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Beginner Exercise 2

The previous warm-up should have gotten you ready to play the following exercise.

For this beginner exercise, we’re going to take a series of open chords and barre chords and play as directed on the PIMA legend:

The Rundown:

This will be an F chord based exercise. Here is the open F, followed by the barred F chord (1st fret):

I’ve chosen this barred version, which is the 3rd voicing for the F barre chord, because it provides a lower bass note. The low note played here is the F string note on the Low E string, placed on the 1st fret.

PIMA Legend Part I

Added Information: For these two bars, I’ve left everything pretty standard. There are no major changes in the theory behind using PIMA. In the next part, I’m going to throw you off a little.

PIMA Legend Part II

Here’s where I am going to try to trick you a little. Pay close attention to the third and fourth measures below. If you notice from the first two measures, the theory behind PIMA is basically the same as what we’ve already discussed, so there’s no need to add any information for that.

But…looking at the third and fourth measures below, we can see that we’ve moved the low melody notes in the fourth measure to the D string. Though the overall pattern of the note value hasn’t changed, your fingerings for the PIMA CAN change, and most likely will be easier to play this way in the fourth measure:

By ‘abridging’ the concept of PIMA in the fourth measure, we are now just playing using P, I, and M, as opposed to adding the 3rd or 4th finger (pinky) to the tablature.

Note: The (I) means that you CAN choose to play the I or the M in this case. Play it yourself and see what is most comfortable for you.

When you play this for yourself, you’ll most likely find it is MUCH easier to play PIM instead of PIMA. This is what is so cool about using a template like this. You are able to see the logics behind passages that are coming next. A good rule of thumb for playing PIMA is…

“If you see four strings being played in fingerstyle fashion (no major strumming) then you can USUALLY use the simple PIMA method. If you see a complex pattern coming in the next passage, odds are you will need to go back to the overall theory of the PIMA(e) template design.”

That means…

Make everything as simple as possible while keeping the overall structure the same. In the case of the third to fourth measure above, there were only a MAXIMUM number of three strings being played in the third measure, so P, I, and M would suffice (in most cases). The same applies to the fourth measure. There are only four strings being played, so you can stick with PIMA instead of PIMA(e). What this does is enhance your overall ability to move up and down the various strings used in fingerstyle, also giving you a better sense of how arpeggios relate. We’ll get much deeper into this idea later in the course.

Back To The Exercise…

At a slow 60 bpm, here are the two versions of the F chord from above, in tablature format. The first bar, which is to be played twice, is just a simple PIMA run using all open F chords. The second bar is played using low melody notes and includes both the open version and the barred version. We’ve also included the low melody notes on the second bar, played in the same way as Exercise 1.

We’ve also added two additional bars to this exercise. In the third bar, we’ll be playing low melody notes for both the open and barred version of the F chord. The same applies on the last bar, BUT I’ve snuck in a low melody note on the last measure played on the D string this time.(the note values stay the same)

Play It!

Download This PTB File
Download This PDF File



Part I

Part II

Next: Beginner Exercise 3