Warm-up VS Technique Routine in Music Practice

Technique Warm-up VS Technique Routine Practice in Music and Classical Guitar. This is a small lesson clarifying the difference between a technique warm-up and routine since I get so many emails using the two terms interchangeably. I consider these very different things.

Technique Warm-Up – A short amount of essential techniques to warm-up the muscles, focus the mind, and recall accurate muscle-memory. My warm-up routine is only 5 mins and includes scales or melodic exercises, arpeggios, slurs, stretch, finger independence, and barre. It’s super brief so I can do it and then go on stage or record. If I have more time backstage I can repeat the warm-up until I get called to perform.

Technique Routine to Practice – A large amount of exercises for maintenance and improvement of technique. All the techniques required to play are in there but also auxiliary material for my weak areas that need more work or for something specific I need for repertoire. For example, if I’m playing a tremolo piece, I’ll add every tremolo exercise I can find in all the books in my library. So it’s quite different than the warm-up. It’s more engaging and thoughtful to my long and short term progress.

Everyone’s Warm-up and technique routine will be slightly different due to level and personal improvement goals. For many beginner students I mainly push melodic exercises, scales, and right hand pattern exercises for a warmup. They won’t start slurs until grade 1 or 2 and barre is not until grade 3. There are many variables but the five main intermediate techniques are scales, arpeggios, slurs, stretch/independence, and barre. If I’m playing a piece with a specific technique I might include that as well (for example, tremolo or harmonics etc). Plus, for variety I change the exercises regularly but still get in all the five main techniques mentioned. But as long as you get some of those five main techniques in there you’re doing well.

Need a technique book and practice routines? If you are looking for organized technique exercises you might check out my full technique book with a variety of scales and exercises from beginner to advanced levels.

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