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When you first pick up your guitar, do you . . .

Messages
17,931
...notice that your picking abilities are somewhat "off?" I seem to struggle with synchonization at the very beginning, and CAN'T play the difficult material, at all. But after ten minutes, I suddenly "jump into gear" and can then play difficult leads much better, with much less effort. Like my hands subconsciously know what to do and I can't tell them.

I understand warming up slowly, and that seems to be a big part of it. But I'm talking about your picking hand being like a being from Venus - as if it isn't your hand until - you reach that point of effortless synchronization.

I wonder if the great shredders also have a period of "suck" when they first pick up a guitar - before they are themselves? Or do you think they can always play any difficult material the very first second they pick up the guitar?

Thoughts?
 

buddyboy69

Member
Messages
5,061
Yes.......if i dont warm up before a rehersal or a gig it usually takes a couple of tunes to get back up to speed.
 

RBfan

Member
Messages
637
Yeah, I have - wonder why the hell that is?! I often start with simple finger-style stuff to get the blood flowing a little, then grab a pick. But, yeah, picking is very sluggish at 1st, almost like I've never played before & I have to consciously 'aim' the pick.

Goes away pretty fast, but it is odd.

T
 

Der JD

Member
Messages
378
I have the same problem. Glad to hear that it's not just me. Sometimes takes up to 30 min. before I really feel back to "normal".

Also, the effect is more pronounced if I'm tired.
 

Hwy14

Member
Messages
2,167
I use a Thumb pick and three fingers, and I spend 10 minutes warming up before paying anything of consequence. Otherwise it takes a while to get comfortable. Usually I get irritated if my RH fingers are clunking along, so it's just easier to make warm up a part of my regime.
 

Johnny2013

Member
Messages
849
Yes, this happens to me every time. I try to play a few very familiar songs to warm up but often stumble on them in this warm up period.
 

LoneWolfe

Member
Messages
2
I also am the same way, now I know I'm not an odd-ball. It takes me 5-20 mins on average where I go to play and I find myself thinking, "just how long has it been since I played last?" Since my hand is like picking horribly and I can't even pick the simplest notes or chords. After a moment though I get back into it and don't have to look down to pick.
 

bob-i

Member
Messages
8,763
I've been playing over 50 years, there are times when I pick up a guitar and wonder how I ever got my hands to work together. 10 minutes of warmup and I'm fine.
 
Messages
15,738
I need a bit of warmup too when I pick up a guitar. Oddly enough when I arrive at church orchestra rehearsal, I can jump right in with my viola. But I think it helps a LOT that I'm rarely asked to play challenging music on the viola - ok, last Sunday the Mozart Alleluia was a bit of a PITA.
 
Messages
17,931
Somebody call Yngwie.
We wanna know if he is like us when he hasn't warmed-up (for a few fleeting seconds, if nothing else!)
:D
 

Sheherezadeh

Member
Messages
1,049
I never used to notice this being a problem in my teens and early 20s. Of course, my dexterity in general was less back then, and I haven't started playing out regularly until the last year or so. But now I worry more and always warm up for a few minutes before I try anything tricky these days.
 

monty

Member
Messages
23,772
I def. need to warm up. I find I play better if i warm up first, even better than after I played for a while without warming up.
 

stevel

Member
Messages
15,207
From Venus? No. Never (knocking on wood).

It takes both hands (and the mind, and the body, and the soul, which IMHO are all important) a bit of time to warm up but they are never unsychronized to the point where one hand is "out there".

Now, I do sometimes pick it up and just can't seem to focus and will do stuff like go to play a C and realize I'm one fret higher than I should be - but that's pretty rare (knocking furiously on wood).

Lately though, I have noticed that focus is becoming a more important aspect for me. I've known for decades that classical players have to get into a "zone". I know I've had "on" and "off" nights. More off than on usually.

Distractions, playing in new venues, life crises, people who yell at you to turn it down before you even start - those kinds of things can take you off your focus and it can take me an entire set just to get back in the right frame of mind to perform "OK"

But as far as picking up the guitar to practice or play, no, usually just start playing.

Steve
 




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