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Legato+Tap
Posted by zylaxis
on guitarwar.com - Dec 26, 2004 @ 03:04:52 AM


Adding RH tapping to LH legato licks


Download Lesson MP3 File [HERE]

In a recent post, "Black Ice," I used a lot of extended legato licks, adding RH tapped notes into the scalar/modal mix for smoothness and fluidity.

There are number of great professional guitarists who are well-known for this approach; they include Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, Reb Beach, and others.

Rather than transcribe parts of my solos verbatim, I decided that it would be more useful to show the exercises I use to prepare these techniques, because they're a little less random and much more structured than my improvisations.

The legato technique is ALWAYS problematic, and it takes a lot of work not only to achieve it, but to maintain it as well. Two tips that might help in practicing these exercises, which I use regularly:

1. Practice on your electric guitar without an amp. Spend at least half your practice time doing this. Your ears will get more sensitive, and it'll really force you to clean up your technique.

2. Practice your 3-notes-per-string scales LH only, without a pick, ESPECIALLY ascending. In order to make the most of tapping/legato you must learn to hammer-on with your LH index finger "from nowhere," and it is extremely difficult to do it cleanly. It's the fundamental key to Allan Holdsworth's sound, and it takes constant work to maintain it.

Here is the basic A-major scale fingering we will be using; the E at the [9th fret/G-string] is doubled at the [5th fret/B-string] for a pattern that lies nicely across the neck and under the fingers. Steve Vai uses this fingering extensively (check out a transcription of "Liberty" from "Passion and Warfare").


E |-------------------------------5-7-9-|
B |-------------------------5-7-9-------|
G |-------------------6-7-9-------------|
D |-------------6-7-9-------------------|
A |-------5-7-9-------------------------|
E |-5-7-9-------------------------------|


Here is an exercise for the LH alone. DO NOT USE A PICK. Hammer the index-finger notes "from nowhere".

[repeat 2-4x or as long as you can stand it]
E|---------------------------------h5h7h9p7p5--------------------------------|
B|---------------------------h5h7h9----------h9p7p5--------------------------|
G|---------------------h6h7h9----------------------h9p7p6--------------------|
D|---------------h6h7h9----------------------------------h9p7p6--------------|
A|---------h5h7h9----------------------------------------------h9p7p5--------|
E|(h)5h7h9-----------------------------------------------------------h9p7p(5)|
LH:  1 2 4  1 2 4 1 2 4 (etc.)

Next is an exercise for RH/LH together:

E ||----------------------------------------------t14p5h7h9-|
B ||-------------------------------------t14p5h7h9----------|
G ||----------------------------t14p6h7h9-------------------|
D ||-------------------t14p6h7h9----------------------------|
A ||----------t14p5h7h9-------------------------------------|
E ||-t14p5h7h9----------------------------------------------|

                                                [repeat 2-4x]
E |-t14p9p7p5----------------------------------------------||
B |----------t14p9p7p5-------------------------------------||
G |-------------------t14p9p7p6----------------------------||
D |----------------------------t14p9p7p6-------------------||
A |-------------------------------------t14p9p7p5----------||
E |----------------------------------------------t14p9p7p5-||

The third exercise is again for LH alone, following a slightly more
complicated but fairly standard pattern. Again, DO NOT USE A PICK:

E||---------------------------------------------------------------------h5h7|
B||--------------------------------------------------------h5h7h9p7p5h7h9---|
G||------------------------------------------h6h7h9p7p6h7h9-----------------|
D||----------------------------h6h7h9p7p6h7h9-------------------------------|
A||--------------h5h7h9p7p5h7h9---------------------------------------------|
E||h5h7h9p7p5h7h9-----------------------------------------------------------|

                                                               [repeat 2-4x]
E |-9p7p5-----------------------------------------------------------------||
B |------h9p7p5h7h9p5p5---------------------------------------------------||
G |--------------------h9p7p6h7h9p7p6-------------------------------------||
D |----------------------------------h9p7p6h7h9p7p6-----------------------||
A |------------------------------------------------h9p7p5h7h9p7p5---------||
E |--------------------------------------------------------------h9p7(p5)-||

Last, we have an exercise which combines the previous with RH tap-ons:

E ||----------------------------------------------------------------|
B ||----------------------------------------------------------------|
G ||----------------------------------------------------------------|
D ||-------------------------------------------h6h7h9-t14p9p7p6h7h9-|
A ||-----------------------h5h7h9-t14p9p7p5h7h9---------------------|
E ||-(h)5h7h9-t14p9p7p5h7h9-----------------------------------------|

E |-----------------------------------------h5h7h9-t14p9p7p5h7h9-|
B |---------------------h5h7h9-t14p9p7p5h7h9---------------------|
G |-h6h7h9-t14p9p7p6h7h9-----------------------------------------|
D |--------------------------------------------------------------|
A |--------------------------------------------------------------|
E |--------------------------------------------------------------|

E |-t14p9p7p5-------------------------------------------------------------|
B |----------h9p7p5h7h9-t14p9p7p5-----------------------------------------|
G |------------------------------h9p7p6h7h9-t14p9p7p6---------------------|
D |--------------------------------------------------h9p7p6h7h9-t14p9p7p6-|
A |-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
E |-----------------------------------------------------------------------|

                         [repeat 2-4x]
E |---------------------------------||
B |---------------------------------||
G |---------------------------------||
D |---------------------------------||
A |-h9p7p5h7h9-t14p9p7p5------------||
E |---------------------t14p9p7(p5)-||


I hope this lends a little insight into some useful techniques.

 


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