Sunday, February 24, 2013

The 1234 Exercise

In the building we live in I've had the pleasure of having several USC guitar majors as neighbors. All of them superb players. And everyone of them had very dexterous left hands, able to go any where their brain takes them.

Here's a good set of exercises to help you develop left hand dexterity.

1234, 1243, 1324, 1342, 1423, 1432
2134, 2143, 2314, 2341, 2413, 2431
3124, 3142, 3214, 3241, 3412, 3421
4123, 4132, 4213, 4231, 4312, 4321

What does it all mean? Above are variations on left hand fingerings of 1, 2, 3 and 4. The battle strategy is to take each of the above 24 exercises up the strings and up the neck. From the first fret to the twelfth fret and on each of the six strings. 

For example 1234 on the 6th string, then the 5th, the 4th, the 3rd, the 2nd and lastly the 1st string. Move your hand up one fret and play the pattern 2345 on the 1st string down to the 6th string. Then up a fret and continue until your first finger is on the 12th fret. Phew! Next pattern... 1243, repeat the whole process again. 

Some patterns are easy and some are downright elusive. Some days you'll be able to do all of the patterns. Other days you may run out of time or steam.

In future posts I will be posting a more practical, musical use for these patterns. These posts will be called "Exercise or Jazz Lick"?

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