Blog - One Finger Per Fret Exercise
Any athlete will warm up before taking part in a competition or training exercise. Similarly as guitarists we should aim to following in their footsteps by warming up as well. A great exercise for warming up (and warming down after practicing) is the One Finger Per Fret Exercise
This exercise consists of placing your thumb behind the guitar neck (roughly in the middle) and placing each one of your fingers behind each fret. Now by picking each fretted note in sequence - Index finger, Ring finger, Middle and Little finger (or better known as 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th or ‘pinky’) you can begin working on finger independence and finger strength while also warming up the tendons in your wrist and hand. Practicing with a metronome will help improve your sense of timing and accuracy. Aim for a slow tempo with each finger fretting a note on the beat of the metronome, 70 bpm (beats per minute) should be a comfortable tempo to begin with.
The aim isn’t speed, rather accuracy between your picking and fretting hands producing a clear defined note. A good equation to remember is, Timing + Accuracy = Speed
Moving in a vertical column across the guitar’s fretboard from low E to high E strings you will find every note within the Chromatic Scale. This leads on to something that you may have heard before called the CAGED System, but that’s for another blog. Practicing this exercise (Chromatic Scale) ascending and descending with alternative picking (down and upstrokes) to a metronome will be a great way to combine techniques and optimise your practice time while warming up. My next blog will focus on Thumb Position