View Full Version : Need Advice on a Tough Measure

Jun-08-2004, 7:18am
How would you play this measure (see attachment)? #In particular, I'm wondering how you'd handle the A# --> F#. #I'm having trouble jumping my index finger from one to the other. #I can DO it, but it's very staccato and sounds bad. #I'd use my middle finger for the F#, but the next note is C# and I'd have to make the same kind of jump I'm making with my index finger. #Is there a clever way around this, or do I just need to keep working on the index finger jump?

Edit: Whoops, forgot to indicate it's in G major. No wait...whatever key it is that has F and C sharped. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Jun-08-2004, 7:35am
Third position:
F#: 3rd finger (A string)
E: 2nd finger (A string)
G#: 1st finger (D string)
A#: 3rd finger (D string)
F#: 4th finger (A string)
C#: 1st finger (A string — 2nd position)

Jim Garber
Jun-08-2004, 7:38am
You are in D major or B minor. Please bear in mind that I am not a strictly classical player.

I would finger it as below. Personally I would prefer using the fourth finger (as opposed to open) on the e. For some reason that makes it smoother to get to the g#. I would not jump the index finger but use what I think is called half-position. I am treating these as arpeggios/chord forms.

I indicated a pick direction that works for me, but others may have other suggestions. It also depends on where this melody is going in the next measure or so and also what effect you arre going for in terms of phrasing.


Jun-08-2004, 7:47am
Jim, I like your approach, but here's the thing...the next measure starts with a D, so I'd have to jump my 3rd finger up one fret. #However...that would be a lot easier than jumping a whole string. #Hmm...I'll give that a try and see how it works.

Vkioulaphides, I don't know anything outside of 1st position. #I usually steer clear of songs that force you out of it. #Yes, I'm a coward...


Jun-08-2004, 7:51am
Be brave, Jeff, be brave! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Of COURSE the next note is D! (Typical resolution in B-minor)

Fear not! Positions are good, good... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

For starters, please disregard my academic designation of numbered positions and just try out the fingering, one finger at a time. The legato will certainly be superior to fingering patterns that need many, unnecessary string-crossings.

Remember: Positions are your friends, good, good... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jim Garber
Jun-08-2004, 8:03am
I heard that D note coming also. It is the logical next note. In my fingering just slide the thrid finger up and you are back in 1st position.

Yes, as Victor says, positions are your friends. It is also interesting to try out the same melody using different positions. Some are actually easier that remaining in 1st. Also they may give you a different feel and different phrasing. It also allows for more even wear inb your frets. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif


Jun-08-2004, 8:33am
I don't even know where to start with the different positions. I've been toying with the idea of finding a teacher to help develop playing in keys outside the standard handful and also how to play in different positions.

But anyway, thanks for the help. I'll try sliding the 3rd finger up and see how that works.

Jun-08-2004, 8:38am
Jeff, starting is easy: Just get any old, introductory pedagogical text for the violin; it will surely discuss the positions, which are immediately transferable to the mandolin— same tuning, same (roughly) scale, same fingerings.

So, think "easy": Go to your neighborhood music store; get "The ABC of the Violin" http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif or any other text with a similar title and scope; the rest will be taken care of.

Best of luck!



Jun-08-2004, 11:13am
Jeff, did you happen to copy the Ellis method I had let you borrow? On page 5 you will find the "Complete Fingerboard for the Mandoline" with every note and positions to 7th clearly labeled. Spend a little time simply reading in 3rd, and I suspect you'll find it's no harder than reading in 1st.