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Thread: Tips for Learning - Beginners

  1. #51
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    Ashford, AL
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    Default Re: Tips for Learning - Beginners

    I am still relatively new to mandolin, so if this is common knowledge to everyone please forgive me, but I found it to be very useful. You actually get a two for one deal each time you learn a new Major scale. Its relative minor shares the exact same notes! Take C Major for example, its relative minor is A minor. So in your first position C Major scale starting on the 5th fret of the G string is C. You progress the the scale CDEFGABC. A minor contains ABCDEFGA. So you can back up 3 frets towards the nut on the G string and there is A at fret 2. B is at fret 4. Fret 5 is C. Then run through your C scale pattern you already know stopping on the open A string and you have A minor scale. Another way of saying it would be to start the C Major scale on the 6th note which is A and end on the 6th note of the C Major scale.
    I tried to include a pic for clarification. If you can wrap your mind around what I have tried to explained the task seems less daunting. And it works for pentatonics and blues scales. That's how studying the theory part of all this helped me. it's getting late here. Hope it helps out. YMMV lol.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #52

    Default Re: Tips for Learning - Beginners

    The advice that hasn't been said is to make exercises out of trouble spots. If you struggle with a certain passage in a song or tune, figure out where the problem measure or two are and turn that into an exercise. Loop it and practice it with a metronome until it's smooth. If you don't iron out the wrinkles you'll make those wrinkles permanent.

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  4. #53

    Default Re: Tips for Learning - Beginners

    One of the things I've struggled with is scales with no open notes. The size of my hands necessitates a shift both up and down the scale pattern. I see video clips with larger hands just falling on the notes. The key is practicing these scales twice as much with a metronome. My goal is always working on the weakest link. I've seen a lot of people slowing the tempo, maybe unconsciously, on troublesome passages, when you should be playing everything at the tempo that allows the cleanest playing throughout. This is why the metronome is so valuable.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  5. #54

    Default Re: Tips for Learning - Beginners

    When playing ffcp scales, always startup up the fingerboard,as high as the 12th fret for the highest G scale and work down toward the nut. For me, Bb starting on the middle finger is the hardest scale. Go slowly and keep your fingers down. It’ll take a while but it’s a good exercise.

    I’m starting over with that on my long scale Mando, 1 inch over normal. Btw, my short, fat hand is slightly shorter than Jack Nicklaus, as recorded in one of his instruction books. But my left hand opens about 5/8” more than my right.
    Play it like you mean it.

  6. #55

    Default Re: Tips for Learning - Beginners

    One other thing to focus on is to try to get the same tone on your up strokes as your down strokes. Scales are great for this, and try to develop the good habit of playing in the sweet spot up by the neck. I had a tendency to wonder toward the bridge until I got an arm rest. The angle works for me. This thread just reminds me of how much you have to pay attention to what you are doing.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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