Nate shows you a variation on a great John Petrucci warm up exercise from the book Rock Discipline. This exercise focuses on string skipping, alternate picking, stretch, finger independence, and finger dexterity control. If you only have a few minutes to warm up before playing guitar, this is a great choice for a warm up as it hits so many different areas of fret hand and pick hand technique all at once.
- Start by learning the fret hand tabs, and use downstrokes only until you get the hang of it – then incorporate the alternate picking. The fret hand pattern is confusing enough that trying to incorporate everything at once might be a bit overwhelming. Get the fret hand down first, and then work in the alternate picking.
- Use the least amount of movement possible. Stretch the fingers across the fretboard, in a horizontal motion, rather than using the entire arm to reach the frets. Feel how each finger stretches, and the unique sensation of each of the fingers as you move them. Each of the four fingers has a different response to being stretched, as well as being moved independently of the other fingers. Get used to how each finger feels.
- Do the ascending pattern first – only do the descending pattern once you get the idea. Do this drill one small chunk at a time. Since there is so much going on at once, it is not necessary to shred the entire thing right away, as fast as you can, and in complete performance mode. Just a little bit at a time will do, as there is much value in each small pattern.
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