This is a public version of the members-only Bluegrass Mandolin with Mike Marshall, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Bluegrass Mandolin with Mike Marshall.
Join Now

Beginner Mandolin
Intermediate Mandolin
Advanced Mandolin
Additional Tunes & More
Holiday Tunes
Gear & Setup
30 Day Challenge
Lick of the Week
Tune of the Week
«Prev of Next»

Mandolin Lessons: Stretching Exercises and Finger Busters

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials Quizzes
information below Close
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +

+Beginner Mandolin

+Intermediate Mandolin

+Advanced Mandolin

+Additional Tunes & More

+Holiday Tunes

+Lick of the Week

+Tune of the Week

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   

This video lesson is available only to members of
Bluegrass Mandolin with Mike Marshall.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Bluegrass Mandolin with Mike Marshall. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Mandolin Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
here are a couple finger busters to help
you loosen things up and
develop some more independence.
We're starting to play a lot of tunes now
that have a lot of twists and
turns in them, so.
I love to do these things where you just,
they're non musical.
And you're just trying to work the hands,
and get things lined up.
It's about lining the pick up with the
left hand being,
playing the actual note on a nice, solid
fretted thing.
So we're gonna do this thing where we use
the A-note.
On the E string as a pivot note.
And we're playing chromatically.
All the other notes on that string going
And we're doing two fingers.
The, the second finger is covering the G
sharp and the G.
And then the first finger is covering the
F sharp and the F.
And then you're open.
And we go over to the next string and do
the same thing.
C sharp and D, C and D, B and
D, B flat and D, and again.
Now this, this D note is your up stroke so
be really honest about whether that's
sounding nice and clear.
Typically the down stroke will be clear
but you might be hearing a little of that.
Sort of muted sound.
It won't be as loud.
I'm gonna get you really focused
on getting them both the same.
I would even make the upstroke
louder than the downstroke.
As a way of getting used to the index
finger having a little more pull on it to
pull that up, that pick up.
I'm doing four per note, but you can also
do two.
Or one.
And then we go to the other strings.
Don't do it that fast, no, no, no, no,
no that's bad, bad, bad, bad.
Now we do it with the pinky on the seventh
We're gonna have the pinky be the, the
pivot note.
This third finger gets this,
the B flat and the A.
The second finger gets the G sharp and the
Your F sharp is played with a first
finger, and the F is played with a first
finger and then open.
So this is a real strength-builder.
And you'll hate me for this, cuz I'll take
you crossed to the next set of strings.
And the third.
And the fourth.
Good luck with those.
The other thing I wanted to talk about is
just, in terms of,
the physicality of playing these
And just keeping yourself loose you know,
after playing something like that I'll
often find myself shaking out the hand,
trying to get the blood down in there.
And I mean I do a series of yoga exercises
every morning when I wake up
just to you know it was getting to the
point where it was taking five cups of
coffee to feel woke up.
And I said okay we gotta do something
about this.
I learned some of these stretching
exercises from a great
Indian man known as U Shrinivas.
And he's wonderful, and
we would do these every morning when we
were hanging out together.
It's a series that starts from the toes
and works up your legs and
eventually you get to your arms and hands.
And so he has this very simply thing of
just doing the wrist, you know.
Just waving goodbye.
It's amazing how much
pain you can feel in there first thing in
the morning just doing ten of those.
And then a series of turning the wrist,
just ten of these clockwise and
And of course making a fist ten times.
And this can just loosen things up.
The other thing we were doing a lot of was
this kind of bending,
bending it down in front of you.
That's really got things loose.
And then something like this, silly as it
And just keeping your back nice and
straight, keeping your lungs opened up.
Cuz we spend so much of our time bent over
the mandolin, that I'm, I'm looking for
any kind of exercise that gets me opened
up, gets the chest opened up.
Doing ten of these counter-clockwise and
And then I do a thing called salute to the
which I won't show you here but, it's
great stuff.
Get the, get the circulation going cuz
we're using our hands you know,
you can hurt yourself if you push it.
Good luck with all that.