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EXERCISE 8 - FIRST AND SECOND ENDINGS
Sometimes, as a means of shortening the printed tablature for a song, you will see "first and second endings" marked in the piece. It simply means that you play the piece twice, and substitute the second ending on the second time through.

mandolin tablature

In this example you would play measure one, then the first ending, then go back to the beginning and play the first measure again, then SKIP the first ending and play the second ending. It sounds complicated, but just think of the two numbered endings as alternate endings to a song. The double line at the end simply indicates the end of the song, or a section of a song. It is called a double bar line.


EXERCISE 9 - FRETTED NOTES

Up to this point we have played all open strings which are marked my zeros in the tablature. Here now are some fretted notes. Place a finger behind the fret indicated (they count up from the nut which is zero, and go higher as you proceed up the neck towards the body of the mandolin.)

mandolin tablature

There are some general rules concerning which left hand fingertip frets each note. Without a lengthy explanation at this stage, I suggest that you use the fingers indicated shown by the small numbers below each note.


Note: In the fourth measure you use your left "pinkie" to play the 7th fret on the 4th string. This is the same exact note as the first note in the 2nd measure. Notice that the sound of the 7th fret note is the same as the open string above it. Just keep in mind that, in general:

  • The first finger plays the 1st and 2nd fret notes.
  • The second finger plays the 3rd and 4th fret notes.
  • The third finger plays the 5th and 6th fret notes.
  • And the fourth finger plays the 7th and 8th fret notes.

Of course, depending on the what notes are played, and in what order, sometimes this general rule is broken. But, it is a good starting place to determine which finger is best for left hand fingering.

Moving right along to lesson 6.

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