Live shows: How long do you take to warm up?

living room rocker

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I've never played a live show in my life and probably never will. For those of you who do, how much time do you spend warming up for your event.....5 minutes, 15, 30, none at all possibly? I'm 63, been playing 5 years and always in the comfort of my home. As for myself, it may take 20+ minutes before I'm fretting notes or sliding note to note reasonably flawless. Don't have the dexterity I had as a young man I guess. Was just curious about you experienced live show guitar players.
 

pancake81

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Good evening,

I like you am a living room rockstar, well basement anyways. But I agree, I have about 3-4 songs I like that I play along with the album, sometimes not even the whole song. Just warming up, quick chord changes, playing with tone. But I would say 15-20 and I am pretty much ready to learn my new music or jam into something at full tilt.
 

Go Nigel Go

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When I was playing out, I usually only did about 5 minutes of noodling (unplugged) to warm up my fingers. I would often do 20 minutes to a half hour of practice before leaving the house to warm up my brain and freshen up difficult passages.

There are two levels of warmup there, one for the brain and one for the fingers. The brain warmup is much more persistent though and can be done several hours before the show. The fingers warm up pretty quickly and can be done right before you take the stage. Sound check is usually more than enough warm up for the fingers Be aware that the audience will have little patience for noodling, so warming up unplugged or in private is the professional thing to do. :smile:
 
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Go Nigel Go

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One other side note for live shows, the first couple of songs should be pieces you know so well you can literally play them in your sleep. My last band we made the mistake of leading off a show with "That's Alright Momma" (the Elvis Presley cover) which was a new song for us as a band because the drummer was excited to sing it. I thought that even though we had just dusted that old chestnut off once in the previous rehearsal, it went pretty well and was simple enough to take the chance. It was a mistake and we f###ed it up pretty good. Lead off with stuff you can ALL remember without effort so you can spare some attention on any little mental, physical, and equipment issues that inevitably crop up in the beginning of the first set.
 
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Bad Penguin

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Used to practice the gig the night before, then during the day of the gig, practiced the intros and outros of the songs. Always found endings to be hardest.
 

TheDixiePig

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10-15 minutes tops right before hitting the stage. 1-2 beers in the hour before show time to lubricate my aging joints. My band plays all originals, and we arrange the set list so the two first songs are bangers that always go over well. I gotta be on my A game right out of the gate.
 

Bob Womack

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Live: I might do a couple of minutes of running lead scales. I got in the habit of making the first song a slide song so that it didn't require fingers on frets, then I would switch over to fretting.
Studio: Money is time is money. As long as I'm not starting with leads I'm usually expected to just dive in. Like I said of live, if I'm going right into lead I'll run a few scales and do a couple of bends and then game on.

Bob
 


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