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Beginner Mandolin Practice Tips

Mike Marshall Mandolin Exercises

Master mandolin player, Mike Marshall, loves working with players of all skill levels. From beginners to the more advanced player, Mike offers valuable insight to help any mandolin player take their playing to new heights. In this video, Mike breaks down some basic mandolin exercises and things to consider at all levels when practicing.


Mike kicks off the video with his focus on entry level players, where he delves into the fundamentals of technique building starting with posture and how to hold a pick. He explores the benefits of playing in a seated position, using a footstool, and getting the mandolin firmly situated between the four points of contact so that you feel comfortable prior to playing.


The next fundamental stepping stone that Mike touches on is the importance of having a relaxed, loose grip when holding a pick. This can come from having an overall relaxed demeanor when playing as it will alleviate tension in your picking hand. If you hold the pick lightly, keep your picking hand loose, with your fingers slightly curled so that they are not anchoring on the fingerboard, it will help with ease of play.


Although these are basic building blocks that should be emphasized as a beginner, having proper posture and understanding on how to hold a pick are two aspects of technique building that come up consistently with intermediate and advanced players as well. The goal here is to help reposition the musician into proper alignment so that they can play more effectively and efficiently. Check out the rest of this lesson video as Mike discusses simple mandolin picking exercises, simple mandolin chords, up and down strokes, strumming patterns, mandolin songs for beginners, and how having a loose pick grip will help with your tone and transform your playing.

If you wish to try some FREE SAMPLE LESSONS with Mike Marshall, click HERE!


Want to win a trip to the ArtistWorks headquarters to meet, learn, and jam with legendary bluegrass icons: Mike Marshall (mandolin), Tony Trischka (banjo), and Michael Daves (guitar, vocals)? Sign-up for our ArtistWorks Big Bluegrass Giveaway to win air and ground transportation (up to $500) to our studio in Napa, CA, hotel accommodations, full studio tour, in-person masterclass focused on your playing, jams with teachers and fellow students, intimate performances from Mike, Tony and Michael, ArtistWorks SWAG Bag including signed CD's, shirt, and other goodies! Click HERE to learn more and to sign up today!


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