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Mandolin Lessons: Stretching Exercises and Finger Busters

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[MUSIC]
Okay,
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.
[MUSIC]
And we're playing chromatically.
All the other notes on that string going
backwards.
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.
Or.
[MUSIC]
It won't be as loud.
[MUSIC]
I'm gonna get you really focused
on getting them both the same.
[MUSIC]
I would even make the upstroke
louder than the downstroke.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
As a way of getting used to the index
finger having a little more pull on it to
pull that up, that pick up.
[MUSIC]
And
I'm doing four per note, but you can also
do two.
[MUSIC]
Or one.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
And then we go to the other strings.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
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
fret.
We're gonna have the pinky be the, the
pivot note.
[MUSIC]
This third finger gets this,
the B flat and the A.
The second finger gets the G sharp and the
G.
[MUSIC]
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.
[MUSIC]
And the fourth.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
Good luck with those.
The other thing I wanted to talk about is
just, in terms of,
the physicality of playing these
instruments.
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
counterclockwise.
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
is.
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
clockwise.
And then I do a thing called salute to the
sun,
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.
[MUSIC]