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Musical scales, lessons for the beginner #2

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Just playing through scales never makes much sense to the up and coming student. Reasons for it include understanding the fretboard and having control over note selection. What seems to trump boring scale studies is real music. By altering scales and playing them in new ways we can find musical ideas. Playing what I call, “folded scales,” is a trick I learned from a guitar instructor, but it applies well to musical mandolin scales. Being familiar with my lesson #1 for the beginner will help with this, although I do go over the straight scale first. Below is a video where I show a way to “fold,” the A major scale.

Enlarge the above image to view the tablature

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Here’s lesson number two in my series for the beginner mandolinist.

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Using songs seems to be the most fun, and in turn, the most useful way to teach beginning concepts. I have chosen, “Red Haired Boy,” as the first song I will focus on. It is a traditional instrumental tune that is often played at jam sessions. It also translates well to many instruments. Below is my lesson on how to play the rhythm to the “A” part.

To hear the song played through you can view the video below. There is a slowed down intro using the same chords before we kick into the song at full speed.

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Red Haired Boy on mandolin and guitar.

Monday, April 26th, 2010

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