A good practice routine for a beginner mandolin student

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!

Mandolin Lesson: How To Learn Tremolo

Question from Jim Mosser: I have been fighting to perform a tremolo. I don’t know if I am using the wrong pick or what? I use a medium rounded pick and keep my arm and wrist loose, but the results are a stuttering mess.

Learning tremolo on the mandolin can be challenging, but with the right approach and practice, it can be mastered over time. Here are some tips to help you learn tremolo on the mandolin:

  1. Start with the right hand technique: Tremolo is played using a rapid, alternating picking motion with the right hand. Use a rest stroke technique where the pick strikes the string and rests on the adjacent string. Practice this technique slowly at first and gradually increase the speed.
  2. Focus on the timing: Tremolo is all about creating a fast, even rhythm. Practice playing slow tremolo with a metronome, gradually increasing the speed until you can play at a fast tempo without losing timing.
  3. Practice with open strings: To start, practice tremolo with open strings. Focus on producing a clear and even sound on each string, and try to keep your picking hand as relaxed as possible.
  4. Work on finger placement: Experiment with different finger placements to find what works best for you. Many players use the pinky finger to anchor their hand while playing tremolo, but others find it more comfortable to use other fingers.
  5. Practice with songs: Once you’ve mastered tremolo on open strings, try practicing with simple melodies or chord progressions. This will help you develop your tremolo technique in a more musical context.

Remember, learning tremolo on the mandolin takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you. With practice and dedication, you can master this challenging technique and add it to your mandolin playing repertoire.

Professional Music Instruction

Online Mandolin, Fiddle & Guitar

Granby Music offers professional music instruction for all ages and skill levels on bowed-string-instruments, fretted instruments and more.

Our team of experienced instructors will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to take your musical performance to the next level. Whether you are a beginner looking to learn the basics or a seasoned musician looking for a challenge, we have a program for you! Take the first step in learning to play an instrument or perfecting your craft with Granby Music.

Adam Sweet, CEO/President
Fiddle & Mandolin Teacher

I am excited to offer online music lessons to students of all ages and locations. As a skilled musician, private music teacher, and digital artist, I specialize in a variety of stringed instruments, including the violin and fiddle, mandolin-family instruments, Irish tenor banjo, Irish bouzouki, and acoustic guitar. Additionally, I offer instruction in viola, mandola, mandocello, and octave mandolin.

I am experienced in teaching a diverse range of music styles, including bluegrass, country, Celtic, Irish, Cape Breton, Quebecois, Cajun, jazz, traditional Irish, and classical. My lessons are held online and are available at the following times: 9am-12noon and 4pm-7pm Eastern Time Monday – Wednesday. 

Deciding On A Music Teacher

How do you know who will be the best music teacher for you? Read on.

As a seasoned mandolin teacher, I bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and passion for this beautiful instrument to each and every lesson. I understand that every student is unique and therefore, my approach to teaching is tailored to meet the individual needs and goals of each student. Whether you are a beginner just starting out or an advanced player looking to take your skills to the next level, I will provide the guidance and support you need to succeed.

I believe in building a strong foundation through proper technique, while also encouraging creativity and expression. With my guidance, students of all levels will develop their skills, refine their playing, and experience the joy of making music on the mandolin.

In addition to my expertise in teaching, my background as a professional musician sets me apart and ensures that students receive the highest quality education. I have performed on numerous stages, both domestically and internationally, and have a deep understanding of the music industry and what it takes to be successful as a musician.

Whether you’re looking to play for fun, for family and friends, or for an audience, my lessons will help you achieve your goals. Join me for engaging, effective, and enjoyable mandolin lessons, and let’s start making beautiful music together

%d bloggers like this: