The most underrated part of playing the guitar but perhaps one of the most crucial is warm-ups. Carrying out guitar exercises for warm-ups may be obvious but will help warm up your muscles in your hands and rest of the body, prevent injury.
It can help you become a faster guitar player and be potentially more flexible for your performance thus not putting yourself under unnecessary pressure when coming to perform on stage.
Guitar warm-up exercises
So why do we complete guitar exercises for warm-ups? There’s something called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome alongside some other health problems which can cause pain and even stop you from playing. Let’s compare a musician to a sports player.
A football player won’t go into a game without doing a few laps of the pitch and some shooting practice because otherwise, his muscles wouldn’t be ready. This theory applies for guitar exercises for musicians as well. A guitar player without a warm-up could put a lot of strain on cold muscles and tendons.
Let your hands adjust to the temperature of the room naturally before starting any guitar exercises. Try and play in warm places because your hands won’t move as well if they are cold and your muscles and tendons won’t be as flexible.
In order to combat injury, start your guitar exercises with some gentle stretches. Below are some examples but remember you are trying to gently stretch, don’t be too harsh. It is also worth noting that although your hands and forearms are doing a lot of the work, your shoulders and back take the weight of the guitar, so warm them up as well.
- Clench your fists into a ball
- Stretch your palms out
- Interlink your fingers and stretch outwards
- Gently bend your wrists outwards
Warm-up using guitar exercises
Whenever you’re warming up your guitar, it’s important to remember that if you’re singing you’ll also need to warm up your vocal.
After stretching, the next step in warming up with guitar exercises is to play something musical. The examples below won’t necessarily improve you as a guitarist but will get the blood flowing into your fingers.
Chromatic guitar exercises
It’s important after guitar exercises that you keep yourself flexible so take a break every twenty minutes throughout your practice and simply shake your arms and fingers out for thirty seconds to a minute.
Take your time
Guitar exercises are only as good as the amount of time you take completing it. Some professional musicians spend up to an hour on guitar exercises to reach maximum speed and stretching ability. If you are running a little short on time, simply squeeze a tennis ball.