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Extended Legato Ideas
Posted by zylaxis
on guitarwar.com - Aug 10, 2005


How to Turn a Short Lick into a Really, Really Long One


Download Lesson MP3 File [HERE]

One of the problems that every improvising guitarist runs into early on is trying to figure out ways to turn
scales into interesting soloing patterns or melodic lines.

Melodic sequences within scales (also called figuration) are useful for creating more interest within the basic scale construct, and also help to avoid repetitiously just running up and down the scale degrees backward and forward.

In this article, I'm going to demonstrate how to take a simple legato pattern and expand on it, developing
a short phrase into a longer one (extrapolating) in order to get more mileage out of it.

Essentially, this process is similar to fractalization:
taking a basic figure and repeating it at multiple levels of magnitude, creating patterns within patterns.

For ease of playability, these exercises are in the key of 'B', which puts them square in the middle of the neck.
Here are the basic fingerings: ['B' Ionian ascending, 'C#' Dorian descending.]

[key of B major]
E ||-------------------------------------9-11-12-|
B ||-----------------------------9-11-12---------|
G ||----------------------8-9-11-----------------|
D ||---------------8-9-11------------------------|
A ||--------7-9-11-------------------------------|
E ||-7-9-11--------------------------------------|

E |-14-12-11------------------------------------------||
B |----------14-12-11---------------------------------||
G |-------------------13-11-9-------------------------||
D |---------------------------13-11-9-----------------||
A |-----------------------------------13-11-9---------||
E |-------------------------------------------12-11-9-||

The first exercise, using triplets, takes a simple 9-note phrase and continues it all the
way up the scale:

[exercise #1]
E ||-------------------|-------------------|-------------------|
B ||-------------------|-------------------|-------------------|
G ||-------------------|-------------------|------8h9h11p9p8---|
D ||-------------------|-------8h9h11p9p8--|8h9h11----------11-|
A ||-------7h9h11p9p7--|-7h9h11----------11|-------------------|
E ||-7h9h11----------11|-------------------|-------------------|

E |---------------------|-------9h11h12p11p9--9h11h12-|
B |-------9h11h12p11p9--|9h11h12------------12--------|
G |-8h9h11------------11|-----------------------------|
D |---------------------|-----------------------------|
A |---------------------|-----------------------------|
E |---------------------|-----------------------------|

E |14p12p11--------------11|-----------------------|---------------------|
B |--------14p12p11h12h14--|14p12p11-------------11|---------------------|
G |------------------------|--------13p11p9h11h13--|13p11p9-------------9|
D |------------------------|-----------------------|-------13p11p9h11h13-|
A |------------------------|-----------------------|---------------------|
E |------------------------|-----------------------|---------------------|
                                                [repeat]
E |---------------------|-----------------------------||
B |---------------------|-----------------------------||
G |---------------------|-----------------------------||
D |13p11p9-------------9|-----------------------------||
A |-------13p11p9h11h13-|13p11p9-------------9--------||
E |---------------------|-------12p11p9p11p12-12p11p9-||

The next exercise expands the previous pattern into a 15-note phrase:

[exercise #2]
E ||--------------------------------|--------------------------------|
B ||--------------------------------|--------------------------------|
G ||--------------------------------|-------------8h9h11p9p8---------|
D ||-------------8h9h11p9p8---------|-------8h9h11----------11p9p8---|
A ||-------7h9h11----------11p9p7---|-7h9h11----------------------11-|
E ||-7h9h11----------------------11-|--------------------------------|

E |-----------------------------------|--------------9h11h12p11p9---------|
B |-------------9h11h12p11p9----------|-------9h11h12------------12p11p9--|
G |-------8h9h11------------p11p9p8---|-8h9h11--------------------------11|
D |-8h9h11-------------------------11-|-----------------------------------|
A |-----------------------------------|-----------------------------------|
E |-----------------------------------|-----------------------------------|

