Study

Legato for Beginners

Instructors: Sean Conklin, Rick Graham, Pavel Denisjuk Total lessons in study:
In this study, IG instructors explain the very basics of legato along with the various techniques, such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides.

1. The Very Basics of Legato

1. Legato for Beginners - Introduction
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
Welcome to the 'Legato for Beginners' tutorial. By the time you go through these lessons, you should have a solid understanding of what legato is, and how we can apply it to guitar. So, what is legato? Legato is a characteristic in music where there is no separation between notes. In other words, where the notes sound very...Read More
2. Legato for Beginners - Hammer Ons
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
The first legato technique we're going to look at are hammer ons. The name 'hammer ons' is somewhat self-explanatory. This technique is going to involve our fingers hammering on the fretboard in order to produce notes. In order to play a hammer on, what will usually happen is you'll pick a note, then after that, a finger ...Read More
3. Legato for Beginners - Pull Offs
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
Now, let's focus on pull offs. With pull offs, our fingers are going to pull off the strings to produce notes. In order to play a pull off, you'll first pick a note that one of your fret-hand fingers is holding down. Then once that note is played, that same finger will pull off the string to then sound whatever note it is ...Read More
4. Legato for Beginners - Slides
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
Lastly, let's have a look at slides. Slides are pretty much the epitome of legato. The reason for that is slides are the absolute smoothest possible transition you can have from one note to another. In order to play a slide, pick any note, then while that note is sustaining, drag your finger up or down the string to a diff...Read More
5. Legato for Beginners - Legato Lick
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
Okay, it's time to put these techniques to practical use! In this lesson, we'll learn a short riff that includes all 3 legato techniques we've just learned in this tutorial: hammer ons, pull offs, and slides. In this riff, you'll just be using your index and ring fingers to play the notes. And with your picking hand, just ...Read More

2. Rick Graham's Legato for Beginners

6. Basics of Legato Technique - Introduction
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
Hi and welcome to this new tutorial on the subject of Legato. I'm going to break this subject up into two tutorials which will start with the basic essentials of this technique and progress to the more advanced material in the follow up. Please remember that this is the way I approach this subject so as always, take what w...Read More
7. Basics of Legato Technique - Thumb Positioning
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
The first step is to consider the left hand thumb positioning on the back of the neck. More often than not, the ideal position for the thumb is opposite somewhere between the first and second fingers of the left hand. This does provide a nice solid base to work from when applying legato technique. More recently I have also ...Read More
8. Basics of Legato Technique - Economy of Motion
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
Now that we have the thumb positioning covered, I'd like to discuss an element of playing that is not only applicaple to legato style playing but to everything and that is economy of motion. It does have it's roots based pretty firmly in legato technique for me though as with legato, the main task relies heavily on the abil...Read More
9. Basics of Legato Technique - Muting
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
One of the most important techniques that we need to achieve control over our legato technique is a good solid muting technique. Again, this technique will be beneficial to you whatever technique you are employing but as discussed before, the focus is in the control of the left hand. This exercise starts with the index fin...Read More
10. Basics of Legato Technique - Closing Notes
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
OK now that you have these basic but extremely important elements in place you will need to get practicing them in order to be ready for the follow up tutorial. It is essential that you create a solid foundation for yourself to build your legato skills upon otherwise you may not benefit as much as you could. In the next tu...Read More

3. More Basics of Legato

11. What is Legato?
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
Hey there IG guitar players, Let's start working on a very useful technique called legato. After you watch the video explanation, let's once more review the important parts of legato: 1. bring the wrist forward to obtain the optimal position for your fingers 2. remember to keep your thumb at least in the middle of the ne...Read More
12. Playing Legato - Exercise 1
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
In the previous lesson we worked on moving our fingers totally separately from each other. In this one will work on getting your fingers to work in linear sequence. The difference is that in this exercise the loudness of the next note depends on how good you do the pull-off and hammer-on. In the previous lesson the loudness...Read More
13. Playing Legato - Exercise 2
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
Ok, it's now time to move from single string exercises and have a bigger bite. :) 2 strings exercises are more difficult as you now have to watch carefully what you mute and what you pick so here it is step by step: 1. as we need some 'starting power' we pick the first note. 2. now we play the next 2 notes legato (with p...Read More
14. Playing Legato - Exercise 3
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
OK, remember the first legato lesson? Well, now we'll use that same exercise and play it on 2 strings which will make it way more difficult. First of all, I want to turn your attention to tabs: in the tab you can only see each sequence repeated twice while in the video I play it 4 times. I did it on purpose so you don't th...Read More
15. Playing Legato - Exercise 4
Technique
Any Style
Beginner
Here we go - 3 strings legato exercise. As you can see, we involve a few pickstrokes here and there. These are unavoidable as we move between strings a lot and we only use picks when we are playing ascending runs as it is hard to hammer-on the next string on ascending run without making lots of noise. Here you'll find all...Read More