Finger Glue and Flexibility (Guitar Lesson)


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Mark Lincoln

Finger Glue and Flexibility

In the 31st lesson, Mark discusses his "finger glue" technique. This technique improves speed and accuracy. Additionally, he discusses how to become a more flexible guitar player.

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Basic Guitar with Mark Lincoln seriesLength: 21:31Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (03:55) Review and Introduction to Hand Structure Review
- Warm-up the hands.
- Stretch the wrists.
- Play the major and minor open chords.
- Warm up your strumming muscles by relaxing the wrists and letting the pick flow over the strings.
- Play the E major chord in the “new” way and play the type 1 barre chords.
- Play the A major chord in the “new” way and play the type 2 barre chords.
- Practice the “slanting A” technique.
- Practice the type 1 minor barre chords.
- Practice the type 2 minor barre chords.
- Play all of the type 1 mini-barre chords.
- Play all of the type 2 mini-barre chords.
- Review and practice quantitative and qualitative techniques.
- Review last week’s exercises.
Ready?

Last week we worked on some cool exercises with the Cadd9 and Dsus2 chords. Hopefully you learned a thing or two about how to strum and modifying or “liquify” a chord. This week we're going to continue to learn how to beautify our strumming. We will also prepare mentally and physically to perform more complex changes. Once you attempt more complex changes, it’s of the utmost importance that you also learn to visualize where a chord progression is heading next.

Hand Structure
We've talked briefly about how to position your hands during playing, and this concept will become increasingly more and more important as you attempt more complex changes. The idea of “finger glue,” which we’ve also covered in previous lessons is central to hand positioning. The more familiar you are with the structure of a chord and the necessary position of your hand to play that chord correctly, the quicker and easier it will become to play that chord. “Gluing” one’s fingers together (not literally!) or forming the chord away from the neck of the guitar can help to get a clearer mental picture of what the chord looks like. In turn, you will be able to form the chord more quickly. However, keep in mind that practicing chords on the fretboard is of the utmost importance. "Gluing" is simply a trick that will speed up your progress.
Chapter 2: (07:07) Finger Glue Exercise Exercise 1
Play each of the open major chords (A, B, C, D, E, F and G). Pay close attention to how your hand feels while playing the chord and which muscles are being used.

Now, play each of the chords again and pull your fingers away from the neck while keeping them in the same position. Don’t worry about the position of your thumb for this exercise. Simply keep your hand and fingers together to emulate the position of the chord as closely as possible. After forming the chord away from the neck, try to put your fingers back on the fretboard and see how well you held the chord together.

Exercise 2
Now, do the same as above. However, this time, play with the minor chords Am, Bm, Dm, and Em. When doing the Am chord, use the second, third, and fourth fingers (rather than the traditional open Am chord) in order to facilitate the change to the Bm chord. Do you notice how simple this fingering makes the transition from Am Bm? Now, while forming your fingers into the each of the chord positions away from the neck of the guitar, close your eyes and picture the chord while you’re forming it. Visualization can help gain a better grasp on chord formation and in turn, help you play more smoothly.
Chapter 3: (04:44) Flexibility in Playing Flexibility
In this scene, I primarily use the term "flexibility" in a physical sense. Simply put, the more flexible your hands and fingers are, the easier it is to play the guitar. In addition to the elasticity of your muscles, you must also be flexible in terms of which fingering you use to play a chord. Learning to play each of the open chords in a number of different ways will make you more flexible and a better guitar player in the long run. Often times, playing a chord in a different form using different fingers will help to make smoother changes to another chord. Also, an alternate fingering for a chord may better facilitate playing notes in between the chords or liquifying chords. Here's what I mean:

Here's a traditional C major chord played with the first finger on the B-string, 1st fret, the middle finger on the D-string 2nd fret, and the third or ring finger on the A-string 3rd fret.

C
E_0_
B_1_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_x_

Well, let's play the chord like this instead:

Cadd9
E_0_
B_3_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_x_

Hopefully you are beginning to feel comfortable with this Cadd9 voicing. Cadd9 produces a slightly darker and more melancholy sound compared to a C major triad. The voicing for Cadd9 diagramed above is frequently played by placing the first finger on the D-string 2nd fret, the middle finger on the A-string 3rd fret, and the third finger on the B-string 3rd fret. What do you think would happen if we played this chord with the second third and fourth fingers instead? So, the middle finger is placed on the D string 2nd fret, the third or ring finger would be placed on the A-string 2nd fret, and the pinky on the B-string 3rd fret. This manner of playing the Cadd9 chord frees up the first finger, allowing it to do other things that could enhance your sound.

