Need help with basic legato

Discussion in 'Tab & Music Forum' started by MTguitar, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. MTguitar

    MTguitar Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    88
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Location:
    Montana
    I figured the long winter months are a good time to learn something new, so I've been watching a few legato lessons on youtube. I've got two questions:

    1) what size strings are good for a legato beginner? i've been using 9's on my strat but I tend to bend the note out of pitch quite a bit when I do my pull offs. should i got to a heavier string gauge or just practice until the 9's work?

    2) when I do my pull offs, should I pull/flick down or up? the one youtube vid i've been watching shows the guy pulling downward, but up is more comfortable to me.

    btw, i'm not trying to become some shred master, but would like to get a decent handle on the skill because it sound so cool:D

    thanks
     
  2. Carlsoti

    Carlsoti Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,386
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    I'm not a "shred master" either, but here's my ideas. I don't think you should go to a heavier string. Eventually, you're fingers will get stronger, and you'll just throw the 10's out of tune. Practice with the 9's 'till they work. If you're throwing it out of tune, work on the actual "pull-off" portion of the movement, or try to get to it a little quicker, if that makes sense.
    As far a which WAY to flick, there are two schools of thought. #1. Go with what feels good. #2. Practive the one that's more difficult, or less comfortable, until it makes no difference. By doing this, you expand your abilities, and your playing will become more fluid. If taken to the extreme, your fingers will "stop getting in the way", and the guitar will become an extension of yourself, essentially becoming a "second voice".
     
  3. Diamond Jim

    Diamond Jim Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    542
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Location:
    Clarksville, Indiana
    With any technique, song, riff, what-have-you, the standard advice is practice your weakest link more than stuff you're comfortable with. Also slower is better. One of the things that I've started to try to do is work with a metronome, starting at an ridiculously slow tempo and just edging it up a click or two once I've got it down at the previous tempo. Another thing to remember is relax. I have a bad habit of "strangling" the neck.

    Just my .02,
    Jim
     
  4. ArlenBucy

    ArlenBucy Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    37
    Messages:
    1,549
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    Plant City, FL
    What is legato?
     
  5. MTguitar

    MTguitar Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    88
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Location:
    Montana
    A hammer on/pull off speed method that is used extensively in metal and appears every once in a while in short spurts in other kinds of rock and even modern country. Check it out on youtube, there's plenty of videos there.
     
  6. aznrambo481

    aznrambo481 Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    564
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Location:
    SoCal
    A lot of the shredders use 9's, so I don't think it's necessary to shift up gauges as long as you get the hang of it. I was talking to a guy at the local store who plays an ibanez with 9's tuned down to C# standard, so there are people who play with really low string tension. It's advantageous because it's easier to depress the strings to hit the frets, therefore resulting in faster playing. As for "flicking"... I normally do it down, but whatever works for you. I'm sure there isn't some definitive rule on this, so do what you like. I actually find Carlsoti's advice very interesting.
     
  7. hendrixfan

    hendrixfan Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    50
    Messages:
    1,686
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    England