Try this exercise out to get your fingers loosened up. This one is designed for guitar players, but any five string instrument can benefit from it (although the key might change). Let's see what we have:
You can click here to download a WAV file and use your sound card (assuming that you have one) to play the exercise and hear what it is supposed to sound like. You can playback the wavefile with your favorite media player. Adjust it to whatever speed you feel comfortable with, and loop it so that you can play along.
You can click on the JPEG images below and download them to your own computer. There you can display them with your favorite viewer, print them on your printer, trade them with your friends, show off your new abilities.
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And now for the details
The exercise shown below is based on the m/maj-5 scale, in case you're interested. If you play it, like I did, starting at position 5, then it will end up being Ebm/maj-5. This scale contains Eb F Gb Ab Bbb C D . I have chosen to break up the exercise into two exercises. You can play them in any order that you choose. These are some challenging string skipping exercises.
The exercise is color coded. Each note coded in RED should be played with the first finger. Each note coded in GREEN should be played with the second finger. Each note coded in BLUE should be played with the third finger, and the fourth finger is used with each note coded in BROWN.
Finally, the notes are shown as a letter inside a circle. The letters are ordered A - F in the first part, G - L in the second part. This is the order in which I played the notes.
As is with most guitar diagrams, this diagram has the high E string situated at the top of the diagram.
Follow along as we go through the first diagram starting at the fifth fret:
Note A sits at fret 5 on the A string. It is red in color, indicating that it should be fretted with the first finger. Note B is shown at fret 7 on the D string. Since the note is shown in blue, it should be fretted with the third finger. Note C sits on fret 8 of the G string. It is shown as brown in color, which means that it should be fretted with the fourth finger. Note D sits at fret 5 on the G string. It is color coded as red, meaning that it should be fretted with the first finger. Note E is shown at fret 6 on the B string. Since the note is shown in green, it should be fretted with the second finger. Note F sits on fret 8 of the high E string. It is shown as brown in color, which means that it should be fretted with the fourth finger. Similar patterns exist for the other diagram in the exercise. We will use all four fingers with a pretty good stretch. Try to play each diagram of the exercise without moving your hand. Move it up higher on the fretboard if you have to until you get to a place where yo u can play it comfortably. You can control the PAIN/GAIN factor by moving the exercise up and down the neck.
This is a MEAN lick, and if you can play it REAL fast you will BLOW some people away.
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