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Modern Legato Application - Preliminary Exercises

Tom Quayle 164 lessons

Right! On to the application of this legato approach.

These preliminary exercises are designed to help you warm up and develop your legato and hybrid picking.

Preliminary exercise no.1 is based on a G major scale but is 'souped' up with some chromaticism to spice things up a little. This is the kind of thing players such as Greg Howe, Derryl Gabel, Brett Garsed and Allen Hinds do all the time. All the chromatics here are pull off's. We'll use chromatic hammer ons in prelim exercise no.2.

What you're aiming for here is a consistency of timing and attack. Your notes should all be the same volume and your timing should be as good as if you were picking everything! Be strict with yourself here. Slow practice is really the only way to achieve this accuracy.

By using the middle finger every time we ascend to a new string we can keep the attack of that first note as similar to our legato notes as possible. We don't want the first note of each string to 'pop' out louder than the others. Start out slowly and try this idea with other modes for the best results. You don't really want to pluck the string as such, rather coax the note out by gently and softly pulling on the string. This action should be very relaxed at slow and high speeds.

Preliminary exercise no. 2 is designed to work on every chromatic 5 note permutation your fingers might come across. We're playing the same chromatic phrase in 4 different ways. This is something I and many legato players do a whole lot! This approach gives you versatility and options when improvising and creating phrases. You'll find some permutations much harder than others and, again, slow practice will yield the best results. Note that all the initial notes on the G string are picked with the middle finger.

The small numbers under the TAB image represent the fingers on the left hand giving you the exact fingerings to use for each bar. The M stands for 'middle finger' on your right hand and the funny symbol which looks like a picnic table viewed from the side means a downstroke with the pick!

Good luck with these - they should prepare you well for the next 5 exercises!

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