Hey Guitar players! Welcome to the 3rd edition of our Finger Fitness series, dedicated to the cool beginner exercises for guitar, piano and ukulele, which can improve your jam and make you more confident with your favorite instrument. In this 3rd edition for guitar, we’ll continue talking about the plucking technique and using four fingers of the right hand.  

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

In this Finger Fitness for guitar blog post you’ll find:

Recap of the previous edition

In the previous Second edition for guitar we talked about:

  • plucking two strings simultaneously, training all fingers of the right hand (p, i, m, a) by using all combinations of the bass string (6th or 5th or 4th) together with one of the top strings (3rd, 2nd and 1st):

It’s important that you pluck both strings at the same time, so that the strings really ring together with the same level of volume.

  • combining both hands and practicing the plucking technique, based on the Em chord.

And if you somehow missed our First edition for guitar – check it out too! 

Right hand plucking technique practice

From the 2nd Finger Fitness edition for guitar, you’ve learnt how to pluck two strings with all combinations of the “p” finger together with “i, m, a” fingers. In this edition, we’ll pluck the strings with these four fingers. Our goal – to train “p”, “i”, “m”, “a” fingers of the right hand to pluck the strings simultaneously with the same volume level. And we’ll start practicing with the open strings to be fully concentrated on the right hand.

Remember that the “p” finger plays all bass strings – 6th, 5th and 4th.

So, it’ll be 3 combinations of the “p” finger with “i”, “m” and “a” fingers:

So, we’re simultaneously plucking four strings at a time. Again, pay attention that all four strings really ring together with the same level of volume.

Here is the tutorial video for this exercise:

And here is the note chart with tablature and fingers of the right hand for the exercise:

Combine left and right hands

You’ve just practiced plucking four open strings and your right hand is getting used to it. What about combining both your hands by plucking the Am chord – one of the basic open chords for guitar? Read a special article on how to play Am chord on guitar. Of course, you can choose any other chord. Am is a good chord to start with, since it has two open strings – 5th and 1st.

Let’s play the same combination of four strings as before. Now you’ll pluck a mixture of open and pressed strings: the 4th (D) and the 3rd (G) strings are pressed on the 2nd fret, and the 2nd (B) string is pressed on the 1st fret, as you can see in the diagram above.

You may ask – what bass string should I start playing an A minor chord on? That’s a very good question. Usually we start playing a chord with the root note on the bass string. In our case, the root note for the Am chord is A. And this is the 5th open string. 

Therefore, in this exercise we’ll start with plucking the 5th string together with the three top strings. Then it’ll be the 4th string with the top three strings. For educational purposes, let’s add the open 6th string too and play it along with the same top three strings. When we play the Am chord with the 4th or 6th string in the bass, we’re actually playing the Am/E chord, since the 4th string on the 2nd fret and open 6th string are the E note, but in different octaves.

Take a look at the tutorial video for this exercise:

And here is the note chart with tablature and fingers of the right hand for the exercise:

Now take another chord and do the same! You’ll have different combinations of open and pressed strings and this is a good way to train your fingers to pluck four strings simultaneously and produce the sound.

Final thoughts

Do you feel how your fingers are getting better and better? You’ve just learned the very common and basic guitar technique of plucking the four strings. You can apply this technique by playing the chords of a song or accompanying yourself while you sing. For inspiration, check our Easy Guitar Songs channel. And don’t forget to explore other channels as well!

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.