#1
I've noticed people using the term 'legato' where 'slur' should be used ever since I started using these forums and using online guitar lessons....People say that legato isn't picked when in theory it should be picked just like how a wind player wouldn't slur every note when their music was marked Legato, they would lightly tongue each note for a smooth but slightly separated sound....So am I applying a rule out of context since I'm basing this off of 4 years of sax and about 2 years of guitar and bass?....
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#2
Legato is making the notes flow together, Sluring is like sliding your finger up a fret on the guitar in the middle of the last note.
#4
Most guitarists are not educated in musical terminology and don't know better. That's all, don't look too deeply into it.
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#5
Ok, I see now....Legato is hammers and Slurring is slides, which makes sense now. Thanks for clearing this up, it's been bugging me a while now....
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#6
Quote by Guitarfreak777
Legato is making the notes flow together, Sluring is like sliding your finger up a fret on the guitar in the middle of the last note.

by what you're saying, sliding=slurring, but that's not quite the truth.
here's the full deal: some guitarist misapplied the term "legato" along the way, and it stuck. for those who don't know the classical definitions, "staccato" means putting some space between the notes, where as legato involves smooth phrasing and gentle transitions between notes. in wind-playerese, they're still "tongued" though, it's just a light attack. it's the difference between "tah tah tah" (staccato) and "dah dah dah" or "lah lah lah" (legato).
slurred notes have no separation between them, and when i hear guitarists refer to legato technique this is what they're usually talking about, rather than a very light pick attack with minimal separation. hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, tapping (a kind of h-o or p-o, if you think about it), and bends are all slurs. basically, if you aren't using the pick it's slurred.
i guess you could say slur techniques are just an extreme form of legato (no separation rather than minimal), but technically it's incorrect to refer to these techniques as legato.
ah! even better analogy: imagine a violinist (or violist, cellist, double bassist, whatever) playing. if they have to change stroke direction, it's legato (if the change is gentle) or staccato (if it's sharp). anything where they don't change direction (or only change when they hit the end of the bow) is slurred - what most guitarists refer to as legato. and for the record, there are varying degrees of attack strength; it doesn't have to be staccato or legato, it may be somewhere in the middle.
#7
Quote by Nightfyre
by what you're saying, sliding=slurring, but that's not quite the truth.
here's the full deal: some guitarist misapplied the term "legato" along the way, and it stuck. for those who don't know the classical definitions, "staccato" means putting some space between the notes, where as legato involves smooth phrasing and gentle transitions between notes. in wind-playerese, they're still "tongued" though, it's just a light attack. it's the difference between "tah tah tah" (staccato) and "dah dah dah" or "lah lah lah" (legato).
slurred notes have no separation between them, and when i hear guitarists refer to legato technique this is what they're usually talking about, rather than a very light pick attack with minimal separation. hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, tapping (a kind of h-o or p-o, if you think about it), and bends are all slurs. basically, if you aren't using the pick it's slurred.
i guess you could say slur techniques are just an extreme form of legato (no separation rather than minimal), but technically it's incorrect to refer to these techniques as legato.
ah! even better analogy: imagine a violinist (or violist, cellist, double bassist, whatever) playing. if they have to change stroke direction, it's legato (if the change is gentle) or staccato (if it's sharp). anything where they don't change direction (or only change when they hit the end of the bow) is slurred - what most guitarists refer to as legato. and for the record, there are varying degrees of attack strength; it doesn't have to be staccato or legato, it may be somewhere in the middle.

Ok, that's what I was thinking.....
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#9
legato simply means smoothly. There are many techniques and sounds that can achieve that.

Similarly people (many wind players too) misapply staccato: It means detached (not short)
#10
slurred notes have no separation between them, and when i hear guitarists refer to legato technique this is what they're usually talking about, rather than a very light pick attack with minimal separation. hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, tapping (a kind of h-o or p-o, if you think about it), and bends are all slurs. basically, if you aren't using the pick it's slurred.


I disagree. I played sax so I do understand what you're talking about. However, I don't believe you can call "legato" on guitar slurring. Even a finger slide has a marked space when you go over a fret. It's a very fast space, but it is there. I'd argue the same for ham/pull-offs there is a distinct pseudo-picking sound to it.

Now a true glass slide I might consider slurring.
#11
Quote by capiCrimm
I disagree. I played sax so I do understand what you're talking about. However, I don't believe you can call "legato" on guitar slurring. Even a finger slide has a marked space when you go over a fret. It's a very fast space, but it is there. I'd argue the same for ham/pull-offs there is a distinct pseudo-picking sound to it.

Now a true glass slide I might consider slurring.


Agreed. Also a fretless guitar/bass would create the true slurring sound. I'll always refer to hammers and pulls as legato.
#12
Quote by Nick_
legato simply means smoothly. There are many techniques and sounds that can achieve that.

