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  #1  
Old 07-18-2009, 03:09 AM
Fingerstylist Fingerstylist is offline
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Default Warming Up?

I've been playing about 8 months now and have noticed that for the first 10 minutes or so of practice, I can't play. My fingers won't cooperate. Will I get out of this later on, or does your brain just have to get prepared for music?
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:29 AM
mmmaak mmmaak is offline
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Whether it's tennis or fingerstyle guitar, stretching and warming up always help. Why not try some of these from the "finger master" Greg Irwin?

http://www.youtube.com/user/lgiugno
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:10 AM
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Whow!
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:56 PM
Fingerstylist Fingerstylist is offline
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Nice vid!
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:35 AM
Fambroski Fambroski is offline
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Wow! Those are great videos. How about a game of finger basketball?
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingerstylist View Post
I've been playing about 8 months now and have noticed that for the first 10 minutes or so of practice, I can't play. ...
I can't play for the first hour these days I takes me a good six or seven tunes before I open up. I find that soaking my hands in hot soapy water for just a few minutes, followed by a little stretching (holding for at least thirty seconds and breathing) helps quite a bit. Then I will more often than not just start slow. I don't do any exercises or scales... life's too short
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:46 PM
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Warm-ups are a very important part for any serious guitar player. Jazz guitarist Billy Bauer actually published a whole series of warm up exercises.
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:22 PM
aaron1433 aaron1433 is offline
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I use a bunch from Scott Tenant's Pumping Nylon. Warmups are key to improving your musicianship, while staying pain free.
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingerstylist View Post
I've been playing about 8 months now and have noticed that for the first 10 minutes or so of practice, I can't play. My fingers won't cooperate. Will I get out of this later on, or does your brain just have to get prepared for music?
Hi Fs...
I'm not clearly cut on this question. There are many cases where I am 'forced' by the venue or circumstances to tune-n-play, and I do quite fine.

Other players seem to benefit greatly from warming up, which may be part physical and a whole-lot mental. When I was in school and doing 4-6 competitions per year, it was amazing to watch people gargle with lemon juice, or hot water or cold water (singers), pull false valve assemblies out of pockets (for trumpet players), pull last minute rehearsals in practice rooms etc only to still fumble and stumble through performances.

I drank milk or soda or cool water, and just sat and relaxed till time to play. If the room was 'open seating' to the public, I usually went in with my horn or group and sat and watched 1/2 dozen people perform before me.

Never had issues and got high marks (and paid my college tuition with vocal and instrumental scholarships).

For me the key is to be relaxed. If I found any detriment, it is to not see the room and evaluate the stage setup before we play and to be rushed into the start of a set. Then it takes me about 1/2 song to settle in and get my breathing under control, and then I'm good-to-go.

It's very easy for players who benefit from extensive warmups to proclaim it essential for everyone. It would be easy for people like me to say it is of no use ever.

I tell fellow-players, students & friends, if it's important to warm up, then warm up, and if it's not, find ways to occupy your time before you go-on.

One of the players on our Worship Team walks around with a guitar in hand playing through songs at highly accelerated tempo just going through the songs in his mind before services, while another tunes and walks away. I have other responsibilities before we play so my time is spent with a cup-in-hand chatting with folks right up till it's time to start. We all have a great time, and play well together.

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Last edited by ljguitar; 07-20-2009 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:55 PM
Fambroski Fambroski is offline
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Default Imho

We guitarist get plenty of exercise with the contracting motion. It's the extension motion that we tend to over look and of course stretching. I really enjoyed the video posted in this thread but after trying it a bit I thought it focused too much on the contracting motion. Too much of that is bad news for a guitarist. We have to be very careful about that.

It's interesting that even the most basic flamenco guitarist are still very impressive (the right hand anyway), that probably because the technique focuses and strengthens both motions of the hand.

Whatever exercise you choose, remember to stretch and spend time focusing on the extension motion.
Stretching is the secret of life particular as you get older.


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Old 07-20-2009, 09:49 AM
DerLan7 DerLan7 is offline
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You should have a list of easy songs that serve you as a warm up, I do that and it works great for me. "Wonderwall" is the number 1 of my list
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:52 AM
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You should have a list of easy songs that serve you as a warm up, I do that and it works great for me. "Wonderwall" is the number 1 of my list
Easy or least ones you know well. I suspect that is the way most people warm up.
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