An excellent way to begin developing the alternation of a, is with the p,i,m-a,i arpeggio. It’s organized exactly the same as p,i,m,i, only a is coupled with m. The pattern is organized as follows:
- begin with p on a bass and i-m-a flexed into the hand.
- as p plays, prepare i-m-a on their strings.
- move i and m-a sympathetically in to the hand.
- as m-a play, i prepares–this is the alternation.
- as i plays, prepare p and repeat the pattern.
Both studies above are accessible, but“a”-tude is easier due to its built-in rhythmic pause on beat 3. “a”-O-K maintains eighth-note rhythmc conituity and has more active left-hand work, following the harmony change per half note. For more information about the p,i,m-a,i arpeggio as well as musical application, see the Shearer Method: Classic Guitar Foundations, Book I, p. 125.