Author Topic: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility  (Read 619 times)

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Offline TonyP

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Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« on: October 07, 2020, 08:46:08 pm »
I've just started doing a finger stretching routine, as well as the one Justin teaches (well he has 2 separate videos which are slightly different). I seem to have (& I'm sure I'm not the only one!) very stiff inflexible fingers which make forming chords rather challenging - & I'm still trying to 'perfect' the first 3 chords (D, A & E) which has been frustrating me quite a bit. Some of it may be physiological due to the finger injury I sufferred 28 years ago.

Anyway, I think these stretches are just starting to make a bit of a difference & may make a lot more over time & by following a daily routine. Refer to the video attached. I think these exercises are particularly helpful to the more 'mature' of us who start learning rather later in life but they can also be beneficial to anybody. Your regular playing can also gain & improve your flexibility but these extra exercises can complement & help with whatever you do now. Like anything though, start gently & gradually build up.

See what you think... :)





Cheers

Tony. :)
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Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2020, 10:40:27 pm »
Tony

I am glad you have found something that seems to be helping you. I had forgotten all about this video but some one posted it here some years back. Hopefully it will help with your damaged hands and you'll start to make the progress I know you are seeking. Keep at it and don't give up.

Cheers

Toby
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Offline DavidP

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2020, 05:42:48 am »
Thanks for sharing, Tony, and hope it helps to get those fingers cooperating.

Offline sairfingers

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2020, 10:43:15 am »
Wow the guy in the video says he has average fingers. Looks to me like he’s got ER’s digits!!

Edit: that should say ET’s digits!
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 04:56:15 pm by sairfingers »
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Offline TonyP

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2020, 03:00:43 pm »
Quote
Wow the guy in the video says he has average fingers. Looks to me like he’s got ER’s digits!!

Average for who I don't know!! I'm guessing you mean ET's fingers? :)

I always thought that my fingers were quite slim but amazing how fat they seem when you're trying to shape chords & they get in the way of the strings they're not supposed to touch!! I think double-jointed would be useful for me at the moment!!! :) 

Cheers

Tony. :)

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Offline sairfingers

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2020, 04:54:14 pm »
Haha yes I meant ET’s fingers. 🥴 My fingers pressed the wrong key!

I always thought that my fingers were quite slim but amazing how fat they seem when you're trying to shape chords & they get in the way of the strings they're not supposed to touch!! I think double-jointed would be useful for me at the moment!!! :) 
Later on you’ll find you have to deliberately mute strings. The whole thing is a never ending lesson! Great fun though. 😃
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Offline TonyP

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2020, 05:39:13 pm »
Quote
I am glad you have found something that seems to be helping you. I had forgotten all about this video but some one posted it here some years back. Hopefully it will help with your damaged hands and you'll start to make the progress I know you are seeking. Keep at it and don't give up.

Thanks Toby. It's all 'baby' steps at the moment, which suits me fine (for now!!!) but there's no way I'm giving up! :)

Quote
Thanks for sharing, Tony, and hope it helps to get those fingers cooperating.

And thank you too, David, by hook or by crook, I'll get there somehow. :)

Cheers

Tony :)
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Offline guitalias

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2020, 12:18:54 am »
I'm up to justin's beginner lesson 13. Current finger stretch problem I'm having is a chord justin says to start as a C then place the pinky/4 down. But it not only has to go down but also away from the hand. Difficult, but I now know it is a matter of time & practice, also had trouble with first chords.

BTW, while learning A7 chord justin says to form A chord then lift off finger one. Realised easier to do if I don't look at the fingers as I do it. Similar effect to those kid's tricks of twisting hands then telling someone to move a pointed at finger I guess. Easier to leave it to the brain to move a finger than trust the eyes.

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2020, 07:39:20 am »
One of the best finger exercises I’ve found was taught me by my friend who is a session musician; it’s quite simple really:
Play chromatic scale starting at the fifth fret using all four fingers, E string through to e string and back down (so first finger 5th fret, second finger 6th fret, third finger 7th fret and pinkie 8th fret). If you find that stretch too difficult then start 6th fret or higher if need be. When you find it easy move down the fingerboard a fret at a time until it becomes hard again. During the process always start first at where you started on the fretboard and work your way down, continue with the exercise until you get to the first fret.
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Offline J.W.C.

