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Learn Slurring Techniques (Guitar Lesson)


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Pamela Goldsmith

Learn Slurring Techniques

Pamela introduces proper slurring technique. Also known as hammer-ons and pull-offs, this lesson will take you on a knowledge bound adventure. You will learn some exercises that muscle memory and dexterity. Get ready for a work out!

Taught by Pamela Goldsmith in Classical Guitar with Pamela Goldsmith seriesLength: 12:31Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (12:31) Learn Slurring Techniques Hammer-ons and pull-offs are two forms of "slurs" that can be played on the guitar. Slurs are used to create a smooth, legato sound. A slur occurs when multiple notes are sounded and only one note is struck with the right hand. A hammer-on is a "forward" or "ascending" slur. It begins with a lower note and concludes with a higher note. A pull-off is a "reverse" or "descending" slur. A pull-off begins with a higher note and concludes with a lower note. Other types of guitar slurs are slides and bends. Using the whammy bar to bend a pitch will also produce a type of slur.

Hammer-on Exercise Guidelines

Pamela demonstrates the hammer-on exercise at 02:10 in the lesson video.

1. In order to play a hammer-on, the hammering finger must begin at a distance that is higher than how you normally want to play. Roughly half an inch is necessary to create the snapping movement of the hammer-on.

2. Performing a hammer-on requires a forceful movement with a left-hand finger. The tone of a hammer-on is much clearer and louder when the hammering finger comes down fast and forcefully. If you bring your finger down to slow, the hammer-on will be weak or inaudible.

3. All rules regarding proper left-hand finger placement in relation to the frets become even more crucial when playing hammer-ons. Hammer the finger down right behind the fret. Hammering on top of a fret or too far from it will result in a poor tone. Also, make sure that the thumb is positioned correctly. It should rest roughly against the middle of the neck behind fingers 1 and 2.

4. Use the hard calluses on the tips of the fingers when making contact with the strings. This will help generate a louder tone.

5. Pluck all notes with P. This will allow you to focus all of your attention on the mechanics of the left hand.

6. Practice the exercise on all six strings.

7. Pay VERY close attention to the rhythm in which a hammer on is to be played. Many inexperienced guitarists cut the first note (the plucked note) way too short. Consequently, the hammer on note is held for too long. For starters, practice all hammer-ons and pull-offs in an even eighth note rhythm. Set the metronome so that it clicks on each eighth note to ensure rhythmic accuracy.

Pull-off Exercise Guidelines

Pamela demonstrates the pull-off exercise at 04:38.

1. The plucked note and the subsequent pull-off must be equal in volume.

2. Pull the finger straight down towards the floor when playing a pull-off. This will create the best tone.

3. Be careful not to pull your finger down too far. This may cause one of the adjacent strings to vibrate. Stop the finger performing the pull-off on the string below. Or, make sure the slurring finger clears this string all together. Keep in mind that these suggestions may not be practical when performing rapid pull-offs. However, the pull-off technique should be exaggerated to help you in the early learning stages.

4. Spend extra time practicing with the weaker fingers. Do not stray away from something just because it seems challenging at first.

5. Practice this exercise on all six strings.

6. Play the exercise in time with a metronome. Make sure that both notes under the slur line receive the exact same value.

Additional Slurring Exercise

This exercise is demonstrated at 08:06 in the lesson video. It is designed to develop your slurring ability to perform hammer-ons and pull-offs in all fretboard positions. Follow all of the guidelines listed above as you practice this exercise.

At first, relax the left hand before shifting to the next fretboard position in the exercise. As you become more comfortable with the exercise, eliminate these pauses so that the rhythm remains clean and consistent throughout the entire exercise.

To give the right hand some additional practice, alternate fingers I and M. Rest the thumb on the string below the one being plucked.

Additional Resources

Note:
Check out lesson 5 from Danny Voris' Phase 2 Classical series for additional slurring instruction and exercises.

