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Watch the Warm Up Exercises online guitar lesson by Johnny Hiland from Ten Gallon Guitar

One thing that guitar players never really talk about is how to stretch and prepare to actually play their guitar. This is something I feel is very important to cover, because for years and years I did not ever stretch. So I felt it necessary and I want to show you what I do when I’m warming up. The first thing is try to make sure that you don’t wear a big clunky watch. I’m a huge Invicta watch fan. This is an Invicta Venom and it’s a heavy watch. I try to take off my watch before I play.

Now, we are going to hold our hands and squeeze and wake them up a little. Then I stick one arm out in front of me and grab my fingers (as they are out straight) and pull down. You can feel all the muscles in the forearm stretch a bit and it should feel very good. If you are in pain then you have more stretching to do, so just hold it there a minute. Then pull your fingers back towards you. Those are two stretching exercises that I love to do. Trust me, if you have ever experienced trigger fingers or anything that could go wrong with your fingers and you realize that it could have been prevented with just a simple thing like stretching (which you failed to do over the years) it becomes a very important thing. I hope you take my advice and stretch. The other thing I like to do is hold my arm out and squeeze on the forearm (you’ll feel your hand want to come in towards you). What you want to do is just is flex your fingers every time you push in on your forearm. This helps move all the tendons and gets everything in your hands moving. I do this before every show. Just do this until it starts to feel good and your arms start to loosen up a bit. A lot of people crack their fingers, but I don’t recommend doing that – something it does just happen naturally.

Now that we’ve stretched, it’s time we grab the guitar!