technical exercises for rock and blues mandolinists
(acoustic and electric, GDAE and CGDAE)
e guitarra baiana.
demo of the play-along videos
you won’t hear your instrument’s part
(you won’t hear what you see)
Welcome to Mando Scales!
This is not a “method”, a course, lessons, Mandolin-for-not-so-Dummies, none of that – there’s no How To here. It’s a collection of play-along videos (and corresponding pdfs and mp3s) for practising scales, chords, arpeggios, and things like pentatonic patterns and rock, blues and jazz-flavoured riffs.
On The Videos page, you’ll find audio examples of the scales and patterns, a brief description of what each one’s about, previews of the videos, video length/file size stats, and links for buying the videos. There are also notation-only pdfs and backing tracks mp3s available, just for the sake of flexibility. And that’s all – a purposefully simple and relaxed website, with the focus on the music. The purchasing process is simple as well – no logging in, no account etc. The download link(s) on the Purchase Confirmation page and in your emailed receipt will be valid for one week.
The scales and patterns go through all keys (many also go through a few up-the-neck positions), and the cycle repeats five or six times, moving up the metronome (well, ya, that would be down on a mechanical one). The “What You’ll Play” audio example is at the second tempo, and it’s a safe bet that the final tempo will be twice what you’ll hear in the previews on the right (the mp3s of the top speeds are free, if you’re curious, or need a little inspiration). Do the first two or three tempos only, start at the second or third and go to the end – whatever suits your abilities.
The previews column is entitled “Give it a Go” because, to get an idea of what this is actually going to sound like, you have to play along with it – the mandolin’s contribution isn’t heard in the video. The “click” (usually a collection of percussion noises) might seem loud at first, but the video’s volume that you’ll eventually practise with will most likely be quite low – you’ll be listening to your mandolin, and using the video simply to keep track of what position/key/tempo’s next, with the audio just enough to stay with it (and to hear the “cue notes” – in most of the exercises, there’s a note or two telling you which note you’re going to start the next pattern on, so you don’t always have to look at the video). The “mix” has been robustly field-tested. 🙂
Hope that this is just what you’ve been looking for, and if so, enjoy!