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Exercise Time

Article from Making Music, May 1987

Try the following rack to improve your left hand stretch. Don't do it with cold hands, use fingerless gloves if necessary, and don't show off with it just before a gig. Left hand index finger on sixth string at fret 12, l.h. middle on the 5th at F14, t.h. ring finger on 4th at F16,1.h. pinkie on 3rd at F18. This gives you fifths across the bottom four strings. You may only move one finger at a time, and all other fingers must stay exactly where they are. Move your l.h, index finger down one fret to F11 on the 6th string. Play all four notes clean and clear — no rattles or buzzes. Next, move your l.h. middle finger down the 5th from F14 to F13. Play all the notes cleanly. Now move your l.h, ring finger down the 4th to F15, play all the notes. Finally F18 to F17. You should now have fifths across the bottom four a semitone lower than when you started, and a certain amount of discomfort in your left hand.

Repeat the process in semitones down the neck, without taking any fingers off, and moving one finger at a time down one fret. If this is your first time on this exercise and you have average hands, you might just make it down two frets. Stop if the pain gets about as bad as an extraction at the dentist, and come back to it tomorrow. Don't force your joints open, this exercise will loosen them up gradually and extend your reach.

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Publisher: Making Music - Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

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Making Music - May 1987


Previous article in this issue:

> The Jay Arthur Column

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> Hey Joe

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