Poll: Do you have/use a warm-up?
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View poll results: Do you have/use a warm-up?
I have one and use it daily.
11 38%
I have one and use it often.
4 14%
I have one, but rarely use it.
4 14%
I don't have one.
10 34%
Voters: 29.
#1
Over my 4 years of playing I've come to find that having an organized practice session daily is a must if you want to progress at a decent rate. There are many different branches of subjects that you should impede on everyday during this session, but before you can really sit down and begin practicing, say, 5-String swept Arpeggios, pentatonics, or even chord progressions, you need to get your fingers and wrists warmed up so that you don't just waste time and develop bad habits. In the last few weeks or so I've come up with a pretty effective warmup session that can get confusing at times, but stay with it, and after sticking to it for 2 or 3 days you'll be comfortable with it and wont even have to return back to this and read it over again, it will be stuck in your mind. I strongly suggest using a metronome during these warmups, walk before you run, even when warming up.

First off, I like to start with simple finger-independance warmups, similar to chromatics.(I did everything in this Thread fairly quickly, so excuse the coding being less than perfect). NOTE: The do all of these exercises in Alternate Picking until I tell you to switch it up later on.

First, with the 1st and 2nd fingers(though you can choose to do these in any order to your liking):
                                                                                             
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------1-2--2-3------2-3-----------|
|--------------------------------------------------------1-2--------1-2-------------2-3------2-3------|
|---------------------------------------1-2--------1-2--------1-2----------------------------------2-3|
|---------------------1-2--------1-2--------1-2-------------------------------------------------------|
|------1-2------1-2-------1-2-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-1-2------1-2----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Follow that pattern all with the 1st and 2nd fingers all the way up to the 12th fret. Then I like to switch the pattern around after reaching the 12th, bringing the pattern back down the neck in reverse fassion, like so:

|-12-11----------12-11------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------12-11---------12-11-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------12-11...-----------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------11-10---|
|-------------------------------------------------------------11-10----------11-10------------|
|----------------------------------------------------11-10----------11-10---------------------|


Then, do the same pattern only with your 1st and 3rd fingers. And return back down the neck accordingly. Followed by your 1st and 4th fingers, then your 2nd and 3rd fingers, 2nd and 4th fingers(my personal favorite, because it can get crazy at times and requires patience), and end the first part of the warmup with using your 3rd and 4th fingers on the same patern. Now, keep in mind that this is my personal warmup that I find very effective, if you'd like to add your own little quirky things in there go right ahead, that's where your creativity comes in... If you'd like to, instead of following say the 1-2 pattern with your 1st and second fingers, try to do a 1-2 slide with your first finger all the way up the neck for the pattern, or do 1-2 hammer-on/pull-offs all the way up, go right ahead.

Second, do the same pattern above, using all the same 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, etc. patterns, only in legato style. Meaning that you only pick one pair of notes on each string that you pick:

|--------------------------------------------12p11--------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------12p11...--|
|---------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------1h2...-----------------------------------|
|-------1h2-------1h2-------------------------------------------|
|-1h2-------1h2-------------------------------------------------|


Then go on to the 1-3 pattern, and so on.

Third, do a chromatic scale all the way up to however far you want to go, I personally go all the way up to around the 16th:

|----------------------------------------------------------16-15-14-13--------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------16-15-14-13...----|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------1-2-3-4...------------------------------------|
|-----------1-2-3-4------------1-2-3-4----------------------------------------------------|
|-1-2-3-4-----------1-2-3-4---------------------------------------------------------------|


Then do the same chromatic pattern in the order of the stings:
|----------------------------------------2-3-4-5....-------------16-15-14-13...------|
|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------1-2-3-4....--------------------------------------------------|
|------------1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-1-2-3-4----------------------------------------------------------------------------|


Followed by the chomatic pattern in legato style as before.

Fourth, NOW switch all of that up and do it all over again in strict downstrokes. Meaning every single picking action, including the legato strokes, is a downstroke.

***Fifth***, if you are using a metronome, which I suggested in the beginning, repeat all the above steps in a higher tempo until you feel comfortable playing them. I'm not saying spend two weeks trying to play the chromatic warm-up in 16th notes at 160bpm, even though that would be nice. But just play it to the point where you can play it comfortably fast without putting too much time and energy into it, after all, this is just a warm-up. If you're forearm isn't burning pretty well by the time you get to the chromatic exercises, then you should probably go back and start over once you finish them, only turn up the tempo a little more until you DO feel the burn, that means it's working.

Sixth, I like to finish off my warm-up by just doing some lead parts such as sweeps, pentatonics, or just some riffs from some songs I'm familiar with. For example:

|-17p13-------12-15p12--------12--18-17-15-------------------------------------|
|------15--15----------13--13-------------18-17-15-----------------------------|
|--------14--------------12------------------------17-15-14--------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------------17-15-14----------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------17~\-----|
|------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

From: Drowned and Torn Asunder - Trivium, Ascendancy.

That, basically, is my warm-up. Guitarists all have different skills and techniques that they are better at than others, a warm-up should be made up by you yourself, because only you know what works best for you. This warm-up of mine works wonders for me, I've found it extremely effective, you may too, but be creative. Feel free to give some other advice on warm-ups, feed-back on mine, or even post your own.

Happy Shredding
#2
this seems to just be a combination of a few lessons ive read here on the site...and i personally use a good bit of it, mixing up orders of what i do things in so i dont get bored

anyways its still a good reminder to those of us (me included) that tend to slack off on our practice routines
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#3
Yeah, I haven't spent a whole lot of time looking at some of the other lessons on here yet. The ones that I use in my warm-ups are pretty simple, so most people know about them. But they are very effective when you use them with a purpose. Pretty much every guitarist who's been around knows what a chromatic is, and such.
#4
wow!! ive been playing for about a year and ive made some progress (i can play pretty simple solos like love gun by kiss), and ive been trying different methods to strengthen my fingers (i even bought a grip master...its crap) and ive gotta say this is the best method ive tried. i just finished the first excersize and i can really tell how much weaker my third nd fourth fingers are and i can definitely feel the excersize targeting the key muscles in those fingers. this is gonna be my practice method from now on. thanks alot man!
#5
Quote by mercyballer34
wow!! ive been playing for about a year and ive made some progress (i can play pretty simple solos like love gun by kiss), and ive been trying different methods to strengthen my fingers (i even bought a grip master...its crap) and ive gotta say this is the best method ive tried. i just finished the first excersize and i can really tell how much weaker my third nd fourth fingers are and i can definitely feel the excersize targeting the key muscles in those fingers. this is gonna be my practice method from now on. thanks alot man!


Haha, I can relate. I was in the exact same position you were in man. I bought the Grip Master as well, used it once or twice and realized it IS crap. Plus, strong fingers isn't really the thing you want anyways. If you get your fingers very strong they wont be as fast, it's the same when you're a drummer, if you are a drummer and you're ripped out of your mind, you're probably not going to be as fast and nimble as a slimmer drummer with more static muscles. So you want the best mix of strenth and nimble-ness at possible.