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Guitar Legato Newbie Question

Lordbeck

New Student
Mar 25, 2022
2
1
As title states, I'm trying to learn legato.

I'm a 34 year old working professional and have about an hour a day to practice.

I'm currently learning Syn's Legato 1 lesson.
I'm trying to learn things slow, and am having no issues going descending from the low e string to the high e by using hammer ons, however, when trying to ascend from the high e to low e using pull offs I'm having issues.

lets say in the high e string I have to pull of on 8-7-5, in ascending to the b string do I move all of my fingers to the 8-7-5 of the b string then pull off? Or do I hold my index finger in the 5 of e string while simultaneously pick the 8 on the b string with my pinky then subsequently move my other fingers in the 7 and 5 note?... not sure if i'm making sense.
 
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Ed Seith

Supreme Galactic Overlord
Staff member
Legend+
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    First, let's clarify some language to alleviate confusion.

    Ascending refers to moving from lower notes to higher notes, thicker to thinner strings. I know it runs counter to where the strings are in relation to the ground while you hold the guitar, but it's intended to line up with notes going lower to higher on the musical staff:

    1673553612183.png



    In learning to do the pull-offs, there are two important things to be aware of. You want consistency from one note to the next, even across strings. That means that when you're going to 8th fret B string from 5th fret E string, you need to hit the 8th fret with your pinky BEFORE you lift the index finger from the 5th fret. The brief time your pinky is in use on the 8th fret is where you move the other fingers down into position on that B string. Hope that makes sense.

    The second thing is that if you really want to build legato strength, you only pick the first note. Not the first note on each string, THE FIRST NOTE. This means that you're actually ghost-hammering onto the B string 8th fret and pulling off. Also, "pull off" does not mean "lift the finger off." You have to pull it off sideways almost to make sure you're getting that note to really play. This is harder than doing picking the first note of each string, but it's actually important (which I learned the hard way).

    Let me know if you have further questions! Good luck!
     
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    Lordbeck

    New Student
    Mar 25, 2022
    2
    1
    In learning to do the pull-offs, there are two important things to be aware of. You want consistency from one note to the next, even across strings. That means that when you're going to 8th fret B string from 5th fret E string, you need to hit the 8th fret with your pinky BEFORE you lift the index finger from the 5th fret. The brief time your pinky is in use on the 8th fret is where you move the other fingers down into position on that B string. Hope that makes sense.
    Thanks for this info, Ed! I've been looking at many youtube videos, but none seem to answer my question. Also, at what BPM do you think I should start with?
     
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    Ed Seith

    Supreme Galactic Overlord
    Staff member
    Legend+
  • Nov 11, 2019
    3,568
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    6,106
    52
    Marana, AZ USA
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    You gotta walk before you run. If you're just learning legato, do single string triplets first, then 3-1 (three notes on one string, then 1 note on the next string up or down (do both)), then gradually grow it out.

    For the triplets, cover the major patterns, for example on the 5th fret, you'd do a set of 5-7-8, then a set of 7-8-10, then 8-10-12. You do that across 4, 5, or all six strings and build up to 90 or 100 BPM sextuplets (six notes, or two reps, per click) before moving on to the next complexity, you'll do well.

    Don't increase speed until you can do it EASILY, COMFORTABLY, and EVENLY in time. Repeatedly.

    Have the discipline I failed to have when I started playing in 1984 and you'll do a LOT better.
     
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