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Left Hand Accuracy for the Guitarist

Your Weekly Guitar Technique Session


Dexterity and Stamina Exercise

Updated September 30, 2004

Your Weekly Dexterity and Stamina Exercise
Updated September 23, 2004



This exercise is actually three different ones that I combine into one when I warm up before starting my daily technical practice. If you've read my 1980's articles also available on this website you will undoubtedly recognize the first six measures. These are performed with each finger remaining planted for as long as possible. In other words, in measure one, the first finger remains on the f until the g sharp has been played. Ditto the other two fingers. This is a simple chromatic warm-up that I recommend be played starting on each fret, working one's way up the fingerboard to the ninth fret (then your fourth finger will fret the twelfth fret last.) Do it ascending and descending using the following right hand fingerings: i&m,. m&a, m&i and a &m. This is a good way to get the fingers and brain warmed up without alot of stress. Play slowly with good articulation and clean fretting. Speed is not the end goal, clean articulation is.
Starting in measure seven is a neat little exercise that is great for getting your fingers to work semi-independently on those cold winter mornings. Once again, it is a simple pattern deriving merit from clean and thoughtful execution rather than technical prowess. Fingers one and three play two noted on one string, fingers two and four play the next two notes on the adjacent string. Keep all fingers planted for as long as possible. Once again, go up and down the fretboard as with the first exercise using different right hand fingerings. You'll be surprised how changing the right hand fingering will mess up your left hand articulation!
The third exercise is a variation of one that I've used since the mid seventies and probably can be accredited to Larry Silvestro. Plant the first finger on the f on the first fret of the first string and leave it there. Now play the c#, d, and d# on the second string with the second, third and fourth finger. Easy. Now try the same finger pattern on the third string. Not quite as easy. It's a bear when you get to the sixth string. In order to save the new student frustration, I've moved the first finger tot he second string for the last portion of the exercise.
Enjoy these exercises and come back next week for more!



The Classic Guitar Method: Now in one volume, much of what the novice classical guitarist will need to know to lead him or her to the recital stage. From proper instrument care and maintenance to the necessary technical skills, musical mind-set, and the standard repertoire—all exposed and explored with enough detail and insight that the student will wish to keep this book handy years to come as a ready reference source.

With the aid of a good teacher, the student will rapidly progress through The Classic Guitar Method attaining technical proficiency and musical eloquence.

This method stems from the need to incorporate a number of schools into a single cohesive curriculum. Years of honing a logical approach to the guitar and the creation of music culminate in this volume. As a self-proclaimed Disciple of Valdés-Blain , much of that famed teacher's focus can be found in Mr. Pellegrin's method.

ISBN: 978-1-4116-9442-2

Published by PAB Entertainment Group, P.O. Box 2369 Scotia, New York 12302

Please go to to order.

Enjoy these exercises and come back next week for more!


Hear selections from my new album, Reflecting Pools. A departure for me, it is a keyboard album. The music is a series of tone poems written for relaxation and meditation. Reflecting pools is the perfect companion for a rainy afternoon or a winter evening. Actually, it is a great stress-reliever at work!

Click the album cover to find links for samples of all the pieces on my album.

- Harry Pellegrin

May 12, 2005

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