Welcome!
Just a few a ground rules first...

Promotion, advertising and link building is not permitted.

If you are keen to learn, get to grips with something with the willing help of one of the net's original musician forums
or possess a genuine willingness to contribute knowledge - you've come to the right place!

Register >

- Close -
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Legato Problems

  1. #1
    Registered User Jamie FT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Leeds, England
    Posts
    167

    Legato Problems

    Hello all, me again with another technique related problem. I've just recently noticed that if I do legato such as the line -7-4-5-4--8-5-7-5--10-7-8-7--12-8-10-8--13-10-12-10 (taken from the book 'Speed Mechanics') but all with hammer ons and pull offs, my fretting fingers brush the string below the one I'm playing slightly when I'm pulling off. I mainly play metal so I usually try to drape a finger across the higher strings for muting purposes so I've never noticed this problem before. I only seem to avoid this problem at really slow tempos and then the note I'm legatoing to sounds really weak and quiet. Has anyone else had this problem and how did you remedy this?

    I was even of thinking of buying Jamie Andreas's book on hammer ons and pull offs (http://www.guitarprinciples.com/Hamm..._more_info.htm) but not sure if it'd be worth it. I also don't agree with EVERY method of his, including playing with your right arm from the elbow, it seems a much better technique to use just the wrist but he disagrees.

    Oh and while I'm making one thread I might as well ask another question here: When I bend I keep my thumb in the same position practically as when I'm playing normally, in the centre of the back of the neck. All guitar teaching books and sites I've seen seem to say that you need your thumb over the neck for bends. Should I change to putting my thumb over the neck? It seems like a bad technique to me..........

    Thanks all!
    Last edited by Jamie FT; 10-04-2005 at 07:41 PM.

  2. #2
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Norway - South West coast
    Posts
    1,322
    Don't understand the legato problem, probably my English. Tried the exercises, and still didn't understand the problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie FT
    Oh and while I'm making one thread I might as well ask another question here: When I bend I keep my thumb in the same position practically as when I'm playing normally, in the centre of the back of the neck. All guitar teaching books and sites I've seen seem to say that you need your thumb over the neck for bends. Should I change to putting my thumb over the neck? It seems like a bad technique to me..........
    I use my thumb over the neck for bends. It's automatic. I tried hard to force me to bend with the thumb in normal position. It worked okayish, but felt awkward. If you have developed a technique with your thumb in normal position, I would say that was great. The only thing that you may consider is the vibrato. If you can do a nice vibrato with this bending technique, I cant' see any reason for changing.

  3. #3
    Registered User Jamie FT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Leeds, England
    Posts
    167
    Thanks for the advice, and my first and main problem is that when doing legato (especially pull offs) my left hand fingers stroke the next high string slightly. I say especially with pull offs because you kinda 'pull' the string downwards very slightly and it makes the finger touch the next string slightly. Do you see what I mean now?

  4. #4
    Weak Fingers MattW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    North England
    Posts
    334
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie FT
    Thanks for the advice, and my first and main problem is that when doing legato (especially pull offs) my left hand fingers stroke the next high string slightly. I say especially with pull offs because you kinda 'pull' the string downwards very slightly and it makes the finger touch the next string slightly. Do you see what I mean now?
    I understand what you mean, when I used to do pull-offs like that (I'll explain that in a minute) I used to use right hand fingers to mute the adjecent strings, that seemed to work fairly well but led to difficulty mixing legato with picking, I got around that by altering how I muted with my right hand. I began using the last joint of the thumb and my middle finger to do this instead (palm and little finger can mute any other strings if necessary), the pick just hovers over the string ready to be used when required.

    The thing is now, I don't do pull-offs as such anymore, only hammer-ons (descending and ascending, like tapping everything with the right hand), this not only makes hammers and pull-offs sound more similar but because the motion is much more perpendicular to the fretboard but I find I touch other strings by mistake considerably less now. I don't know whether I should recommend that as a worthwhile thing to practice as it may just be me that finds it easier and might not provide the dynamics you would prefer.

    Current Listening:
    Gong - Expresso II

  5. #5
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    980
    Thats funny... it's often bugged me that some of my PO's when doing a descending run from string to string end up being a sequence of LH taps / HO's and I've been trying to fix that.. maybe I won't.

