Am I the only one who needs to warm up?

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Thread: Am I the only one who needs to warm up?

  1. #1

    Join Date: Mar 2012
    Location: Chicago

    iTrader: 0

    Am I the only one who needs to warm up?

    During the 10 years of my youth that I played guitar, I pretty much warmed up by playing Master of Puppets or something.

    Now that I am actually getting better than I was back then, and now that I am older (31), I find that I am pretty useless if I don't thoroughly warm up.

    My warm up is 5-10 minutes of random finger combination + alternate picking and sweeping.

    Then I go through the only modes I know: ionian, aeolian, and lydian. I'm so proud of myself cuz I finally understand that C Ionian = A aeolian = F lydian. I need to learn the rest now.

    After enough warmup, I begin to play real songs by playing the intro to Twilight Symphony by Stratovarius (basically a descending harmonic minor plus a few chords).

    Once I hit my groove with that, I am warmed up.

    I know I am there because my fingers start to feel lighter than before. In fact, this is new to me. I remember a few weeks ago I was playing and my fingers just suddenly starting using a much lighter touch and I started playing faster. I was like wtf just happened, this is awesome!

    I must go through this ritual, even in guitar stores. So I sound like the biggest noob for the first 5 or 10 minutes when I'm testing out guitars. And that's a big deal because you know entering a guitar store puts your ego into overdrive because all the people there actually care how good of a guitar player you are

    Seriously tho, I need to warm up, and that's never been the case for me before. Anyone else?

  2. #2

    Join Date: Apr 2010
    Location: Norman, OK
    ME: Gibson SG Special
    MA: Yamaha FSX700SC
    Rig: Fender Deluxe VM

    iTrader: 0

    Normally if I'm just doodling, I won't warm up. But if I'm seriously practicing or performing, I always do an extensive warm up of both my picking hand, fretting hand, and their synchronization.

    When I was in college and played mainly trumpet (didn't have time for guitar as much), warming up was a huge part of my practice routine. One of my trumpet books said that one's warm up should be at least 1/4 as long as the duration of the practice. For example, an hour long practice should consist of at least a 15 minute warm up.

  3. #3

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Oakland
    ME: SG 60's re-issue
    Rig: Laney AOR II

    iTrader: 0

    I have to warm up 90% of the time. Which would mean me going over scales and finger excersices. Sometimes chords or just playing a harder riff. It's something I noticed that I had to start doing as the years went on and my playing got more complex. It's kinda' hard for me to just jump straight into some super fast alternate picking. With that being said once in awhile I start playing and it's like I'm already warmed up.

  4. #4

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: West Seattle, WA
    ME: PRS / Gibson
    MA: Yamaha
    MB: Jazz 6-string
    Rig: EVH 5150iii 50w

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    I always stretch & warm up before a gig, usually starting with chromatic exercises, some scales and some of the more challenging lead licks i'm working on.

    Like the old saying, you gotta walk before you run.

  5. #5

    Join Date: Nov 2012
    Location: Detroit
    ME: Strat
    MB: Jazz
    Rig: Modelers

    iTrader: 0

    I always stand while practicing nowadays (my posture sucks when I sit, and I could never fix it), so now I pretty much always do some basic back and neck stretching, then the

    To warm up, I do a couple minutes each of left hand strength ( well), trill patterns (in 8ths, triplet 16ths, and straight 16ths), then open pedal-picking (8ths, triplet 16ths, and straight 16ths), then some chromatic and angular runs to synch the hands.
    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's an electrical problem"

  6. #6

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: West Seattle, WA
    ME: PRS / Gibson
    MA: Yamaha
    MB: Jazz 6-string
    Rig: EVH 5150iii 50w

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    ^ I do everything you mentioned.
    1. Petrucci stretches
    2. I do "the spider", but alternating directions....
    1234 ascending on each string, then 5432 descending, 3456 ascending, 7654 descending and so on all the way up and down the neck.

  7. #7

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
    ME: Suhr Modern 7
    MA: Martin MC16-GTE
    MB: Dingwall Afterburner 5
    Rig: Mesa Roadster, Recto 4x12

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    I don't HAVE to warm up, but I'm definitely better after my fingers start to loosen up a little.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

  8. #8

    Join Date: May 2009
    Location: Southern Virginia
    ME: Swampcaster
    MA: Fender Sonoran
    MB: Squier P Bass
    Rig: None :(

    iTrader: 6 (100%)

    I warm up most of the time. I do a chromatic exercise that Loomis showed on his guitar world DVD... 2 1 3 2 4 3 etc ascend down up picking, decent up down alternate picking and the pattern in reverse. I do this with a metronome, and run through it at 1-4 frets, 6-9 frets, 12-15 frets, and 17-20 frets. 80bpm starting out until I get up to 140bpm. Then I do some stretchy chords and i'm good to go.

    D ---------------------------1---2-1-3-2-4-3-----
    A ------------1--2-1-3-2-4-3--4------------------
    E 2-1-3-2-4-3--4---------------------------------
    I often use one of these for my warmup, but not always.

    RHLC East Coast President

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