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Tony’s Acoustic Challenge – The New Way to Learn Guitar Family Forums Community Support “String Locator” – January Week 1 Exercise Question

  • “String Locator” – January Week 1 Exercise Question

    Posted by Silver_Siren on January 3, 2023 at 12:39 am


    I am new. I just started the first exercise called “String Locator”.

    The exercise asks you to extend your pinky finger over fret 4 while the index finger is at fret 1. At least that is how it is demonstrated.

    Does one have to have the index finger down on fret 1 while the pinky is on 4? I am asking because I am finding this nearly impossible and very painful. If I just lift my index finger, it’s fine, but then I’m concerned that I may not be doing it the “right” way.

    Any insight would be appreciated.

    Thanks, and Happy New Year!


    • This discussion was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Silver_Siren. Reason: misspelling
    Philb replied 1 year, 3 months ago 4 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Cadgirl

    January 3, 2023 at 5:12 am

    Sorry to say this @Silver_Siren , but you will have to do that stretch. I didn’t care for it myself. It takes awhile to be able to do that long stretch. Keep your index on the 1st fret and stretch to the 2nd, then 3rd, then 4th. If you are finding it too hard, go down further on the neck where the frets are closer together. I know it’s a toughie.

  • Silver_Siren

    January 3, 2023 at 9:46 am

    Thanks so much! Moving it down to higher frets actually gives me a chance to ease into it. I appreciate the tip!

  • Bill_Brown

    January 3, 2023 at 10:38 am

    Hi @Silver_Siren , welcome to TAC and hope you have a great guitar journey here👍 If you need to lift your index to make the stretch, it’s OK as long as you can maintain your string location and keep time. As @Cadgirl mentioned, it may be easier to try this warm-up exercise further up the neck, maybe index at the 5th fret(?) and then try to work your way back down to the 1st fret. For me, I can make that stretch and keep my index on the 1st fret (without lifting it) but it does get uncomfortable after a while, but still, it helps me to make it like an anchor for my fretting hand so that I don’t have to worry about where my other fretting fingers are, which allows me to concentrate on my pick location and get a little more speed.

    Keep in mind that this site isn’t about mastering a challenge. It’s more about developing a habit of picking up your guitar every day and giving the “challenge” an honest try to grasp the particular technique, and have fun while doing it. So if you feel that you’ve made an honest effort but it’s not working, stop and mark the challenge complete. The Daily Challenges repeat over time ( about every 10 months to a year) and when one comes up again, then you can compare (to yourself) how much easier it seems than the last time – that’s one way we measure and validate progress here.

    I’ve read your profile and understand that you’ve been writing, singing and playing for a good while. Perhaps you feel the 30 Days to Play is a waste of your time and effort, but I would suggest you go through that course, if for anything, to get an understanding of the “lingo” and the “lay of the land” within this site. I bet you could get through the entire course in a couple weekends – if I got through it in 7 days, I bet you can do better(lol). After that I would recommend the “Jumpstart Courses” in the Skills section, they’re are 3 of them, start with one that interests you most, but do all 3. Then I would definitely do the “Fretboard Wizard” course, if you purchased it when you signed up for TAC. If you didn’t get it then, I would contact support about purchasing it – IMHO, it’s worth every penny.

  • Philb

    January 3, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    <div>Welcome! Cadgirl and Bill_Brown have given excellent advice.
    I would add this though. I can do the exercise, but I do lift my index finger slightly; kind of
    teeter tottering back and forth with the pinky. If you watch Tony’s index finger throughout the exercise, you will see it rise up slightly, but keeping the position, as Bill mentioned. It is not cemented down with every stroke, there is slight movement. He has mentioned in other exercises about lifting a finger slightly where there is a long stretch. Work from where you are. With arthritis in both hands, I adapt as I need to, and can usually get to the goal. The best to you.


    • Cadgirl

      January 4, 2023 at 4:04 am

      @Philb , you only can do what you can do. My advice is to try to hold your index in place. If you have short fingers it might be near impossible. Medical reasons you’ll have to adjust to it. Give it your best shot. 🙂

      • Philb

        January 4, 2023 at 12:10 pm

        The best shot is what I’ve got. 😂

  • Silver_Siren

    January 4, 2023 at 2:05 am

    Thank you all for the great suggestions. I really appreciate the supportive environment here. 🙂

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