Guitar Finger Exercises: Diagonals

Guitar Finger Exercises: Diagonals

Are you having trouble moving your fingers from chord to chord? Or, perhaps having problems trying to play some kind of cool solo?

I have a neat little finger exercise to offer you that also helps with your picking hand as well.

I like to call this one Diagonals.

There are a number of different combinations to do this exercise. I’ll give you two of the simplest forms.

Once again, let’s assign numbers to each finger:

pointer = 1

middle = 2

ring = 3

pinky = 4

Method 1: Down-pick

The pattern we will use goes in a diagonal direction across the finger board. Start at the 3rd position ​as you play the pattern like this:

1 on the 3rd fret, 6th string

2 on the 4th fret 5th string

3 on the 5th fret, 4th string

4 on the 6th fret, 3rd string

Then move up to the next string (i.e., 1 on the 5th string, 2 on on the 4th string, etc.), in the same position (i.e., same frets), and play the diagonal again. Go up one set of strings (but on the same frets) one more time. It’s the first three measures of the TAB below.

Then, move up one fret (4th position) and do it again. Like measures 4-6 in the TAB below.

Keep your picking hand on the bridge and move it in a sweeping motion across the strings.

You keep on going up the guitar neck in this manner (5th position, 6th position, etc.) until you can’t get any higher on your guitar.

What’s really cool is you have to adjust your finger spacing as you move up the neck because the frets get smaller.

Then go lower to the 2nd then 1st positions. It really does a stretch to your fingers since the frets are bigger.

Method 2: Up-pick

This method is basically the same except you now do everything in reverse where you pick in an upward motion.

The fingers also go in a different diagonal method.

Just like this:

Good luck!