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Open String Workouts - Quarter Notes

Taking it One String at a Time

Ok, now it's time to put that striking finger to work, but before you jump into the workout, hit pause and just focus on playing the 1st string.As you strike the 1st string and others, remember to plant the thumb on the 5th string. Notice the distance between the thumb and the striking finger. That distance shortens just a bit when you play the 2nd string, and shortens a bit more when you play the 3rd, and then even more when you play the 4th. Memorizing the way your hand feels, and the distance between striking finger and thumb when planted on the 5th will help you play more consistently. After you get used to the feeling of striking the different strings it's time to add in steady beat and begin the workout. It's best to start by using the focus feature to loop a measure at a time and really develop some consistency striking one string before moving to another.

Counting out loud while playing can do wonders for your timing and help you understand music in a whole new way. There's a reason why so many musicians learn this way. We definitely recommend it. We're playing quarter notes in the first part of the exercise. Keep track of these while counting out loud: 1; 2; 3; 4 each measure. Quarter notes(1/4) can each be sub-divided in two, this creates Eighth notes(1/8). Eight notes are counted by saying "and" - written as + or &" - in between each quarter note: 1, & ; 2, & ; 3, & ; 4, &. Each eighth note can be subdivided into two 16ths. We count them by saying "e" after your numbered beats and "a" - pronounced "uh" - after the eighth/an beats: "1, e , &, uh; 2, e, &, uh; 3, e , &, uh; 4, e, &, uh;".

When playing the quarter note portion of the exercise, strike on numbered beats, and lift/prepare your hand on "a". Try to count while playing. Watch the video for a demo.

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In the next lesson we'll do the open string workout and strike every eighth note.