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Picking hand speed to increase finger dexterity

It is important to learn alternate picking when you are practicing  to increase your finger dexterity.  Alternate picking is a technique that should be used when working on scales. 

You can start by picking down then up and starting over on each string as you move down from the top guitar string.  Once you have mastered this method you will want to move to alternate picking for every note.  This means one note you pick down and the following not is an up pick.  You do not start over with each string.  You just alternate up and down picking every other note regardless of the string.  So sometime you will be hitting the next sting down with and up pick and sometimes you will be hitting it with an up pick.  Start out slow and practice to get the feel before increasing your speed.

You will now have two things to concentrate on when you are playing.  However this will help your finger dexterity as well.  The coordination needed for alternate picking will help both hands in the long run. 

Look for a video on alternate picking over that I will post over the weekend. 

finger dexterity, pentatonic scales and the blues with video

Playing the guitar can be simple or complicated.  A great number of rock and pop songs are played with just a few basic chords.  Much of the great lead guitar blues music every played has been a result of the pentatonic scale and a closely related blues scale with a flatted 5th, played over a I, IV, V chord progression. 

For example:  A 12 Barre Blues in the Key of G would be just 3 chords.  G, C and D.  You can use the relative minor to G, which is E minor pentatonic scale and make some great sounding licks.  You just have to increase your finger dexterity and muscle memory so you can play effortlessly without thinking about what notes you are hitting.  Once you get to this point you can let your emotions take over your playing and let the Blues flow. 

Both the G Major and E minor scales have only one sharp note.  The F is sharped or raised one fret in both Keys.  Therefore you can use E minor to create blues leads in the key of G.  Try it out and see if you can hear the familiarity with so many popular songs. 

The following video may be of help to you if you are trying to increase your finger dexterity and learning to play lead guitar and the blues.  Also check out the post finger dexterity and accuracy for a finger exercise that is a must use for anyone trying to build scale proficiency. 

The Pentatonic scale, specifically the Minor Pentatonic and the Blues Scale that is closely related to the minor pentatonic scale,  is used by almost every guitar player.  It is the main ingredient to Rock, Pop and Blues Guitar.  Here is a video of a minor pentatonic scale followed by a blues scale that has a flat 5 added.  It is only one more note but it it gives the scale more of the blues sound.

The following video will help you see how certain scales are played and how they can be movable.  You can increase your finger dexterity by playing scales from different root positions over and over. 

The Pentatonic scale, specifically the Minor Pentatonic and the Blues Scale that is closely related to the minor pentatonic scale,  is used by almost every guitar player.  It is the main ingredient to Rock, Pop and Blues Guitar.  Here is a video of a minor pentatonic scale followed by a blues scale that has a flat 5 added.  It is only one more note but it it gives the scale more of the blues sound. 

finger dexterity and the pentatonic scale

We can get into the theory behind pentatonic scales later but all you need to now now is the finger patterns for the root 6 minor pentatonic scale and the very similar blues flat 5 scale.  This two scales will let you jam for hours and increase your creativity.  These two scales are the most prominent scales used in Rock, blues, and pop music. 

You can learn the minor pentatonic scale in a few days and increase your finger dexterity so you can quickly be playing blues and rock riffs.  It is not as difficult as it looks and just learning these two scales will give you the opportunity to get creative.  As soon as you learn a new scale you should start to play your own riffs and licks.  You do not need to spend hours and hours copying someone else's material.  You will have time for that if you want to later but as you start to learn scales you can define your own signature sound and use your creativity to make your own music.  If you try this out you will have a very unique sound and won't be labeled as the next so and so.  You will be an original. 

Playing the guitar is about creativity and improvising.  If you want to connect your emotions to the music you play improvising is the key.  Once you learn the Pentatonic Scales, especially the Minor Pentatonic Scale and your finger dexterity has improved, you will be free to create music related to whatever you are feeling.

The C minor and C major Scales have the same finger pattern on the guitar neck
Add caption

As does the C minor pentatonic and C major pentatonic
if you learn one you know two

Finger Dexterity and Accuracy

Here is an exercise that I have found most helpful for improving finger dexterity and accuracy. It calls for a long stretch over 5 frets using you index, middle and pinkie finger in a three note sequence changing strings with each finger.


This exercise increases finger strength as well as muscle memory. It also calls on you to have great technique in order to hit the strings clearly. Your finger dexterity will be increased naturally as your accuracy improves. Concentrate on keeping your pinkie finger directly on the note to be played while keeping the rest of your finger off of the strings.

