Top Five Guitar Warm Up Exercises, Scales, and Tips

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Warming up for a good guitar session or practice should awaken the fingers and connect them to your internal mood. Getting your mind in sync with your hands and guitar will help make for the most productive session.

Warming up for a good guitar session or practice should awaken the fingers and connect them to your internal mood. Getting your mind in sync with your hands will help make for the most productive session. Here are the top five tips and exercises for getting your fingers warmed up and guitar ready to play.

Exercise your digits against the side of the guitar by alternately tapping each finger from thumb to pinky on each hand. This warm up helps condition blood flow and limbers up your joints and finger tips.

Play the chromatic scale. Using each finger from one to four on the corresponding fret, ascend from the first fret on the low E string to the fourth fret on the high E string. This motion of 1, 2, 3, 4, begins to function your fingers to ascension and timing to a beat. Start slow and build speeds to your own competency and comfort. Try alternate picking and descending from the top of the chromatic scale to continue advanced warm up.

Tune by ear to train your hearing and reduce reliance on electronics. Match the tuning of the fifth fret of the E, A, and D strings to the adjacent higher string. Then the fourth on G to the open B, and the fifth fret of the B string to the open high E. This warms up your ears and attunes your fingers to matching and finding pitches.

Find three notes of each major key to begin learning where to find key notes on the fret board. For example, finding three G notes may include the third fret on the low E string, the open G string, and the fifteenth fret on the high E string.

Rumble through the twelve bar blues in E to begin palm muting patterns and extending a little creativity over a consistent rhythm. This opening to improvisation is just controlled enough to make your mind wander to more original inspiration.

Stretch your fingers along the fret board and practice movable power chords. This tensile test begins to build the stamina in your fretting hand and also your agility to move up and down the fret board. Walk through your chords in any order and then alternate between barred and full chords to begin opening your mind to the full scale of chords. Try inventing some of your own by modifying ancillary fingers and finding sounds that suit your likes and needs.

 

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Danny Hauger

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