Mandolin Self Instructor, online tutorial - Page 44

A simplified self learning system for the Mandolin with tuning instruction, song folio, chord diagrams, sheet music and PDF for printing. By ZARH MYRON BICKFORD

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Fourth Finger Study (continued)
"Any fool can play a finger exercise, but it takes a wise man to adapt what he has learned from
playing such an exercise to the uses of his interpretative work." ERNEST HUTCHESON
Fundamental Rules for Picking*
It is a fundamental fact, demonstrated by the ease with which a body or thing" of any size falls
or drops, compared with its utter inability to raise itself alone, that the down stroke is easier to
make and better adapted by its nature to make accents than the up stroke. This law is recogni-
zed and utilized in the bowing of the violin, and must be in picking" the mandolin. Since all rules
have exceptions, these must be taken as general rules-to be followed vhen possible.
1.  The down stroke begins all measures, all groups of notes, and plays all accented notes. This
rule is extended to embrace all beats or counts, whether accented or not, and even half beats
(eighth notes in 2/4 time.)
2.  Only such notes as are too rapid to come under Rule 1 are played with alternating down and up
strokes, the principal use of the up stroke, as applied to single notes or strokes, being to facilitate the
execution in rapid passages or notes.
(In this connection it is interesting to note that the original Spanish Students who played the bandur-
ria, never used the up stroke, except in the tremolo, their wrists having been trained to a wonderful
degree of rapidity in the use of down strokes).
3. When changing from one string to another, the first note on the new string must be taken with a down stroke.
This rule is emphasized by all the great representatives of the Italian School of playing, which is the
logical method of playing the mandolin, as distinguished from those Schools or methods of playing which
have merely adapted the down-up method of violin bowing to the right hand on the mandolin, regardless
of its real adaptability. With the pick held at the proper angle the up stroke is inconvenient when chang-
ing strings, this being a sufficient reason for avoiding its use, when possible.
There are many exceptions to these rules-all of which will be taken up as they occur in the course of the
work. The important thing is to make them fundamental habits.
In the Springtime
The previous rules given for the phrasing apply throughout this little Waltz.
Quarter notes are not tremoloed in Waltzes, except in unusual cases which will be noted later.
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