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(This web page originally appeared as an article in the Washington Guitar Society newsletter No. 12, January 1994.)
Here are eight right hand fingering patterns:
1. a m i a p m i m 2. p p a p m p i p 3. p I m a p a p P 4. p a m m i a p i 5. p i a a m i p m 6. p i m p a `m p a 7. m a a i i p m 'a 8. a 'p -i 'p M I A m
Use each of these 8 patterns to play the chord sequence below.
Or, for those of you who prefer tablature:
4/4 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | ____________________________________________________ E ___0______|_0______|_1______|__11______|_0_______||_ B ___1______|_1______|_3______|_H12______|_1_______||_ G ___0______|_2______|_2______|__________|_0_______||_ D __________|________|_0______|__10______|_________||_ A ___3______|_0______|________|__________|_3_______||_ E __________|________|________|___4______|_________||_
Play the selected pattern twice through for each chord, making 16th note arpeggios. The example below shows pattern 1 applied to the first measure.
Or, in the conciseness of tablature:
a m i a p m i m a m i a p m i m _______ _______ _______ _______ |-|-|-| |-|-|-| |-|-|-| |-|-|-| ___________________________________ __0_____0_________0_____0________|_ ____1_______1___1___1_______1___1|_ ______0_______0_______0_______0__|_ _________________________________|_ __________3_______________3______|_ _________________________________|_
I have chosen simple chord formations to allow the player to concentrate fully on the right hand fingers. As valuable as these exercises are, it is not recommended that you spend more than 3 or 4 hours per day on them.
Just before your fingers start to fall off, grab a pencil and give your brain a different sort of workout. Find the words listed below in the grid of right hand fingerings.
Words may be horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Punctuation and capitalization must be scrupulously observed. Some words may appear more than once, but it is not permissible to use the appearance of a word wholly contained in a larger word, such as "ma" in "amp". Don't even think about it, pal. Cheaters never win.
Words even you know:
a I am ma pa pi aim amp imp map pap pip ma'am maim mama papa (pimp) pampa
Words for a Scrabble zealot:
aa - rough, cindery lava. impi - body of warriors. ai - 3-toed sloth. mamma - milk-producing organ. ama - oriental wet nurse. mim - primly demure. ami - friend. pam - jack of clubs. amia - freshwater fish. pia - brain membrane. imam - Muslim priest. pappi - bristle tufts on a dandelion.
Musical-type words (how nice!):
p mp pp ppp pppp ppppp mi p'i-p'a (4-stringed Chinese lute)
Proper nouns and fringy words:
Mimi - John Lennon's aunt. Pima - Arizona, um, Indians, uh, redskins, er, aboriginal Americans? Miami - We know Fernando Sor never played miami, right? mmm-mmm - Campbell's soup goodness (alleged).
APOLOGY: to all Western Samoans for missing out your capital, Apia. It's too late now, friends.
THANKS: The whatsit chord in measure 4 is based on one created by Stephen Funk Pearson in "Four Skaals", no. 3. T = left hand thumb.
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Helpful keywords not in the main text: right hand exercises; classical guitar; aunt mimi smith; mmm-mmm good!