## Back to Basics: 2-Finger Patterns: Stretch Type Thing

Before we move on to symmetrical/chromatic patterns that utilize three and four fingers, let’s add to the patterns we looked at previously, which involved all the combinations of two fingers.

You might be wondering why we don’t just go straight to working out various combinations of all four fretting fingers. It’s a valid question, and the main reason for it is because beginning with the simplest, most fundamental motions possible allows you to more quickly identify and isolate any mechanical issues that you may have with either hand, including synchronization.

Next week, we’ll take a look at how to sequence these patterns, and starting with basic two-finger ideas makes the concept easier to learn and apply to more complex melodic ideas (such as scales).

In the meantime, check out these “stretch” variations of those patterns, where an extra fret or even two might be inserted into the pattern. Neck diagrams are shown below:

Notice the fret markings under each diagram; it is recommended that you try each pattern at the 7th fret at least. You may want to start even higher up the neck, at the 12th or 15th fret, and work your way down. These larger stretches will feel uncomfortable and difficult at first. If you feel any actual pain or acute discomfort, stop right away and give your hand a rest, and try the pattern at a more comfortable location.

Once you have the stretch patterns down, make sure to go back through all the basic ascending and descending tabs from before, and apply the new stretch fingerings. Again, take it slow at first and don’t strain anything. Have fun!

## Drill, Baby, Drill!

Here’s an example of how you can take a very simple but effective picking drill, and almost instantly expand it into plenty more ideas. Check out this basic two-finger, two-string pattern:

As will be the case with all the examples in this post, the second bar is simply the first bar reversed. The next step is to add a third finger to the mix:

Pretty simple pattern, right? Here’s a variation that will really come in handy in working on 3-note-per-string scales:

This next variation alternates between groups of 4 and groups of 6. Take it slow at first, but when you get it up to speed, it sounds really cool.