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Thread: Finger exercises ?

  1. #1

    Default Finger exercises ?

    Hi, I've been self learning mandolin for a few weeks now. I'm making progress in most aspects but I feel like my left hand fingers are still quite far from being agile enough. I have an especially hard time decoupling my middle and ring finger.

    I'm currently using Exploring Classical Mandolin by August Watters which I like a lot but I'm not able to play some parts purely because my fingers are not agile.

    Could you recommend any resources that could help me work on that ? Some special scale exercises maybe, youtube videos, books even ?

    Thanks !

  2. #2
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger exercises ?

    Nothing special is needed. Just play and be patient. Trust me.

    (But you'll soon get lots of other advice.)
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Finger exercises ?

    So many resources out there, but here's one from Tony Rice which helps tremendously

    Play the same note, same string, same fret, but with a diff finger each time.

    Do it repetitively, increasing the speed.

  4. #4
    Registered User mmuussiiccaall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger exercises ?

    Here's the "nuclear" option, it's for bass but works just as well for mando.

    https://www.halleonard.com/product/6...pdated-edition

  5. #5
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger exercises ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Philphool View Post
    Nothing special is needed. Just play and be patient. Trust me.

    (But you'll soon get lots of other advice.)
    I agree with Philphool. And I think it is as much a mind thing as it is a physical agility thing. In the meantime, come visit the Newbies Social Group, where we, if nothing else, help each other maintain our patience.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

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  7. #6

    Default Re: Finger exercises ?

    Mike Marshall Finger Busters is a great warm up. I think it may focus slightly more on the right hand there is plenty of work for the left.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Finger exercises ?

    Metronome is kinda special.
    FFcP in slow motion can get those fingers flowing.
    Check out jazzmando.com

    Actually I’m looking as well, but for Octave mandolin video finger exercises.

  9. #8
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger exercises ?

    Maybe just me, but when I had been playing mandolin "for a few weeks", I was doing well to remember which side of the mandolin was the front. Worrying about specific exercises before just getting used to the normal movements involved in a new instrument sounds like a good way to become more frustrated (or a good way to feed our OCD).

    It's pretty amazing to see how different things look and work after 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years.
    I'm not opposed to using specific exercises to develop some aspects of technique; I only question how early in the quest it is the best thing to worry about.

    Meanwhile, have fun; play with others ASAP.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

  10. #9

    Default Re: Finger exercises ?

    When I first was learning guitar many years ago I found an exercise that helped me. Fast forward to about 6 years ago when I first picked up the mandolin and I did the same exercise and it helped with the mandolin a lot. I have all of my private guitar students do it and it really helps them, too.

    Have your hand in position for the first finger to be on fret one on the E course of strings, then slowly down-pick with the string open, then plant the 1st finger as you up-pick, then plant the 2nd finger on the 2nd fret as you down-pick, then plant the 3rd finger on the 3rd fret as you up-pick, then plant the 4th finger on the 4th fret as you down-pick, and keep the tempo going as you remove each finger as you pick. Repeat many times. As the days go by, gradually increase the speed of the exercise.

    This exercise serves several purposes: 1) it forces complete LH finger independent motion; 2) it gets you thinking about coordinating
    the picking with the LH finger placement; 3) as the speed increases the coordination between the hands gets better and better.

  11. #10
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
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    Default Re: Finger exercises ?

    Yeah …. be patient, warm up with scales and the accompanying chords within a given key then work on your songs or tunes. It take time to get your brain and fingers organized. Keep checking your technique. It's worth the time invested. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  12. #11

    Default Re: Finger exercises ?

    I'm going to recommend a classic, and a free one to boot.

    The Calace Method for Mandolin, parts 1 through 6

    I promise that you'll get more than your money's worth.

    Quote Originally Posted by atsunrise View Post
    Actually I’m looking as well, but for Octave mandolin video finger exercises.
    Not video, but I've had success learning from books on shifting and playing for violin (for mandolin) and viola (for mandola). Those exercises got me away from thinking purely in first position.

  13. #12
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger exercises ?

    Okay. If you really want to do something helpful, I'll recommend the four finger closed position exercises.

    (oops, I just noticed that atsunrise has already recommended this.)
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

  14. #13

    Default Re: Finger exercises ?

    Thanks for the replies, I'll try a bit of everything and see what works best for me.

  15. #14

    Default Re: Finger exercises ?

    Whatever you do, start up the neck and work toward the nut. You can get hurt being over zealous.

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