Left hand exercises for guitar
Download the pdf to get bonus exercises that are not taught in the video (scroll down for the video) !
When you play songs, or riffs on guitar, do you find yourself feeling weaker than you’d like? If so, you’re in good company as just about every great player has
had to deal with hand strength issues at some point in their development. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to fix this problem if you just apply a little discipline.
Although I present exercises for you in this video, you’ll find these “exercises” in all kinds of guitar songs. In other words, your efforts will be put to good use!
In the video, I’ll show you how to play hammer ons and pull offs with your left hand – the right way. Hammer ons and pull offs are collectively known as legato playing, which simply means smooth.
When you play a hammer on or pull off, you’re creating a note without picking it with the right hand. These two techniques are essentially the same idea, executed in reverse order from each other.
Let’s start with hammer ons. When you play a hammer on, you start on a lower numbered fret, and then finish on a higher numbered fret. The first example in the video uses your 1st finger on the 5th fret. We actually pick that note, but then the second finger plays the 6th fret on the same string by hitting the string with enough force to create the note without re-picking the string.
You’ll need to hit string with your fingertip – so you’ll have to curve your finger to do that. If you hit the string further down your finger on the more fleshy part, you won’t have enough leverage to create a good sound. The challenge for both of these techniques is to have the notes created by the left hand to be as loud as notes that you pick with your right hand. Check out the video for some visual reinforcement!
The pull off technique is slightly more difficult. Let’s use the same example – 1st and 2nd fingers on the 5th and 6th frets respectively. When you pull off with the 2nd finger, the 1st finger’s job is very important. The first finger needs to hold the string down so the 2nd finger doesn’t pull it off the end of the guitar. So, you need to put an equal yet opposite force on the string with the first finger, to off set the downward force of the 2nd finger.