Left Hand Development Study
Fingerstyle guitar requires a strong left hand as well as a well drilled right. Often the player has to think in terms of up to three independent parts. The Left Hand development exercise that follows, if practiced diligently, will greatly increase the independence of the left hand fingers. A concentrated practice routine allotted about 15 minutes per day of your practice schedule will develop your technique much faster than the playing of favorite pieces which are often selected for their ease of execution.
The exercise is to be played with a full left hand bar throughout. You will notice that the two bar pattern is simply repeated a semitone or one fret lower on each repetition. Play each pattern twice, moving down the fingerboard till you can comfortably perform down to the first fret.
Take it easy at first and if you find that your left hand begins to ache then take a rest. Do not overdo it and damage your left hand. Don't be discouraged if you can only play the first few bars. Persevere and you will eventually be able to perform down to the first fret position.
Information on left hand fingering conventions can be found on this page.
Remember to hold a full left hand bar throughout the exercise. Try to roll your left hand first finger a little toward your thumb so that you are using more of the left finger edge. Make sure the creases of your finger segments do not line up with a string so that a buzz results.