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> Left Hand Stretches?
Scott Gentzen
post Apr 4 2007, 05:09 AM
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Starting to learn how to play from the ground up, I'm amazed at how much I need to learn and do before I can even get to the point of being competent. At least a little theory, scales, chords, where everything is on the fretboard....then training your hands to do what you need them to do...strength, independence and muscle memory.

Lately, what has my attention is the reach of my left hand. If I go all aboard on the sixth string with index finger on the first fret, my pinkie's only able to reach halfway between the 4th and 5th fret. I'm looking to increase my reach. The only thing I've come up with guitar-wise to do it is keep working on that B-G#-B-A-B-A#-B run in Back in Black. That and I find myself working the muscles on and off during the day without the guitar...spreading the fingers out wide, trying to move them back and forth independently while they're spread out.

Anyone have and good exercises/stretches for getting that reach?


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JCJXXL
post Apr 4 2007, 05:24 AM
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Something I have learned is that just as important as the ability of your fingers to stretch, is the position of your elbow. I discovered this by accident one night. My elbow had a tendency to float outward a way from my body. WhenI brought my elbow in closer to my side my fingers "magically" were able to stretch a bit further.

But I'm just a rookie, so I could be wrong about the elbow position. But I do know that it works for me.
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Doug
post Apr 5 2007, 10:10 PM
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QUOTE (Scott Gentzen @ Apr 4 2007, 12:09 AM) *
Starting to learn how to play from the ground up, I'm amazed at how much I need to learn and do before I can even get to the point of being competent. At least a little theory, scales, chords, where everything is on the fretboard....then training your hands to do what you need them to do...strength, independence and muscle memory.

Lately, what has my attention is the reach of my left hand. If I go all aboard on the sixth string with index finger on the first fret, my pinkie's only able to reach halfway between the 4th and 5th fret. I'm looking to increase my reach. The only thing I've come up with guitar-wise to do it is keep working on that B-G#-B-A-B-A#-B run in Back in Black. That and I find myself working the muscles on and off during the day without the guitar...spreading the fingers out wide, trying to move them back and forth independently while they're spread out.

Anyone have and good exercises/stretches for getting that reach?


I have short fingers that dont stretch very much and I'm sure it doesnt help that I started playing when i was 32..33 on Monday smile.gif but what I just started using is a tennis ball. Not only for hand strength, but i push the ball between my 4 fingers (no thumb) on my left hand to help the fingers stretch. I also put the ball towards my finger tips and try to bend 2 fingers at a time...I do this because when I close my fingers they start to angle towards each other, and I noticed that as I played as well...hope that helps.

Doug
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beebo
post Apr 5 2007, 11:13 PM
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When I stretch my picky for tapping it dosen't move as much so I practice that mainly now to be able to move my fingers quickly and thoroughly when playing to get better control and faster speed.
On the other hand it's good to practice like all the way past the 15th fret because your fingers get squished together so this is for everyone, Practice both stretching ur fingers and practice past the 15th fret
probably best all over the neck in that range to make sure you get your hands use to being curled past about the 15th fret. trust me it will happen eventually

This post has been edited by beebo: Apr 5 2007, 11:13 PM
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Scott Gentzen
post Apr 7 2007, 01:22 AM
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QUOTE (Doug @ Apr 5 2007, 09:10 PM) *
I have short fingers that dont stretch very much and I'm sure it doesnt help that I started playing when i was 32..33 on Monday smile.gif but what I just started using is a tennis ball. Not only for hand strength, but i push the ball between my 4 fingers (no thumb) on my left hand to help the fingers stretch. I also put the ball towards my finger tips and try to bend 2 fingers at a time...I do this because when I close my fingers they start to angle towards each other, and I noticed that as I played as well...hope that helps.


Can you explain the tennis ball thing a little bit more? I'm not really understanding the mechanics.

Tennis ball in hand, no thumb. On a surface, or no? Finger 1 and 4 supporting the ball from below and 2 and 3 on top?


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Guitars: ESP Semi-Hollow Eclipse, 1984 Ibanez Roadstar RS440, Peavey T-60, Daisy Rock Rock Candy Custom
Amps: Peavey Transformer 112, Epiphone Valve Jr head with custom 2x12 cab
Pedals: Boss TU-2, Budda Bud-Wah, Chuck Collins Harmonic Percolator clone
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