Guitar Finger Exercises Pt.1: The Spider

The Spider is a very famous guitar finger exercise that is based on a diagonal pattern. I have taken the tab below directly from a powertab of Steve Vai’s famous 10 Hour Guitar Workout. The fingering is shown in the tab.

the spider

The beauty of this exercise is that you can conform it to whatever picking technique you would like to work on.  In the tab I have provided, it says to use sweep picking to play the exercise.  If you want to work on your sweeping, have at it.  But if you want to work on alternate, it can double as a great exercise for picking across strings with alternate picking. If you do alternate, I suggest that you play the whole exercise starting on a downstroke and then repeat all of it starting on an upstroke.  That way you practice putting the accents on your upstrokes as well.  Also, if your into economy picking, you can practice it on this exercise too.  Thats what makes it so great. And remember to move it around the fretboard. You can play it in any position your heart desires.

If you have any questions or comments please email me at

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One Response

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