How to build your finger strength on guitar

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Some chords can be demanding, so it makes sense to keep those valuable digits in good shape.

These exercises will give all four fingers a workout and get you ready for even the most challenging shapes.

Start slowly and give your hands a rest if they get tired. A little finger fatigue is normal but stop immediately if you feel any pain.

Exercise 1: partial barre exercise

So far you’ve used your fingertips to play notes, but partial barres use the front of the finger to play two or three notes at the same time. This Bob Marley-style reggae track is a good workout. Make sure you use the fingers indicated in the tab. Keep your thumb roughly opposite your first or second finger for maximum strength.

Exercise 2: stretching exercise 1

This 'Stones-inspired track is great for stretching all four fingers. Pay attention to the fingerings, they might not be what you’re expecting.

Exercise 3: stretching exercise 2

As you get more comfortable with the stretches, try playing this second version where we’ve moved all the chords seven frets lower for a tougher stretch.

Exercise 4: string bend press-ups

If you’re wondering why we’re looking at string bends in a chords lesson, well, this simple exercise will help you build finger strength whatever you’re playing – so give it a go! Try the exercise with all four fingers and use any spare digits to support the one that’s executing the bend.

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