Just as a professional athlete will stretch his or her muscles to warm up before a practice session or the main event, have your guitar class get into the practice of stretches and warm up exercises before beginning their music performance and study. The following techniques can take place: before the class, before practice, back stage before a concert or after an intense in-class technique has been performed.
Flexing – muscle sets that move the fingers towards the floor and
Stretches will prepare these two muscle sets for the rigors that playing the guitar places on our hands.
Will provide the student with manual exercises that will give all four fingers of the left hand equal usage and provide a chance for the student to pay close attention to their guitar technique.
- Place the four fingers of the left hand into the palm of the right hand. Gently use the right hand to bend and stretch these fingers and the wrist towards the ceiling. Keep in mind that gently is the key word for these stretches. Repeat this routine several times then reverse the process for the right hand. Great for stretching the extension muscles.
- Place your left hand fingers between the fingers and thumb of the right hand. Gently pull the fingers and wrist towards the floor. Repeat this routine several times then reverse the process for the right hand. Great for stretching the flexing muscles.
- Place your elbows next to your torso, touch your index finger and thumb on both hands and rotate the hands from the wrist like an airplane propeller but in opposite directions. Then reverse the direction of the rotation.
- A good shake of both hands is always welcome after stretches.
The following warm-up exercise is one that lets the student move out of the first position and up the neck while equally exercising all four fingers of the left hand. Students can keep their fingers down when playing the next ascending note, then slightly lifting and hovering the left hand fingers when the notes are descending. This will help them to maintain the spacing between the left hand fingers that a good technique requires. By adjusting the tilt of the left arm by moving the elbow, the fingers can be placed at a perpendicular angle to the guitar neck. This will allow the student to simply press or lift a finger to articulate a note on the guitar. When you run out of fingers you will slide to the next position.
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