Detailed Instructions

So, you're one of those people who need to know what every little checkbox does? You're in the right place. These instructions break down all those checkboxes on the front page, section by section.

The most important thing here is that the tool exists to help you reach your goals, whether those goals involve cleaner fingerwork, greater speed, playing stamina, or making progress on a particular song. All the options on the front page are there to help you customize your exercises to help you get what you want out of your practice.

Root Notes

This section allows you to choose the Root Note (also called the Key) of the scales you want to work on. If you're practicing a song in a particular key, you might want to select only that key here. The default is to include all root notes in the mix.

Scales and Modes

What kinds of scales do you want to work on? The Major scale is the foundation of much popular music, and the Pentatonic Minor is important for blues and rock soloing. The Quasi-Chromatic scale includes every note in a four-fret-wide box, and is meant for use in pure fingering exercises. The default is to include drils based on the Major and Pentatonic Minor scales in your exercises.

You may also select drills from seven modes - Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian - just as you would the scales.

Root String

If you want to really customize your exercises, you can specify which string or strings your scales should start on. The default is to include the 4 lowest strings.

Exercise Difficulty

An Easy exercise would be just a straight run through a scale, bottom-to-top and top-to-bottom. Harder exercises involve more complex sequences of notes, skipping notes in a scale, etc.

How Many?

At the bottom of the form, you should see a drop-down box with the numbers 1-10. This lets you choose how many exercises you want to be given in this session, and lets you customize anything from a quick warm-up to an intensive fretboard workout. Click the "Start Exercises" button when you're ready to begin, and you'll be shown the first exercise.

Each exercise has a scale diagram and some guitar tabulature. The scale diagram shows you all the fretted notes, you'll be playing, along with suggested fingerings. The guitar tab shows the order in which to play the notes. (For more information, see our notes onHow to Read Guitar Tab.)

Play each exercise through until you can play it smoothly. Focus on accuracy and keeping a constant rhythm, not on speed - speed is a byproduct of accuracy, and will come naturally as you get used to fingering the exercises smoothly.

Optional: Set Up Your Favorites

Tired of clicking all your favorite options to set up your next run of exercises? If you register and log in, can remember your favorite exercises settings every time you come back! Just click the "Make this your preferred setup" checkbox at the end of the form. Remember - it only works if you're logged in.