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Technique: Minimum Movement Exercise

The Intermediate Method

This exercise is a very useful little exercise. It's very simple and just requires time and concentration to work! You'll probably be surprised how hard it is to do correctly too!

Minimum movement is essential to good technique development. This exercise is so simple you may think that at first it may not make a huge difference, but I can assure you that a little work on this goes a long way! For where I expect you to be at this stage you should find this exercise very beneficial.

The Lesson

1. You will need to know your Position 1 major scale from memory. It's best if you can play it without having to think about it too much. If you find yourself making mistakes with the scale, change to the Minor Pentatonic (assuming you know that by heart) until the Major Scale can go on auto pilot!

2. Play the scale up and down, VERY VERY VERY SLOWLY. Like so so slowly that you only play one note every few seconds.

3. Watch your left hand very carefully and try and ensure that it makes very very small movements. Make sure your fingers move no more than a few millimeters from the fingerboard or there will be no point in the exercise.

4. It will be hard but really try and make absolutely the smallest movement possible.

5. Practice this every day and you should notice that you fingers start to get more and more under control.

Final Words

You should find that working on this one scale will effect all of your playing because what you are really working on is controlling your fingers! That is the point. As you get better at controlling your fingers you will find they change chords with smaller movements too. I still work on this exercise from time to time to keep the fingers under control!


This is something you will work on for a while - so time now to revise our 16th note strumming!


Justin's Intermediate Guitar Method - Foundation Stages 1-5 DVD

Intermediate DVD

The 5 x DVD set for the Intermediate Foundation series comes with all the free Intermediate Foundation lessons found on the web site PLUS 3 DVD ONLY lessons for each stage, nearly 2.5 hours of extra material to help you to be as good as you can be, as fast as possible. Check out the main Intermediate Foundation page for the list of bonus lessons on each stage!

Sales of the DVDs allow me to keep the majority of the content free, so I hope will support the growth of this site too, for those that can't afford to buy stuff! :)

Click here or the image to your left for more information and to order.



Lesson ID: IM-114