Developing Guitar Legato

GuitarBlog: Developing Guitar Legato...

This week on the GuitarBlog, I run through Developing Guitar Legato Technique... 

Developing good guitar legato technique involves a lot of skills. When practicing the studies in this lesson plan, you'll want to focus on building skills that involve the fretting-hand technique plus the ability for building speed with legato. 

Legato is the performance of notes in a way that creates a very connected flow between each tone. Developing this very smooth and connected attack allows a very liquid response for the resulting legato lines. The opposite of Legato is, "Staccato," (a very short and detached attack).  Normally on guitar, Legato is achieved through a series of hammer-ons and pull-offs. It can also be applied using slides between some of the notes as well. The technique can be done fast or slower, but the effect is one in where the notes blend seamlessly from one scale tone into the next.

When practicing Legato, it is important to pay a lot of attention to the feel of the attack upon the string and on keeping your hand very relaxed. With good accuracy developed, (hitting the string with the tip of each finger), combined with the more relaxed that you are, you will  have an easy time playing legato licks. However, if you are not hitting the string with the tip of the finger, or if you are tense and unable to allow the notes to flow, your legato will be poor.

Another important element is the use of a metronome. The steady click of using a metronome will work to develop your legato to it's top level of performance. Metronome studies will go a long way in helping you to achieve excellent control. Over time the control will grow to be very automatic for you. In the long run having great control, good technique and a easy relaxed feel will help you integrate the performance of legato runs into your personal style of playing. Enjoy!

Developing Guitar Legato

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