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Well I'm not so young, I'm in my 50s - been playing for 35 years, though played very litle between age 35 and 48.
It's not like I've ever been much good either, so I don't have old skills to fall back on, though I did play with my mates once or twice a month for about 10 years (bass more than 6 string)
Anyway I have been playing (6 string) an hour or two every night for the last year or so, and at last am making good headway.
I usually do exercises for 5 minutes.
But I still notice it takes around half an hour to relax, be able to listen to what I'm doing, and get the hands doing what I want them to do.
Feels somehow like getting in the zone - whatever that is.
Is this just down to age or normal?
Any tricks to shorten that warm up period?
It's normal. For me there are a number of warm-up times: 1) getting the one arthritic finger to move, 2) warming all the fingers up to playing speed, then 3) warming up so I'm not only hitting the note but it's sounding good, and 4) engaging the brain. I have to say that time 1 gets longer with age, and if I've played a lot recently. Time 2 has got shorter over years of practice. Nowadays three of my fingers can play things from cold that I wouldn't have been able to do 20 years ago. Time 3 depends on how much playing I've done recently. I love back to back gigs for this reason. 4 depends on how tired I am.
My tip is to play little and often. I leave the gear set up, so that I can nip into the room and play for a few minutes without having to plug everything together. There's a really good time for this. You know when you're ready to go out, and your wife is still making her mind up what to wear? I can usually get 10 minute practice in, and reduce her preparation time by half an hour in the process.
India '08: http://mrspoppadum.blogspot.com/
Thanks - good to hear your reply that it's normal, and good tip about playing while wife gets ready!
As you say I guess it's practice, practice..
We both left out the time to get amp and guitar sounding right..
even if I plug in with untouched settings, it usually sounds wrong - it really is all down to those hand actions.
I learned about this exercise when I got into fingerstyle, trying to get my right hand up to speed. Take two pages of a full sized newspaper and lay them out unfolded next to each other on the floor, then pick them up by pinching them in the middle, one in each hand. Hold them out in front of you, apart from each other and then pull them into as small and tight of a ball as you can with each hand acting alone with just your fingers. I found doing this once a day as a warm up before picking up the guitar helped both hands.
You realise I'm going to have to try that now.........
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.
[QUOTE=Dulcetjones;1336309.. pull them into as small and tight of a ball as you can with each hand acting alone with just your fingers. .[/QUOTE]
I tried it - it's too easy with tabloid style pages ;-(
so I need to get the Daily Telegraph to do this?
it's going to play havoc with the recycling box..
Something that transformed my playing was a tip from Steve Morse that might help.
Try playing much of the time at around 50-60% of your maximum speed.
A lot of guys simply play too fast, too often.
This causes forearm tightness and then refers tension up into the hand.
By slowing down for a lot of your practice you can solidify playing in a relaxed manner.
Then towards the end of your practice routine try accelerating the pace and pushing beyond your current maximum speed.
I used to find that it took a long time before i felt that i was at or near 100% of my ability when practicing, and ultimately advancing.
As i've become more experienced, it takes me no where near as long. I rarely warm up before hitting the stage anymore either. Couple of little picking exercises and off i go.
I try and play every day if i can though, so the finger movements are familiar.