Book Review: 'Guitar Fingers' by Ashkan Mashhour

It never fails. At every guitar clinic I attend, someone asks the artist, “How many hours a day do you practice?”

They ask it as though they’re considering becoming the next Stevie Ray Vaughan — as long as it doesn’t interfere with their Netflix-watching schedule.

For everyone else, there’s Guitar Fingers by Ashkan Mashhour. The book offers 200 in-depth exercises and 250 diagrams to help get guitarists of all skill levels into shape.

I’m hesitant to generalize this as a "technique" book, since many people assume technique books are for shredders and speed demons. While speed is discussed, you’ll also find chapters on posture, hand fitness, vibrato, muting, bending, alternate picking, sliding, etc.

As an example of the book’s depth, take a subject like legato. First the book describes the mechanics of the technique. Next it offers 15 exercises to strengthen your legato and help you add it to your playing. These aren’t just chromatic drills, but specific legato licks to play over ii-V-I, major/minor, country and fusion chord progressions. Finally the book suggests players like Greg Howe, Andy McKee and Allan Holdsworth to check out for more legato ideas.

Guitar Fingers can be read from start to finish or used to reference specific topics. The exercises are written in tab and standard notation. You can buy the book at the website below or through Amazon. The website also offers a link to, where you can stream or buy audio examples from the book.
Price: $31.95