They’re simple things in this world that need to be taken into account before every action. We all know these simple things, but we often forget about them. Or even we don’t take them seriously.
Here I’m talking about simple guitar warm-up before every practice. Many guitar players (most of all beginners) may think that this is just a waste of precious practice time.
“A warm-up? Huh, don’t be silly!”
“Why I need to waste my time if I can start playing my favorite songs and other stuff right away? My time is limited, there’s something much important to do!”
This could be one aspect of why musicians treat warming up as something silly. Another aspect is that guitar players don’t really know how to do it, why it’s very important. It has such a value as playing scales.
So, starting with simple, today I would like to tell you about the importance of warming and preparing hands. I’ll provide why it needs to be taken very seriously. It’s essential and it’s one of the fundamentals of the guide to the guitar.
The importance of guitar warm-up
I would like to tell you about my personal experience, about my personal injury that happened recently while practicing the guitar. I think it happened because I ignored a few simple things. My injury took me about a month to cure it and only after a that I could start doing my practice again. I traumatized my left hand. My Carpal tunnel was inflamed.
This was a very bad feeling because my left hand was out of work. I couldn’t play the guitar, I couldn’t practice my favorite licks, songs and backing tracks, I couldn’t do anything with my left hand. It was swollen. My practice was stopped for about a month. That happened because I ignored just simple things before every practice. That was a simple warming up procedure. Look at picture 1 and 2.
Here’s a simple way how to do a stretching warm-up exercise for arm joint:
I’m not teaching you like in music school right now what to do and what to do not. All I want to tell you is why this is such an essential and important thing that needs to be done before every practice. It’s up to you to make a decision. Once again, in this guitar guide, I’m letting you know the real experience in a simple way.
So, a good warm-up is preparing yourself for a real workout. You can do simple exercises like in the image above before playing or simple hand stretching. Check out Youtube. There you’ll find good examples.
It can be also fretboard exercises such as scale practice or arpeggio playing. No matter what you do, do it slowly. Let your hands do warm-up exercises for guitar.
This article is not about the tabs or notes, it’s about a simple stretching. Here’s a very good video by John Petrucci, one of the coolest hard rock and intelligent metal guitar players in the World from „Dream Theater”. John is telling here about the „Rock Discipline” before every practice. He does that all the time.
In this video, John is telling about the simple hand stretch. It takes about 5 -10 minutes. It prepares your hands. After this exercise your hands become warm, your blood starts to circle around your hands to prepare them.
But why it’s so important before guitar practice?
Well, take a look at (for example) Martial Arts. Martial Arts masters dedicate about 30 – 60 minutes to warming every time they before training. They prepare the body not to injure it. Human’s body is such a great mechanism that it can stand massive loads. But it can’t stand forever. One day it will fail and then it can turn into an injury.
From personal experience, I definitely can say that it will ALWAYS happen in an unexpected moment. And when it happens then your practice guide is out of its usual way.
That way of preparing reduces chances to a minimum for getting your hands injured. When your hands and body is prepared for a big load, then your body can progress faster, because every muscle needs optimal temperature for speed, vibrato licks, fast licks, and complicated guitar playing.
So, I hope that this article was interesting and something new for all musicians. Guitar warm-up is such a simple, but very important fact that needs to be done every time before practice, because:
- It takes about 5 – 10 minutes of your time;
- It’s a simple to stretch;
- It reduces chances of any injury;
Ok, this was the simple stretch thing that is very interesting (because you can hear all your bones crack). In some time we’ll talk about some practice exercises before doing real „workout”.
I hope that you’ll take this information in favor and start your practice in a new way. Remember, every guide to guitar starts with something simple and, in this case, this is – The Warm Up