The First Lessons: Improvising I And Legato

Part 4. This lesson is the first step towards improvising (the basics of pentatonic) and explains Legato (Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs).

Hey guys :) hope you've enjoyed "The First Lessons"-series so far. I'd love to get your feedback, also contact me if you have any questions concerning guitar techniques and stuff :D ... (the basics of) Improvising At this point, you know how to play chords and play melodies. Perhaps you even learned some easy solos. Lets imagine your friend tells you to "improvise" a little bit. Now, what to do? :) First of all: take the chords. The very easy way to solo is to just play arpeggios of the chords. Arpeggios are chords where the notes are played one after another- NOT all together. So you would just grab the chords and pick the strings just how you like to ;) Honestly, this technique gets a little boring after a while. The next harder step is the pentatonic scale: ... (the basics of) Improvising II Pentatonic is a simple scale without two notes. e.g. the C major pentatonic is a C major scale without "B" and "E"- the notes which are one half step lower than other notes. They are the 3rd and 7th note in the scale :D (note: this is not a tab; this is a diagramm)
   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   fret
MIN: the places of the root note of the minor scale MAJ: the places of the root note of the major scale X : notes you can simply play All you need to know is the scale. If it's a F minor scale, simply move this pattern so that MIN is on F (fret 1). If it's a C major scale, simply move this pattern so that MAJ is on C (fret 8, like in the example) And keep in mind that A minor and C major share the same note. X major scale has the same notes like (X - 3) minor scale. (Number = half steps). For all of you NOT knowing that take a look at a piano: every white note is part of C major and A minor, the difference is what note is used more/longer. ;) ... Hammer-Ons and Pull-Off Legatos are beautiful details in a song. You can connect two notes and- as a result- create a smooth sound. Theoretically, they are simple: Your left hand plays TWO notes, and your right hand picks the string just ONE time. The challenge now is to keep the vibration of the string over the whole time. Let's practice the pentatonic with hammer-ons/pull-offs
Tip on HAMMER-ONS: The trick is to just kick the string as hard as possible. You need to literally HAMMER ON that string to create a tone or keep the vibration on the string. Tips on PULL-OFFS: The first trick is to leave the string as fast as possible. Doing this, you will at least KEEP the string vibration. The second trick is to give the string a little kick when leaving it. It's like a fast bending (next lesson, I'm afraid): the finger moves up and then -almost before being in air- quickly "picks" the string again to get a new vibration and a new, loud tone. ... I will go a little bit further into improvising and soloing next lesson and will explain slides and bends. See you :D Martin Messner P.S. :O And thanks for the flood of emails. :)

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