Guitar: Warm-ups #1

It is very important to warm-up before each practice session. This gives us a chance to focus our minds and gives our hands and bodies time to settle and ease into the more challenging playing that may be part of any pieces we are currently working on.

If you already have a good sense of how to do all the warm-ups listed on this page, you might want to download this summary PDF as a quick reminder of the patterns and techniques to work on for this group of warm-ups.  

This warm-up can easily be played on the first, second, or third strings, but begin on the first string. You will alternate rest-strokes with right-hand fingers i  and m. Play four strokes slowly and steadily, then eight strokes doubling the speed. Then, repeat the entire pattern a minimum of four times. 

Play this pattern at least 4 times:

i
m
i
m
i m
i m
i m
i m

Here is a play-along video

For this warm-up, you can do it in any position and on any string of the guitar, but begin by playing each left-hand finger pattern in first position on the first string.

Play each of these left-hand finger patterns slowly and evenly and four times (use whatever right-hand finger you will most comfortable with). Do your best to connect the notes; avoid silence between the notes (this is called playing legato). It is best to play the two patterns in each column, then move to the next. 

4 3 2 1

4 3 1 2

4 2 3 1

4 2 1 3

4 1 3 2

4 1 2 3

Here is a play-along video:

This arpeggio warm-up requires that you always use the same right-hand finger to play the same string: thumb plays the sixth string, index plays the third string, middle plays the second string, ring plays the first string. You should either play all free stroke, or play a rest stroke with the thumb and free stroke with the fingers.

You will then play four different arpeggio patterns by changing the order in which you play the right-hand fingers. Play each pattern four times. 

Pattern 1: p i m a

Pattern 2: p a m i

Pattern 3: p i m a m i

Pattern 4: p a m i m a

Here is a play-along video:

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