Mary’s Exercise Series: No. 1, 2, & 3.

Sideways Tenor ClefThis is the first of a series of exercises that can be played on any keyboard instrument. They will be helpful regardless of your primary instrument.

These exercises were ultimately inspired by the mater classes of master teacher and musician Steve Coleman that can be seen on youtube.  You don’t need to stick strictly to one way of working on these. This is a basic concept that you can run with…

And without further extraneous words…

Mary’s Exercise No. 1.

Basic Instructions:

This exercise can be played on a piano or any mallet instrument regardless of one’s primary instrument.
Set metronome to a slow tempo marking every 5 beats such as 35.
Left Hand:
In any major key, use the 1st tone and 7th tone below the 1st, to create the 2 + 3 rhythm as shown in the video. Later, you’ll switch to 3 + 2.
Right Hand:
First, play 3’s on the 2nd tone X amount of cycles through the ratio.
Then, 4’s on the 1st tone X amount of cycles through.
Back to 3’s one more time.
Using 2’s as the rhythmic building block, play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” once or twice through.
Repeat beginning of exercise (with 3’s in RH)
End with 3’s.

Mary’s Exercise No. 2.

The same approach, but switch the left hand part to 3 + 2.

Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet

Mary’s Exercise No. 3.

Play exercise No. 1 through the Mary Had a Little Lamb melody, then switch to 3 + 2 simultaneously beginning exercise No. 2.
Play No. 2 through the melody then switch to 2 + 3 simultaneously beginning exercise No. 1.
REPEAT.