Over the years I havs amassed a whole bunch of exercises, knowledge and various little bits and pieces and I thought that rather than having these things sitting around either in my head or around my office, there’s probably people out there that might find some benefit in them. So, from time to time, I’ll put some lessons, tips, thoughts or musings right here in my very own blog.
Today I want to share with you a little right hand exercise that I still use as part of my warm-up routine. As you can see from the music below it is a repeated rhythmic and harmonic phrase, but we change the right hand fingering for each line. This is good practice for developing independance and control in your right hand, as you will no doubt come across all those different finger combinations somewhere along the line in your playing. Some people find that the first line is quite natural whereas the last line is awkward and takes a lot of concentration. The idea is to bring them all up to same tempo and level of consistancy and control. Here’s the right hand fingering I’m using throughout this exercise:
p – 4th string, i – 3rd string, m – 2nd string, a – 1st string
Focus not just on getting the notes out, but on the quality of the notes. Listen to the tone of the notes, try to make them even and clean. Even though it’s just an exercise, play around with the varying the dynamics. Can you play it loud? Softly? How about one bar loud, then one bar soft? Try to make it musical. Try adding an accent on different beats each time through. Part of the exercise is to develop that level of control.
You can really get quite a workout from just this one, seemingly simple, little exercise.
Remember to start slow and focus on playing it correctly and evenly rather than fast. Play it as slow as you need to to get from the beginning to end cleanly, then increase the tempo.
P.S Let me know if you found this helpful and if there’s something specific you’d like to see me write about!