Hand and finger exercises for guitar players

By | April 6, 2021

The muscles ache when they perform unusual movements or carry extra weight. While people often associate sore muscles with exercise, all the muscles in your body can become sore, including those in your hands. Guitarists know this all too well, as playing excessively — or being a new player — leads to pain in the hand. Stretching and exercising your hands and fingers before playing can reduce the risk of soreness and can give you better control over your playing.

Starting distances

Pull out your fingers and hands before picking up the guitar to prevent injury or pain while playing.

Make a tight fist with each hand, squeezing your fingers as tightly as possible. Hold the first one for 10 seconds and then slowly open your hands. Extend your fingers straight out and extend all the fingers as wide as they will go. Hold this position for 10 seconds on each hand and relax. Repeat it two or three times.

Work individually with each finger, press the fingertip against the edge of a table and gently push back, sliding your finger back against your wrist. Just press hard enough to stretch the muscle slightly; do not push so far back that you injure your finger.

To clear your wrists and stretch the muscles in the back of your hands, squeeze your hands in fists and then rotate slowly at the wrists. Work slowly in each direction for 10 to 20 seconds to stretch these muscles. Washing your hands in warm water before stretching can help loosen the muscles and increase blood flow in the area, which can increase coordination.

Warm-up exercise

An easy but effective way to warm up your hands and fingers for a guitar playing is to play chromatic or individual note intervals that change the fingers. Remember that no matter which hand you use, the first finger is your index or pointer and the fourth finger is your pinky.

Start practicing with your first finger between the guitar’s head and the E-string’s first rage. Place your other three fingers on the next three frets. Select the string with your finger holding down the E-string and repeat with the other three fingers.

Move to the A-string and repeat, working your way up the guitar until you have performed the same exercise on all six strings. When this part is finished, stir the hand with a fret so that the finger finger sits between the first and second frets and the others follow. Play from fourth finger to first finger across all six strings. Repeat the exercise two to three times.

Play this exercise slowly, without focusing on speed, without making sure that each note is completely clear. Play with a slow metronome if you need help keeping track of your pace. Use alternative picking, or picking both up and down the strings while playing, for extra precision.

Stretching Exercise

You can work to increase your finger on the guitar with a stretching exercise.

Follow the same basic movements as the warm-up exercise, except that using only three fingers instead of four, so that each finger has to stretch longer. Place the first, third and fourth fingers in position as in the original exercise, but do not place the second finger on the guitar. This will cause the third and fourth fingers to extend.

When performing strumming on all six strings in this position, put on the second finger and remove the third finger and repeat.