Technique, Reading & Theory

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Spider exercises

Spider exercises are named for the appearance of the fingers crawling across the fretboard. Most of these exercises sound a bit dissonant and spooky but are great tools for building technique. Many beginners have trouble keeping their left-hand fingers in a ready position. These exercises help get your fingers accustomed to the feel of a good hand position.

Spider exercise one

One-finger-per-fret with the first finger at the fifth fret. Once you play a note, leave the finger down on the string until it is needed again—even when changing strings. Like always, start off slowly and intentionally.

spider exercise one

Spider exercise two

One-finger-per-fret at the fifth fret. See and feel the fingers walking across the strings. Keep each finger down after a note is played.


spider exercise two descending


spider exercise two ascending Back: Upstroke exercise Next: Rhythmic hierarchy exercise