Advanced Legato Techniques

How to play using only one hand - omitting any need for picking and playing as smoothly (legato is latin for smooth) as you can!

16
Here are some small exercises I found helped me to play some serious legato licks. Players like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Alan Holdsworth use these alot! These exercises are aimed at people who are already comfortable with legato playing. All these notes should be hammered on with no picking - this ommits any 'click' from the first note of each string and sounds great a high speeds! They should all be played at 60bpm at first, then moved up by 5bpm and played correctly 5 times in a row - with no gaps! Your target should be about 180-200 bpm! Ready? This should be played with six notes per beat.
e-----------5--7--8--7--5----------
b---------------------------8------
g----------------------------------
d----------------------------------
a----------------------------------
e----------------------------------
Wasn't that fun? Make sure that you hammer-on every note! If you have problems with open string noise, try muting them by reaching across and lightly touching the strings with your right palm - Satriani style! Here's another digibusta at 4 notes per beat:
e---------------5--------------------------
b------5--6--8-----8--6--5-----------------
g---7--------------------------------------
d------------------------------------------
a------------------------------------------
e------------------------------------------
This effect sounds great for lazy legato lines drifting across chords! Here is one that goes through the whole minor pentatonic scale. This one should be played in triplets.
e--15-12----12---------------------------------
b--------15----15-12-15-12----12---------------
g--------------------------14----14-12-14-12---
d--------------------------------------------14
a----------------------------------------------
e----------------------------------------------

e-----------------------------------------------------
b-----------------------------------------------------
g--12-------------------------------------------------
d-----14-12-14-12----12-------------------------14~---
a-----------------14----14-12-14-12----12-------------
e-----------------------------------15----15-12-------
You should rememer this pattern as it sounds great in fast blues playing. You should also try basic finger independence exercises to make sure all your fingers develop at the same rate!
e.g.

e---------------------3-4-3-------------------
b-----------------2-3-------3-2---------------
g-------------2-4---------------4-2-----------
d---------1-4-----------------------4-1-------
a-----1-3-------------------------------3-1---
e-1-2---------------------------------------2-1
That's a tricky one! Move it up through every position all the way up the neck! And remember - no cheating! Don't pick a single note! Finally, after all your hard work, here is a reward with a monster legato lick! I play this with 6 notes per beat, but if you're new to the technique try it with triplets first.
e-----------------------------------------------------
b-------------------------------------------------6-8-
g-------------------------------------4-5-7/5-7-9-----
d-------------2-----------2-4-5/4-5-7-----------------
a-------2-3-5---5-3-2-3-5-----------------------------
e-2-3-5-----------------------------------------------

e----6-8-10/12-10-8------------------10-12-14-15~-
b-10----------------12-10-8/10-12-14--------------
g-------------------------------------------------
d-------------------------------------------------
a-------------------------------------------------
e-------------------------------------------------
Take all these exercises slowly at first and then build up the speed - the philosophy I follow is "speed is a by-product of accuracy." Remember - no speed is too fast! These can be played at and up to 240 bpm! (useful info for any shredheads out there). Hope my lesson is useful as it's my first ever! - Tim Douglas.

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comments policy
    [travis]
    Greatest legato player: Jim Root of Slipknot. That guy makes the coolest solos. Same shapes, but still cool.
    leftylikejimi
    wow these are fun legato licks lol When i first some them I thought it would be a huge pain in the butt, though they are really easy to do once you get it down!
    will-loves-zep
    if you really want to build up technique and strength play 'em 15 times and until you're completely 100% comfortable. good lesson
    itsxsteves
    adding what fingers ur supposedto use would help alot especially on that last one
    ZaDunne
    Feelthevayne wrote: AND REMEMBER.....FINGER MATCHES FRET
    so how many fingers do you have?
    JL_Shredder
    Nice lesson man. All I need is a yo-yo and I can do the Jason Becker Trick! Check this out if you haven't seen him do it!
    vIsIbleNoIsE
    is it important that i be able to do the harder exercises in this lesson without having to mute with my right hand?
    TimFromHell
    hey men.im a beginner . can you give me an advanced lessons??? . i dont have any lessons. but im pamiliar in some beg. les. .
    benjonotbanjo
    hmm good lesson, but the tabs seriously need some more detail.. don't just tell us to hammer on, but in the h's! anyway, i love legato stuff, and the final run you have down there is pretty fun full speed, so good job.
    TimFromHell
    TimFromHell wrote: hey men.im a beginner . can you give me an advanced lessons??? . i dont have any lessons. but im pamiliar in some beg. les. .
    mtboarder12
    this is a really good wharm up excirzise thanx a bunch good musicians always play wharm ups on their instrument to improve their technique no matter what instrument it is.
    Eggy331
    this was a great article man. its good exercise even if you pick it all. i love that pentatonic scale exercise. keep up the good work. 5 stars.
    BlumeCrew
    pavan :nice sexercises
    haha we could use some more sexercises on this site