HomeForumsGuitar InstructorsSpeed Kills 1 Warm up fingers 3 & 4

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  j dogg39 3 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #4098


    Does this exercise ever get easier? I have to stop numerous times before I reach the 12th fret and get a lot of cramping on the pinky side of my palm. Normal? Does it get easier? Or am I doing something wrong?

  • #4103


    That means you are using muscles you don’t usually use (this is good because the pinky needs to get into the game) Just like any exercise it gets easier and your speed will take off as soon as your muscle memory gets ingrained.  Keep it up, this is awesome


  • #4109

    Sarah Spisak

    Try slowing down and be sure that you are relaxed. Cramping is a sign of overexertion and there is no “heavy lifting” in pressing these little strings a short distance to the fretboard. 🙂

  • #4386


    Thanks for the tips. I’m sticking with it and focusing on relaxing more – something I seem to have a little trouble with 🙂

  • #22271


    I have been doing the Speed Kills 1 warmup series ‘every day’ since 06/09/2017, without metronome, with tempo approximately 40 BPM to 60 BPM (some days I decide to do the warmup slower or faster), each exercise I start at 12th fret and move it towards the nut and then at the nut I repeat from the nut all the way down the neck to 24th fret. When I first started these exercises it was more like approx 20 BPM, very very slow was my max, I had to stop to rest during each exercise many times throughout, had cramping/shooting pain on the pinky side of the palm, tons of burning in the thumb (** none of these effects lasted for more than 10 mins after stopping playing), after several weeks I finally got a little faster to the “not so incredibly annoying to do” 40-50 BPM range and am able to continue the complete exercise. The entire warmup takes approx 25-35 minutes depending on tempo and if I repeat exercises over some parts of the neck. Today is 09/07/2017 so that means I have been doing SK1 every day for almost 3 months (almost 90 days) continuous.

    My fingers still get really tired.

    I still have to stop for a half-minute after an exercise especially when it uses the pinky (more especially for the final warmup fingers 3 & 4) and especially when I go at faster tempo. My fingers (and forearm) feels tired/burn and I need at least a few seconds to recover. Regardless of whether I really try focusing on “relax those fingers” or various “pull back with arm not so much press with fingers” muscle action or not.

    It seems to me that this is strange but I don’t know.

    * ‘every day’ means 6 days a week, sometimes 7 days a week, typically first thing in the morning before breakfast, notated in my practice log, in the following practice order:

    – Doug’s warmup (0213….) ; no metronome
    – SK1 warmups (finger order as given… 12, 13, 14, etc) ; no metronome
    – Doug’s/SK1 chromatic warmup (1234) ; no metronome
    Total time for this is approx 40 mins.
    – Initial warmup done, then typically continue other SK1/Doug scale exercises; no metronome
    – Then work on specific difficult solo measures with or without metronome

    ** when I say, the shooting pain thru the side of the palm or thru the thumb muscle was only while playing or for maybe 10 minutes after playing, the first few weeks when I first started these exercises, my fretting hand especially pinky was basically worn out for half a day after the warmup, pretty much like doing weight lifting then unable to do much lifting with those same muscles for several hours afterwards. Not to be confused with real injury or inflammation, as far as I can tell, it seems more like a ‘need recovery time’ muscle limitation. Although this is better now, it still isn’t completely resolved, i.e. the warmup still really wears out my fretting hand.

    The warmups seem to improve my playing for later in the day, for sure, compared to those times when I start playing songs without doing the warmups first, or only doing half of them (doing all of them is also better than doing only half of them).

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22616


    Update at end of October. Doing SK1 since 06/09/2017 which now means 141 calendar days. Practicing 5-6 days a week which means between 100 to 120 practice days. Probably since the past 6 weeks, I do the full warmup twice, if time allows for it. Currently I can do the entire warmup series comfortably nonstop at 80 BPM (16th notes) and the palm burning when doing the pinky stuff is gone. Altho the burning has now moved to a tiny line straight up the outside of my forearm. Which I guess is one of the pinky muscles. Usually I do the warmup at about 50 BPM without a metronome. My pinky has nearly caught up to the rest of my fingers in speed altho it is still dragging behind a little bit. (Note my max “attempting to shred” playing speed is currently about 100-110 BPM 16th notes)

    Anyway I can say that the burning finally stops but it takes a while. A really really long while.

    My current idea is like this: it’s kind of like hamstring leg stretches. I’m pretty sure whatever body parts are moving my fingers around, or making them fly when unused, has finally started stretching out. Doing a hamstring stretch (especially for guys) is always really rough at first or after a long time of not exercising. In yoga class it’s frequent to see another guy who can’t straighten his legs at all and the max stretch is more like a triangle than a straight leg. That work gets nowhere unless doing it gently every day for many minutes. More time in a gentle way makes faster body improvement on that type of anatomy. That guy with ridiculously tight hamstrings gets no improvement unless the exercise is done 5x per week for days on end, or maybe forever. A couple of rest days are good.

    I wonder for the guys here who have inflammation problems with playing, if doing SK1 at ridiculously slow speeds for several months, could allow for some good preventative anatomy changes.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22617

    j dogg39

    Keep with it and try to relax. In 3 months I went from 64bpm to 92bpm doing in clean from first fret to twelfth. You are using muscles you don’t normally use so use must take it slow and make sure both hands are syncing up. My playing is getting much faster. Also, pay attention to the tremolo picking exercise and do it often with each finger and in different positions on the fretboard. Just my two cents……keep rockin, you can do it!

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