Guitar Technique Builder: Spider Exercise

by | Oct 9, 2015 | Guitar Exercises, Guitar Lessons | 8 comments

In this episode, I show you how to the infamous spider exercise on guitar, one of the best left hand technique builders I’ve come across. It’s one of those exercises that is very efficient to practice as it works on a lot of aspects of left hand technique simultaneously.

It’s not an easy technique to master (anything worth going for in life usually isn’t easy!) but it is well worth the investment. Trust me :) I spent 2 weeks at one point exclusively focussing on this technique and my coordination and agility of my left hand increased drastically as a direct result.

Below is the exercise notated in music and TAB, check out the video for all the details on how to do this one properly.

Thanks for reading and I hope this exercise helps your playing as much as it did mine. Let me know how you go with this one by leaving a comment below – I read all the comments. Also, if you would like to see something, in particular, explained in a future episode, feel free to get in touch ( 


  1. Jackie Schultz

    OMG Greg, this is very difficult.Was this hard for you too? I’m gonna keep trying once or twice a day. Love from Michigan

    • Greg O'Rourke

      Yes this technique isn’t easy, it’s a pretty advanced coordination exercise. I’ll be putting out some more straightforward exercises soon on the site. Cheers, Greg

  2. Chris Smart

    Wow, I love this! This will be my quite-practice-when-watching-TV exercise for awhile. :)

    There’s also a great left-hand exercise called “The Spider” in Scott Tennant’s book Pumping Nylon that alternates between pairs of octaves and pairs of 10th’s..

    and, a fun cross-picking one for the right-hand, also called “The Spider”, at:

    • Greg O'Rourke

      Nice one, yes there are a few spider’s out in the wilderness it seems :) Glad you enjoyed this one!

  3. Chuck Johnson

    Thanks for this lesson. Just what I needed today as a fun exercise and get things coordinated.

    • Greg O'Rourke

      Glad you enjoyed this one Chuck! This exercise is a very good coordination builder and really helps to train the left hand fingers to find the strings easily. Happy practising!

  4. John

    Hi Greg,
    thanks so much for taking the time to share this exercise with us.
    I have to say though that it’s giving me a brain-ache, especially going back down the fretboard (from low E to high e). Is it normal to discover what an unco-ordinated spaz you are, or am I the only one!
    Well, hopefully I get better, and thanks once again.


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