Finger Fitness for guitar

Hey guitar players! Are you willing to improve your guitar technique skills? Then this article is the right place to be. “Finger fitness” is the series where we show you cool exercises for guitar, piano, and ukulele. This second edition for guitar covers some basics which can help you to improve the plucking technique.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Recap of the previous edition

In our previous Finger Fitness edition for guitar we talked about very basic things: 

  • finger names for the right and left hands;
  • how to train the fingers of the right hand to pluck the corresponding string(s);
  • how to train the fingers of the left hand to hover over the certain frets.

Today we’re going to talk further about how we can develop our technique if we want to pluck two or more strings at the same time – to make them ring together with the same level of volume.

Right hand plucking technique practice

We’ll start playing 2 strings at the same time. Obviously this can be any combination of strings, depending on the musical context. 

Our goal for this exercise: to train “p”, “i”, “m”, and “a” fingers of the right hand to pluck the strings at the same time with the same volume level. We’re going to practice with the open strings. It allows us to be fully concentrated on the right hand while playing. 

From the previous edition, we remember that p-finger plays the bass strings – thickest 6th (E) string, 5th (A) string and 4th (D) string. The i-finger plays 3rd (G) string, m-finger plays 2nd (B) string and a-finger plays the thinnest 1st (E) string.

So, we’ll pluck 2 strings, as mentioned below, by using these pairs of fingers of the right hand:

Pay attention that you pluck both strings at the same time, so that the strings really ring together with the same level of volume.

Watch the video for this exercise. Below you can find the note charts with tablature and fingers for the right hand for this exercise:

Here is the note charts with tablature for the exercise:

Combine left and right hands

After you have practiced the plucking technique of your right hand with the open strings, it’s time to combine both your hands and practice with Em – one of the basic open chords for guitar. Read a special article on how to play Em chord on guitar. Of course, you can choose any other chord you like, although Em is a good chord to start with, since it has a lot of open strings.

We’ll pluck the same combination of 2 strings as before. The only difference is that now the 5th (A) string and the 4th (D) string will be pressed on the 2nd fret, as you can see in the diagram above.

Watch the video for this exercise. Below you can also find the note charts with tablature and finger names for this exercise:

Now it’s very useful to do the same exercise with other guitar chords! For each chord, we press different strings at different frets, thereby we may get a mix of open and pressed strings with the same chord. These variations of open and pressed strings in different chords can be a good way to train our fingers to pluck the strings and produce the sound.

Final thoughts

In this blog post, we showed you one of many basic guitar exercises for plucking two strings at the same time. Try to apply it into your jamming routine – do the exercise as a warm-up before you start playing along with your favorite songs. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our Top 50 Premium channel. An awesome extra is that you can try out our Premium features for free while jamming along with the songs in this channel. You’re welcome. Happy jamming!

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Kirill is Chordify’s academy content creator. Being a professional musician and musical educator, he brings more than 12 years of experience to the table. At Chordify, he explains theoretical and practical music matters. Besides that, Kirill leads the music project The Skypainters and performs in different venues and festivals.