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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

The Warm-Up

- 5 minutes could make all the difference between going on and stopping -

As a fellow plucker it is very sad when I learn that one of my fraternity has been struck down by some disabling RSI affliction like tendonitis as a result of his/her playing. And not just one, for I have known many afflicted this way.

RSI has a tendency to creep up on you when you are least expecting it. With the benefit of sufferers' experience it is possible to see how the chances of it happening to you can be considerably reduced by taking a few basic precautions.

To avoid long-term harm to your fingers, hands and arms:

Practice in a relaxed frame of mind.

Take frequent breaks, at least once every 25 minutes, and take even more frequent mini-breaks every five minutes or when your hand tires, whichever comes first.

Warm-up before launching into difficult pieces or serious playing.

A 20 minute warm-up is better than a five minute warm-up, but a five minute warm is better than nothing.

The Five Minute Warm-Up
a/ chromatic scale- slow to medium speed = 30 seconds
b/ slow to medium speed scales/s = 1 minute
c/ open string arpeggios = 1 minute
d/ chordal arpeggios = 1 minute
e/ left hand stretching exercise = 30 seconds
f/ chord sequences, improvised or written down = 1 minute

These are among the most valuable five minutes you can spend playing a musical instrument. They are precious because they could make all the difference - just ask one of those unfortunate players with RSI.

At the same time enjoy the time, for like all your practice it is a journey of discovery and improvement. Enjoyment is a sure way of feeling more relaxed, and those two together will go a long way to set you on the right productive path.

This has been my rough guide to the benefits of a five minute warm-up.

11th January, 2014, Arizona, USA

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Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=3004 .
© 2019.

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