(Note: I’ve provided links to a vendor in this blog post. I have no affiliation with the vendor and this website is not monetized. I’m simply sharing the links as a means in which to share with readers the resources I use)
Below are some images of warm-up exercises I’ve been doing. These warm-ups are probably nothing new, but I recall that I started acquainting my fingers with the movement up and down the strings and neck with these exercises. I still use them to warm my fingers up and to work on proper fingering techniques.
I created these warm-up exercises in Guitar Pro 7. There may be simpler ways to tackle creation of these exercises, but I like using the tool(s). I just got started with Guitar Pro 7 today. It’s lots of fun and fairly easy to use, as long as you have some understanding of music and tablature.
In this installment of Warm-ups, I’ve included several basic finger warm-up exercises. Start them slowly (50 bpm – 80 bpm, depending on your experience or the rhythms your working with). How many beats per minute you increase with each iteration is up to you. Depending on the source you read, some people recommend increasing each iteration by 3 bpm while others will suggest 8 bpm. Honestly, I think the increments suggested by many folks are arbitrary.
I actually increase my tempo by 10 bpm with each iteration (if I’m working with quarter note or eighth note rhythms) until my technique gets sloppy, then I dial it back 5 bpm in an effort to achieve perfect technique at the greatest speed possible. If the exercises I’m doing include triplets or sixteenth notes, I’ll increase my tempo by 5 bpm until my technique gets sloppy and then dial it back 2-3 bpm in an effort to achieve perfect technique.
This first warm-up is straight forward. Place the tip of the index finger (1) on the first fret of the low-E string (the thickest string). This will be followed, slowly and in succession, by the middle finger (2), ring finger (3), and the pinky finger (4). Repeat this process next on the fifth (A) string, fourth (D) string, third (G) string, second (B) string, and first (high-E) string. Keep the fingers of your fret hand close to the fret board and make minimal movement from fret-to-fret and from string-to-string. I’ve included PDF and mp3 audio files for each of the warm-up examples below. You’ll find them below each graphic.
1234 Mix-up Warm-up
This next warm-up is for those of you who are a little more adventurous. It’s not terribly difficult. In fact, after several times through, I have no doubt you’ll find the rhythm quickly. Really pay attention to the fingerings that are indicated on each fret of each string in the diagram below. Also, listen carefully to the sounds of each note played. Make sure to go slow at first.
The pattern is 1234 (low-E string), 2341 (A string), 3412 (D string), 4123 (G string), 1234 (B string), 2341 (high-E string). When you get to the high-E string, slide your fingers up the neck a fret and begin with the 3412 pattern on frets 4, 5, 2, and 3 successively. Your fingers will now climb down the neck to the B string fretting the 4123 pattern on frets 4, 2, 3, and 4 successively.
Try your best to relax. Relaxation is difficult to achieve when you’re first learning any exercise or technique because the hands aren’t capable of moving independently of the brain yet. What’s more, each of us wants to achieve some sense of perfection when we play. This desire for perfection leads to tense movement. We don’t breathe, we move rather robotically, we make mistakes as a result. Enjoy the process and give yourself the freedom to breathe. Also, give yourself the freedom to make mistakes; mistakes are opportunities.
That’s it for tonight. I hope people find these resources helpful. I know other people out there are doing similar things much better than this. All of these documents and files are just my means of sharing my journey and giving to others who desire to travel a similar journey.
I did get lots of practice in the past several days. Additionally, I’ve worked hard to solidify a weekly routine based on the varieties of resources I have at my disposal. I’m excited to put it to work.
There’ll be more posts related to my progress, general ramblings about my journey, and resources that document my journey.
Make it a phenomenal day!