Thanks to Michael Joyce for these lessons. The exercises found in 20 Warm Up Exercises evolved during the 1980's. I was having more and more problems with my new live-in, Arthur Itis. There was no conscious effort to write a routine. My goals were to use an interesting chord progression that could be easily learned and put into subconscious memory to facilitate the concentration on the right hand. None of these exercises are cast in concrete. I encourage you to create your on favorite chord progressions and practice these exercises. Also, especially with Exercises 17 and 18, improvise your own melodies.
TIP OF THE WEEK PAY EXTREME ATTENTION WHEN YOU PRACTICE The relative state of tension or relaxation in the muscles is one of the hardest things to be aware of, I once saw a person play with so much tension in her right shoulder that it was up to her earlobe! Always trying to be helpful, I pointed this out to her when she finished. As she let her shoulder down a few inches to it's normal position, she told me I was wrong, she wasn't tense, but very relaxed! The reason she felt this way is because we very quickly become used to whatever we experience, and consider it normal. We never question whatever tensions we experience in learning new skills on the guitar, and in fact consider it part of the doing of it. And it often is, but it doesn't have to continue to be that strenuous. We can learn to do the movements with less effort. However, when we first try something, it is often not possible to do it without a lot of excess tension. The mistake we make is that we assume the tension is inevitable, and never realize we can get to a point where we can get the result we want without all the huffing, puffing and straining. Often, more stretch or muscle development is required, which will come with a correct approach. Of course, as we continue to try the new sue, and assume the strain and effort we feel is essential in order to do what we are trying to do, that effort becomes ingrained into our approach, and creates even more strain and stress. So we have a vicious circle, which leads to frustration and bad playing. So extra tension in the muscles, which every advanced player knows is the number one cause of playing difficulty, becomes a blind spot for us. Usually we are only aware of the result of the tension, which is that mistake we just made. Often it happens we are not even aware of that, because we start to filter out those unpleasant reminders of our troubles. As you will see shortly, the correct approach to dealing with 'mistakes' caused by tension is to repeat the movement extremely slowly, with a mat focus on keeping all muscles relaxed. With each repetition, the muscles learn the relaxed way of moving to produce the result you want