Exercise 1

Exercise aims:

Download and print the music – Exercise 1

  • This exercise focuses on right hand technique – particularly the necessary ability to go between playing with the thumb+index finger to index+middle fingers: you must follow and obey the right hand fingerings. ‘|’ = thumb, ‘.’ = index, ‘..’ = middle.
  • These exercises can be taken at any speed and  (as they’re not pieces) you can stop and work on a particular section out of context for as long as you like. e.g. if you find bars 1+2 tricky spend a while just working on them.
  • To begin, relax your hands (you might like to give them a little shake by your sides- hold onto or put down your lute!) and begin the exercise with complete focus on your right hand. Think about each digit’s contact with the strings, try using more and less flesh – which sounds best? I personally prefer as little finger-flesh in contact with the string as I dare – this seems to avoid dullness in the sound.
  • Feel both strings with each digit each time! If you can’t feel both strings, slow down and make sure you can.
  • 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. Don’t push yourself to injury.

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

Exercise 1 from Alex McCartney on Vimeo.

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