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Play Guitar Warm-Up Exercises

Importance of Guitar Warm-Up Exercises Before Playing

Warming up your hands by doing some gentle stretches is obviously a smart thing to do before playing your guitar, whether you're practising or performing. That's because doing so loosens the muscles and tendons and, basically, gets the blood flowing, which then allows your arms, hands, and fingers to move much more smoothly. Just a few basic finger exercises and some stretching will help you avoid developing muscle cramps (or even injuries from over-playing!).

Guitar warm up stretches are a guaranteed way to increase speed while preserving your ability to play for longer. They keep guitar players at their best performance yet are often overlooked or ignored by many beginner guitarists. This article shows you some stretching and great warm up exercises that should be part of your practice routine before you begin playing. They only take a few minutes to learn and do...


Note: If any of these exercises causes discomfort or you feel you need to strain, stop immediately! Start out slow. Maybe your hand muscles and arms are stiff. That's okay. You need to use these techniques in a relaxed and sensible manner. This is not some strength workout!

The Guitar Wizard

One: Back Stretch

To begin the first guitar warmup exercise, place your left hand on your right shoulder. While holding on, slowly and gently pull. You won't feel a big stretch (so take care not to overstretch!), but this will help relax your back so it can take weight of the guitar just fine. Do the same thing using the other hand (3-5 repetitions).

Two: Tricep Stretch

The next of our four guitar warmup exercises is similar to the first, except that this time, you will be pulling one arm down behind your back. Simply put one hand behind your head, down in between your shoulder blades. Then take the elbow of that arm and with your other hand, gently push downwards for a few seconds and release.

Stretch out your arm. Do the same with the other arm. hand, and perform this exercise for several repetitions. The goal of this activity is to release tension in your arms so that it can swiftly move around without stiffness.

Three: Pumping the Blood

Next, wrap your hand around the bicep of the opposite arm (fingers on top, thumb underneath), get a firm grip, and slowly move it down applying the same pressure. It's sort of like you are wiping water from your arms, except that the grip is more intense. Move it down to the finger tips and repeat the same thing with the opposite arm. Do this for at least 7 repetitions.

This exercise increases the blood flow into and temperature of your hands, getting you warmed up and ready to play. Of course, be careful not to use too much power and loosen your hold if you feel any discomfort. Also, if you have either high or low blood pressure, it might be better to skip this one.

Four: Finger Exercises

You are now ready to exercise your hands, fingers, and wrist. This guitar warm up exercise will stretch the forearm and get your fingers warmed up. It's not just for your fretting hand, though; make sure you do it on both (i.e. your picking hand, too)!

Stretch your arm in front of you and keep your hand pointing upwards. Then use your fingers to reach around this outstretched, upturned, gently grab the fingers, and slowly pull them back. Pull them very gently, and don’t overdo it!

Hold it for a few seconds before switching to the other hand. The purpose of this exercise is to release tension in your forearm. You can also do it the other way: Hand pointing down, bend fingers back so you feel a stretch on the inside of your forearm.

Some Final Thoughts...

You may feel more comfortable if you remove rings from your fingers. Rings can hamper the flow of blood and this can get very inconvenient, especially since you are using every finger for chord changes. Wring your hands several times to further boost blood flow into them.

After you do your warm-up exercises, wash your hands with soap and warm water to remove grease, oil, and sweat. Not only will you feel more comfortable with clean hands, it will also help to keep your strings and better condition.

Also, if you're feeling tired in the middle of your practice sesssion, you can repeat the same warm up activities every now and then. Doing these guitar warm up exercises after playing as well (i.e. warming up and cooling down) is actually the best way to go.

If you remember to do them, these guitar warm up exercises will keep your hands, arms, fingers, and wrist in tip top shape so you will be able to play for longer, rip out guitar scales, solos, and licks with greater precision, and do it all with less chance of injury.

Best of luck with it,

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