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Good Stretching Exercises

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Milk_Steak, Dec 7, 2011.


  1. Milk_Steak

    Milk_Steak

    Oct 23, 2011
    anyone know any good stretching exercises for the muscles and tendons in my hands and wrists and arms to do before i play?
     
  2. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland
  3. Flooreyoga

    Flooreyoga

    Apr 28, 2012
    Okay, I tabbed these exercises straight out of John Petrucci’s guitar tutorial video “Rock Discipline”. These exercises are very effective in increasing finger flexibility and strength, and serve as good warm-up exercises too. I have reaped immense benefits from these and I hope so will you. Good luck.
    As far as possible I’ve tried to mention in detail the verbal instructions Petrucci gives while playing these examples.

    First Stretch

    In this stretch, you have to place the four fingers of the hand on the four adjacent strings on four consecutive frets, starting from the fourth string tenth fret! That means the first finger on the 10th fret fourth string, the second finger at the 11th fret 3rd string, the third finger at the 12th fret second string and the fourth finger at the 13th fret 1st string. Looks tough, well not at all. Here! For convenience I’ve written the fingers used under the tabs.
    HTML Code:
    E-|----------------------------13-
    B-|--------------------12---------
    G-|------------11-----------------
    D-|-----10------------------------
    A-|--------------------------------
    E-|--------------------------------
    1 2 3 4
    Okay now play the first four strings consecutively, don’t strum them, but play them as an arpeggio, so that each note rings out clearly. Watch out for hums, buzzes and rattles. The occurrence of these means you are not fretting all the notes properly. Also, be careful about the pinky. It easily is the weakest finger in an untrained or partly-trained hand and can cause problems, so pay attention to it.

    Once you’ve got that, now it’s time to make the first change. Change the positions of the two INSIDE fingers. Now the second finger is on the 11th fret but in the SECOND string and the third finger is on the 12th fret but of the THIRD string. Got it? Here’s the tab.

    HTML Code:
    E-|----------------------------13-
    B-|--------------------11---------
    G-|------------12-----------------
    D-|-----10------------------------
    A-|--------------------------------
    E-|--------------------------------
    1 3 2 4
    Was that easy! Once again play the first four strings as an arpeggio and check the notes. When you’ve got that, then the second change is in order. This time change the positions of the two OUTSIDE fingers. Now the first finger is on the 10th fret but in the FIRST string and the fourth finger is on the 13th fret but on the FOURTH string. Here’s the tab.

    HTML Code:
    E-|----------------------------10-
    B-|--------------------11---------
    G-|------------12-----------------
    D-|-----13------------------------
    A-|--------------------------------
    E-|--------------------------------
    4 3 2 1
    You know what to do, play the notes to perfection. Then make the third change. Again change the positions of the two INSIDE fingers, so that they are in their original positions, the second finger on the 11th fret of the THIRD string and the third finger on the 12th fret of the SECOND string. It should look like this.

    HTML Code:
    E-|----------------------------10-
    B-|--------------------12---------
    G-|------------11-----------------
    D-|-----13------------------------
    A-|--------------------------------
    E-|--------------------------------
    4 2 3 1
    What are you waiting for, PLAY! This accomplished the final change. Again change the positions of the two OUTSIDE finger, so that they are in their original positions, the first finger on the 10th fret of the FOURTH string and the fourth finger on the 13th fret of the FIRST string. With this change, you see, that we have come full circle to the very first shape.

    HTML Code:
    E-|----------------------------13-
    B-|--------------------12---------
    G-|------------11-----------------
    D-|-----10------------------------
    A-|--------------------------------
    E-|--------------------------------
    1 2 3 4
    When you have memorized this pattern and the changes, practice them in order, over and over again, preferably with a metronome or a drum machine. Play the notes as quarter notes. There is no point however in playing this in WILD SPEEDS. The main aim is to facilitate stretching and increase finger dexterity. For that, the clarity of notes is more important than the speed in which they are played.
    Now for the most important thing, the purpose of this little exercise and how to achieve it. When you’ve got all this fluently, start shifting the whole exercise one fret to the left. For example, starting from the 9th fret the first pattern would look like this.

    HTML Code:
    E-|----------------------------12-
    B-|--------------------11---------
    G-|------------10-----------------
    D-|-----9-------------------------
    A-|--------------------------------
    E-|--------------------------------
    1 2 3 4
    Repeat the whole exercise from this position. Then, when you get the hang of this position shift one place more to the left (begin from the 8th fret). Keep doing this. The frets grow bigger as you go left on the fretboard, so when you’ve reached the 1st fret, you’ll see that you’re doing quite a stretch! Enjoy.
     

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