Mandolin Lessons - #2: The Pick - part 2

Uploaded by bandolinsmadeira on 10.05.2010

Hello again! I hope you had some fun looking for materials...
interesting things... materials that could be used to make picks
or picks already made from those materials.
As I said before, if you want to exchange ideas... I would be glad to discuss them with you.
Lets talk about something... "How to hold the pick?"
Here also, there isn't a correct method... I haven't found a detailed study
on how to hold the pick, or how to think the right hand.
I have seen this a lot and it's a subject rarely addressed
and I think it's a very important thing... like in a bowed string instrument, like the violin,
a large part of the study and care is dedicated to the bow and the right hand.
That is absolutely important, and for us, it's not different.
How to hold the pick?
You should try to have maximum flexibility from the hand, where you hold the pick, to the shoulder.
It's important that the pick works with the hand as free as possible.
So that you can have maximum control and avoid stiffness where you don't want.
The pick should be hold so that it works with as most surface as possible.
Avoid this. Having the instrument... This also implies the position of the instrument.
If you have the instrument too high, obviously, the pick is going to work sideways.
You will have unwanted noise... It will make the sound dirty.
So, try to keep you arm... as if the mandolin was an extension of your arm.
Why? Because this way the pick works with this much surface. Right?
How to hold the pick?
I'll show you...
The pick should be hold between the thumb and the forefinger.
Try to put it in a way to create a "V". See it here... This way.
You hold the pick like this and put your thumb on the top.
This way you can have a lot of mobility here. This is very important.
In a down stroke you'll have pressure in the thumb and in an up stroke you'll have pressure in the forefinger
And you can have an absolute control over the tone and also over the attack on the string.
Also, don't think only with your wrist. Consider the whole arm. The wrist only takes you to the position.
And it's the thumb and forefinger that attack the string.
It's like a serpent... and the thumb and forefinger have the control.
When playing, you'll see that you'll have a cleaner sound.
If I played using only my arm. A scale...
The sound is very dirty.
If I play thinking about the thumb and forefinger. Look... you have greater control.
Starting with an up stroke, the attack is with the forefinger... then thumb...
And then faster... hear every note.
Try it and let me know your opinion. I'm always open to your suggestions and ideas.
Now I'll give you a small exercise so that you can practice this way of holding the pick.
But keep in mind that, in a down stroke, you should feel the pressure in the thumb
and in an up stroke, you should feel the pressure in the forefinger.
It is here that should develop your sensitivity. In time, it will give you more control.
This is a small exercise I've taken from a Vivalvi concert
that I use I need a baroque cadenza, for example, in D minor.
We'll start on the E string, with the 3rd finger in D... the 1st finger in A...
and the 2nd finger in F (A string). Then we go up again...
So you have... down stroke D, up stroke A, down stroke F, up stroke A and down stroke D.
Do this as sixteen notes... For, lets say, two measures...
Then after this, you put the 4th finger in D (instead of the 3rd)
And move the 2th finger from F to E. Again... we were like this...
Then 4th finger in D... and 2th finger in E.
So, from the beginning...
and now you put the 3rd finger in C sharp.
And you finish it in D.
...and slowly build up your speed. Don't rush it.
Then you can add variations...
I hope I have been helpful. We will met again in the next video.