Most of the time we get so wrapped up in practising to play pieces properly that we overlook the importance of taking care of the machinery that makes all of this possible. My first blog entry was on the importance of warming up prior to playing. There is stuff that needs to be done even before the warm up routine: stretching. There are good finger stretching demos on the internet. Here is one sequence that I do every once in a while. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds.