Leave your fingers down

This weeks tip is something I find useful and which has made a big difference for my pupils. My constant cry is “leave you fingers down” when playing scales. I’m always amused at how much energy is spent putting a finger down to play a note then instantly lifting it off again as the next one goes down. If you are still on the same string and often if not how about just leaving it where it is until it is needed somewhere else? There are several benefits here. Each finger supports the next. The finger is still in position for when you return down the scale. What would it be like if you had a golden rule of “Leave each finger where it is unless you need it to play a note on another string.” As you develop this strategy you will notice that the finger you leave down can act as an anchor to orient your other fingers as you stretch for notes on other strings. It improves speed, accuracy and sustain. it also usually creates rich harmonic overtones.#Tip 10. Creating a good tone

The mandolin is a beautiful instrument and there are many factors that contribute to achieving a good tone. Not least of course is the quality of the instrument itself. There are many reasonably priced instruments on the market that have a good sound. There are four things which are within your control that effect tone. The strings, the plectrum, your left hand fingering technique and your right hand plectrum technique (assuming you are right handed the revers of course if you are left handed).