Hold scale technique is used to help develop proper hand and finger positioning. It also helps to develop finger strength and independent movement. This exercise uses a fixed finger position.
1) The fingers starting from the index finger are referred to as 1, 2, 3, and 4.
2) Whenever I talk about “frets” I mean to play between the frets (just behind the actual fret). Frets are the metal bars on the neck. To play the first “fret” means to play behind the first fret, not on top of it.
3) Wrist straight and curved fingers apply fingertips 1, 2, 3, and 4 just behind frets 5, 6, 7, and 8 and press. Hold for 30 seconds, relax, and repeat. There should be a gap between each finger of at least the width of a pencil. Fingers 2 and 3 run perpendicular to the strings while fingers 1 and 4 are tilted.
4) If you have trouble reaching with the 4th finger (pinky) try bringing your elbow closer to your ribs to allow greater extension. The thumb should be placed in the general area behind the 2nd fingertip on the backside of the fret board. If your thumb is too high or low your wrist will bend so try to maintain a straight wrist.
5) Before moving to the next level you should be able to execute a hold effortlessly via muscle memory. If you are having to struggle to keep your hand open or fingers in place continue this process. It’s boring, but effective. Exercises like this can be done while watching TV. Scales and chords are heavily dependent on this muscle memory so invest some time into this exercise.
6) Here is a fixed finger independence exercise. While executing a hold, try lifting and returning one finger at a time to the string. You can do multiple lifts and returns before changing fingers. Fingers 2 and 3 may pose a challenge so heads up.