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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


jet3rryjet3rry replied on January 6th, 2015

Very helpful lesson!

cynthiaintexascynthiaintexas replied on October 11th, 2010

I seem to have a problem with the volume on this lesson. I have the volume on the web page and my computer all the way up ans it's still very faint. All other lessons are fine.

markbrownmarkbrown replied on November 22nd, 2009

I'm currently following Mark Brennan's beginning guitar series and saw you lesson posted and started it just because I had never hear of slurring. However, the exercises are pretty neat and I am going to incorporate them. Thanks, Mark Brown

Pamela.GoldsmithPamela.Goldsmith replied on November 25th, 2009

Thanks Mark.

Classical Guitar with Pamela Goldsmith

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

The origins of the classical guitar date back to the fifteenth century. The vihuela, lute, and baroque guitar are the early predecessors of the guitar. With its origins reaching deep into the past, the classical guitar repertoire spans over five hundred years worth of material. Pamela Goldsmith explains the techniques necessary to mastering this timeless art form.



Lesson 1

Introducing Pamela Goldsmith With Classical Guitar

Here we go JamPlay! A new instructor is joining the squad. Her name is Pamela Goldsmith, and she is here to teach us about classical guitar.

Length: 14:58 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

Picking Technique

In lesson 2, Pamela provides more introductory information about playing classical guitar. You will learn about nail care and proper tone production.

Length: 17:08 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Lesson 3: Working in the Key of C (1st Position)

Pamela demonstrates how to get your fingers warmed up while working in the key of C. Using The "PIMA" technique, this lesson will help open doors to classical style playing. Enjoy!

Length: 11:18 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Working in C Major (2nd Position)

In lesson 4, Pamela continues from her last lesson by moving the C major scale to second position. She demonstrates a few new technical exercises in this position.

Length: 14:01 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

More Picking Technique

Pamela is back in lesson 5 with more right hand technique. Here you will learn how to advance the "PIMA" technique and work through each finger as you transition from chord to chord.

Length: 9:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Learn Malaguena

Pamela Goldsmith once again grants us insight in our quest to learn classical style guitar. In this lesson she explains how to play the classic piece "Malaguena." Lesson topics include right hand patterns,...

Length: 13:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Learn Slurring Techniques

Pamela introduces proper slurring technique. Also known as hammer-ons and pull-offs, this lesson will take you on a knowledge bound adventure. You will learn some exercises that muscle memory and dexterity....

Length: 12:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

Applying Slur Technique to Your Playing

Need more information on how to perform slurs? In lesson 8, Pamela provides additional slur practice with an original study in the key of A minor.

Length: 12:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Matteo Carcassi Study in D

Pamela is back with a great lesson on a Matteo Carcassi study in the key of D. Here you will be able to apply the slurring techniques you have learned in previous lessons with an in depth look at Matteo...

Length: 13:10 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Etude Inspired by Leo Brouwer

Today, Pamela has the pleasure of teaching you an original etude inspired by Leo Brouwer. Here you will utilize all the techniques you have learned so far. In addition, you will walk away with a beautiful...

Length: 12:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Enhancing Your Overall Technique

In lesson 11, demonstrates how to play the C major scale in diatonic thirds. This lesson will hone your technique and overall knowledge of the fretboard.

Length: 8:55 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Fernando Sor

Pamela brings us Fernando Sor's "Andante." This is a short and sweet piece that reinforces the techniques that Pamela has demonstrated in previous lessons.

Length: 8:12 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Leo Brouwer Inspired Etude

Pamela brings a cap to her first 13 JamPlay lessons with another original etude inspired by the great Leo Brouwer. This is a short but sweet lesson in which you will mainly stay in 1st position but will...

Length: 8:38 Difficulty: 2.0 FREE
Lesson 14

P, M, I Picking Techniques

Welcome to lesson 14 in the Classical Guitar Series! Here Pamela demonstrates some fingerpicking exercises that use fingers P, M, and I.

Length: 12:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

P, I, M Easy Etude

Pamela demonstrates what she calls her "Easy Etude." This short piece utilizes the P, I, and M fingers.

Length: 17:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

Dionisio Aguado Study

Pamela takes a look at a study written by Dionisio Aguado. It's in the key of A minor with a P, I, M, I pattern.

