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Using hammer-ons and pull-offs that we learned in the previous lessons, Dan now gives us an introduction to true legato - using three note per string patterns.
Taught by Dan Sugarman in Sugarman's Shredding Revolution seriesLength: 5:08Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
True Legato & 3 Note Per String Patterns
We’ve finally arrived at true legato - here we can finally add pull offs and hammer ons together strategically to make a true legato line. There are many, many patterns that we could use, but I find that this one is extremely effective in building up dexterity and comfort in one of my favorite fretting hand techniques - legato.
First, we’ll check out the pattern we’re using - starting on fret 14, pull off to fret 10, then hammer onto fret 12 with your middle finger, followed by your pinky on 14, then pull back down to 12 and then 10 before looping the pattern. Remember, do NOT anchor your index finger, I repeat, DO NOT anchor your index finger! That will hinder your ability to get the full weight of your finger and you’ll be handicapping your technique from the get-go. If you have 1 finger anchored at all times, that means you’ll only ever have 25% of a finger being used at any given time (other then the extremely favored index finger).
Things get interesting here as we loop the pattern… I want to explore some new rhythms with you. We’ll start things in 8th notes by playing 2 notes for every metronome click we hear, then move to 8th note triplets - where you’ll play 3 notes between every metronome click, and finally we’ll reach 16th notes by playing 4 notes per click before we descend back down the rhythm ladder. We’ll do this in all 3 shapes… I even threw a little 16th note triplet curve ball in here for you ;) After that treat, we’ll close it out with descending and ascending the D Major Ionian Shape. Make sure you’re relaxed and controlled, and using the weight of your fingers with recycled energy rolling from finger to finger!
Extra 3 Note Per String Patterns
Now, I need to be clear - that pattern we’re using is simply 1 pattern 6 note pattern we could use of many, but if I find THAT one sure helpful for developing the control we need. The next step for us isn’t more advanced lines like that just yet, but actually smaller permutations on 3 notes so you can milk this to get more out of less - which is something we’ll be discussing more later. This will get your brain working in a way that will help you perceive these shapes differently.
Right now, lets take a single shape and go through all of the permutations of those 3 notes using legato… We’ll use shape 3 for this demonstration and you can use the same patterns on the other 2 shapes on your own. You’ll see how they follow a pattern of the starting note of the legato line moves around within a single shape. We’ll run each of these patterns 4 times at a slow tempo before changing the pattern up. You will do a single downstroke for every 2 repeats of the pattern, then we’ll stop to talk about it. After that, we’ll do it again a little faster using only 1 downstroke per pattern - meaning you have to really be focused on clean legato mechanics - using the weight of the back of your hand, with the energy rolling and recycling from finger to finger, no anchored notes, with arched fingers.
First we’ll run through the ascending pattern using frets 7, 9, and 10 on the g string. This is all hammer ons until you have to pull from fret 10 to fret 7 to get the loop. We’ll call that Sequential Pattern 1 - Ascending.
Up next is 9, 10, 7 - Which is a hammer from 9 to 10, then a pull off to 7 followed by a hammer on to fret 9 for our loop. We’ll call that Inside Pattern 1, because it starts on the interior note of the 3.
Up next is 10, 7, 9 - Which is a pull off, followed by 2 hammer ons. We’ll call that Outside Pattern 1, because it hits the 2 exterior notes before ending on the interior note, E.
Then we have our Sequential Pattern 2 (Descending), We do this by playing 10, 9, 7 with all pull offs, and then hammer-on fret 10 before looping it.
Up next is Inside Pattern 2, which is 9, 7, 10 - we do this by pulling off first, then a hammer followed by another pull off.
Finally, we’ll close it out with Outside Pattern 2, which is 7, 10, 9 - its executed by doing a hammer on from fret 7 to 10, followed by two pull offs to get us back to the first note of the pattern.
Make sure you’re relaxed and controlled, and using the weight of your fingers with recycled energy rolling from finger to finger! Again, use the weight of the back of your hand, no anchored notes, move with arched fingers.
By now the sensitivity and control in your fretting hand should be through the roof… You should be truly feeling what it’s like to use the back of the hand, and the weight of the fingers to move through these lines rather than opening and closing the inside of the hand. You should be beginning to see a new way to squeeze more out of less, but we’ll get into that more later, as well as some more advanced legato lines.
Sugarman's Shredding Revolution is all about discovering and creating ways to develop a new and unique level of understanding of two-hand synchronization, which is one of the core foundations of clean playing.
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About Dan Sugarman View Full Biography
Dan Sugarman is a 26 year old guitarist, producer, teacher and songwriter hailing from the South Bay of Los Angeles, CA. His tenacity and dedication to the art of music and guitar led him to the lead guitar position in the internationally touring band, As Blood Runs Black. Now as a solo artist, Dan continues to work on his original music being released through Patreon, and is currently producing and engineering other bands & artists at Sugartone Studios, and composing for film & television. He also maintains an ever-growing student body as a private guitar teacher, mentor, and educator in the crafts of songwriting, creativity, and modern day recording techniques.
Dan is currently working on his "living album", Inside Out - Part I, available on patreon.com and completing an album for his new group A Mind Made Me, featuring singer//actor Sarah J Bartholomew.
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