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Old 06-14-2009, 10:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Guitar exercises

In my teens I played a lot of guitar, then started playing piano for a band, and among other things have kind-of neglected my poor guitar for a while. Recently I picked it up again and have started playing again only to discover my fingers are nowhere as strong or fast as they were when I played every day

So, I'm wondering what exercises you guitarists use to build up strength and agility etc. What do you to practice your techniques? Just learn loads of songs? Any effective exercises you stand by? At the moment I'm just doing scales and chord changes to warm up and then learning a few songs.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The biggest thing that you need to learn is how to accurately alternate pick. It's a little late tonight, but tomorrow I can tab out some scales for you as well as some other exercises such as alternate picking the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, fret on each string.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by shiseido red View Post
So, I'm wondering what exercises you guitarists use to build up strength and agility etc. What do you to practice your techniques?
personally i'm a big fan of playing along to non-guitar music. old school free jazz works very well for this, it provides you with a nice moving background of music and allows you to stretch out as much as possible with the guitar. it's great for developing new techniques and voicings.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=Pobodys_Nerfect;682081]The biggest thing that you need to learn is how to accurately alternate pick. It's a little late tonight, but tomorrow I can tab out some scales for you as well as some other exercises such as alternate picking the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, fret on each string.[/QUOTE]

That's what I ussually do, but make sure you do it to a metronome. For finger strength I also fret the 1st string 1st fret, pluck it, then hammer on with a combination of fingers. I will go down the neck this way and then instead of hammering on I will pull off. This excersise was extremely useful for devoloping my finger strength.

So for example
1 finger (pluck)
2 second finger (hammer on)
3 third finger (hammer on)

Then vary the combinations (124, 134, 234, 12, 23, 34, 1234, 14, 13 etc)
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I find that (utilizing said alternate picking excersises) just practicing major scales to a metronome is a good workout for both hands and helps to get them working together smoothly.
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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personally i found playing guitar hero and rockband on expert mode with a pick far more entertaining (and ultimately beneficial) than sitting with a metronome and scales. you still need to develop alternate picking methods and different strumming patterns to succeed and you're still moving your hands in tandem to a mechanical click.

it's no replacement for the real thing and not something i'd suggest if you're trying to build up chops from nothing but if you've already got the ability to play and just need a way to hold yourself over it's great.
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Cool, thanks for the advice everyone. I'm gonna do a whole range of things. Hopefully with practice I'll build up strength and agility again...

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personally i found playing guitar hero and rockband on expert mode with a pick far more entertaining (and ultimately beneficial) than sitting with a metronome and scales. you still need to develop alternate picking methods and different strumming patterns to succeed and you're still moving your hands in tandem to a mechanical click.

it's no replacement for the real thing and not something i'd suggest if you're trying to build up chops from nothing but if you've already got the ability to play and just need a way to hold yourself over it's great.
Haha I'd never thought of this, I have Guitar Hero but 'Hard' is as far as I've gone in difficulty so far...
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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yeah i only played GH3 and only played a handful on expert before switching over to RB (which is far more forgiving and less of a clicking game). i found it to be better as an addition to my regular playing routine. it's not an exercise i'd do instead of playing guitar, just something i'd do when i couldn't.

at the moment i'm developing drumming chops. i've never owned a kit but i'm curious to know what someone who 'learns' an instrument solely from a video game sounds like on the real thing hahaha
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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yeah i only played GH3 and only played a handful on expert before switching over to RB (which is far more forgiving and less of a clicking game). i found it to be better as an addition to my regular playing routine. it's not an exercise i'd do instead of playing guitar, just something i'd do when i couldn't.

at the moment i'm developing drumming chops. i've never owned a kit but i'm curious to know what someone who 'learns' an instrument solely from a video game sounds like on the real thing hahaha
lol, I am a pro at the drums on RB, but on a real kit I am terrible! Perhaps that answers your question :P But everybody is different I suppose!
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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lol, I am a pro at the drums on RB, but on a real kit I am terrible! Perhaps that answers your question :P But everybody is different I suppose!
haha yeah it's not the same and i'm not expecting it to be the same either, especially not if you try to apply what you learn from the game into a typical band situation. lucky for me i have a very warped view on playing music and have a few close friends who are willing to support my lunacy

i'm quite curious now to hear what modern music will sound like in 10-20 years or so when the generation of kids who learned just about everything about music through those games start trying their hands at the real thing.
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