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As with any physical skill — sports, yoga or even getting out of bed — don’t expect to hit the ground running without stretching, flexing or a strong cup of coffee. This habit also applies to playing guitar. By taking a few minutes to warm up, you'll get blood flowing to your fingers, hands and arms, increase your flexibility and help to prevent injuries.

Here's an easy three-minute warmup: All you need to do is play the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th frets on each string.

Staying on the 1st string (high E), play the 1st fret with your 1st finger, then the 2nd fret with your 2nd finger, 3rd fret with your 3rd finger, and finally the 4th fret with your pinky. Play the same pattern on each string.

There are many joints, muscles and tendons involved in playing guitar. Getting them all working in motion takes mental energy and concentration. A warm-up routine focuses your attention, which improves accuracy and coordination, making it easier to improve and play well.

Here's a great warm-up exercise to try from Fender Play. If you're not a member yet, get started with a free trial.

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