The Finger Squeeze
The warm up you are about to learn can be very boring and strenuous. But if you practice this daily it will be the quickest way for you to get your fingers strong and able enough to pull off any chord shape or awkward fingering. I even suggest doing this while you are watching TV.
The finger squeeze is a strengthening exercise designed to help you develop finger strength and control over the fretboard as well as finger independence. Follow the diagram below from left to right. Hold each not for a count of 4.
- Fret the 1st fret of the 6th string on your guitar (F) with your index finger. Use maximum pressure, and maintain it for an even count of 4.
- Without moving your index finger add your middle finger to the 2nd fret (F#). Hold it for 4.
- Again, without moving your first 2 fingers add your ring finger to the 3rd fret (G). Hold it for 4.
- Now, maintaining pressure on all the strings add your pinky to the 4th fret (G#).
- Maintain the pressure on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th frets of the 6th string, move your first finger down to the 5th String (A). Once again, maintain maximum pressure and hold for a count of 4. Add the middle finger, hold for a count of 4, then the ring finger, hold for a count of 4, then the pinky. And so on.
- Repeat the same pattern for each string. See the diagrams above for clarification, read the grids left to right.
Once you finish this exercise you can then start over from the 2nd fret of the 6th string, and continue up the fretboard repeating this exercise. This could take a while to master, but it will help strengthen your fingers to an unimaginable strength. Keep in mind that you should always be exerting maximum pressure and counting to an even 4. As well make sure you keep the ball of your thumb close to the center of the neck.