Similarly people (many wind players too) misapply staccato: It means detached (not short)

Well.....Marcato is more of a detached than staccato, out directors tell us to play staccato short but not necessarily cut off the note.....I've never seen something like a staccato whole note though because that defeats the purpose of marking it staccato....
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Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

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brot pls
#13
Quote by capiCrimm
I disagree. I played sax so I do understand what you're talking about. However, I don't believe you can call "legato" on guitar slurring. Even a finger slide has a marked space when you go over a fret. It's a very fast space, but it is there. I'd argue the same for ham/pull-offs there is a distinct pseudo-picking sound to it.

Now a true glass slide I might consider slurring.

Yeah, I can see where you're coming from there. But I would argue that there's a slight separation when a wind player changes fingerings as well. It's imperceptible, but it's there. As a fellow wind player (I play bassoon), I hope I can speak with some authority on that point, but it may well be a matter of opinion.
The best definition of a slur, in my opinion, is when there is no percievable space between notes, and I personally don't hear the separation between h-o's, p-o's, or slides. Nor do I hear a "pseudo-picking" sound, but you may be fretting the strings with a harder touch than me, which would cause them to sound differently, to the point where it might have such a sound.
Part of the logic behind my argument also lies in standard notation. If you have something in standard notation and tab, you'll notice that with slides, slurs, and bends there's a curve over or under the notes. That line marks a slur. (I stand corrected on tapping, btw. It's not notated as slurred if you look at notation with tapping.) So according to said widely-accepted notation, hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, and bends are in fact slurs, not legato. Thus, I would also argue that ghost hammers (hammering on to a different string), if done with the same technique as a standard hammer-on, would have the same sound as a hammer-on, and thus also be a slur technique. Slide guitar and fretless guitar/bass are definitely slur techniques, so we're in agreement on that point.
BladeSlinger, Nick_ is correct in his definition of staccato. It does mean separated rather than short. And you're right, marcato would have a more cut-off ending than staccato. Staccato can still have a smooth ending to a note, there just has to be space between notes. A staccato whole note definitely defeats the purpose. A dotted half note tied to an eighth with an eighth rest at the end would probably be used instead if the composer wanted some space at the very end of a bar. I know I've seen that, but I'm pretty sure I've yet to see a staccato whole note.
#14
Quote by Nightfyre
Yeah, I can see where you're coming from there. But I would argue that there's a slight separation when a wind player changes fingerings as well. It's imperceptible, but it's there. As a fellow wind player (I play bassoon), I hope I can speak with some authority on that point, but it may well be a matter of opinion.
The best definition of a slur, in my opinion, is when there is no percievable space between notes, and I personally don't hear the separation between h-o's, p-o's, or slides. Nor do I hear a "pseudo-picking" sound, but you may be fretting the strings with a harder touch than me, which would cause them to sound differently, to the point where it might have such a sound.
Part of the logic behind my argument also lies in standard notation. If you have something in standard notation and tab, you'll notice that with slides, slurs, and bends there's a curve over or under the notes. That line marks a slur. (I stand corrected on tapping, btw. It's not notated as slurred if you look at notation with tapping.) So according to said widely-accepted notation, hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, and bends are in fact slurs, not legato. Thus, I would also argue that ghost hammers (hammering on to a different string), if done with the same technique as a standard hammer-on, would have the same sound as a hammer-on, and thus also be a slur technique. Slide guitar and fretless guitar/bass are definitely slur techniques, so we're in agreement on that point.
BladeSlinger, Nick_ is correct in his definition of staccato. It does mean separated rather than short. And you're right, marcato would have a more cut-off ending than staccato. Staccato can still have a smooth ending to a note, there just has to be space between notes. A staccato whole note definitely defeats the purpose. A dotted half note tied to an eighth with an eighth rest at the end would probably be used instead if the composer wanted some space at the very end of a bar. I know I've seen that, but I'm pretty sure I've yet to see a staccato whole note.

Ok, I see what he's saying, our director fails anyway....He can't keep a straight tempo a lot of the time (even with a ****ing metronome!) and he's an annoying prick....
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#15
Quote by BladeSlinger
Ok, I see what he's saying, our director fails anyway....He can't keep a straight tempo a lot of the time (even with a ****ing metronome!) and he's an annoying prick....

Lol, I know what you mean... obviously I'm in our wind ensemble, but the orchestra conductor at our school is a complete prick, not to mention she has a significant gravitational field (the woman is ROUND). And she definitely can't keep time... as a joke the violins once tried to see how much they could up the tempo before she noticed... they accelerated it by about 100 bpm before she stopped the music. It's amazing that they don't fall apart in concert the way she conducts... a testament to the orchestra's skills I guess.
#16
Legato describes the way a certain passage is played, it's not a technique. Slurring is a technique and is used to describe the way a specific note is played, although it's really a wind instrument term as it means "blurring" the division between two notes when you shift between them. On a wind instrument you'd do that by using the same breath, so it's actually physically similar to slurring your speech. On a guitar you can bend or slide so it doesn't technically apply.

The biggest misconception on this forum is that legato is a technique.
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