Question from Mike Cottom: What’s a good practice routine for a beginner? As of now I try to do scales . Dioes the formula WWHWWWH apply to the mandolin as well? I’d like to use inversions but can’t seem to find the notes .
A good practice routine for a beginner mandolin student typically includes a combination of scales, exercises, and repertoire. Here are some specific suggestions:
Scales: Scales are an essential part of any musician’s practice routine. For the mandolin, you can practice the major scale in various keys, starting with the key of G. Yes, the formula WWHWWWH applies to the mandolin as well, and you can use this formula to construct any major scale on the mandolin. Practice playing the scale up and down, and focus on producing a clear, even sound on each note.
Exercises: Exercises can help you improve your technique and finger strength. You can practice exercises that focus on alternate picking, fretting hand dexterity, and finger independence. For example, you can practice playing each finger on the fretting hand in succession, or you can practice playing chromatic runs up and down the fretboard.
Repertoire: Learning songs is a great way to apply the skills you’ve learned through scales and exercises. Start with simple melodies, such as folk songs or nursery rhymes, and gradually work your way up to more complex pieces. You can also look for mandolin arrangements of your favorite songs.
Regarding inversions, it’s important to first understand basic chord shapes on the mandolin. Once you know how to play a chord in its basic form, you can start experimenting with different inversions by moving the notes up or down the fretboard. For example, to play a G chord in first inversion, you would play the third of the chord (B) as the lowest note, rather than the root (G). You can find charts and diagrams online that show different chord inversions on the mandolin.
As for finding the notes, it can be helpful to practice reading sheet music and learning the notes on the fretboard. There are many resources available online for learning how to read sheet music and how to locate notes on the mandolin fretboard.
Overall, a good practice routine for a beginner mandolin student should include a balance of scales, exercises, and repertoire, and should be tailored to your specific goals and interests. Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the process of learning!