Class Guitar—Content Rich Warm-upsby Alan Hirsh
- After securing p on (4), students play dyad patterns (on adjacent strings) with i-m free stroke, emphasizing the follow through of all the fingers and uniform direction of joints. Left-hand patterns are not read by the student; rather, called out by the teacher (note names and possibly string/finger numbers) requiring students to visualize shapes before playing.
- Students play a loop of two or more dyads shapes: 8-, 6-, or 4-per dyad and when secure, 2-, and then 1-per dyad.
- Students play first on string set (3) & (2), then (2) & (1), and finally patterns that alternate between both string sets. Following is a suggested list of possible dyad patterns that excercise a variety of left-hand finger independence.
Other warm-up applications could be created to develop coordination for an upcoming piece. For example, consider a left-hand challenge in Music Box, p. 54 from the Shearer Method Book I where fingers 1 & 2 remain during a right-hand string crossing.
Extract and isolate the challenge as:
Music Box, mm. 3-4
Adding rich chordal strumming helps to make this repetition more enjoyable to the student, accomplishing the goals of the warm-up, while making it feel like a jam session.