5 Effective Warm Up Tips That Make You A Better Guitar Player


By Tom Hess


Want to know the most effective warm up exercises to get massive results from your guitar practice time?


Chances are, you’ve seen other guitarists using a variety of different exercises.




The warm up exercises you want to use and the ones you don't want to use share some similarities:


For example, ineffective warm up routines:


  1. Only get the blood flowing to your hands, but don't warm up your mind.


  1. Waste time and lead to poor practice habits.


  1. Are irrelevant to your actual guitar practice items.


So how about effective warm up drills?


They are the complete opposite of bad ones.


How so?:


Below are five effective tips for developing killer warm ups that really help your playing.


Watch this video to learn how to integrate them into your practice ASAP:




The following are the key things to understand:



Guitar Warm Up Tip #1:


This may be something you would’ve already thought of, nevertheless:


You need to kill two birds with the same stone.




Use warm up routines that get your picking and fretting hands warmed up and ready to go.


This is not a hard thing to do (as you observed in the video).


Now combine this concept with the other tips on this page.



Guitar Warm Up Tip #2:


Make your warmups relevant to the music you play.


For instance:


Warm up using short groupings of notes from the things you’d normally practice.


Just seek out ways to make them more difficult while warming up and playing at slower speeds.



Guitar Warm Up Tip #3:


There is one thing you need to avoid during any warmup. What is it?


Answer: letting your mind go on autopilot, allowing poor practicing habits to form as you mindlessly move your hands to play the notes.


How do you stop this?


Concentrate with intense focus during your warmups.


Look for ways to make the things you warm up with more challenging while playing at a slower pace.


Read below to get some useful ideas to help you during this process:


Guitar Warm up Tip #4


Warmups aren’t something that you just throw away – they should help you improve just like when you practice.


“How exactly does this work?”, you might be asking.


I’ll tell you:


Warm up using an exercise you should be practicing but tend to avoid. (Because it’s boring or difficult.)


For instance:


Work on memorizing notes across the guitar fretboard. Pick a specific metronome tempo and start searching for random notes on each string, while staying in rhythm to the beat.


This helps you warm up your mind, uses both hands and is easily applied in everyday playing.


Here is another example: find a scale sequence you aren’t very familiar with, within a scale you already know (watch me do this at 5:19 in the video).


Question: “Wait a minute Tom Hess, in this article you say to warm up using things in my practice schedule! Why should I warm up with things I don't normally practice?”


Answer: Warm up using what helps you improve. Period.


This frequently means the precise things in your practicing routine… but it may also be:


- drills you used to practice but stopped practicing.


- things you want to practice later (that are not scheduled in your practice time today).


- exercises that you know you should practice, but aren’t practicing for any reason.



Guitar Warm Up Tip #5:


Warm up with exercises that help you improve in multiple areas at once.


Here is an example: double pick all the notes you are playing during warm up.


Simple idea? For sure.


Effective? Extremely.


Double picking forces your hands to become 100% in sync and keeps your fretting hand from playing as fast as it should.


Another idea is to make your own sequence using the notes of your warm up. (Watch the video from 16:25 to see how.)


Question: “Tom Hess, how long do I need to warm up?”


Answer: You only need to warm up long enough to get your hands ready to play at a fast tempo. During the winter time, it will be colder, so this may take longer than it does in the summer.


Want to get more powerful warm up tips?


Watch this guitar practice video by guitar practice guru Mike Philippov:




Now that you know how to effectively warm up to get results in your practice, it’s time to overcome the enemy of guitar technique - excess muscle tension. Tension prevents you from playing guitar fast and effortlessly, like you should be. Download this free guitar technique mastery guide to make your playing feel easier than ever before.



Author's Bio: 

About The Author:

Tom Hess is a highly successful guitar teacher, recording artist and composer. He teaches guitar players from all over the world in his online guitar lessons. Learn more on the Tom Hess Wikipedia page.