Welcome to the essentials course part three! During the next 5 lessons we will be ramping up the difficulty level by learning soloing techniques, how to riff and even attempt your very first full guitar solo! There is plenty to absorb in this next set of lessons, but if you take it one lesson at a time and practice in between, you'll pick it all up in no time!
These exercises are known as ‘spider exercises’ as they help us gain independence in each of our fingers (which ends up looking like a spider is climbing up and down your fretboard!). As shown in the video we will start by getting the hand into the correct position. As a quick recap you need to:
The term ‘legato’ essentially means smooth playing. On the guitar, legato means playing using hammer-ons and pull-offs. This can be a tricky technique at first, but in the video lesson, I take you through exactly how to perform both techniques. In terms of practising the technique, we will be using the pentatonic scale in a variety of keys against a drum loop, as shown in the tab in the tab section.
We will be looking at the tab for the exercise in the tab section, but it is important to know the symbols for hammer-ons and pull-offs when reading the tab. They look like this:
In this lesson's video, we go through the full playthrough of our very own tune, 'American Lady'. This song is all about applying your new pentatonic skills to a cool riff that will help improve your speed, plectrum accuracy and consistency. We are deliberately using plenty of hammer-ons and pull-offs to practice the technique. Watch the video all the way through then proceed to the next video for the full tutorial and learning materials.
To practice our new legato technique we will learn this cool rock riff, custom written to help you get a grasp on hammer-ons and pull-offs. The track is in the key of A minor using the A minor pentatonic shape 1. The riff repeats throughout the entire song. As a quick reminder, pentatonic shape 1 in A minor can be found in the fretboard diagrams.
After hammer-ons and pull-offs this is probably the most widely used technique on the guitar. It can easily turn a boring scale into something far more exciting! The video takes you through exactly how to slide, so we will talk about what they look like on the guitar tab.
So as you can see a slide is notated with a diagonal line joining each note. The way you know if the slide is going up or down is based on the notes and direction of the arrow. So, if you look at the first slide the notes are 5th fret to 7th fret. The arrow is also going upwards to signify that the slide is upwards. The reverse is then true for the next slide where you move from the 7th fret to the 5th fret and the arrow is moving downwards. Our final example is a slide up and down. This is where we only play one note, then slide it up and without picking again, slide it back down.
Ok, so it is now time to attempt our first guitar solo! We are using the key of C minor and therefore using the C minor pentatonic solo (as shown in the fretboard diagrams). This is a tricky solo as it combines slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs. Parts of the solo are pretty quick as well, so be sure to take it one bar at a time and gradually build up the speed!
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