Caelumamittendum - Warm Ups SI Lesson
Hello everyone, and thanks for tuning in on this lesson on proper warm up.
My name is Benjamin Linnebjerg, I live in Odense, Denmark. I am 19 years old and have played guitar for about 5 years, though the last three years I've played close to nothing at all, due to other importancies, so I'm trying to find my way back these days, and I thought that trying to write a lesson or two would keep the fire going.
Amongst my favorite guitarists are players such as Dan Rock and Brian McAlpin from Psychotic Waltz and Frank Gambale alongside (no big surprise here) John Petrucci. For an unknown reason I have always felt drawn towards Dan Rock's playing, so that I cannot explain properly. Frank Gambale on the other hand utilizes great "fresh" chord progressions in his songs (man, just listen to "Faster than an arrow"). John Petrucci for his work in Dream Theater, which was the first progressive band I started listening to. I am amongst those who think his earlier work with Dream Theater (Majesty, WDaDU, Images & Words) are the best in their catalogue. I could of course mention a handful of other inspirational guitarists - Michael Romeo, Guthrie Govan etc...
As you can probably already figure out, my favorite bands are bands as Psychotic Waltz, Dream Theater, Symphony X, Spastic Ink and many more. I used to play in a progressive metal band, though we were only me and a drummer and another guitarist. 1½ year ago my creative side suddenly ran dry and I couldn't come up with any original riffs or licks, so I decided to quit the band about a year ago, and I am now once again focusing on the more technical side of guitar playing.
When I am not practicing or writing this lesson I am preparing for my final exams, which don't really mean that much, because my grades are fine as it is if and when I want to go to university, which I have put on a hold for 12-24 months. I want to get a job, earn some money and enjoy a non-school life, and hopefully I will get time to practice a lot more
I hope this lesson among other lessons I plan on writing will give you some good values as to when practicing.
One of THE most important aspects of a good practice session, and I cannot stress this enough, is a proper warm up section. This section will, as it says, warm up your fingers, and get the blood flowing in your fingers. This means your fingers will become more agile - in other words, things will become easier to play if you have warmed up properly. But even more importantly it will help you avoid any bad finger injuries.
It is the exact same approach athletes take when they go into practicing their discipline. As a former football goalkeeper, before I got my knee injured, I can definately relate warming up for guitar and warming up for football practice or a match. The distance from jumping around on a football field, running, bending for the grass, running, jumping, running, bending to reach the grass and other football exercises - the distance from these to those warm up exercises I am about to show you really isn't far. The football exercises would get my muscles going and help me stay injury-free (Yeah, yeah, I know) and eventually during matches make me one of the benefits would be, that I could jump higher, jump faster, and in the same way warming up on guitar will make your fingers able to move faster from one fret to another, simply because there will be a good flow of blood through your fingers, making them warm and agile and hopefully injury-free.
So, I have decided to share my approach to this with you guys, and you may do this the same way as I or a completely different way. So check it out, and see if it could apply to you.
I've put my focus on getting each finger warmed and stretched properly and getting the picking hand going as well - playing 2 notes per string, 3 notes per strong and 4 notes per strong patterns. You could even develop this further, if you want, but I feel these three are the most commonly used, and that's why I have chosen these.
So, let's get going on the real lesson.
The warm ups/stretches without Guitar
Before you pickup the guitar it's a good thing to pretend to be an athlete. Get those muscles in your hands and arms loosened up. Take a look at the video. Most of these exercise are found in various other guitar instructors videos or books, but that just proves it's point - useful stuff!
The warm ups/stretches with Guitar
I've always felt, that those video lessons including tabs, where you're not shown the whole exercise is a bit demoralizing. We all know that "cont. to 12th fret" text or "play all over your neck". I know that I tend to be a bit sloppy about that, and I've always wanted to be able to play along with the instructor, note for note, all over the fretboard. So, here I give you note for note my warm up session including tabs and videos. You can then play along in my tempo (which I feel is the correct tempo for warming up) or you could simply skip the videos and do it at whatever tempo you want to. The choice is yours, but just be sure that every note you play ring out clearly.
Two note per string warm ups
- The first and second finger
- The first and third finger
- The first and fourth finger
- The second and third finger
- The second and fourth finger
- The third and fourth finger
Three note per string warm ups
Four note per string warm ups
String Skipping warm up
I know I've made a mistake with the fingerings in the tabs on the first 3 rounds, but I won't correct that right now - it'll have to wait some time
Keep in mind that these lessons are not supposed to be healthy to your ears (sorry for the tone and all...), but to your hands.
If you're not too keen on using my warm up section yourself, my next post/lesson will probably be about what should be including in a good warm up section (and I might have left some things out in this one as well...sorry about that.).