My guitar teacher gave me a couple finger exercise to get my fingers more limber and dexterous. Since it doesn’t take a lot of thinking you can do it while sitting around watching TV.
The first is to go through the following patterns on the same string (the number refers to the finger you use):
1, 2, 3, 4
1, 2, 4, 3
1, 3, 2, 4
1, 3, 4, 2
1, 4, 2, 3
1, 4, 3, 2
Use any string and position on the neck. Start with the first pattern, do it 5-8 times and then move to the next pattern staying on the same string and neck position. Vary the string and frets each time you do the exercise so you’re fingers will get used to different locations all over the neck.
The next exercise is similar, but this time you’re going to be moving up and down the neck. Pick the pattern:
1, 2, 3, 4 move up a fret
4, 3, 2, 1 move up a fret
1, 2, 3, 4 and repeat up and down the neck.
With each of these you want to make sure you have complete control over your fingers and don’t let your fingers pull to far away from the neck. And, you should be alternate picking with your picking hand.
Ok. my finger exercise here is for wussies… if you want a hard core no-pain-no-gain workout for your left hand, check out this finger exercise over at guitarteacher.com.