What are some of the ways in which guitarists warm up before shows? Most guitarists don't actually have any particularly strange warm ups, with most focused on warming up their fingers and jamming with the rest of the band. Pre-show rituals for guitarists can also be as simple as jumping up and down and shouting to get the blood pumping. However, there are cases where guitarists' backstage warm ups take on their own quirks, stories and connections that help to explain their success and approach to their music. These warm ups include:
In the late 1970s, Van Halen's guitar warm up revolved around playing elaborate solos and scales that were closer to instrumental pieces than being part of a band's set. One of these recurring riffs was noticed, and Van Halen was persuaded to expand it to an entire song, which became Van Halen's 1978 hit 'Eruption'.
While on tour, guitarist Kirk Hammett and Metallica tend to use a soundproof room to jam before going on stage. The room acts as a way for the band to joke around and sharpen up any last minute changes prior to a show.
The Pink Floyd guitarist has explained his 1970s warm up rituals as showing his debt to the influence of Deep Purple, with two of his most frequent songs being 'Hush' and 'Kentucky Woman'.
The Offspring guitarist uses a combination of finger exercises and chords with a habit of annoying the rest of the band with endless renditions of 'Stairway to Heaven' and 'Sweet Child of Mine'.
The Dream Theater guitarist developed a warm up technique that was focused on strengthening his hand muscles before a gig. This would involve elaborate speed exercises that could warm up his hand movements across the fret, and were crucial to his performance style.
The former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist tended to jam on an orange Fender Jaguar, specially designed for this purpose, before shows. Frusciante and bassist Flea also experimented with running through strange time signatures to get into sync.
Keith Richards' warm up routine in the 1960s reportedly included dramatic windmill motions with his arms, which was noticed and emulated by Pete Townshend of The Who.
Satriani's backstage routine consists of a diagonal chord relay, where he switches chords, pulls strings and speeds through different changes as a way of warming up his fingers and working through as many scales as possible.
The Slipknot guitarist and the rest of his band are challenged for warm ups, insomuch as they have to spend a lot of time preparing their costumes, and working through group changes. One of the examples of a large band warming up collectively.
Machine Head's lead guitarist and vocalist pumps himself up before a performance by jumping around and screaming 5 to 10 minutes before a performance, while lubricating his throat with vodka and coke. A quick practice on the guitar a few minutes before the show completes his warm up.
Rob James is a heavy metal bass guitar player who enjoys helping others to learn guitar online. He styles his rifts to sound like Sentenced bass guitarist Sami Kukkohovi.
Rob likes to listen to As I Lay Dying, Animals As Leaders, Emmure, Beneath The Massacre, and As Blood Runs Black.
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