The spider exercise is one of the most popular guitar warm-ups for a reason – it will improve your speed and finger independence with just a few minutes’ practice per day

Karl Kerfoot
(Image credit: Pickup Music)

The thought of repetitive exercise doesn’t fill us with joy, but that’s about to change here. It’s obvious that finger strength and dexterity is vital for guitarists. 

Everything you play depends on those dancing digits doing exactly as they’re told. Unfortunately, often, our fingers aren’t always as nimble as we need – and this is where the 1-2-3-4 workout (aka the spider exercise) comes in.

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Karl Kerfoot is Head of Education at Pickup Music and a renowned touring guitarist who has played with bands such as Lord Huron and Albert Hammond Jr. of The Strokes. Years of playing and teaching have given him a unique insight into guitar learning.