E |--------9h11h12-|-14p12p11-----------------------------11-|
B |-9h11912--------|---------14p12p11-------------11h12h14---|
G |----------------|-----------------13p11p9h11h13-----------|
D |----------------|-----------------------------------------|
A |----------------|-----------------------------------------|
E |----------------|-----------------------------------------|

E |--------------------------------------|------------------------------------|
B |-14p12p11---------------------------11|------------------------------------|
G |---------13p11p9-------------9h11h13--|13p11p9---------------------------9-|
D |----------------13p11p9h11h13---------|-------13p11p9-------------9h11h13--|
A |--------------------------------------|--------------13p11p9h11h13---------|
E |--------------------------------------|------------------------------------|
                                                 [repeat]
E |----------------------------------------------------||
B |----------------------------------------------------||
G |----------------------------------------------------||
D |-13p11p9---------------------------9----------------||
A |--------13p11p9-------------9h11h13--13p11p9--------||
E |---------------12p11p9h11h12----------------12p11p9-||

Finally, we add the two previous exercises together to create a super-long 27-note phrase
(incorporating a slight alteration(*) for ease of playability):

[exercise #3]          *---|
E ||--------------------------------------------------------|
B ||--------------------------------------------------------|
G ||--------------------------------------------------------|
D ||-------------------------------------8h9h11p9p8---------|
A ||-------7h9h11p9p7--7-----------7h9h11----------11p9p7---|
E ||-7h9h11----------11-11p9-7h9h11----------------------11-|

E |--------------------------------------------------------|
B |--------------------------------------------------------|
G |-------------------------------------8h9h11p9p8---------|
D |-------8h9h11p9p8--8-----------8h9h11----------11p9p8---|
A |-7h9h11----------11-11p9-7h9h11----------------------11-|
E |--------------------------------------------------------|

E |----------------------------------------------------------|
B |-------------------------------------9h11h12p11p9---------|
G |-------8h9h11p9p8--8-----------8h9h11------------11p9p8---|
D |-8h9h11----------11-11p9-8h9h11------------------------11-|
A |----------------------------------------------------------|
E |----------------------------------------------------------|

E |----------------------------------------9h11h12p11p9----------------9h11h12-|
B |-------9h11h12p11p9--9-----------9h11h12------------12p11p9--9h11h12--------|
G |-8h9h11------------11-11p9-8h9h11--------------------------11---------------|
D |----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A |----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E |----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

E |-14p12p11--------------11--11h12-14p12p11-----------------------------11-|
B |---------14p12p11h12h14--14--------------14p12p11-------------11h12h14---|
G |-------------------------------------------------13p11p9h11h13-----------|
D |-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A |-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E |-------------------------------------------------------------------------|

E |----------------------------------------------------------------------|
B |-14p12p11-------------11--11h12-14p12p11---------------------------11-|
G |---------13p11p9h11h13--13--------------13p11p9-------------9h11h13---|
D |-----------------------------------------------13p11p9h11h13----------|
A |----------------------------------------------------------------------|
E |----------------------------------------------------------------------|

E |------------------------------------------------------------------|
B |------------------------------------------------------------------|
G |-13p11p9-------------9--9h11-13p11p9---------------------------11-|
D |--------13p11p9h11h13-13------------13p11p9-------------9h11h13---|
A |-------------------------------------------13p11p9h11h13----------|
E |------------------------------------------------------------------|
                                                                            [repeat]
E |-------------------------------------------------------------------------------||
B |-------------------------------------------------------------------------------||
G |-------------------------------------------------------------------------------||
D |-13p11p9-------------9--9h11-13p11p9---------------------------11--------------||
A |--------13p11p9h11h13-13------------13p11p9-------------9h11h13--13p11p9-------||
E |-------------------------------------------12p11p9h11h12----------------12p11p9||


As you can see, by starting with a short, simple phrase and working out extensions and variations
of that phrase, you can create some monster licks with relative ease.

 


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