24 comments on “Simple guitar exercises for beginners

  1. Pingback: Simple songs for beginners to practice on guitar « Aaron Matthies’ Guitar Blog

  2. Pingback: Learning to play basic open chords: Part 2 « Aaron Matthies’ Guitar Blog

  3. Your lessons are some of the best i’ve seen! I’m just starting out and wasn’t sure where to begin, but you sure have made it easy! Thanks!

  4. Hey, thanks man..i bought a guitar and straight went to learn songs and i realize i failed. Well, i saw ur superb blog and started to follow up to it. And, i find i have some improvements thanks to u. I would like to ask about the exercises.Do i need to be able to do them in fast or juz be able to do them smoothly without errors?

    • Hi, I’m glad my lessons helped you out. With the lessons, the important point is that you play them smoothly without errors. There is no point playing something fast if it is full of errors and doesn’t sound smooth so focus on getting it to sound perfect. Once you can play them perfect, then you can start to increase the speed you play them. Build up the speed gradually. I hope that helps!

  5. my Pinky is too tiny 😦 i cant reach the 4th fret when all my other fingers are on the string 😦

    • Don’t worry, your hand isn’t too small. I’ve had students as young as 5 with their very small hands be able to play this exercise after a while (never at first). What you need to do is start the exercise higher up the neck where the frets are closer together. Eg: play the exercise on frets 7-8-9-10, then after a while when that feels easy you move down to 6-7-8-9 and continue moving down and eventually you will be able to stretch out at 1-2-3-4. Start as high as you need to and you will eventually get there. Good luck and don’t give up.

  6. Great lesson- I’m just starting out and I have almost no flexibility or coordination and didn’t know what to do about it. Thanks for the help!

  7. This is a great video. It really helped! I can tell you that also my drumming has improved because of this video. Wow! I feel it!

  8. Ouch – please tell me its normal for my fingers to hurt this much?! 🙂 Haha great video – I like that you demonstrate slowly so I can follow the exercises, thanks.

    • It’s quite common for fingers to hurt at first with exercises like these. If you do feel pain, have a break and come back to it later on. Whatever you do don’t try to push through the pain. Take it slowly in the beginning and eventually you will stop experiencing pain.

  9. Hi Aaron, i can do the first exercise fairly well, but when i move on to the more challenging part of it (leaving my fingers in place) my pinky is always touching the next string down. It doesn’t seem to matter which fret I start at, i just cant seem to place my finger correctly.

    • Hi Victoria, that’s a pretty common problem so don’t stress about it. It can be quite a stretch at first to hold down all four fingers on the string so once you feel comfortable with that and it doesn’t feel like a stretch anymore, that’s when you’ll find you gain more control over your pinky. What you want to do is try to use your fingertip when placing it on the string. It will force your pinky to bend at the first joint.
      Don’t worry if it seems impossible at first, you will gradually improve your control over your pinky as you go. For now don’t think too much about it, focus on playing the exercises well and you can work on your pinky later. Good luck!

      • Thanks, I’ll get right to it then.
        -I was totally stressing over it-

  10. This is great!!! I’ve been trying to pick up the guitar for a while now…but never knew where to start. I always seem to get discouraged and give up….I think I’m on the right track now!!!

  11. Thats really great, I just started playing guitar 2 months ago and going fast to learn chords but failed. This exercise has improved my control. The problem I am facing here is with my 3rd finger. It does not strech well and always remain close with 2nd finger. could you suggest something for that?? Thanks

    • Hi Shailesh, the exercises in this lesson will gradually help you develop dexterity in your fingers. A lot of people have trouble spreading their fingers out like you mentioned but if you apply this exercise properly the problem will eventually disappear. Keep working with it and don’t get frustrated. You will gradually find that your fingers will begin to stretch out over time. Good luck!

  12. Probably the best explanation I have seen of this excercise, I have tried a few but struggle with the little finger, your explanation of starting on the lower frets 7,8,9,10 etc and then gradually working up as it gets easier, has really helped.

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