Beginning Mandolin Exercise

If you’re like me, it’s been a while since you’ve picked up your mandolin, or maybe you’re brand new to it.


I’ve always been a fan of starting slowly and methodically, and here’s a quick mandolin exercise that focuses on accuracy and wrist movement.

To begin:

Set your metronome (Here’s a free and easy to use online metronome-I’ve used it for many, many years) to quarter note equals 60 bpm.

Then pluck in a down-up-down-up motion on each string (down on the upper string, up on the lower), in quarter notes.  Don’t change strings until you feel comfortable.  Then maintain this pace through all of the strings and repeat several times.

-This allows for you to focus on consistent, relaxed wrist motion.  As well as accuracy with your pick strikes.

Follow this pattern  but change to eighth notes, triplets, and sixteenth notes.  Then, once you are comfortable with all of these, you can then begin to speed the metronome up incrementally.  Once the open strings are comfortable, you then can begin to add the left hand notes.  However, keep it only one note at a time, as you don’t want to lose the relaxed wrist and accurate picking that you’ve progressed with by complicating things too much.

I’d encourage you to begin each practice session with this as a warm up.



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