Most professional vocalists will warm up before they give a great performance. Even though some of us as guitar players don’t really warm up, there are a few exercises that will help your fingers get warm. Over time, if you do these exercises daily, you will begin to see improvement in your speed, accuracy, and dexterity as well.
The first two exercises I’ll show you are pretty neat. I always do this first one for about 5 minutes before playing out:
This one is also cool. It will definitely be confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it’s easy. You can also do it just for fun. It looks weird to others who haven’t seen it:
All I’m really doing here is making a shape with one hand and an opening on the other, moving it through, and then swapping hands and doing it again. This is really great for dexterity and BRAIN POWER!
This exercise is based on the pentatonic scale, and is extremely easy to do.
By varying the intervals between how many notes you play before going to back to the next note in the scale, you can really start utilizing this technique, playing different runs in solos and what not. Very simple, and can help improve many aspects of your playing.
Here it is from the top of the neck, gradually increasing speed as it goes along. Do this about 4 times. By the 4th time, you should be going as fast as you can.
This last exercise is called “The Spider,” because your fingers will look similar to a creepy crawly:
The key to this chromatic exercise is to keep your fingers down on the strings until you’re ready to move that finger down or up to the next string. The exercise is pointless unless you keep them down. Once you try and play this the first time, it will feel extremely weird. The chromatic sound this gives (to me) sounds like a spider creeping down…pretty goofy.
Well, try ‘em out! I’d like to know what you think, and how these apply to your playing as well.
Steve Krantz is a music enthusiast that resides in St. Clair Shores, MI and plays guitar in the progressive punk quartet Day In Day Out.