A Great Way to Improve Your Finger Reach on Guitar

Having a hard time stretching on the guitar?

You are not alone.  It’s very common for guitar players to have difficulty performing certain stretches on the guitar.

The good news is improving your reach on the guitar is well within your reach. And yes, the pun is intended. It’s just like any other technique on the guitar.  If you work on it with the right exercises, you can improve your stretching.

Finger stretches are often required to perform scales, chords and songs.  This means as you improve your fret-hand finger flexibility, you will find scales, chords and songs become easier and easier.

It is best to perform some warm-up alternate picking and hammer-on/pull-off exercises before you begin stretching exercises.  The most effective stretching occurs when your muscles are warm.

Here is a great exercise that will help increase the flexibility and stretching capability in your fret-hand.  This stretching exercise uses all four fingers.

Position your fret-hand fingers one-per-fret as follows:

stretching ex 7 part 1

 This is your starting point.

Now pick strings 4-3-2-1-2-3.

Now, while keeping fingers 4-3-2 in place, stretch your first finger down one fret.

stretching ex 7 part 2

Repeat the picking pattern 4-3-2-1-2-3.

Now, while keeping fingerings 4-3-1 in place, stretch your second finger one fret lower.

stretching ex 7 part 3

Pick the strings 4-3-2-1-2-3.

Next, while keeping fingers 4-2-1 in place, stretch your third finger down one fret lower.

stretching ex 7 part 4

 Pick the strings 4-3-2-1-2-3.

And finally, while leaving fingers 3-2-1 in place, drop your 4th finger one fret lower.

stretching ex 7 part 5

Pick the strings 4-3-2-1-2-3.

Now repeat the exercise on each fret and move down to the first fret or as far down the fretboard as you can.  Your goal is to get nice clear notes.

Use picking pattern 4-3-2-1-2-3 throughout.

Just to make sure it’s clear, here is the exercise shown in tab.

stretching ex 7 part 6


stretching ex 7 part 7

Looking for some more ways to improve your guitar technique?  Check out my course called the Top 30 Most Powerful Guitar Technique Exercises of all Time.


A Great Way to Improve Your Finger Reach on Guitar — 2 Comments

    • Well, it’s really a yes and no answer.

      Having the ability to perform stretches, will allow you to easily perform passages that require stretching. As you no doubt know, there are many guitar solos that require you to stretch your fingers beyond one finger per fret.

      However, having great stretching capabilities doesn’t automatically mean you will be able to play those lightning speed passages, that is unless you also work on improving your overall speed and accuracy.

      In other words, to become a great overall guitarist, you will want to work on stretching, speed and accuracy exercises.

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