Often the weakest link in building finger strength is the pinkie. It is not used for a lot of other things the way your index finger is used and it takes special effort to gain the dexterity needed to play great scales using all four of your fingers.

It is vital to become a great guitar player to have great strength in all four fingers. It will benefit your sound and your playing in the long run. Don't make the mistake of many guitar players by taking the easy way and rely on shifting your hand to allow for use of only 3 fingers. If you get too used to playing across only 3 frets you will limit your ability to improvise and smoothness.

The importance of finger dexterity can not be under emphasized.

Another variation of this 3 fret stretch is as follows:

___3_____________________________7____Repeat 5 times

This exercise give a funky sound and is fun to play. Again emphasize technique keeping your pinkie above he strings. Your brain will naturally help you become more accurate with your picking hand as your practice.

Remember, Finger dexterity is the key to great guitar playing. With it you can never be free to put your soul into your playing. It is just like anything else. Everything is usually difficult before it becomes natural and if you have the self discipline to practice daily to increase your finger dexterity you will reap the rewards of your hard work.

finger dexterity practice session to build agility.

Scale repetition is the key to building finger dexterity and skill.  Start with the minor pentatonic scale and repeat it in all five forms up and down the neck.  A practice session that will build finger dexterity can be long or short but you have to do it every day. There is something magical that will happen if you do some form of finger dexterity practice every day, at least once a day.  Play until you hand cramps up or gets too tired to play the notes. 

This scale pattern is great for building finger strength and improving speed. 


The Bold italic signifies the root of this scale.  This is a basic tablature chart that shows you the guitar strings on the left with the low E String at the bottom.  The numbers on the lines correspond to the fret number on your guitar.  The 3 means you are going to be playing that particluar string while pressing down at the 3rd fret.  This is how your guitar would look if you had it in your hands in playing position and then set the back of it on your lap and were looking down at the guitar and neck.  This is an excellent scale pattern to build finger dexterity in your middle and ring finger.  Use this scale to with 3 fingers to build up your middle and ring finger dexterity and then use your index, ring and pinkie in a separate practice set. 

Take a minute to rest and then do it again.  Repeat this burn session at least five times.  Play until it burns then rest and repeat.  This is like pumping iron for your fingers and you will build finger dexterity very quickly this way. 

Next, take the minor scale from the home page of this website and start on the third fret and run the scale down and then up, and then move over two frets and repeat.  Use alternate picking and good technique and move your way up the next taking note of the root note as you start each scale run.  This will get you more familiar with the guitar neck and it will also build your strength and dexterity. 

Remember every day is a practice day.  You do not want to take a day off if at all possible.  Doing these practice sessions everyday for a few months will jump start your shredding career. 

The Minor Pentatonic Extended Guitar Scale for Finger Dexterity

  This is a very easy scale to master and one that does not call for a lot of finger
dexterity.  But it will be a good foundation for your playing and finger development. The charts
are from Cyberfret.  
Here is the Minor Pentatonic Scale for E in the open position. 
This is a great place to start your pentatonic playing but it takes little finger
dexterity and will not give you the variety you need to play complete solos.  However, 
the open position scale is awesome for creating licks and fills because the open strings
add that additional note to your riffs without having to use another finger.  You can quickly 
develop your speed with the open scale by using the hammer on and pull off techniques. 

But now you will want to go a step further and extend this scale further up the neck. 

Here is the E minor pentatonic scale that covers a range of three octaves from the first fret
all the way up to the 12th fret.  This scale is great for playing the blues and other rock
songs and you can play a variety of riffs all over the neck.  This is a simple scale
but you will look professional by knowing how to apply it over three octaves.

As you practice and as you continue to build your finger dexterity take note of the patterns and 
shapes that you see with in the scale.  These shapes are how you will begin to develop your phrases
patterns within the over all pentatonic scale.  The pentatonic scales are easy to play but it is 
a good idea to practice using your pinkie finger and middle finger as well to increase you
finger dexterity.  It might not be important with this scale but as you move to more complex
Take not of a few of the fingerings and work on the scale in short phrases.  This will 
increase your creativity and allow you to memorize the notes.   



Practice Sessions
You can practice these scales running in both directions while incorporating a few licks and
phrases into the mix.  I always think it is best for your creativity to try and come up 
with your own licks and riffs right from the start.  You will begin to get a feel for what fits
and what does not fit into the music and you will be a more natural re player than if you 
spend a lot of time copies the licks of other players.  There are a few riffs that are classic
and that you will want to learn at some point but don't be afraid to start developing your owns phrases
and chops that will be uniquely yours and part of your signature style. 

