that are designed to do this. Some of these gizmos are marketed for guitarists, and others for rock climbers. Both are adequate and will get you results.
But there are practical guitar exercises you can do to strengthen those fingers while improving technique. In an article published by ‘Guitar Skill Builder’ on guitar finger exercises, the author says that effective finger stretching can be the key to a musician’s success.
Musicians are advised to alternate picking and fretting hand speed. The article states to increase the speed gradually and take your time with the transition to upward stroke when you reverse directions. Using upwards strokes as well as downward strokes leads to versatility in your picking and helps you change directions with finesse. This is just one of many exercises covered that strengthens your hand and fingers. Also, it improves on technique and one’s ability to form chords and have advanced flexibility. It even builds dexterity confidence that is required to play the guitar well.
In order to improve as a guitarist, exercising your hand and fingers is crucial. Be sure to ask your music teacher for other ways in which you can build hand strength while simultaneously working on technical skills. By keeping your fingers strong and flexible, you will be mastering those complex chords in no time.
Guest Author Bio:
Author Abby Evans is a journalist, aspiring musician and proud mother of two who is currently considering continued music lessons from TakeLessons.
Image source: http://howtoguitar.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/how-to-play-guitar-chords.png
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