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Hello my friends in one more article here on Metalpaths!

The last two months I covered the health issues that can be caused from playing the guitar and music in general. The two articles were under the name “Music And Health” and you can read the part 1 here and the part 2 here.

This month, I decided to change the subject a little bit and write about something different. I will definatily come up with another part for “Music And Health” because I think there are still many things to write about, but I think its better to change the subject now so that we can keep things more interesting. So, This time I came up with the idea of analysing a technique that I get a lot of questions for: the Legato technique. In this article I will try to explain how can you master this technique and make it a part of your playing and at the end of the article there is a Free video lesson for all of you.

Lets go…

Legato technique Definition

Ok, for all of you out there that now start playing the guitar I’ll give you a small general definition of what the Legato technique is. Legato, is the technique where we pick only pick once and play the rest of the notes with our fretting hand. (You can pick every time you change a string, or everytime you feel that you’re getting out of ” fuel” in your fretting hand giving it that way a boost to keep going!)

There are two movements when we play Legato:

  • The Hammer On where we pick the first note and then we fret a note or more higher and
  • The Pull Off where we fret a note lower than the first which was picked.

TECHNIQUAL DIFFICULTIES AND CLASSICAL GUITAR

While most of my beginner level students seem to master the Hammer On with ease they usually have a small difficulty to master the pull off. It is the point where I explain how I maganed to play legato and changed my whole technique forever. I started as an electric guitarist and after probably 2 or 3 years of playing I took some classical guitar lessons because i wanted to see if its going to be usefull  technique-wise for me and help my playing go to another level. And IT DID! Especially with my legato technique and the way i fret after that.  The absence of distortion or any kind of amplification makes it harder to play clean legato lines in the classical guitar and especially the pull offs. So after seeing quite a difference on my technique i got more serious into practicing legato stuff on my classical guitar including exercises for classical guitar (search for the Vertical Legato Exercises if you want) and exercises for electric guitar on my classical guitar, which really helped a lot! I highly recommend you to try that.

SO HOW ARE THE CLASSICAL GUITARISTS DOING IT?

Well,like I said before due to the absence of an amp, they hammer on with more strength and they pull off in a different way! Lets say that we want to start with our 3rd finger pulling off to the first( the classic 7-5 pull off). We make a movement downwords with the 3rd finger which makes the string “ring” and having as a result a powerful pull off! When I practiced that for the first time on my classical guitar i decided to apply it on the electric guitar and see how it goes and the result was exciting!  So I changed my legato technique after this and i must say I’m really satisfied from the result.

METRONOME

As in every technique i recommend to practice with a metronome or a drum machine. Start slowly and let your hands get used to the movement(s). Give them the time they need and the results will really satisfy you.Don’t increase the tempo until you are 100% sure that you play the lick or exercise at the desired level. Another great thing that practicing with a metronome helps its to built your stamina! I have seen many of my students starting a legato line very well and then gradually losing “fuel” and not long after that they’re losing notes,start fretting weaker and weaker and end up stop somewhere in the middle of the lick. Practicing slowly and letting your hand get used to it before speeding it up,is the key to master the big legato licks that most of us want to play.

THE VIDEO LESSON

This was actually the first video lesson I ever did. I had a lot of fun doing it and i most probably will do more in the near future. Every info that you need is explained in the video so don’t lose any more time and go for it. I hope that you’ll like it.

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Thank you very much for reading another Metalpaths article my friends. I hope that you liked it and that it helped you.

Take care and see you next month,

Gus Drax.

You can find me here :

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gus-Drax/135610665650

www.facebook.com/pages/SUNBURST/216513598413990

http://www.youtube.com/biogus87

https://twitter.com/gusdrax