Guitar Essentials: Warm Up Your Hands Like a Pro | VIDEO

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Periphery’s music is complex and demanding to play. So you can be sure that guitarists Misha Mansoor, Jake Bowen and Mark Holcomb prepare for performance with some hand exercises to not only help them play better but also reduce the risk of injury.

In the video below, Holcomb shares his unique approach to getting his hands warmed up and ready for action.

“The most important thing for me is my left hand,” he tells Alternative Press. “I have quite long fingers and I tend to use them for bigger extended chords.

“As opposed to doing more focused practice—which is valuable—I do the exact opposite. I just sit there and mime different chord shapes I know I’m gonna be playing. I have some trouble spots and I will always focus on them.

“If a chord is giving me trouble, I’ll have that chord picked out of my mind and I’ll sit there and mime it. I won’t even play through it, nor will I be plugged in.”

As for his right hand, Holcomb will use a standard chromatic exercise consisting of four notes and add or subtract one note—“basically make it an odd number,” he says.

“We have a lot of awkwardly-timed passages in our music that require you to be on top of a rhythm or polyrhythm that happens over a 4/4 groove. Being comfortable with an odd meter is always helpful when playing our music.”

Holcomb shows and tells all in the video below.