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Mandolin Lessons: Advanced Arpeggios

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Okay we're gonna talk about arpeggios now.
And arpeggios are essentially the notes of
a chord broken out and
played individually.
And so.
By now you've learned several versions of,
of some of your major chords.
I'm thinking right about now about
You've learned that version of an A chord,
and you've been playing the bluegrass chop
But you may not understand it completely
from a, from a, a scalular standpoint.
So let's, let's just look at the A scale
starting on the second fret of the low G
string, the A note there.
That's your closed position A scale.
Two, four, six, seven.
Two, four, six, seven.
Now the beauty of having that scale under
your fingers,
is that it's your first movable scale.
So essentially, anywhere that your first
finger goes.
That's the shape that you'll wanna be in,
where the two third and
fourth fingers are next to each other,
everything else is a whole step apart.
So essentially,
if you wanted to play B-Flat, you would
just move that up a half step.
And there it is.
Another half step is B.
Another half step is C and so on.
So, again it brings us up,
brings us back to the idea of knowing the
names of all your notes on each string.
So I will again ask you do that as an
exercise and
call out the name of each each scale
as you're playing it chromatically up the
finger board of the, of the G string.
Again, getting back to the beauty of the
If you were to take that same shape over
to the middle two strings, and
start on the E note, it of course would be
an E scale.
Corresponding to an E chord.
So I would ask you to do the same thing.
Study that scale up and down that string
and familiar yourself with all
the chromatic notes along the D string,
and then you can guess what I'm gonna say.
Do it on the last pair of strings and it
is a B chord, a B scale.
So it, move it up a half step, it's a C,
another half step and
it's a C-Sharp or D-Flat, another half
step and it's a D.
So you're memorizing the notes along the A
string by playing that stuff.
All right.
Then, what we do is we come back to the
A-Major and
we pull out the notes of the A chord which
are the one, the three, and the five.
And the root of course.
The root is the one.
Three is C-Sharp.
Five is E.
And again, the root at the top is A.
It's important to be able to play.
That arpeggio.
All up and down the fingerboard as well.
And, over to the other pairs of strings as
an, as an E chord.
F is on the third fret, F-Sharp is on the
G is on the fifth, G-Sharp is on the
sixth, and A is on the seventh.
Going over to the I strings.
B, second fret,
C, C-Sharp, D.
So do the same thing you did with the
scales, do with the arpeggios.
And one thing that's kind of fun is to lay
yourself out a rhythm track, you know.
So that you're play a little time, maybe
just a little swing move or something.
Two bars of each chord.
B flat.
Call out the names.
And this'll give you something musical to
play with instead of it just being a sort
of boring little exercise.
We always wanna make these things musical
somehow and
really create something that's, that's
more than just a finger exercise.
Make it, make it fun.
Vary the rhythm.
Go backwards.
Play triplets.
Go up and back.
You know, there's endless possibilities of
different ways of practicing right hand
techniques even though you're mentally
on something to do with the left hand, and
something that's, purely about music.
All right?
what I'm really trying to help you
understand is how to play out of closed
positions on the, on, on the mandolin.
We worked on.
This kind of closed position A,
where your first finger is on the root,
Well what happens when you go up the neck
out of this bluegrass position?
You should also be comfortable with that.
And in that position your third finger is
on the root.
So there's your A, arpeggio A,
C-Sharp, E, and A.
So what you should learn to do is get
really comfortable sliding, from the lower
position index finger on the root to the
higher position third finger on the root.
And of course there are other positions
using your pinkie and your second finger.
We have four fingers, so I've always said
their are four ways to do everything.
So we'll look at the other two fingers a
little bit later.
What I want you to do now though is play
along with this on and on.
I made three versions of it, in three
different keys, all the same tempo.
It's first in A and then it's in B-Flat,
and then it's in B.
And, and the exercise here is to just get
really comfortable moving between,
The, always playing in a closed position.
B, the B-Flat, and the B.
Now the chords are different for each, of
course it's the.
That's the D chord.
Goes to the E there.
So I want you to find yourself in each of
these zones.
Of course you don't have to play exactly,
only the arpeggios.
You can play other notes of the scale.
But to get comfortable playing in closed
positions, that's the basic exercise here.
So I'll give you a little example of me
playing it once.
>> One, two, three and.
A, D.
A, D.
Well I know that was a little quick, but
our good friends at Artist Works will
provide you with a slower version of it,
and you could work yourself up to that.
But I'm going to go ahead and do it now in
the key of B-Flat,
probably the same tempo.
On and on.
Two, three, four.
In the key of B-Flat now,
let's review some of that stuff.
I showed you how to play out of this
position, and you probably are comfortable
with this one,
but we haven't really talked about first
position A string.
First fret, that's your other B-Flat zone.
The four chord in this song is E-Flat now,
which is over here.
Starting on the E-Flat.
And the five chord is F.
you're out of this position starting with
the third fret on the F, all right?
So now let's go ahead and crank it up to B
and try it yet
in a third key, good luck friends.
Here's the B.
first fret second fret first finger.
The four chord is gonna be E.
Out of that.
Right below it on the middle two strings,
and F-Sharp is going to live here, fourth
So, we should really be starting to get
comfortable moving the hand to
all of these different locations,
depending on what key we're in,
we're going to want to move that first
finger to that note.
We're kinda looking for the, first finger
is hunting for
the root of each of these chords.
There's another B down here on the fourth
fret, and
then we get into our bluegrass positions,
our bluegrass chop chord positions.
There's an E up here, and there's an F
way, F-Sharp way down here,
which is an unusual position but we should
get cozy with it.
It comes out of the G chord position, but
you're backing it up a half step.
We've got all these different options.
Here's B also.
It's a lot like the C only back one fret.
So to review here's a B.
Here's an E.
And here's an F-Sharp.
Here's a little E up here.
E with your third finger, seventh fret.
The triad is right there.
You can't jump up to that height, it's a
little impractical,
but here's an F-Sharp also in position.
So you may see me tremoloing.
These when I get up there.
You know the nice double stop is the third
and the fifth.
Which is grown out of that arpeggio.
There's a third, there's a fifth, sixth
fret, second fret.
I'm gonna try and
hit as many of these as I can.
On, and on in B.
Two, three.
F-sharp, B.
Now down low.
Okay, now it's your turn.
I'd love to hear how you're getting along
with this playing out of closed positions.
You can pick any of the three keys there
with on and on.
And definitely make use of the, of the
slowed down rhythm tracks.
Because those were, those were really
clipping there.
And I want you to get these things really
under your finger.
And, and you'll notice that I'm even using
syncopation as a way of, you know,
making time for myself to shift positions.
Cuz these things are moving into some half
positions and, and
odd shifts with the first finger.
So, so you'll want to do the same.
It's not the kind of playing where you
play continuous eighth notes
all over the fingerboard.
You want to make little spaces,
give yourself the opportunity to make the
shift and try to copy some of mine.
Slow my stuff down and really try and just
rip it right off note for
note like I did when I was young.
That's the way you learn.