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Mandolin Arpeggios Exercises

Mike Stangeland

I really like arpeggios exercises. They really help develop stretch and strength in the left hand and give the pinky an major workout. But, the most important benefit of all (IMO) is building "mental map" of interconnected scales for each chord all the way up the neck. Arpeggios are like the framework for everything.

Here's the D exercise I use. Each pattern borrows from the previous pattern and moves up the neck. Once you learn them all it becomes easy to "see" the entire structure of "D". Once I learn a group I set the metronome at 100 and string phrases from each of them together into a lazy improvised solo working my way up and down the neck so I really get used to jumping from one arpeggio to the other. This seems to really drill the patterns into my brain and fingers and instead of being boring "exercises" arpeggios become tools for learning to improvise.

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