7 and 8 String Guitar Exercises to Get You Started

Are you ready to take your guitar playing to the next level? If you’ve just acquired an 8-string guitar and are eager to explore its unique capabilities, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll guide you through a series of exercises and techniques tailored for 8-string guitars. From developing finger dexterity to exploring scales and chords, these exercises will provide a solid foundation to master your instrument.

So grab your guitar, challenge yourself, and let’s dive into these 8-string guitar exercises to enhance your musical journey.

Key Takeaways

  • Finger dexterity exercises such as the classic 1-2-3-4 finger exercise can improve your playing ability.
  • String skipping exercises can help you develop confidence in different positions across the fretboard.
  • Memorizing note positions on the extra strings is important for playing on 7 and 8 string guitars.
  • Practicing scales and chords specific to 7 and 8 string guitars can improve your accuracy and playing style.

Finger Dexterity Exercises

Start by practicing the classic 1-2-3-4 finger exercise to improve your finger dexterity on the 8 string guitar. This exercise involves moving one finger at a time up and back on the strings. Start at a comfortable position on the fretboard and gradually work your way down. Use a metronome to improve accuracy and increase the speed as you become more comfortable.

Another great exercise for improving finger dexterity is speed and agility exercises. These exercises focus on playing scales, arpeggios, and other technical patterns at a fast tempo. By practicing these exercises regularly, you’ll develop faster and more precise finger movements, allowing you to play complex passages with ease. Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the speed as your fingers become more agile.

String Skipping Techniques

To improve your string skipping abilities on the 8 string guitar, try incorporating simple jumps, skipping a string and moving back one, into your practice routine. This technique will enhance your dexterity and precision while playing.

Start by using alternate picking techniques to ensure even and consistent note execution. As you become comfortable with the basic string skipping pattern, gradually increase the difficulty by incorporating wider jumps and different string-skipping patterns.

To add more depth and control to your playing, practice palm muting exercises along with string skipping. This will help you develop a clean and controlled sound while maintaining a tight rhythm.

Remember to start slow and gradually increase your speed as you become more proficient. By incorporating these techniques into your practice routine, you’ll enhance your string skipping abilities and become a more versatile and skilled 8 string guitarist.

Note Memorization for Extended Range Guitars

To effectively memorize notes on your extended range guitar, start by familiarizing yourself with the positions on the additional strings, such as the low B and low F# strings. These strings provide you with the opportunity to expand your playing range and delve into new musical possibilities.

Practice going up and down each string, calling out the note names as you play. This will help you develop a strong foundation in note memorization for your 8 string guitar.

Additionally, explore the use of extended range chords in your songwriting. Experiment with new chord voicings and progressions that make use of the extra strings.

Scale Exploration for 7 and 8 String Guitars

Explore the scales available for your 7 or 8 string guitar to expand your playing repertoire and unlock new musical possibilities. Scale patterns are a fundamental aspect of guitar playing, and they can be adapted to the extended range of the 7 or 8 string guitar.

Begin by learning the basic scale patterns, such as the Major and Minor scales, and then experiment with more exotic scales like the Harmonic Minor or Phrygian Dominant.

As you explore these scales, focus on accuracy and clean playing, paying attention to proper finger placement and hand position. To further enhance your technique, incorporate alternate picking techniques into your scale practice. Alternate picking involves using a downstroke followed by an upstroke, which can help improve speed and precision.

Extended Range Chord Progressions

Get creative and experiment with different extended range chord progressions on your 8 string guitar. Extended range chord voicings allow you to explore new tonal possibilities and add depth to your playing. Incorporating advanced string skipping techniques into your chord progressions can create intricate and unique sounds.

Start by familiarizing yourself with the extended range of your instrument and the positions of the extra strings. This will enable you to effectively navigate and execute the chord voicings. Focus on finger placement and muting unwanted strings to ensure clean and precise playing.

Practice chord progressions in different keys to develop your musicality and versatility. As you continue to explore and refine your extended range chord progressions, you’ll develop a unique and captivating style on your 8 string guitar.

Printable PDF Lesson Download

Download the printable PDF lesson to have a convenient offline resource for practicing the exercises. Using a printable PDF lesson has several benefits.

Firstly, it allows you to have a physical copy of the lesson that you can easily refer to without needing an internet connection. This makes it ideal for practicing on the go or in situations where internet access may be limited.

Additionally, a printable PDF lesson allows you to keep track of your progress and make notes directly on the lesson material. This helps you to stay organized and focused during your practice sessions.

To effectively practice offline with a printable PDF lesson, it’s important to allocate dedicated practice time and create a structured practice routine. Set specific goals for each practice session, focus on accuracy and technique, and use a metronome to improve your timing.

Regularly review and revisit the lesson material to reinforce your learning. By utilizing a printable PDF lesson, you can maximize your practice time and make consistent progress in your guitar playing journey.

Next Steps for Extended Range Guitarists

What can you do to continue progressing as an extended range guitarist?

Now that you have mastered the basic exercises and techniques for playing an 8-string guitar, it’s time to take your skills to the next level.

As a professional guitarist, it’s important to constantly challenge yourself and explore new avenues of musical expression.

One way to do this is by joining online communities or forums for extended range guitarists. These communities provide a platform for sharing ideas, learning from others, and finding inspiration.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to explore different musical genres. By stepping outside of your comfort zone and experimenting with different styles, you can broaden your musical horizons and develop a unique and versatile playing style.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Common Finger Dexterity Exercises for 7 and 8 String Guitars?

To improve finger dexterity on 7 and 8 string guitars, try finger independence exercises like the classic 1-2-3-4 exercise. Practice alternate picking techniques for clean and precise playing.

How Can I Improve My String Skipping Technique on an Extended Range Guitar?

To improve your string skipping technique on an extended range guitar, focus on developing precise finger placement and clean picking. Practice simple jumps, gradually increasing difficulty, and utilize alternative picking with and without palm muting.

Are There Any Specific Note Positions I Should Know for the Extra Strings on a 7 or 8 String Guitar?

For the extra strings on a 7 or 8 string guitar, it’s important to know the note positions. Low B and high B strings have the same positions on a 6 string guitar. Familiarize yourself with positions on the low F# (or Gb) string.

What Are Some Recommended Scales to Practice on a 7 or 8 String Guitar?

To adapt traditional guitar exercises for a 7 or 8 string guitar, focus on finger dexterity, string skipping, note memorization, scales, and chords. Explore unique tonal possibilities and continuously challenge yourself to improve and expand your skills.

How Can I Incorporate Extended Range Chords Into My Playing Style?

To incorporate extended range chords into your playing style, start by exploring unique voicings on an extended range guitar. Experiment with different genres of music to find ways to incorporate these chords seamlessly.


In conclusion, mastering the 8-string guitar requires dedication, practice, and a solid understanding of music theory. By incorporating the exercises and techniques outlined in this article, you can develop the necessary skills to unlock the full potential of your instrument.

Remember to focus on finger dexterity, string skipping, note memorization, scales, and chord progressions. With perseverance and a commitment to excellence, you can take your guitar playing to new heights and explore the endless possibilities of the 8-string guitar.

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