Exercise 3

Exercise aims:

Download and print the music – Exercise 3

  • The focus of this exercise is on improving chord control in the right hand.
  • This exercise appears simple on the page but it’s actually hard to do well. Begin by playing the straight G major chord on the page, without spreading it [right hand fingering: thumb, index, middle, ring] and following the dynamics.
  • The tough part:
    • Make sure the you’re plucking all the strings simultaneously – the notes must all sound at the same time.
    • Make sure you’re not accenting any of the notes, they should have equal volume. It’s common to accidentally accent the top string (highest in pitch) because of a difficult-to-control ring finger – keep it in check! If you’re having trouble with this stage, break it down: build up the chord one note at a time.
    • Stop and feel all the strings (you should be able to count off 7 strings under your fingers). Start the exercise again, keeping them all in mind.
    • Lastly think about tone – how much of each digit’s flesh is being used to pluck the string? Try to reduce it to improve the fullness of the sound. Keep the hand relaxed and the sound full.
  • Lastly, think about your arm, shoulder and back: release any tension that may have built up whilst thinking about your hand. Check you left hand/arm/shoulder for tension too.
  • At the point your right hand begins to feel tired, stop.

If you enjoy this free exercise why not support me by buying a CD.

Exercise 3 from Alex McCartney on Vimeo.

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