I have shown you the E minor pentatonic scale but you can easily move this scale around the neck 
to play in other keys.  You can also start to work on your finger dexterity by combining the patterns 
without having to slide your hand to reach the next note.  If you want to play the pentatonic minor 
scale in the key of G all you have to do is start complete sequence on the 6th string  3rd fret 
which is G.  The pattern or distances between notes stays the same so you now have the tools to 
learn all the minor pentatonic scales. 

Start practicing and start building your finger dexterity and you will be jamming in no time.  

Pentatonic Scales: Pentatonic Scales are the first step to playing bl...

Pentatonic Scales: Pentatonic Scales are the first step to playing bl...: "We can get into the theory behind pentatonic scales later but all you need to now now is the finger patterns for the root 6 minor pentatoni..."

Finger Dexterity and the ease of learning Barre Chords

Here is an sample from a great article found on  hub pages explaining the simplicity of Barre Chords on Guitar

The best way to learn the guitar is to start with a few open chords that can easily be converted to barre chords by moving the open chord form up the neck as a barre chord.
Start with the open E chord and open A minor chord. These are two of the most useful chords you can learn and they both convert easily to barre chords. For example make an open E chord with your pinkie, ring and middle finger. Then slide this configuration over so your middle finger is between the first and second fret and your ring and pinkie finger are between the second and third fret.
Your index finger is available to be used to "bar" the first fret by covering the strings from the top or low E down to the bottom or high E string. Strum the strings from top to bottom and you will be hearing the F Major Chord. Now move this chord up the neck two frets with your index finger on the third fret. You now have the G Major chord. It is very simple but very effective for making progress quickly on the guitar. Another two frets up the neck and you will be at the A Major Chord.
Read the full article HERE

Barre Chords and the guitar with video

The imporatance and simplicity of barre chords

Barre Chords are one thing you that will increase your knowledge of the guitar very quickly. Practicing  them will also improve your finger dexterity   Just by learning a few open chords you will open up your options to hundreds of different variations of sounds.

 Once you master the barre chords using the e major form, the A minor from, and the A major form you will know 80% of all the chords every played in rock and blues music.  If you already know the open chords and have good finger dexterity and strength from practicing the open chords, learning barre chords will be a breeze and it will just take a little practice.  It won't take long for you to master the barre chrods but it will open up  the doors to hundreds of new songs. 

Finger Dexterity and Finger Strength improved by playing scales

Finger dexterity is something you can improve over time with practice and repetition.  Your fingers have muscles just like the rest of your body and you can increase your finger strength which will increase your finger dexterity by exercise.  Just like lifting weights or doing pull ups to increase the strength of your biceps, doing scales in a repetitive manner you will improve your hand and finger strength and this will help your guitar playing. 

The strength of your hands and fingers are the key ingredients to good finger dexterity.  If you don't build up good finger strength and good finger dexterity your guitar playing will be limited to a few chords.  But don't worry it is possible to increase your hand and finger strength in order to improve your guitar playing.  The blazing fingers of great musicians are not just results of natural ability.   Practice, practice and more practice will give you the edge you need to improve your fret board skill and mastery of the guitar. 

If you have small hands or large hands, long fingers or short fingers, you can improve your finger dexterity by repetition.  Repeating scales all over the fret board in a series of sets is like pumping iron with your fingers. 

Start with a simple routine and put in your time daily.  Every day you will get closer and closer to your goal of amazing finger dexterity. 

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Finger dexterity for guitar

Finger dexterity for guitar

Here is a related article on hub pages that will be of interest to anyone working on building their finger dexterity and speed on the fret board.

An easy way to increase your finger dexterity

One of the best ways to increase your skill is to always hold your guitar pick the same way.  This is especially important when you begin to take lessons or begin to start working on yourfinger dexterity and speed.  Find a  position that is comfortable and that feels good to you and be sure to hold the guitar pick this way every time you pick it up.  This is one of the best ways to jump start your picking speed and to keep your picking hand up to speed as you increase your finger dexterity

Guitar lessons are a great way to learn but you have to take yourself to the next level though practice and persistence.  You can learn to shred if you work hard enough and continually improve your technique.  You can become great by practicing your scales for 30 minutes a day.  Just do it once a day for 30 minutes and run through a few scales and in 6 months you will be on your way.  Your finger dexterity will be head and shoulders above your peers.   

Natural Minor

Natural Minor
Major and Minor Scale Patterns