Guitar injuries are more common than you might realize. Your fingers and hands go through a lot of abuse when you were playing guitar. Many guitar players don’t take the time to warm up their fingers before playing. this can lead to all sorts of guitar injuries. this guide will help you warm up your fingers before you begin playing.
If you are reading this as a parent, then help your child to learn to play guitar properly by warming up first.
Don’t Play with Cold Hands
You won’t get very far on your instrument if you play with cold hands. your fingers and hands won’t be limber enough to play your guitar and you might struggle to play anything at all. Allow your hands to warm up before you play your instrument.
Cold hands make guitar playing very difficult.
If your child is playing the guitar after a cold day at school, help them warm up by having a warm drink first before playing.
Shake them Out
A simple way to get your hands ready to play the guitar is to shake them out. take your wrist and shake it back and forth. this will get the blood flowing to your hands and fingers. Make a fist and then open your hand 5 or 10 times so you are showing all your fingers and your thumb. open and close your fist in this fashion a few more times.
This is a very easy exercise for you to help your child do, and often one that can be used if they ever complain about their hands being tired during exercise as well. Try to make it more fun by having them jump around and shake their hands too at the same time.
Hold your hand out flat. Press one finger down like you would when you are typing on a keyboard. do this one finger at a time. try to keep the other fingers as rigid as possible while you are pressing down. Don’t curl your hand while you’re doing this make sure it is flat. You can also use the thumb.
For children, their joints may be less rigid than ours, so it’s important to make sure they don’t over do this.
Tennis Ball Squeeze
A tennis ball is excellent for warming up your hand. Take the tennis ball in your fretting hand and beginning to squeeze it. You want to do this several times. you may feel a little bit of pain while doing this, but this is fine. Relax your hand and try again.
You can help you child with this – if a tennis ball is too large, try to use a juggling ball or something smaller that is still squeezable to help them warm up.
Fretboard Walk Up
One exercise my guitar teacher taught me an exercise called the fretboard walk. Here is how this works. Place your first finger on the first fret of the six-string or the thick “E” string. Play that note and then put your second finger on the second fret and play that note. Next, put your third finger on the third fret and play that note. Next, put your fourth finger on the 4th fret and play that note.
1st finger 1st fret
2nd finger 2nd fret
3rd finger 3rd fret
4th finger 4th fret
Now do the same thing for each of the other strings. Play each note until you’ve gone across all six strings. You can then go back again starting on the 4th fret with your pinky.
Stop if you feel hand pain and relax. Never play with pain.
If your child ever complains about pain – make sure your child’s guitar teacher can check over their technique to ensure no long term damage is happening.
Another way to warm up your hand is to take a scale you know and to play that several times. For example, take the pentatonic scale which you may already know and play that up and down several times. You don’t have to play the scale in a musical fashion. play it back and forth several times until you feel it in your hand. This gets your hand working and warmed up so you can play more complex things.
If your hand is sore during warmup. Shake it out a few times.
If your child doesn’t know any scales yet, they can warm up by playing a simple melody first before playing full chords.
Try a few of these exercises before you start your full practice session. It’s important to warm up your hands before you play. You want them to be limber and you want to get the blood flowing. You will reduce the chances of injuries or hand pain if you have a proper warm-up before practice.