    For the specific problem on one string (and I know that exercise) Jamie described I mute the string above with the LH finger I'm pulling off too. Thats a good exercise for getting the position shifts sorted (still working on it).

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    48
    I am working on the same problem, and I just about have it beaten.

    Basically, what it sounds like you're doing are over-exaggerated movements with your fretting fingers. When learning complex legato runs with untrained fingers it is easy to overdo the movements, much like learning alternate picking and using too wide of a stroke.

    You are going to have to concentrate and go slowly keeping the finger movements as small as possible until you work it up to speed. I used to practice simple legato stuff and mute the strings with my right hand so I wouldn't drive myself crazy with the extra string noise. That works great for finger conditioning at first, but eventually you want to be able to hammer on and pull off in nice, tight movements that do not strike the srings above or below.

    The best way I can think to describe the movement is a slight movement down as you pull off (like you're doing now) and then quickly pull the finger up to avoid the strings below. This all happens really fast at tempo, but it keeps the pattern tight and clean. Hammer-ons should be just straight down, clean and simple. Again, slow and methodical to train those muscles, then slowly up to speed. It is quite maddening at first, I assure you.

    It just takes time, but just knowing that you need to avoid hitting the other strings and that it is possible to acheive this makes all the difference. I had a hard tiime believing it could be done myself, at first.

    Of course, none of this eliminates the need for good string muting technique... you'll still need to do this with the right palm and right (and sometimes left) hand fingers whenever possible. The combo of clean pull offs and muting make legato super clean and fluid.

    Good luck!

    Ryan
    Last edited by rrhea; 10-06-2005 at 07:31 PM.

  7. #7
    Registered User Jamie FT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Leeds, England
    Posts
    167
    That has been extremely helpful thank you very much. It's always good to know someone's in the same position as me (or at least was a while ago).

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie FT
    That has been extremely helpful thank you very much. It's always good to know someone's in the same position as me (or at least was a while ago).
    Cool brother! I truly do hope it helped you, and don't worry... you'll get it down in relatively short order. I, at least, have found legato much easier to get down than alt. picking. Everyone is different, but I do think legato might be easier overall.

    If you are working from the Stetina book, then you're already well on your way. Having already discovered that little gem will greatly help you... just stick with it and work from it everyday.

    If you haven't already gotten the Petrucci DVD "Rock Discipline", go get it! With those two resources ("Speed Lead" and "Rock Discipline") alone you can gain some incredible insight and chops.

    Peace,

    Ryan

  9. #9
    Registered User Jamie FT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Leeds, England
    Posts
    167
    Actually, and quite embarressingly, I have it but haven't watched it properly yet. I thought I'd wait until I had a while and go through it slowly and well but I'm always busy!

  10. #10
    YTSE Jammer paTz0r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    95
    The biggest thing thats helped me with my legato is the exercises in JP's rock discipline.

    Heres an example, Do each of these for a minute straight with out stopping (Im working on building past that minute. Today I hit 1:20, im hoping after a few weeks Ill be able to go for a few minutes continuously.

    Code:
    E---------------|-----------------|----------------|--------------------
    B--8p5h7h8p7p5--|-----------------|--8p5h6h8p6p5---|--------------------
    G---------------|--8p5h7h8p7p5----|----------------|---8p5h6h8p6p5-----
    D---------------|-----------------|----------------|--------------------
    A---------------|-----------------|----------------|--------------------
    E---------------|-----------------|----------------|--------------------
    The frets you play it on obviously isn't important, but playing the exercises continuously each for a minute or more is the key to improving.
    This is where a link to my bands website would go.. if we still payed to have it hosted..

  11. #11
    Registered User NickGT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    92
    I have the exact same problem as you, thanks for the excercises guys.
    I'm a gangster.

Similar Threads

  1. Legato and Tapping
    By Exdeath in forum Guitar Technique
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 03-28-2005, 10:24 PM
  2. legato question?
    By satch_master in forum Guitar Technique
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-22-2005, 03:48 PM
  3. legato vs alt. picking
    By satch_master in forum Guitar Technique
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 12-31-2004, 01:35 AM
  4. Legato Style
    By Youngshredder in forum Guitar Technique
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-21-2004, 03:33 AM
  5. Legato Excercises
    By DOTLover in forum Guitar Technique
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-07-2004, 08:14 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •