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Mandolin Tutorial - Lesson 1.7


First Exercises


You now have to get used to playing notes on the mandolin. Look at the first exercise below. All the notes are on open strings, so don't worry about fretting any of them. Try to follow the tablature and play all the notes written.

Incidentally, now is a good time for you to memorise the names of the strings, so that if you're instructed to, say, "play the A string", you'll be able to go straight to it.

Exercise 1

Now try a simple scale in D. You can see from the tablature that the first note is the open string on the third string down - that's the D string. The next is the second fret on the same D string; next the fourth, then the fifth. Now move onto the second string down, the A string, and play the same: open, second fret, fourth, and fifth. That's your scale in D. Then go backwards down the scale.

D Scale

Now go to the A string, and use the same fingering: open A, second fret, fourth fret, and fifth fret; then open E, second, fourth, fifth. You've just played a scale in A. You can do the same thing starting on the open G string, which gives you a scale in G.

Some people think of scales as rather boring exercises, but I recommend practicing scales whatever your level of skill, but especially when you're a new learner. It helps you get used to the mandolin fretboard and moving up and down; eventually you won't have to think about which frets you're holding down, and you'll be able to play a scale almost automatically.


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