A Aeolian/C Ionian Legato in 7s Lick With Chris Zoupa

Feeling like you need a legato work out? You've come to the right place. Providing you can count to 7.

Ultimate Guitar
I have been talking to a couple of my students recently about fretting hand finger strength, as well as ways to improve efficiency, dexterity and a reduction of hand and wrist fatigue.

My advice is to do more legato as we lose a lot of the help we get creating sound on our picking hand and have to rely almost solely on the fretting hand. The lick we're looking at today uses 7 note (septuplet) legato groups shifting between an ascending A Aeolian scale and drifting into a descending C Ionian scale. Let's take a look at the lick. (See diagram below)

I know the pulse is kinda weird at first, but doing legato 7 notes per string in this rolling back and forth fashion starts to feel natural with a few tries.

If you want to try practicing it with a click I'd suggest trying to do a full septuplet over a slowish BPM. This means each new click will result in a new septuplet and string change.

Hope you guys enjoyed the exercise. Happy shredding. Check out the YouTube link to this lesson also!

YouTube preview picture

By Chris Zoupa

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Thanks Chris! I've been using another major 3-notes-per-string scale to practise these things. Combining two scales up and down and play 7 notes-per-string seems like a good idea. So thanks for inspiring me to practise again!
    Chris Zoupa
    It's a really cool way to roll back and forth. After a while the septuplet pulse feels pretty natural.
    i'm trying to learn this technique (hence why i'm watching lessons.) when do you choose to use the ring finger vs the pinky finger?
    I don't know about Chris, but to me it's always all about ease of reach, so I try to use my pinky as the "furthest" finger even though I could reach with my ring finger. When I get up in the neck (like around 18 frets, especially on 24 fret guitars), I pretty much discard the use of my pinky, because it's pretty tight in there, hahah. You should always use all your fingers in exercises because independent finger strength is key to playing legatos. It's no use if you don't train your pinky enough and just try to reach with your middle and ring fingers all times. I did that for a long time, regretted it and now I've learned to use all 4.
    I don't think of it as a pinky vs. ring matter, to me it's a middle vs. ring matter. I always use the pinky and the index, and swap between the ring and the middle for the middle note (in three note per string licks.) Only exception is the higher register, where as Sakke stated it gets a little tight.
    I personally use Chris' way of playing it because on the first two strings (E,A) it makes sense to use your 2nd finger for the B (on the E) and the E (on the A) and continue a similar pattern down the fretboard.