Finger “ability” or lack of

Most of the lessons are great & I can string cross and jump reasonably well but my biggest current frustration is spreading my index finger and pinky far enough apart to reach two frets requiring that. I have fairly large hands but my “finger spread” is not where I would like it to be. Any suggestions on what to do to improve that?


just play … :slight_smile:


It is a frustration shared by many.

If you can span a “box shape”, i.e., three frets, between index and pinky, you should be good for many/most basslines, licks, etc.

If you need a wider spread (or if you are further down the neck), you probably will need to do “micro-shifting” to compensate for not being able to cover more than three frets with your hand without moving. That is what I do most of the time.

I don’t think there are (recommendable) exercises to increase your finger spread, as far as I know.

Good luck!




^^ this

Your hand will loosen up as you get used to playing. It will take months, so don’t worry about it.

Then, depending on hand size, you may need to shift your hand position more or less than others. My hands are average size at best and so I shift around a lot. Just getting used to the idea that your hand should not be anchored in one place will help a lot.

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As others have said, playing will help to build strength, endurance and agility. Your fingers will stretch further the more you play and reach. Of course there are limits to how far they can go, and for this, there is The aforementioned micro shifting.

Am sure that in time you will see vast improvements.

Thanks for the responses. I’ll keep practicing more & see how it improves as well as consider the micro shift technique.

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I am going to be trying out the “musicians glove that is coming from amazon today. I am trying it for different reasons, but Others here have stated that when they wear them, it helps them have a larger reach between their index and pinky, with greater spread between their fingers.

Some use them to save their finger tips. Other uses are playing in the cold, and I beleive some say it helps to minimize unwanted string noise. I know Scott Devine Of SBL wears them to help with a neurological disorder he has where his fingers wiggle uncontrollably when he plays without one.
I am going to try it for two reasons.
1, to help with endurance against hand fatigue
2 to help with circulation, to prevent my hand from going numb.

The first is a benefit that has been stated as a reason to wear them, the second is one ai am hoping it works, but it was not a listed benefit.

The main reason I am telling you is because of the others that said it gives them greater reach, and maybe this could help you gain finger ability.


I can’t understand how wearing gloves could make that happen . . . :thinking:

But please do let us know how this works out for you, @T_dub :slight_smile:

Cheers, Joe


I don’t either, but that’s what I read others post


@Jazzbass19 This is in another thread, posted by @Jamietashi


For me the dull answer was just practicing technique. Over the last couple of months my fingers have gained the ability to stretch and bend in ways they have never been asked to do before. They still don’t always obey my brain although I’m not sure my brain is always sending out the correct signals.

Finger exercises might not be fun but for me they have been affective. Josh has one here: - just move slowly down the fret board as you find it easier to stretch.

Or the second exercise here for a true brain and finger twister. It is 9 minutes in. As usual with Scott you can cut out most of the video but if you sit through the ramble, there are plenty of nuggets.

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Yeah, so just for the record: I don’t recall having said or claimed that (the greater spread between the fingers), but if someone has found this benefit, all the better. I have not used gloves towards that particular goal and don’t know that it can help with that. On top of that, I don’t believe they can help with that.

But, again, if someone did get those benefits - cool! And, please report how and how much!

Personally, I mostly use gloves to prevent scratching sounds on the strings. I know someone said they were proud finally having gotten some callouses, but actually, I find that callouses produce even more scratching than soft fingertips.

Anyway, they are very comfortable to wear - just give them a try!


Well, my glove came in today. I been playing a bit today, my hand is good and broken in, so I can really put it to the test.

Will follow up later

Ok, I have not played yet, but I have been wearing it while holding my IPad up while typing for a long time. Usually I can only do this for 10 min max before it’s numb and throbbing with pain.

I have High hopes now. I may become a gloved player now.

More to c9me.

I am calling this a success. My hand started getting a lil numb, and sore tears h end of a long 2-3 hour scale workout practice / study session.

I think this is gonna be good for me , and if I don’t always wear it,mcuz I like my calloused fingertips, I will wear it a good amount, and will be my go to if things are not going too good.