Lesson: Left Hand Vertical Stretch Exercises

This exercise is from my book Classical Guitar Technique: Essential Exercises, Scales, and ArpeggiosThe 122 page book includes: Practice Routines, Tips, 100 Open String Exercises, 120 Giuliani Arpeggios, Scales, Slur Exercises, Shifts, Finger Independence, Barre, Tremolo, Common Harmonics, and much more. YouTube Video Link.

These vertical stretch exercises are from pages 94, 95, and 97 of my book Classical Guitar Technique: Essential Exercises, Scales, and Arpeggios. The 122 page book includes practice routines, tips, hundreds of exercises, and more. Be careful to take breaks and relax during this exercise to avoid injury. If you feel any pain or burning in the muscles, stop immediately. I’ve notated the exercises at certain frets but feel free to play it at any fret (playing at the 1st fret results in the largest stretch).

Improving Left Hand Alignment (page 94) – Students often favour the 1st finger while allowing the 4th finger to drop away from the fingerboard resulting in a misalignment of the left hand and knuckles. This exercise aims to correct this issue by favouring the 4th finger on lower strings. Keep the 4th finger curved at each joint and your palm close to the neck (especially the 4th finger knuckle). Your knuckles should be parallel with the strings.

Alignment & Finger Movement (page 95) – Keep each finger down until it is needed for another note (as indicated in the first bar with ties). Keep the hand and knuckles aligned with the strings and very still while letting the fingers do all the movement. Use i-m on the first two notes (1st string) and the thumb on the other notes (2nd to 6th string).

Alignment, Coordination, Vertical Stretch (Chromatic Counterpoint) Page 97 – Keep each finger down until it is needed for another note. Hold the final note during the repeat as well (despite the rest in the first bar). Keep the hand and knuckles aligned with the strings and very still while letting the fingers do all the movement. It is essential that two fingers remain on the strings at all times, this is easy to miss so practice carefully. Use i-m for the upper notes and thumb for the lower notes.

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