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I learned this guitar finger exercise from my classical guitar professor in college. This is a great exercise for finger independence, control, stretching, and accuracy of the fret hand. Not only is this great for classical guitarists, but for acoustic and electric guitarists, as well, and it will improve your overall playing – especially when multiple fingers are involved in simultaneous movements, such as playing chords and melodies within the same phrase. Here are a few tips on practicing the crab:
- Stay light as feather. Imagine your fingers are hollow – just filled with light air. Let them “float” to the next position rather than feeling like you are pushing, pulling, squeezing etc. Remember, there is no specific rhythm or beat you need to follow. The point here is to feel the uniqueness of each finger, how it moves across the neck, and how it feels while moving in relation to the other fingers.
- If you’re having trouble stretching, start the exercise on the 7th fret, and work yourself downwards. This way, you’re starting on smaller frets that are easier to manage, then the frets get slightly larger as you descend the neck. I recommend this for scales, finger exercises, etc.
- Focus on the 4th finger position FIRST. Place your 4th finger on the fret by itself – no other fingers. Then, reach back to place the first finger on it’s fret. The reason? When you plant your 1st finger first, your hand position is likely to turn away from the pinkie, as well as elevate the 1st finger too high on it’s tip. By planting the 4th finger and reaching back, the hand position sets up nicely in line with the neck, and the 1st finger lays across the guitar and is not too much on it’s tip (yes, your 1st finger is NOT supposed to play directly on it’s tip, as it has dampening jobs, in addition to intonation problems with it pulling the string sharp / bending unintentionally).
Nate from Richards Guitar Studio shows you a guitar finger independence exercise for the frethand. Drill of the Week #33 – The Crab
Richards Guitar Studio offers professional private guitar lessons and bass lessons in Aston, PA. We serve Delaware County, including Media, Springfield, Swarthmore, Glen Mills, Garnet Valley, and Ridley. We focus on quality guitar instruction for all ages, levels, and styles, including acoustic, beginner, metal, rock, shred, classical, blues, jazz, country, theory, and improvisation and composition.