Play Better Guitar: The Finger Gym Exercise

This is NOT a speed exercise. But, if you dare, it'll transform your guitar technique.

View the full lesson at Play Better Guitar: The Finger Gym Exercise | JustinGuitar

Exercise finger groupings, 1&2, 2&3, 3&4, then 1&3, 2&4, finally 1&4 ~@60BPM

Although not on Grade 3 I thought I would check this one out & realised I have been doing this for months. Saw it on another site. Mind you I have been doing the flick offs as well!!

It is definitely a good trainer for legato ! :sunglasses:

Go watch the new video Toby. Justin has changed his mind about
it being good for legato and even apologies to the people who
he encouraged to practice it for that purpose.

@stitch Stitch thanks for the heads up, Will take a look as the old FGE is part of my “warm up” routine. Still playing catch up on all the changes ! :sunglasses:

Right got it ! And he’s changed where he does it and this certainly explains why my legato scales suck, especially going back down with pull/flick offs. I am just about to move into Grade 3 on catch mode and review a couple or three videos a week along with the current practice, spending a bit of time on the new lessons Justin has added. So at some stage I’ll be going back through the legato lessons covered in the old IM and no doubt updated. I also see H & P is covered in the Fingerstyle modules which I have just started. Needed as I am working on a song with pinkie hammers ! Again thanks for the nudge Rick :sunglasses:

This is exactly what I needed! Been really struggling with finger strength on the little finger. I think this exercise will help, thanks!

When doing this exercise, should the finger that is used for the hammer on stay on the previous string until it’s needed or should it sort of hover over the next string? In other words, when do you move the hammer on finger, at the same time as the first finger or should you keep it down and then move it when it’s time to hammer on to the next string? Justin appears to move both fingers at once (hovering then hammering down) but in other exercises, it seems you shouldn’t move your finger until it’s needed. Just want to make sure I practice it correctly.

You needn’t keep the finger down. Lift it as you pick the next string just like you would playing a scale.

Is this not the same lesson as Beginner Hammer-ons in Grade 2?

Justin mentioned a Guitar Pro file is available for this lesson but I don’t see it. Will it be uploaded soon?

I washed u before bed and had a dream u were teaching me to play a guitar in rl :joy_cat:

Cool, I’ve been doing it the old way for about two years, but will drop the 3 & 4 finger combos and the flick-offs. I also add a five semi-tone stretch, hammer-on from 1st to 5th fret which I feel has helped me improve some difficult stretches when playing fingerstyle variations on an open D chord, for example.

Hmmm…I can´t get any sound with the four finger in the combination 1-4… My pinky is too weak… It’s only to keep trying till…?

This seems a decent exercise for me, I really struggle to get any distance between first and fourth finger

Hoping one of the more experienced players or teachers here can advise on something. I’ve begun using my 4th finger (pinkie finger) a lot more for suss chords, etc. As expected at first it was a bit weak, short of reach, and generally not that great at co-ordination. So this finger gym is a great exercise and already helping.

However I’ve also noticed that my 4th finger, if I curl/crook it, wants to curl under my third finger, rather than generally parallel to it. And when stretching for the thickest string, the tip is rotated outward. At both extremes, the best I can do is depress the string with the outside 20% of my finger tip.

Any extra tips for helping correct or cope with that physiological oddity appreciated. I’ll be persevering with this exercise anyway.

Keep doing the Finger Gym and figure out what works for you.
You can’t change your fingers and can’t change your guitar
So you’ll have to change your technique.
Every body’s hand are different so there is no one size fits all


You could try going back to the Finger Stretching exercise where you can look more closely at your finger placement instead of hammer on strength.

Just a thought.

1 Like

hello there tnx alot for all lesson.
i am think of when actually should we speed it up.
is this good or not. i am now good at should i keep going on this tepmo or should i speed it up