Maximize Results from Your Guitar Warm-Up

Do you play mindless finger exercises every time you warm-up on the guitar?

Do you spend the first 10 to 15 minutes going through the motions with the same old scale pattern every time you sit down and start practicing the guitar?

When I meet new students and guitar players, I notice a very common trend with their practice routine.  Almost all of them warm up with a chromatic exercise or scale that they’ve been playing for years, where they’re just going through the motions of moving their fingers without any focus or plan to improve their guitar playing.

What’s the problem with just going through the motions?  The 10 to 15 minutes that they use to warm up, is under-utilized and wasted.

Learning how to effectively warm-up on guitar and optimizing that time during your practice session is absolutely critical to getting maximum results from your time invested into practicing the guitar.                                 

If you warm-up 10 minutes each time you practice, 7 days a week without having a purpose… over the course of a year you will have spent 60 hours and 50 minutes practicing without gaining the most results that you could have.

The amount of unfocused practice time really starts adding up over the course of a year. The wasted unfocused time really starts compounding over the course of many years, and can mean the difference between achieving a high level of musical skill or staying average, stuck in a rut and not progressing.

Yet, I hear guitarists saying things like “I don’t make the progress I want” or “It just takes me forever to get results” all the time.  Of course you don’t get the results you want!  You’re not using the time you warm-up and practice to get the absolute most results possible.

If your warm-up routine is unfocused, it’s more than likely your whole practice session looks very similar.

Maximizing your results during your warm-up time is a great place to start for learning how to produce more results everywhere in your guitar practice routine.

How To Maximize Results From Your Warm-Up Time On The Guitar

According to Jacob Melling, a guitar instructor in Richland WA who teaches at A-Sharp Guitar Instruction.

1.   Focus on relaxing

Take the scale, arpeggio, lick, or riff. While you’re doing this, focus on relaxing an area of your body. This could include but not be limited to your fingers, wrists, shoulders, arms, or legs for a few examples.

2.   Focus on picking hand

While playing the scale, arpeggio, lick, or riff, focus your eyes and mind to your guitar picking hand. Notice while doing this, you might be drawn to your retting hand. This is the exercise. Do not give in. This will engage your mind, and get you a lot more progress in less time.

3.   Set a goal

Set a goal at the beginning of your warm-up. Use the warm-up to fuel your fire toward your goal. For example, if you are wanting to get your three notes per string modal scales up to 150 BPM at eight note triplets, you would not warm-up with your pentatonic scale. You would warm-up engaging your brain towards meeting this target by playing the modal scales with a metronome.

The key thing to remember, is that whenever you are warming up, you MUST pick something that you want to improve upon to focus on during that portion of your practice.

Use these three principles and you’ll be amazed at the results you will achieve in those otherwise wasted minutes of your guitar practice!