Albo’s Practice Diary #005: Finger exercises

Oh, my fingers are feeling pretty sore tonight!

It didn’t take long, maybe 30 min. or so, but sure enough my fingers were starting to hurt pretty good.  And it wasn’t the initial sore-finger-tip kinda thing that many newbies go through.  (I’m fairly past that stage at this point, unless I’m really playing for a long time.)  If you’re still getting sore fingertips, trust that it shall pass soon enough :).

The soreness I’m experiencing comes from stretching my hand to cover multiple frets.  If you know what I’m talking about, then you know it’s quite a unique feeling to have sore fingers from stretching them as wide as you can.

Let me tell you how I got ’em tonight…

Guitar stretched fingers

So, here I am working on one of my latest homework assignments, good ‘ol Etude No. 2, and I’ve got it down pretty solid by this point…  but my instructor now wants me to practice it all in the 5th position.

Now that’s not too bad, since the piece is in Am anyway and I’ve learned by this point that you can cover the whole scale easily down at the fifth fret. But, of course, it’s got those random notes that pull you out of position… I’ve got to hit the low G on the sixth string, but then, (because the assignment is to stay in 5th,) I’ve got to jump back to the F on the 8th fret of the fifth string.  Then, as we hit a couple scale runs, I need to keep reaching for that B note on the fourth string with my pinky.  Nothing too difficult I agree, but when you’re not used to using your pinky that way you feel the stretch!

But I don’t want to just whine about my sore hand and fingers.  After all, that’s part of the deal with learning guitar.  It comes with the territory.

What I figure is better for you, and me, and anyone dealing with stretched out fingers, is to go find some tips, tricks, or exercises that could help us get more flexible.  So here’s a list of some random stuff I found on the web:

  1. How to Avoid Pain in the Left Hand While Playing the Guitar, on
  2. 5 Tips to Help Fingertip Pain, on
  3. Pain-Free Guitar Playing: Avoiding and Healing the Mechanical Problems of Guitar Player, on
  4. Warm-up Before Playing Guitar to Avoid Pain, on
  5. Left hand stretch, on
  6. Guitar Finger Exercises — A home gym for your hands, on
  7. Essential Hand Stretches for Guitarists, on
  8. Guitar Hand Pain, on
  9. Guitar Lessons – Stronger Fingers for Guitar Playing, on
  10. Left Hand Strengthening – “6 Minute Trill Drill”, on

I’ll be trying all these suggestions and drills in the days ahead so I’ll let you know if anything in particular works for me.

In the meantime, I want to know what tips you might have… what’s your cure for sore guitar fingers?

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