14/06/2024

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Learn Guitar – 5 Ways to Fix Finger Fumbles

Learn Guitar – 5 Ways to Fix Finger Fumbles

Do your fingers fumble when you play guitar? It’s a common problem for guitarists of all levels, but here’s a simple five step programme to fix fumbling fingers.

Here are the steps which are described in this article.

1. Focus on one hand only.

2. Practice very slowly.

3. Build finger independence.

4. Practice in your sleep.

5. Develop a patient attitude.

Let’s take a look at each of the steps in more detail.

1. Focus On One Hand Only

Your brain has to learn to control hundreds, thousands even, of tiny muscle movements to finger chords or scales. If you load it with even more tasks, like reading tab, strumming, listening to a metronome and tapping a foot, all at the same time you are headed for trouble.

Your brain will be rushing around like a plate spinner in a cabaret show, eventually when there are too many plates in the air there will be broken china. Your brain just can’t keep up so your fingers will be left to themselves and will crash just like plates.

Give your brain a chance by concentrating on only one hand. As you master a movement you’ll need less conscious effort to control it. Forget strumming, forget reading the tab or music at the same time. Work only with one hand, or even only one finger if necessary, at a time.

2. Practice Very Slowly

If you follow the first step you give your brain some chance to keep up while it coaxes your reluctant fingers into obeying its instructions. If you try going too fast though you will still have an overload and make mistakes.

The more you make these mistakes, the more your finger muscles and brain will learn to repeat them.

So, slow down. A lot. Practice movements as slowly as needed so that you get them right. It doesn’t matter if it takes you two minutes to change chords. You have to get it right before you can get it faster.

3. Build Finger Independence

You can give yourself an extra boost with exercises to build your finger independence. Many of these exercises can be performed without the guitar, so you can put loose ends of time you have to good use.

4. Practice In Your Sleep

Visualization exercises are another good way to make use of spare time, like when you are in bed or waiting in the supermarket queue. Visualization is a great way to reinforce muscle learning.

5. Develop A Patient Attitude

It takes time to develop agile and accurate fingers for guitar playing. The movements are not natural and you will need patience to master them. Sometimes it feels like you are making no progress, but if you persist you will improve.

Let’s recap.

1. Focus on one hand only, give your brain a chance.

2. Practice very slowly, accuracy before speed.

3. Build finger independence, gain individual finger control.

4. Practice in your sleep with visualization.

5. Develop a patient attitude, you will need it.

Now you know what to do to fix your fumbling fingers so you can master chord changes and enjoy playing guitar. Remember that patient attitude, even with the best approach it takes time to build agile and fast finger technique. So don’t be too hard on your fingers, and on yourself. Relax and enjoy yourself and you will progress.