This is a step in a guitarist player’s practice session that is not always done. Just like an athlete, the muscles in your hands must be gently stretched before a long, grueling practice or rehearsal session. Grabbing your guitar “cold” out of the case and shredding at hyper speeds could result in sore fingers and thumb or painful muscle cramps, in the palm and wrist. Here is a very easy warm-up for the Left Hand that my jazz guitar teacher taught me many years ago. My teacher and I would actually do this at start of every lesson. Right-Hand Picking Classical players = Beginners use just the (p) thumb. Intermediate-Advanced players use (i) index and (m) middle combination, all rest strokes. Pick players = Beginners use all (v) down strokes. Intermediate-Advanced players use alternating down/ up strokes (v^). Left-Hand Fingering 1.Play the OPEN 6th string. 2. Play the FIRST FRET with your 1st finger. 3. Play the SECOND FRET with your 2nd finger. 4. THIRD FRET with your third finger. 5. Play the FOURTH FRET with your 4th finger. The pattern should look like this: String (6) = 0pen 1 2 3 4 NOW…Repeat this pattern on the 5th string, 4th string, 3rd string, 2nd string and 1st string. Play in a VERY slow and even, 4/4 tempo (60 BPM) Hold each note out for TWO BEATS. This exercise will gently loosen up your left hand. It will ensure you longer playing without risking any muscle damage. Once you have been using this warm-up for awhile, take it up a notch by trying to hold all the fingers down as you play them one at a time. Remember, it’s a warming up exercise, not a speed drill...Slowly and Evenly!
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