What a great title for a thread! (poem, article, etcetera) I feel that way about many things, certainly wrt consistency of practicing - frequency and time spent. I was more disciplined when younger, for sure. Maybe some folks get better at that but I can't say I have!
I do try to be consistent with 'default' fingerings for chords and the overall fingerings I arrive at for any given piece - though they may need to deviate in other places/tunes. Eg, my 1st position G in DAD tuning, 3-1-0, or the flip of that, 0-1-3, I always do with index on 3 and ring on 1 of the middle string, which is probably a common fingering for that one. Main point w consistency of fingering is having set patterns that become automatic and therefore smoother. I want to try to avoid micro-second slow-downs while my brain is deciding 'which finger??'
As to warm-ups - good question/topic! Running through the scales is always good, and I second Dusty's suggestion of arpeggio's: the notes of a scale that make specific chords, like the d-arpeggio, 0 - 2 - 4 - 7- 4 - 2 - 0, on either bass or melody d-strings; d-arpeg on the middle is 0 - 3 - 5 - 7 - 10 and back again (important!). [Chord tonics/names highlighted.] One G-arpeggio in DAD could be 0 - 3 - 5 - 7 - 10 and back down again on melody or bass d string. Here too, develop a consistent fingering choice/pattern. Can you find an arpeggio going across the strings - first on bass, then middle, then melody, and back?? They are there!
I have a chord-melody warm up I do, especially when rusty. I have tab for it somewhere, but it's this, w scale highlighted:
0-0-0 (D), 1-0-1 (A), 0-0-2 (D), 0-1-3 (G), 0-0-4 or 2-3-4 (D), 3-3-5 (G), 4-4-6+ (A), 0-5-7 (D) and back again. Invert to bass.
Lastly, doing a couple familiar pieces, always. Perhaps choose one or two 'touchstone' pieces you play every time you sit down. (Prediction: You'll get really good at these and they will become 'fallback' or 'in the bag to pull out' pieces.)
I suggest slower-than-performing speed - you are warming up. It's "just" warm up but I say do it well, not sloppy!
More important than people may realize: Since they're familiar - as the patterns above will become - play without tab as much as possible - so you can watch your fingers! This is how to improve technique.
Make sure your fingers are doing what you want them to! (think of them like kids!) You need to make an eye-finger connection for your brain, that it will use when you inevitably need to look elsewhere (sing, etc) while you're playing. Get away from the tab as soon as you can, even if you make more mistakes initially. It's one step back, two steps forward, I guarantee!
O course that doesn't apply strictly to beginners who need more visual reminders, but as you play more, don't remain stuck on 'the paper.' Even for beginners, very simple patterns 0-1-2-3-2-1-0 shouldn't need to be read after the first time or two.
I see there's overlap here between warm-up and practice, but I guess that's the point: Stuff you can consistently do to get you going!
Sorry, I tend to be wordy, but all of the above ends up actually being just 3 or 4 to 10 minutes, max! You can do it!
updated by @leo-kretzner: 10/05/20 09:49:06PM