#1
why, in guitar terms, is legato described as using hammering on and pulling off and things like that

its supposed to be just long drawn out notes isnt it? opposite to staccato. thats how i know the word
#4
It does just mean that the notes flow smoothly. On an instrument like the clarinet, that would mean you don't tongue each note, you just blow continuously through each one. On guitar that means that you don't pick each note, and the main ways to play without picking are hammer-ons, pull-offs, and tapping.


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#6
Quote by branny1982
i think it means 'to flow smoothly' or something like that. on a guitar it often involves hammer ons and pull offs, also taps


and slides
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#9
Legato means fluid playing. When referring to legato in playing piano, you generally associate them as slurs, fast passages, etc. But it guitar terms, you would link them with bends, hammer ons, pull offs, slurs, slides, etc. And those techniques require fluid, naturaly action from your fingers. While picking requires attack, prescense and density. Legato has clarity and slickness about it. Being tied together as Wiki says.
#11
From the dolmetsch.com musical dictionary:

(English, German, Italian, literally 'bound') smooth playing style in which the notes seem bound together


Anyway that you achieve it is fine. It describes a sound, not a technique.
#12
Quote by screamsoftly
It does just mean that the notes flow smoothly. On an instrument like the clarinet, that would mean you don't tongue each note, you just blow continuously through each one. On guitar that means that you don't pick each note, and the main ways to play without picking are hammer-ons, pull-offs, and tapping.


The most sensible answer in this thread. ^^

It's the same for a saxophone too, which I play, you usually stop the airflow through the instrument by putting the tip of your tongue on the mouthpiece.
But with legato you just blow the air until the legato ends. ^^
Tongue stopping the air = picking
Airflow steady = Hammer-ons, pull-offs and tapping.
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#13
^ for wind instruments not tonguing is not always the only option: A soft-tongued "duu" articulation is also appropriate in context, as might be full bends ("smears, reed players call it that I know) from note to note.

Use your ears.

For a guitarist, similarly, you might not pick at all, play it all within a monstrous bend, use a vibrato bar, or shift away your pick and play with your thumb. All could be considered legato.
#14
Quote by Grouch
why, in guitar terms, is legato described as using hammering on and pulling off and things like that

its supposed to be just long drawn out notes isnt it? opposite to staccato. thats how i know the word

Technically the use of Legato is incorrect but people use it anyway......Should be slurring.

EDIT: Just to throw it out there, Legato is NOT using a constant airflow. That is Slurring, Legato is using a soft attack to get a smother sound as stated by the person above me....
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#15
I'd say that slurring is a kind of legato sound and that it's not really incorrect it just might not be the appropriate sound to use all the time.
#16
Quote by Nick_
I'd say that slurring is a kind of legato sound and that it's not really incorrect it just might not be the appropriate sound to use all the time.

Actually they'd be two kinds of phrasing options, with legato having a smooth but nonetheless present attack and slurs having no attack sound (speaking from a woodwind standpoint here, as always). So legato would be really light picking, tapping, maybe h-os and p-os though they're usually notated as slurs in standard notation so I'd think not, etc. Slides would be slurring.
The ultimate truth here though is that the term legato is consistently misused in guitar culture and has a completely different meaning than classical or even jazz legato (to my understanding jazz legato is even smoother than classical legato).
#17
What I'm saying is that legato has a broad meaning that encompasses different techniques.

A slur is a specific articulation. Legato is not: it's a descriptor, like (staying similar here) dolce and cantabile.


About the jazz - there's so much oral tradition in the jazz idiom that conventional terminology and notation is only ever approximate. Trust your ears and/or your director.
#18
Quote by BladeSlinger
Technically the use of Legato is incorrect but people use it anyway......Should be slurring.

EDIT: Just to throw it out there, Legato is NOT using a constant airflow. That is Slurring, Legato is using a soft attack to get a smother sound as stated by the person above me....


In guitar terms, it could still be technically correct when you say legato. The reason for that is, hammers, pulls and taps give a very, very slight pseudopicking-like sound. With slides, you can distinctly hear the break between notes when going over the frets, but still very smooth.
#19
Quote by Avedas
In guitar terms, it could still be technically correct when you say legato. The reason for that is, hammers, pulls and taps give a very, very slight pseudopicking-like sound. With slides, you can distinctly hear the break between notes when going over the frets, but still very smooth.

but there is no picking.....therefore it's technically not legato.....People will continue to call it Legato though.
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#20
Quote by screamsoftly
It does just mean that the notes flow smoothly. On an instrument like the clarinet, that would mean you don't tongue each note, you just blow continuously through each one. On guitar that means that you don't pick each note, and the main ways to play without picking are hammer-ons, pull-offs, and tapping.

You're thinking of slurs.
Last edited by CowboyUp at Apr 22, 2008,