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2020, 07:51:24 am »
Kinda left-field on a guitar forum, but piano is really good for general hand/finger flexibility and dexterity.

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2020, 07:55:35 am »
Kinda left-field on a guitar forum, but piano is really good for general hand/finger flexibility and dexterity.
Absolutely, it’s something else that I’m looking at during the winter months! We do actually have an electric piano, it’s my wife’s!
Still here, still learning - no longer letting Fibromyalgia get in the way, it sucks but doesn’t have to mean your life stops!

Offline TonyP

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2020, 04:59:13 pm »
Quote
One of the best finger exercises I’ve found was taught me by my friend who is a session musician; it’s quite simple really:
Play chromatic scale starting at the fifth fret using all four fingers, E string through to e string and back down (so first finger 5th fret, second finger 6th fret, third finger 7th fret and pinkie 8th fret). If you find that stretch too difficult then start 6th fret or higher if need be. When you find it easy move down the fingerboard a fret at a time until it becomes hard again. During the process always start first at where you started on the fretboard and work your way down, continue with the exercise until you get to the first fret.

Hi Darrell,
I think what you're describing is much like the stretches that Justin has 2 videos of. I do one stretch, starting at the 8th fret for now & do my best going up & down starting at the 6th string & working my way down to the 1st & work my way back up again - I don't at this stage work wider, if you know what I mean. It is very challenging for me at the moment but I can see the benefit in it. Justin says to take about 2 minutes doing it but it takes me longer to do the full range. I don't stop at 2 minutes, I just do one full repetition. My little pinky is the one I find hardest to work. It doesn't even want to move at all to start with, I have to really concentrate & force it up. It sort of gets there in the end but my third finger (the damaged one) just pushes off the top of the string. Also my other 2 fingers tend to pull down on the top string or two. I'm sure this is not only a flexibility issue but a finger independence issue that will just take time to develop with constant practice. :)
Thank you though for posting it.

And, I am also tinkering with learning the piano as well. Personally, as well as improving finger flexibility, I think it is a better instrument for understanding/learning music in general. I'm greedy...I want to play guitar like Mark Knopfler & piano like Billy Joel!!! :D

Cheers

Tony :)
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Offline sairfingers

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2020, 06:56:11 pm »
...I want to play guitar like Mark Knopfler & piano like Billy Joel!!!
Hey Tony, you’ve been reading my mail!
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Offline DavidP

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2020, 08:03:18 am »
I'm greedy...I want to play guitar like Mark Knopfler & piano like Billy Joel!!! :D

Hey Tony, you’ve been reading my mail!

LOL ... can't help jumping on this bandwagon of airing one's wildest aspirations ...

I want to play guitar, piano, harmonica, sing, and write songs like ... Neil Young.  And if I can get there, I'd settle for Bruce HA HA

Offline TonyP

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2020, 03:16:14 pm »
Quote
I want to play guitar, piano, harmonica, sing, and write songs like ... Neil Young.  And if I can get there, I'd settle for Bruce HA HA

There's nothing wrong in that David. There's a saying that goes "aim for the stars & you might grab a cloud!"

While my comment was largely tongue-in-cheek, there is an element of truth in it. It's what I'd like, though the reality of course is not likely, knowing how long it takes to be that good. Justin points out we have to be realistic in our ambitions, which is true but it's also those little dreams that keep you going & may just get you a bit beyond your initial realistic goal. :)
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Offline DavidP

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Re: Improving Finger/Hand Flexibility
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2020, 07:13:41 am »
There's nothing wrong in that David. There's a saying that goes "aim for the stars & you might grab a cloud!"

While my comment was largely tongue-in-cheek, there is an element of truth in it. It's what I'd like, though the reality of course is not likely, knowing how long it takes to be that good. Justin points out we have to be realistic in our ambitions, which is true but it's also those little dreams that keep you going & may just get you a bit beyond your initial realistic goal. :)

So true Tony.  And if you've read my Road Case, or at least the first couple of entries as it is now loooong, then you'll know I am already way beyond my initial hopes and wildest dreams.  So for sure, emabark on the adventure, we step at a time, and you truly have no idea where the road may lead.  And that's the beauty of, that's the magic of ... is that a song  ::)

 

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