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The objective of this simple exercise is to train the fingers (fretting finger) not to use excessive pressure and to promote speed and dexterity. Ideally this exercise should be part of your regular practise regime.

1. Sit comfortably with your guitar. It is a good habit if you use foot stool when playing even if you are not playing a classical guitar. If you are playing acoustic or electric guitar you may place the foot stool under your right foot (if you are picking with your right hand) while resting the guitar body on your right thigh. This position will bring your guitar higher while maintaining good posture.

2. Slowly, bring your fretting hand to the guitar neck and place your index finger on the 5th fret of the high E string (first string from the bottom). Just place your finger on the string without making a contact with the string yet. You should position the tip of your index finger just behind the fret (note: develop the habit of placing the fingers near to the fret).

3. Slowly apply soft pressure to the string to make the contact with the fret. You do not need to press the string all the way down to the fretboard, a good contact between the string and the fret is what it needs to produce a note. While doing this process say ‘touch’. You may pick the string to check whether you get a clear note and be aware of how little pressure it needs to fret and sound a note.

4. Now, slowly release the touching sensation between the string and the fret by relaxing your finger. While doing this say 'relax'. You do not need to 'lift' your finger in order to break the contact between the string and the fret. Just by relaxing the finger and with the help of the string tension will push the string up from the fret.

5. You should repeat this exercise with your other fingers and on other strings as well but remember to say 'touch' and 'relax' during each process as described above. The verbalisation of each process will ingrain the sensation into your muscle memory.

Remember TOUCH and RELAX
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