Warm Up Exercises Part 2

I'm already adding Part 2 and, just as before, there will probably be more to come. If you missed the first part, you can find it here: Warm Up Exercises Part 1

Here are a few more patterns to practice for warming up.

Linear Patterns

Legato Ascending Pattern

I learned this pattern from some video I saw with Joe Satriani where he was talking about working on legato technique. This is good both for legato lines and for working on the extension between your index and middle fingers on your left had as you should play each triplet with fingerings 1-2-4. Pick only the first note and then hammer on the next two until you change strings, then pick again.

e|-------------------------|--------------------1h3h5-|
B|-------------------------|--------------1h3h5-------|
G|-------------------1h3h5-|-------1h3h5--------------|
D|-------------1h3h5-------|-1h3h5--------------------|
A|-------1h3h5-------------|--------------------------|
E|-1h3h5-------------------|--------------------------|

e|-2h4h6-------------------|--------------------------|-(etc.)-|
B|-------2h4h6-------------|--------------------------|--------|
G|-------------2h4h6-------|-2h4h6--------------------|--------|
D|-------------------2h4h6-|-------2h4h6--------------|--------|
A|-------------------------|-------------2h4h6--------|--------|
E|-------------------------|-------------------2h4h6--|--------|

After you complete this 4 bar pattern, move up to the next fret, which will actually be 2 frets above where you started, and repeat the pattern. Try to be as smooth and even as possible.

Perfect Fourth Stretch Pattern

As long as we are stretching out the left hand with that legato run, let's add another stretcher. This one is meant strictly for stretching between the fingers of your left hand and it also improves independent movement among the fingers. As with the other linear patterns, you start up the neck and work your way down. However, in this case, since the frets are closer together up the neck and further apart near the nut, it actually aids in the stretch.

Play the pattern below and then move down a fret until you've reached the nut, then go the B string, G string, D string, and even the A and low E strings, if you can, as it gets much more difficult on the lower (heavier) strings. Make sure that you leave your fingers down as you play the notes. That is, your fingers shouldn't leave the frets until after you've played the fourth note in the pattern, then release your grip and start over a fret down. This will ensure a proper stretch.

e|-12-14-16-17-|-(etc.)-|
B|-------------|--------|
G|-------------|--------|
D|-------------|--------|
A|-------------|--------|
E|-------------|--------|

Again, you should be fretting each bar with fingers 1-2-3-4, skipping a fret between the 1st and 2nd, 2nd and 3rd fingers. If you can't leave your fingers down all the way keep practicing and move your thumb behind the neck, pushing your wrist and elbow forward. Lift the neck upward as though you were playing an upright bass if you need the extra help.

Linear Leap Frog Pattern

This next pattern helps develop independent left hand finger movement as well as synchronization between both hands. Play the pattern, then slide down a fret and repeat until you get to the first fret, then start over on the B string, and so on with the G, D, A, and low E strings.

e|-15-13-14-12-|-12-14-13-15-|-(etc.)-|
B|-------------|-------------|--------|
G|-------------|-------------|--------|
D|-------------|-------------|--------|
A|-------------|-------------|--------|
E|-------------|-------------|--------|

Try playing the Linear Leap Frog with staccato articulation and stay as cleans as possible.

Complex Patterns

Reverse Cascade Pattern

This pattern is like the Cascade Pattern from Part 1, except it's flipped and backwards...and inverted and also it goes the other way. After you play the 6 bar pattern, slide down a fret and repeat until you get to the nut.

e|-15----------|-------------|-------------|
B|----14-------|-15----------|-------------|
G|-------13----|----14-------|-15----------|
D|----------12-|-------13----|----14-------|
A|-------------|----------12-|-------13----|
E|-------------|-------------|----------12-|

e|-------------|-------------|----------12-|-(etc.)-|
B|-------------|----------12-|-------13----|--------|
G|----------12-|-------13----|----14-------|--------|
D|-------13----|----14-------|-15----------|--------|
A|----14-------|-15----------|-------------|--------|
E|-15----------|-------------|-------------|--------|

Just as with the Cascade Pattern, the Reverse Cascade Pattern should be articulated in different ways, such as alternate and sweet picking.

Root 6 Major 7 Arpeggio

Running scales and patterns is a good way to warm up, but they are often very linear and your fingers don't skip around much. One way to beat the linear rut and still sound musical is to practice arpeggios. This is was the first arpeggio I learned and I still use it to this day. This time you are going to start on the 3rd fret in the key of G and move up a fret after each pattern until you clear the 12th fret.

e|---------------2-|-3-2-------------|-------|-(etc.)-|
B|-------------3---|-----3-----------|-------|--------|
G|-----------4-----|-------4---------|-------|--------|
D|-------4-5-------|---------5-4-----|-------|--------|
A|---2-5-----------|-------------5-2-|-------|--------|
E|-3---------------|-----------------|-3-2-3-|--------|

Make sure you use alternate picking regardless of which strings you are skipping to. Even though you may be skipping to the next string down, if the next pick is up, you should pick up. Try it slowly and exaggerate your right hand picking to help stay with a consistent pattern if you are having trouble maintaining the alternate picking technique.

That should keep you busy with more patterns for warming up. Look for more tips and techniques to come, maybe even "Warm Up Exercises Part 3"! :)

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