Six simple exercises that will make you better

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by rabi_sultan, Mar 13, 2005.

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  1. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    Follow these simple six warmup exercises daily and you will find yourself a much much better guitarist.

    1. "Spiders" help finger strength, finger speed, finger stamina and finger accuracy.

    2. "Chords" help finger/hand strength, finger flexibility, hand speed and hand stamina

    3. "Scales" help ear training, finger speed, finger accuracy

    4. "Hammer/Pull" exercises help finger strength, finger speed, finger stamina

    5. "String Bends" help hand strength, hand control and hand stamina

    6. "Vibrato" helps hand stamina, hand control, hand flexibility and hand strength

    in the following five posts i will show you these exercises. In order to help your control of the picking hand whether its fingerstyle or plectrum you can use the exercises above to aid you in that.

    Also remember i have not discussed playing techniques as that is a field that is very vast and out of scope of this session. All that is here are just presentations of a few exercises that you can use now and again to keep getting better or to stay in shape.

    If you have any questions regarding techniques or further clarification then post here and we'll get the answers with the help of others here at IGT.
  2. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    the three diagrams show a different style of spider. You can basically do these three or as the last one suggest make your own. These are normally based around the chromatic scale (every note)

    one form of a spider


    or a travelling spider

    your basically playing the chromatic scale (every note) but you play it with variations, such as the above two. You can then try other variations such as playing the above in reverse, or to invert each sequence in notes but go forwards like:

  3. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    Yes you play chords, but not the simple ones like open G or open D but the more difficult ones that put strain on your hands and fingers. As a guitarist you should say to yourself that you will learn a new chord every day and this is where this chord "exercise" comes in - lets be honest its more of a rule than an exercise from one point of view. In any case pick a chord and learn it and then try to switch to it from other chords you know. I would HIGHLY recommend getting a chord dictionary that shows you JAZZ chords as they are just insane and will greatly help your finger positioning. I would again recommend Jazz chords if you an intermediate guitarist, if you are a beginner I would say that you start with power chords, then move to barre chords and do not play any other chords until you can play barre chords easily - then your an intermediate and its time to go get those Jazz chords!
  4. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    Another simple exercise that is near identical to the Spider exercise with only a singular difference. This difference is that you do not use the chromatic scale to play your spider across the fretboard. Instead pick a scale (any scale) and play that along the board. There are two patterns to follow here, either the travelling spider or the up/down spider, you will find that there will be notes available on both paths that will allow you to complete the scale.
  5. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    This is a really simple exercise which will leave all of you kicking, screaming and cursing my name :)

    take ANY two frets, in the example below we select the 5th and 6th frets of the B string, and simply pluck the lower fret and then begin to hammer on the next fret higher and then pull off straight away. During this time you leave your finger on the 5th fret. You do this fast and the aim of the game is that you do not let the loudness of the notes die away and that you keep it alive by just hammering and pulling. Start of slow and once you get the technique THEN increase the speed, no point in trying to do it fast if your not doing it right.
    (Repeat this for 30 seconds non stop!!)
    .:VinAY:. likes this.
  6. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    String Bends
    the idea of the bend is to smoothly go up a few notes from the current fret without having to play the frets. For instance if you play the 7th fret on the B string you will hear the note of F#. Now suppose you want to go to G# well instead of then playing the 9th fret you will bend the string upwards from the 7th fret to a stage where the sound of the fret is now the same as the 9th fret (G#) even though your still at the 7th fret (F#). The advantage of this method is that you can quickly shift between F# and G# and back without having to either hammer/pull or pluck three times. The tab notation below shows what i have just explained.


    This means that you bend the string at the 7th fret so that it sounds as if your playing the note at the 9th fret.

    Lets now introduce a classic blues bend and one that is very popular. Consider the B string and the G string. It is well known that in standard tuning that the B string open has the identical sound of the 4th fret on the G string. So if you were to play any fret on the B string the same note can be found four frets away on the G string. However it is extremely difficult to stretch your fingers four frets apart. So what we do is we take the fret on the G string that is two frets away from the fret of the B string and bend only the fret at the G string up two frets. So for example if we were to play our F# 7th fret on the B string in order to get a powerful sound of the same note we play the 9th fret (E) on the G string and bend it up two notes to F# (11th fret) so that the same sound is achieved. Tab notation for this is


    Just keep practicing both types of bends.
  7. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    There are two forms of vibrato, either vibrato with the notes or with the chords. We ARE NOT going to use the whammy bar/tremelo arm for this you use your left hand!!

    its a simple exercise take any note or chord and just strum and vibrate away for as long as possible in order to sustain the sound for as long as possible. Again you will develop your own techniques eventually.
  8. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

  9. bob-bobby

    bob-bobby Extinct or Banned!

    nice thread rabs , makin it sticky ...
  10. nehemiah

    nehemiah New Member

    Rabi, your the man to know around here....thank you for all you efforts
  11. mad_man

    mad_man oo my god kill Em all

    wow man that was really a nice thread......... keep it up
  12. rizaaj

    rizaaj Forum Leader

    great Rabi.. great post.. actually scales give me a lot of problem.. will practise it regularly from now on...
  13. Subhro

    Subhro Argentina lost :&quot;(

    5 stars n reps. post sum mor.
  14. nadish

    nadish Active Member

    I can easily handle these all six exercises..... Plz post some new exercises....
  15. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    i missed a part in the hammer/pull section. you have to do that for about 30 seconds non stop.

    obviously once you can do that easily you should be able to do it with your index and ring finger.

    to be honest nadish there aren't really any more exercises since the above six if you can do them without a problem then you should be ready to combine them to build licks and then eventually into solos. The six exercises should for experienced guitarists be used as warmups. To get better from the basics you'll need the theory next and the time to get into soloing (if you want to go down that route).

    if you want a seventh exercise i would suggest harmonics i'll post something in the near future in greater detail but to do that exercise i would suggest to play harmonics on every string at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th frets (only 3rd, 9th and 12th on acoustic). If your a starter then start at the 12th fret.

    So you could start by playing lone harmonics getting them right and once your confident then the best thing to do is to play the octaves of harmonics so for instance playing note D first on the 5th fret A String and while its still ringing quickly play it on the 7th fret G string. You should hear them both ring together really loudly.
    theguitaristofm likes this.
  16. ^nice one rabbi though i master most of them yet i prefer those hammerings coz that really sucks lolz
    good reps for u
  17. 6String_assasin

    6String_assasin The Painkiller

    rabi, i like the way you write those guides..
    theguitaristofm likes this.
  18. rocking_devil

    rocking_devil Banned

    man! that was a fantastic stuff!u rock!keep it up.....
  19. deathdr_87

    deathdr_87 Awesome Guitarist

    rabi - dont mind me adding a few mor exercises i did a lot when iwas a beginner:

    i called this 1 the spider - icalled wat rabi calls the spider a chromatic - either ways ill just call this "random exercise no. 1"

    u msut maintain alternate picking throughout the excercise


    then after u master this - go on to string skipping:


    eventually bring the notes on the A string up to the E string
    rabi_sultan likes this.
  20. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    yeah thats a great example of how you could mix and match that exercise, i especially like your example of string skipping which is essential to any solo. you will notice that any guitarist regardless of genre would play his solo's in such a way that they would have to string skip, and not only solos but melodies as well.
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