Exercises for fretting hand spread?

In your experience, which exercises helped you to improve your hand spread over the fretting board, if any?


I practice scales. On my lowest string, 3rd fret as the root note I practice the Major scale, then on the 5th fret I do the Dorian scale, and then on the 7th fret I practice the Phrygian scale. Then I reverse it until I am back where I started. Then I do the same exercises over again on the next lowest string, If I’m on my five string, I can repeat it one more time. I use one finger per fret.

I find it gets me used to the fretboard and makes me more comfortable on the higher frets, like fretting the 12th fret on the B string is a stretch for my pinky


Cory Wong finger warm up exercise for me. It’s about building up strength then speed. Once you have that then it’s coordination and scale. If you don’t have your finger strength everything is near death experience, lol.


I stopped worrying about it and went Simandl. Never looked back.


I agree. That’s a great exercise, @Al1885.

How much stretching one should consider achieving really depends on how a player chooses to play his/her preferred music genres. Some styles generally require quicker moves and finger strength/dexterity.

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Howard, I’m not familiar with that. Can you please elaborate?

im quessing its this:

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Josh has some great videos:

And he takes on the Simandl / One Finger Per Fret issue here.
I really like this one.

In my teaching - and a solid takeaway from both videos - is that to develop fretting hand coordination and speed, you have to start very slow.
Play slow, play perfect, play confident, and then gradually - using the same exercise, increase tempo.
Every time you make a mistake pushing tempo, you’ll be uncovering some small piece of your fretting technique (or plucking technique) that needs to be refined in order to get faster.



I just micro shift @Rob150 and in 3 years it hasn’t limited me at all.


Yep. Microshifting plus Simandl for me too.

Listen to @Gio, this is the best advice you will ever get.

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I never really did exercises to get my hands to stretch, it just comes with time. Now I can open my left hand much further than the right. Don’t worry if you can’t make the stretch from the 1st to 4th frets, just shift your whole hand up a fret. The only time I use the one finger per fret method is if I need to play notes consecutively through 4 frets, which doesn’t happen very often.

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I like micro shifts it’s a step closer to slurring which comes in handy anytime. Plus micro shift teach your brain to activate the twitch and keep your left hand more active.

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