Everyone has their own TV exercises. These are mindless, repetitive chops-builders you can do while you watch TV or movies, usually without a metronome. Here are mine.


Trill between two notes at a medium pace for about a minute at a time. Move all over the neck and cycle through all finger combinations: 1&2, 1&3, 1&4, 2&3, 2&4, 3&4.

Pick Jumping

Three pick strokes per string: D U D on 6th, U D U on 4th, D U D on 5th, U D U on 3rd, D U D on 4th, U D U on 2nd, D U D on 3rd, U D U on 1st, D U D on 2nd. Repeat in reverse. Proceed as slowly as necessary to avoid picking errors.

Fingertip Challenge

See my previous post about this. It's painful, but try to take Dwight Schrute's perspective: "To me, pain is not pain at all. No. It is pure pleasure. And I hate pleasure. Almost as much as I love pain."


Four pick strokes at a time on a single string. Each group of four comes from a few quick flicks of the wrist, not slowly or deliberately. Vary the starting stroke as down or up. It sounds like "duk-uh-di-dun" in my head.

Three-Note Groups

Repeat three notes on a single string in a single position. Practice legato or picked notes. Move all over the neck and cycle through all finger combinations: 123, 321, 124, 421, 134, 431, 234, 432.


Taking a cue from an article by Steve Vai, choose a single note and vibrate it for the length of whatever you're watching.