Thursday, September 26, 2013

Practicing Scales On The Mandolin

I recommend the following patterns picked with Scale Sets (a scale set starts with C at the top of the circle of fifths and goes clockwise, a different set every day including the Major scale - 2 octaves with 4th finger, the Relative Minor - 2 octaves with 4th finger, the Major arpeggio - 1,3,5,8 2 octaves with 4th finger, the Relative Minor arpeggio - 1,3,5,8 2 octaves with 4th finger):
  1. whole notes (4 beats per note) down strokes only, top string
  2. whole notes (4 beats per note) up strokes only, bottom string
  3. whole notes (4 beats per note) down stroke, up stroke, down stroke, up stroke, top string, bottom string only (don't brush across strings
  4. quarter notes (4 strokes per note) down up down up, top and bottom string, don't brush
  5. 8th notes (8 strokes per note) down up single strings, no brushing
  6. 16th notes (16 strokes per note) down up etc
  7. triplets - 2 sets of triplets (6 notes) per note down up single string no brushing
set your metronome at the slowest notch the first day, and increase it by one notch each day with a different scale set It will take you 2 weeks to go around the circle of fifths (if you do a different set each day) You should be at 69 on the metronome by the end of the 2nd week
This sounds like a lot of work, but it isn't. Each set will take between 15 and 20 minutes a day. Some days I only do sets and nothing else. It's a great way to warm up and a great way to increase power in your left and right hands, increase control, increase speed and diction.

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The Sweet Music Studio provides private and group music lessons on mandolin-family instruments and violin family instruments.   Swee...