Exercise 3
Play the open C chord. Then, utilizing the concept of finger glue, pull your fingers away. Next, play the first fingering of the Cadd9 chord. Again, pull your fingers off of the fretboard. Finally, play the last fingering of the Cadd9 chord. Pay attention to the difference in how your fingers feel when playing these fingerings. Do you find that one fingering is more difficult than the other? This is natural and will subside as you continue to play chords with alternate fingerings.

Okay, so you may be asking, "why play chords with alternate fingerings when I'm just now getting these chords down?" Well my friends, the answer is simple: flexibility! I'm not suggesting you abandon the original and perhaps easier chord fingerings. I'm just here to show you that inevitably flexibility will enhance your playing.

Exercise 4
Play the Cadd9 chord with the new fingering. Use only your second, third, and fourth fingers. Pull your fingers away from the neck using the finger glue technique and visualize the chord in your head as you do this. Now, place your fingers back on the fretboard and use the strum or "down, down-up, down." Play this pattern four times. Then, change the chord to an open C chord without pulling your hand from the fretboard. Simply pull your pinky off of the B-string 3rd fret, and place your first finger on the B-string 1st fret. This is the smoothest possible way to transition from Cadd9 to C. Play the C chord four times using the strumming pattern explained above. Now, simply remove your first finger from the B-string completely and play:

Cmaj7
E_0_
B_0_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_x_

You have now changed the progression from Cadd9 to Cmaj7 by changing the positioning of your fretting hand. There are many instances where changing the configuration of your fingers can help you play new and interesting chord progressions.
Chapter 4: (05:46) Hand Structuring Exercise Changing the Hand to Accommodate the Chord
Sometimes you may find yourself playing two successive chords that pose problems for the fretting hand. In other words, one of the two chords is fairly easy to construct while the other seems to be a lot more difficult. Some chords, especially more difficult chords, may require you change the position of your hand. You may also find yourself moving your thumb to accommodate this change. This is a natural move and can be a great help when playing certain chords. Take these two chords for example:

(This is a type 2 mini-barre as you hopefully recall.)

D
E_5_
B_7_
G_7_
D_0_
A_x_
E_x_

(This is a type 1 mini-barre as I'm sure you recall!)

Am
E_5_
B_5_
G_5_
D_7_
A_x_
E_x_

Exercise 5
Play the two chords diagramed above in with any strumming pattern that you desire. Try to play each chord without making any major moves in the position of your hand. You will need to change the location of the fingers, but don't move the overall position of the hand. Remember that economy of movement is essential to performing smooth chord changes.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


Southern CashSouthern Cash replied on October 23rd, 2015

Thanks Mark, you're the man!

grburgessgrburgess replied on April 26th, 2015

"you can practise things things in your dreams".... inspiring quote.

nelly_mathildenelly_mathilde replied on April 17th, 2012

Hey Mark....Really enjoying your lessons mate. Question : In addition to rotating my hand position as necessary for challenging chords I sometimes find myself either pushing the neck of the guitar either towards me or away from me to accommodate them. Is this bad practice for a beginner? Should the guitar remain still ? Thanks.

zigoslav97zigoslav97 replied on January 9th, 2012

Mark mate, thanks for great lessons! Lemme ask ya a thing, this chord you showed us, i am confused about it, it can be Cadd9, but it can be Cadd2 too right? add2 has root, second, third, fifth notes, and add9 has root, third, fifth, nineth, and nineth in a scale is same as second, so they both need C D E G notes right? I am askin cuz i learned that this chord you named Cadd9 is actually Cadd2, but now i see they have same notes, so i am askin ya are add2 and add9 chords always same? Thanks again! Keep rockin!

dstorey615dstorey615 replied on September 20th, 2011

the cheese at the start of like every video always makes me laugh, brilliant video series mark :P

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on October 6th, 2011

Thanks Storey always great to hear from you! Mark

jon4th4njon4th4n replied on August 23rd, 2010

Hi Mark! what guitar do you use(the 6-string one)? i really like it what brand and model is it? thanks

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on September 11th, 2010

Hey Jonathon, this guitar is a Martin M-36, definitely a sweet little guitar and selling (i think) for around 2600 bones. A bit of money but well worth it if you want to step up your playing a bit! Good to hear from you, Mark

Southern CashSouthern Cash replied on October 23rd, 2015

You've really got to love it to let that dough go.

raoelraoel replied on April 23rd, 2010

Thanks Mark for the great lesson,and don't forget you all to glue all your fingers to the guitar

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on April 30th, 2010

Thanks Raoel but not literally, right? LOL Mark

ryanj34ryanj34 replied on December 27th, 2009

thanks for the multiple ways to play chords. This really helps me to learn.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on December 30th, 2009

You're more than welcome my friend glad I could help! Mark

alshyalshy replied on September 21st, 2009

finger glue works for me mark, great to do at work

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on September 24th, 2009

Hey Alan thanks as always for your great feedback and I'm glad this stuff is working for you! See you soon my friend! Mark

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on June 29th, 2009

Blaz thanx for the great feedback, always nice to hear! Rock on my friend! Mark

ablazich323ablazich323 replied on June 28th, 2009

another great lesson mark, just started playing in march...and you're lessons have allowed me to go at a quick pace and learn a lot in such little time

rsmitrsmit replied on December 11th, 2008

Mark....you rock! Your humor and approach the lesson set is an extra bonus! Keep it up and thanks for your guidance!

Basic Guitar with Mark Lincoln

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Learning the basics of the guitar, the building blocks if you will, is an extremely important step in learning and mastering the guitar. This series is all about the basics.



Lesson 1

Guitar Basics

This lesson is all about the basics. Mark explains guitar parts, holding the guitar, and more.

Length: 13:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Tuning, Gear, and Chords

Mark begins by discussing equipment every guitarist should own. Then, he introduces chords and proper tuning methods.

Length: 17:28 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Chords and Strumming

Mark finishes his discussion of the "open" chords. He applies these chords to basic rhythm and strumming concepts.

Length: 17:33 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Minor Chords and More

Mark reviews the major chords and introduces the minor chords. He also covers strumming techniques in greater depth.

Length: 25:48 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Expanding Chords

Mark introduces a few more minor chords. He also provides a monster chord exercise.

Length: 16:36 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Strumming Exercises

Mark Lincoln continues his discussion of chords and strumming. He introduces several new exercises in this lesson.

Length: 19:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Music Theory and Barre Chords

Mark covers several topics in this lesson. He explains scales and barre chords. He also demonstrates how to find notes on the fretboard.

Length: 21:45 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

E Shape Barre Chords

Mark Lincoln covers E shaped barre chords in greater depth. Mark refers to these chords as "Type 1" barre chords.

Length: 15:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

A Shape Barre Chords

Mark covers the A Shape / Type 2 barre chords in greater depth.

Length: 17:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Minor Barre Chords

Mark introduces minor barre chords that utilize the shape of the "open" Em chord.

Length: 13:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

A Minor Shape Barre Chords

Mark introduces minor barre chords based on the shape of the "open" Am chord. He refers to these chords as "Type 2 Minor" barre chords.

Length: 12:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Mini Barre Chord

Mark demonstrates abbreviated versions of the "Type 1" and "Type 2" barre chords. He calls these "mini barre" chords.

Length: 17:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

A Shape Mini Barre

Mark teaches the "mini barre" version of the A major shaped barre chord. He also explains dissonance.

Length: 20:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Minor Mini Barre Chords

Mark Lincoln applies mini-barre chord concepts to minor chords.

Length: 12:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Guitar Technique

Mark Lincoln explains essential components of guitar technique.

Length: 15:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Guitar Dynamics

Mark Lincoln explains how dynamics can enhance your playing. He covers topics such as volume, tempo, rests, and more.

Length: 27:48 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

Transistion Strums

Mark Lincoln explains more about guitar technique. This time around he introduces "transition strums" and continues his discussion of liquid chords.

Length: 26:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Harmonic Technique

Mark Lincoln explains what harmonics are and how they are played.

Length: 15:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

Expanding Liquid Chords

Mark Lincoln expands on the concept of liquid chords. He explains new chord variations and how they can be changed in mid-strum.

Length: 16:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Spicing up Chords

Mark demonstrates how chord progressions can be spiced up by adding hammer-ons and pull-offs.

Length: 12:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Chord Fingering

Mark explains how chord fingerings must be altered when applying "liquid chord" concepts. He also provides a few new "liquid chord" exercises.

Length: 11:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Precision Strumming

Mark returns to the land of chords. This time around, he provides an exercise that contains four variations on the A chord.

Length: 14:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

D to D in Six Steps

Mark provides a chord progression that shifts from one D chord to another in six steps.

Length: 15:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Chord Voicings and Construction

Mark delves deeper into chord construction and alternate chord voicings.

Length: 13:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Quantitative and Qualitative Changes

Mark tests your guitar knowledge with a pop quiz. Then, he discusses quantitative and qualitative changes.

Length: 22:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Quantitative and Qualitative Review

In the 26th installment of his basic guitar series, Mark reviews the quantitative and qualitative changes he presented in lesson 25.

Length: 17:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

Rhythm and Guitar

Mark provides exercises designed to make you a better rhythm player.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 28

Expanded Rhythm Exercise

Mark Lincoln expands on the rhythm exercise from lesson 27. This time around he incorporates several C based chords.

