What speed should I tremolo?

Q: I am a student of your mandolin method (after 13 months of studying in earnest, I am on page 78) and I have been working since the first Branzoli tremolo exercise on my tremolo. Could you please tell me how fast one should reasonably be able to tremolo?  Say in terms of four strokes for each beat of the metronome (so 120 b/m would be 480 tremolo strokes), how many beats per minute would be reasonable? It is important to me to have a good technical ability, which once achieved, I can concentrate on  expressiveness rather than  speed. My thanks for your method book. -REH

A: You are so welcome! The most important thing in developing your tremolo is to increase the density, so work on getting to 8 then 16 strokes per beat, no matter how slowly that means you are playing. When you can play quarter notes @ mm 60 with 8 strokes/beat, you can probably put your tremolo on auto-pilot and count on your motor memory to keep you going to increase speed.

And about the method book, remember you should be working on all 4 sections– Right Hand, Left Hand, Coordination, and Musicianship– simultaneously. So you should be on p. 78 in the Left Hand section, but also on 3 other pages, one in the other 3 sections.

Posted July 27th, 2010. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

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