Friday, November 6, 2009

Conservation of Energy

I've been putting in a lot of work to try to develop my mandolin skills this year, and I've noticed a couple of key improvements. Recently I've been noticing that my left hand fingers don't gallop about the fretboard quite like they used to - they move much more quietly and calmly from place to place, in what I think of as an orderly fashion. This makes it easier to play faster and it also makes playing itself much less effort, and more enjoyable. I am able to use less downforce on the string too.

I've also noticed my right hand developing the ability to get more sound out of the string with less force, which also contributes to an increase in speed as well as improved tone.

I think the specific exercises that have got me this far are the ones on Mike Marshall's Mandolin Fundamentals DVD, but also the work I've put in on learning breaks by famous players and new arrangements of fiddle tunes has helped a lot too. I still have a long way to go, but it's encouraging to see progress.

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