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  1. #1

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    What sort of warm ups do you guys use? How long do you warm up for before going into straight practice or playing?

    Ill post some of the warm ups I use in a bit.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    must admit i never warm up. I just start practising and after 10 mins or so i'm warmed up. Will always go through tunes before gig though, to warm up and get them fresh in my head.

  4. #3

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    I usually do a 10 minute warm up, sometimes longer (I actually like doing warm-ups ). Here are some of the exercises I do:

  5. #4

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    I never really warm up either, but having a look at Dirk's link, they look pretty darn handy. Especially the string skipping exercises.

  6. #5

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    I use an exercise of playing every note in the major scale (G major for example) in all modes, but stuttering 3 notes forward, 1 note back, so you get the fingers moving in all directions. So you stutter from the root note on the low E string to the root note of the high E for every mode.

  7. #6

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    i'll usually do one of a few chord melody type arrangements i've written, that include lots of quick chording and single note passages, but also, keeping a rhythm. seems to cover a lot of bases at once for me.

    but no matter what i do, i'm usually warm after about 10-15 minutes of playing. it's funny, i can almost pinpoint that moment when i'm "good to go."

  8. #7

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    Warm-ups for me consist of doing the chromatic scale up and down a couple of times. Also, I play the pentatonic minor scale(kinda how Fret15 just said) and play 4 notes, then go back 2 notes. Basically I start doodling around after that but I do get some chords in there.
    Wes Montgomery anyone?

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirkji View Post
    I usually do a 10 minute warm up, sometimes longer (I actually like doing warm-ups ). Here are some of the exercises I do:
    I've started using the warm-ups that Dirk suggests above. Thanks Dirk!

    I also use Finger stretching exercises for guitar.

    Riff from Breezin' (George Benson)


  10. #9

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    I was born warmed up, and ready to go.

  11. #10

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    I like to warm up.
    It's also a form of meditation, to feel how the fingers are, the timing, the focus. Sort of a 'hello body, hands and fingers.'

    On a perfect day:
    I start with simple 1351,2462, 3573 etc.
    When everything feels ok enough I play some Bach suites (on the electric with a pick) I once learned and memorized.
    To warm up for the groove I set a metronome on 60 (for the 2 and the 4 beat), solo a bit and then put it slower until it reaches 40 and I still can groove. After that it is time to go faster up to 120.
    But like I said, that is on a perfect day.


  12. #11

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    First thing I do is the "five fingerings" (as Jimmy Bruno calls them) in the key of the day. Today was A. (Tomorrow will be D. In just under two weeks I do this in each key.) Then I play the 'chordal scale' in each fingering: up AM7, down Bm7, up C#m7, and so on. Then back. Then a ii-V-I in each position, mostly arpeggios but some scale stuff too. It's not written out. It varies. Sometimes I do this Joe Pass exercise of putting the same note on top of each succeeding chord in the sequence and playing from the root scalewise to that note. These notes will often be altered intervals.

    Then I play a dozen heads. Not the changes (not always, anyway), just the head. No metronome, no backing track, no chart, just play the heads / melodies. Lately: Bloomdido, Oleo, Billie's Bounce, Cottontail, This Can't Be Love, A-Train, Indiana, The Preacher, Limehouse Blues, Whispering (-this is a new tune for me to play but I just love that melody), Sweet Georgia Brown, Serpent's Tooth, maybe a couple more. (Not always the same ones, not always in the same order: it's more like, 'pick any dozen from these twenty'.

    "Tico Tico" and a chord melody pass at "It Had To Be You."

    I'm pretty good after that.

    On rhythm tunes, I'll often take a solo chorus, and on the blues sometimes a couple.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  13. #12

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    this is my "zen time" a very concentrated but relaxed way to warm up

    I start with intervals of four notes in two octaves then move that pattern up a perfect fifth and then move that pattern up a minor as many positions and keys as possible

    then use some melodic riffs before and after the intervals and then integrate some of that in a tune..mostly blues flavors to start with Blue Monk..ALL Blues..Whisper Not...

    I dont time it..I seem to know when to stop
    play well ...

  14. #13

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    I was wondering if warming up is really helpful, since it does not seem part of the natural scheme of things... animals in nature don't do warm ups. I thought of the classic example of the cheetah barely breathing, almost motionless, moving inches at a time approaching the Thompson's gazelle from down wind, and the gazelle loitering at the edge of the water hole... neither is warmed up for the coming chase.

    I went to youtube to find a video as an example of creatures functioning just fine without warming up... and in the first one I picked the gazelle seemed to be at a bit of a disadvantage right from the start of the chase - the gazelle actually broke one of his legs in the first half second from the exertion of accelerating up to speed, confirmed by the narrator's comments a little bit later...

    So, never mind, carry on; do your warming up.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  15. #14

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    I take comfort in the fact that Pat Metheny has stated that he spends at least 2 hours to get ready for a show. The following is lifted from a Vintage Guitar mag interview: Not that 2 hours gets me onto the planet that Pat resides on, but there is no substitute for "time on the instrument". I'd surmise that without a "warm up" Metheny probably plays at 95 to 97% of his capacity, but he's not going to share that with an audience, he's going to do whatever he feels he needs to get to 100%.

    The “zone” that creative people speak of, when one soars to a higher level, is definitely familiar to Metheny. “The best musicians I know are also, without exception, the best listeners,” he feels. “But the objective, like you see in sports, where somebody’s going to hit eight three-pointers in a row, that thing is for real. For me, it’s been kind of a mandate of the gig to get to there every night, no matter what. The only thing, from my standpoint, that I can do is sort of, as my dad always said, ‘play the odds.’ I know in my case that the odds are better that I’m going to be able to get to that if I warm up for two hours before. I think all you can do is hope for the best, play the odds, and in the case of music be a real good listener. That seems to usher in that zone thing. And there’s a collective element. The Unity Band with Ben, Antonio, Chris, and me? 100 percent. Every night we got to it. I’ve never experienced it to the degree that I did with that band. Just a magical combination of people, and it was pretty exciting knowing that we were going to get to that.”

    Here is the whole article:
    Ignorance is agony.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    I was wondering if warming up is really helpful, since it does not seem part of the natural scheme of things... animals in nature don't do warm ups.
    But they don't play the guitar, either, so...

    Some people seem not to need much in the way of warming up. Jimmy Bruno said for most of his life, he didn't warm up. Or need to. But he's older now and has to warm up.

    If you can fly without warming up, more power to you! But if you can't, that's no disgrace.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  17. #16

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    I wish I could work out a good routine.

    For now I've been working on warming up with straight-out scales chords and arpeggios (all of the above) for about ninety minutes.

    Usually with the MM.

    OK, it's boring, but I've taken the attitude that it just has to be done.

    In the end, I think it's been worthwhile.