30-day guitar challenge, day 9: Build your stamina and strength

More finger-enhancing exercises

Guitar lesson Build your stamina and strength
(Image: © Amy Harris/Corbis)

30-day guitar challenge: The benefits of improving your fret-hand strength are many.

Dig down deep, motivate yourself with the benefits below and then try out our tough arpeggio exercise for a full-on fretting workout.

1. Greater flexibility

You'll be able to reach further along the fretboard, helping everything from chords all the way to tapping and legato.

2. Wider stretches

You'll develop the ability to fret wider and more interestingsounding chords.

3. Better chord accuracy

Start saying goodbye to annoying fret buzzes and hello to crystal-clear chords.

4. Stronger fingers

This will give you more confi dence when playing anything from block chords to arpeggios.

5. Perfect barre chords

The foundation to many chords starts here, so you'll condition the small muscle between the thumb and forefinger.

Stamina exercise

Stamina exercise audio - strummed version

Stamina exercise audio - arpeggio version

There are some shapes that will feel completely alien, simply because you've never used your fingers in that configuration before.

Start very slowly, concentrating on perfect thumb positioning, ensuring you have a proper arched finger shape, and use the fingertips rather than the pads. This will all help to avoid buzzes and scuffed/muted strings.

Stamina exercise tab (right-click to download)

HEALTH WARNING!

As with any strength or stamina workout, it's wise to listen to your fret hand. A little aching is normal, but if you feel any sharp pain, stop immediately.