Playing through a scale is a great way to warm up your fingers before going into an intense practice session or playing a gig. Today we’re going to look at a simple warmup sequence using the Mixolydian mode, the fifth mode of the Major scale.
You can play this warmup sequence across 6, 7 or 8 strings or extend it further if you have more.
Warming up is very important, especially if you are going to be playing fast, complex or intense riffs. The last thing you want is to strain the ligaments in your hand during practice. Warming up helps prevent repetitive strain injuries and the dreaded condition of carpal tunnel syndrome.
You can start on any fret on your lowest string, I usually start from the 7th fret. I find my fingers don’t have to stretch too much but are also not too close together at this position. This means my hand isn’t too tense when I first start to play
We’re going to play a “backtracking” sequence. Basically we will play up the scale, then back down and then up a bit further.
Starting on the lowest string play the first 3 notes. Starting from fret 7 this would be 7, 9, 11.
On the next string we will play 7, 11, 9, 7. Note the order of the notes has reversed. We then go back to the previous string and play 11, 9, 7, 9, 11.
Now the sequence starts over again but starting from the next string.
Once you get to the highest string, play 9, 11, 13, 9, 14. This gives us 4 notes on this string. Then we descend the whole thing in order – 14, 13, 11, 9 then descend to the next string and play 12, 11, 9 and so on.
At the end when you get back to the 7th fret of the lowest string you can move back a whole tone to the 5th fret and then play the 7th again to end.
Remember to start off slowly. As your fingers start to warm up you can begin to play through the sequence more quickly. Not only will this sequence warm you up it will also help your Picking/Fretting hand coordination!
You can apply the same sequence to the other modes and scales too.
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