It’s important to stretch before you go for a run, lift weights, or any other physical activity. Playing the guitar is the same way!
Instead of stretching (although stretching your fingers is never a bad idea), there are exercises you can do to build dexterity in your fingers before you begin jamming. Establishing a practice routine before you play around is important to progressing your guitar skills.
But what’s a good practice routine? Ayla Tesler-Mabe created this ten-minute guitar workout to warm up your hands and build strength.
The practice routine starts with strumming a 12-bar blues progression. You’ll begin with open chords, A, D, and E. After playing through that progression a few times, you’ll switch to A7, D7, and E7. Next, you’ll play through the minor pentatonic scale — go through it as many times as you’d like (you can even change the tempo if you’re feeling wild). The exercise ends with adding some color to the scale with additional notes outside of the scale.
This routine will improve your timing and rhythm as you play along with this video, a metronome or a backing track. The workout chords and scales are available to download at the top, so you don’t even need to think and can play along right away!
It’s extremely beneficial to any guitar player who wants to improve their speed, strength, and dexterity to have a consistent and guided guitar exercise. And as you can see, it doesn’t need to take forever — just ten minutes! You’re now ready to play your guitar freely with ease.