Oct 9, 2008

Minor Etude Legato

When it comes to diversifying your creative playing, employing techniques
like legato can make all the difference in your playing. If you are unfamiliar
with legato and the concept of playing legato passages, you can check out
the first lesson on legato here. However, I can very easily some it up again.

Legato is simply a fluid series of notes strung together. In order to make them this fluid we must use a series of hammer-ons and pull-offs. Let's say that you are playing one legato passage on one string, and let's say that the passage consisted of 10 or so notes. You would pick the first note, and then hammer-on and pull-off the remaining notes. Yes, that's right. You don't pick them again after that. If the passage is a particularly longer series of notes, then depending on the volume of your amp, you may have to periodically pick the starting note from time to time, just to get your volume back out. Having a good mastery of legato means to have excellent fretting hand strength, and there is no better way to develop this kind of strength than with legato exercises, themselves.

Not only are these exercises phenomenal for building fretting hand strength, but they can also be applied immediately to your solos. Yes, and exercise that actually sounds good and is fun to play.

I have constructed a minor legato exercise that is in itself, a complete portion of a guitar solo. You may want to use a metronome with this (advised) and you will definitely want to start off slow, to ensure that you are producing powerfully, clean notes.


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