Length: 14:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 29

Hand Structure

Mark discusses proper playing technique. He provides a few exercises that facilitate right hand mechanics.

Length: 17:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Cadd9 and Dsus2

Mark provides an exercise that features two new chords - Cadd9 and Dsus2.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 31

Finger Glue and Flexibility

In the 31st lesson, Mark discusses his "finger glue" technique. This technique improves speed and accuracy.

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 32

Reviewing Chord Changes

Mark takes a step back in lesson 32 to explain how to make quick and accurate chord changes.

Length: 22:14 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

Sliding

Mark explains how to use the slide technique between chords.

Length: 19:24 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Keeping Time While Playing

Mark reviews qualitative and quantitative changes. He explains how to keep time while performing these changes.

Length: 21:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

A Minor Progression

Mark discusses qualitative and quantitative changes within an A minor progression.

Length: 19:56 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 36

Chord Transistions

Mark Lincoln discusses several techniques that can be used when transitioning between chords.

Length: 21:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

Chord Transistions Revisited

In this lesson, Mark once again covers the subject of chord transitions. This time around, he focuses on barre chords and includes several helpful exercises.

Length: 23:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 38

Playing Individual Notes

In lesson 38, Mark discusses how playing single notes rather than chords can spice up your playing.

Length: 22:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 39

Rocking Out

Lesson 39 is all about rocking out. Mark discusses some tips to take your playing to the next level.

Length: 18:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 40

Slash Chords

Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.

Length: 14:42 Difficulty: 2.0 FREE
Lesson 41

Strumming from the Wrist

In lesson 41, Mark reviews the warm-up section and provides new tips on playing adequately from the wrist.

Length: 22:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 42

Raising the Barre

Mark builds further on barre chord techniques and liquid chords.

Length: 17:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 43

Building on Your Chord Knowledge

In lesson 43, Mark discusses additional skills related to learning and playing chords, specifically "liquification" of chords.

Length: 20:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 44

Experiment With Playing

Lesson 44 is all about trying new things. Mark discusses experimenting with your playing in order to take it to the next level.

Length: 17:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 45

Diversifying

In this lesson, Mark once again talks about changing up chord derivatives to create a more unique sound.

Length: 20:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 46

Shaping the Hands

In lesson 46, Mark explains how to maximize your options by maintaining chord shapes while playing.

Length: 21:44 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 47

Precision Strumming

Today, Mark takes in depth look at strumming.

Length: 23:57 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 48

Shine Like the Sun

Mark Lincoln teaches an original song entitled "Shine Like the Sun."

Length: 18:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 49

Changing Chords : Accuracy and Speed

Mark teaches some useful information on how to mix postures, "finger glue," and techniques to make your chord changes speedy and more effective.

Length: 30:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 50

Play Along with Mulitple Chord Voicings

In this lesson, Mark guides you through the world of alternate chord voicings. He teaches several shapes and shows how they can be used to enhance your playing.

Length: 23:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 51

Understanding Liquified Chords

Mark brings us a very appealing aspect to better understand the guitar. With his explanation of "liquified" chords, mark will explain how to move up and down the guitar to create different chord voicing.

Length: 25:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only

About Mark Lincoln View Full Biography Mark Lincoln was born in S. California but was raised near Portland Oregon in a town called Beaverton. When he was twelve years old, he began his journey into the realm of the creative by composing poetry and was later published in a journal called "In Dappled Sunlight." He wrote for four years until his older sister blessed him with his first guitar, an old beat-up nylon stringed classical guitar. Mark played that guitar for five years, continuing to compose his own lyrics and starting the process of matching his own words with chords that he was learning on the guitar. He learned to play chords from his friends and from music books that he both bought and borrowed. Mark cited his four biggest influences, at that point at least, as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones.

Mark cites his most current influences as Radiohead, U2, older music by REM, and Peter Gabriel amongst others. He performs with two acoustic guitars, one being a six-string M-36 Martin with a three-pieced back for increased bass response, and a Guild Twelve-string which is his most recent acquisition. Mark is fond of saying that the twelve-string guitar is better because you get two guitars for the price of one, but he still plays his Martin equally as much and with the same passion.

Mark ended up in Fort Collins Colorado where he currently lives, works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and continues to write, teach and perform music. He currently performs with a group called "Black Nelson" as well as with a number of other seasoned professional musicians including his cousin David, a virtuoso lead-guitar player. Mark has performed in many of the smaller venues in Denver and Boulder, as well as some of the larger ones including the Fox Theatre, The Boulder Theatre, Herman's Hideaway, and also at The Soiled Dove where he opened for Jefferson Starship as a soloist. Some of Mark's originals are also available for your listening pleasure on MySpace.

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