Length: 30:39 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

Free Stroke & Rest Stroke

Pamela demonstrates the difference between free strokes and rest strokes.

Length: 11:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Chords with P, I, M, A

Pamela covers an exercise that uses the rest stroke technique within some simple arpeggio patterns.

Length: 6:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

Francisco Tárrega - Lagrima

Pamela teaches "Lagrima" by composer Francisco Tárrega.

Length: 28:32 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

E Major & Minor Scales

Pamela explains the theory and fretboard patterns pertaining to the E major and E minor scales. She also demonstrates Andrés Segovia's famous three octave scales.

Length: 38:49 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Slur Technique

Pamela takes an in depth look at some different slur techniques.

Length: 13:48 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Ornaments

Pamela works off of lesson 21 and demonstrates different ways to create ornaments within your playing. You can hang this one on a tree.

Length: 10:30 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Developing the Fret Hand

Welcome to Lesson 23 of Classical Guitar with Pamela Goldsmith! Here she demonstrates some exercises to develop your fretting hand for classical application.

Length: 11:11 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Spider Walks

Pamela introduces a new fret hand endurance building technique known as "Spider Walks."

Length: 15:41 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Fret Hand Stretching

To help continue with fret hand development, Pamela demonstrates an exercise that improves fret hand reach, finger independence, and flexibility.

Length: 11:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

A Major Octave Scales

Pamela demonstrates 1, 2, and 3 octave patterns for the A major scale.

Length: 27:15 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 27

Op. 44, No. 11

Pamela teaches Fernando Sor's Op. 44, No. 11.

Length: 28:36 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Aguado Study In A

Pamela presents this study by Aguado. It has a cheerful, circus-like sound and will be a great addition to your repertoire.

Length: 17:51 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 29

Another Aguado Study

Pamela presents another fantastic Aguado study that utilizes all P, I, M, A picking fingers. Pamela also tells a little history about Aguado himself and his style of guitar playing.

Length: 23:53 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 30

Fernando Sor's Andantino

This Fernando Sor piece features light, free flowing movement in 3/8 time. Pamela demonstrates the correct fingering and chord positioning.

Length: 12:07 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Simple Sextuplet Study in G

This study features a sextuplet arpeggio pattern. Expand and apply your current knowledge of classical guitar with this great lesson!

Length: 21:09 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

6 String Barre Chords

Pamela dives into techniques that develop your fret hand for barre chords.

Length: 24:54 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

5 String Barre Chords

Pamela continues to discuss barre chord techniques. This time around, she moves to the 5th string.

Length: 18:38 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Matteo Carcassi - Op. 60, No. 3

This beautiful Matteo Carcassi piece labeled "Andantino" is presented by Pamela. Op. 60, No. 3 is a great piece to work on to develop your dynamic control.

Length: 39:40 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

Romance - Part 1

Pamela introduces the first part of a two part lesson on the classical song titled simply "Romance."

Length: 20:42 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 36

Romance - Part 2

Pamela demonstrates the second part or B part to the classical piece titled "Romance." This lesson complete the piece as a whole and presents yet another opportunity to practice dynamics.

Length: 16:01 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 37

Carcassi Slur Study in D

Pamela uses this Carcassi study to help demonstrate more slur techniques.

Length: 18:51 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only

About Pamela Goldsmith View Full Biography "A native of New England, Pamela Goldsmith was first introduced to classical guitar by Joe Zuccala in Massachusetts. His inspiration and guidance prepared her for her future as a student and teacher. Since studying with Zuccala, Pamela has worked with Keith Crook at the University of Maine, Jeff Ashton and Bryan Johanson at Portland State University and Scott Kritzer in Portland Oregon. Pamela has performed in master classes and continues to perform solo concerts in the Northwest.

Pamela received her Master's Degree in Classical Guitar Performance from Portland State University and her Bachelor's Degree in classical guitar studies from the University of Maine in Orono. She has served as a graduate assistant teacher at Portland State University in downtown Portland, Oregon, and is an adjunct faculty member at Linfield College (McMinnville, OR) as well as a private guitar instructor. Pamela is passionate about the history and vitality of the pieces in her repertoire.

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