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djohnneay
Hey guys!

I lately noticed that my legato playing is way below what I want it to be. I always thought that I could use picking instead of legato, and that this would/could be a trademark of my own style. However, there are situations in which I can't pick every note, like tapping.
Recently when doing some kind of these licks, I discovered that :

- My pinky is very, very weak for legato (it is nearly impossible to get any sound at all)
- Muting is hard while tapping (for normal legato muting I use picking hand)
- Ring and pinky finger are almost inseparable (they move simultaneously almost all the time).

Basically, hammer-on-pull-offs between index-, middle- and ring finger is all i can do.
Some while ago I saw a video of a guy playing legato and not picking AT ALL. On the long run, should I be able to do this ?
The ring finger and pinky are almost inseparable, how should I approach this ?
And finally, to get ANY strength out of my pinky, I am forcing my other fingers.
Should the strength come from the finger alone, or am I allowed to do this ?
Or does it pass with time ?

Reading all this, where should I begin ? Perhaps some lesson advice? It's just so frustrating!
I can pick almost anything I need to, but as soon as I need to play legato, I feel so incompetent!
Will it take as long as it did with AP to get to the same level?
Would I have to go through the same process, but with a different technique this time?

I hope you guys can help me, as I'm really struggling!
Caelumamittendum
I did these great lessons about 1½ year back (yep, that's the last time I actually sat down and practiced constructively, I think laugh.gif):

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/MA-042-MartinGoulding1.php

I just did every exercise at slow tempo for a couple of minutes, really concentrating on not making too much unwanted noice, having steady volume in both pull offs/hammer ons, etc etc. All that, you know.

Quite simple, but it did wonders for me. Check it out smile.gif

Also, there are tons of non-musical lessons that one can do, but I find those kinda boring. But really just try and focus on using your pinky or other fingers you have problems with whenever you can.
Jensen
For strength in the pinky, I'd suggest you to use a Gripmaster when not playing guitar, maybe when you're watching tv or something.
I've only used it for a while, but I'm starting to see some difference in my pinky-strength.

This is of course beside your legato-training, which should be included in your practise-routine, if this is what you want to accomplish smile.gif
Damir Puh
For finger strength and independence I recommend "flutter" exercises - playing hammer ons and pull offs between a pair of fingers. Start with the index-pinky combination, then middle-pinky, then ring-pinky. The key here is to play perfectly in time, with good tone from the fingers, without any inconsistencies. Push the exercises up in tempo and in duration gradually.

The next step would be 3-notes-per-string patterns. Try to play those shapes either with your index-middle-pinky or index-ring-pinky. I addition to that, try to play everything AP based with h.ons, p.offs. One-string exercises are great too...My point here is - after some basic training of your fingers you should do "practical exercises" - patterns and sequences you can use in a real musical situation. smile.gif

djohnneay
Thanks guys, I'll checked out the links, those exercises seem very helpful, I'll try them!

I'll look into the gripmaster also, but because I can play guitar every day, don't think I'll need one.
Damir, could you give an example of a "flutter" exercise?
Damir Puh
QUOTE (djohnneay @ Feb 22 2010, 06:28 PM) *
Damir, could you give an example of a "flutter" exercise?



Fret the A note on the high E string with your index finger (5th fret), hammer on the B note on the same string with your ring finger (7th fret) then pull off to A. Repeat. You can then replace the B note with C (and fret it with your pinky), change the position on the neck, change the string... etc.

No matter how simple and silly this sounds, this is essential in developing finger strength, stamina and dexterity.
djohnneay
Thank you smile.gif

I notice, as I mentioned earlier, that I am forcing my other fingers doing this with the pinky. Is this wrong?
My middle finger tends to "lean backwards". It does this automatically, but only when using the pinky.
It is also like this with AP, do I need to change this ?
Damir Puh
QUOTE (djohnneay @ Feb 23 2010, 12:21 PM) *
Thank you smile.gif

I notice, as I mentioned earlier, that I am forcing my other fingers doing this with the pinky. Is this wrong?
My middle finger tends to "lean backwards". It does this automatically, but only when using the pinky.
It is also like this with AP, do I need to change this ?


To be honest, I never analyzed this in my playing. One theory is that you should play with your fingers hovering over the fretboard as close as possible, the other is to try and find a comfortable position that works for you. My advice is - combine the two. Find a posture that is comfortable, then try to correct it bit by bit so you don't "waste" your finger motions. If your playing improves, you are on the right track.
djohnneay
QUOTE (Damir Puh @ Feb 23 2010, 04:22 PM) *
To be honest, I never analyzed this in my playing. One theory is that you should play with your fingers hovering over the fretboard as close as possible, the other is to try and find a comfortable position that works for you. My advice is - combine the two. Find a posture that is comfortable, then try to correct it bit by bit so you don't "waste" your finger motions. If your playing improves, you are on the right track.

Thanks Damir, will do smile.gif
maharzan
Yep, I agree too. The speed / sync / efficiency is all on the brain not on the fingers. Until you tell your fingers what to do, they won't act accordingly. For me too, until I was able to realize the finger movements and continously tell my fingers to do minimum liftings with minimum pressure on hands, I wasn't able to improve. The day I realized it, I started improving. Seriously, otherwise, you are just aching your hands and never pass that 'block' level.

Just sharing my personal experience.
Daniel Realpe
I think every instructor here will tell you they went through the same process. The pinky is always the most problematic finger to work on. I had to very consciously work on it for several months until it had descent stamina.

The only way to do it is to keep on doing stuff that uses it and not just start playing with the other fingers but force yourself to use it as much as possible.
Ivan Milenkovic
It's all about keeping your pace steady, keeping yourself interested in music and not technique as the final goal. This will give you motive on what to practice, how, how much, enough patience to go through all that practice, and degree of persistence and realism needed to figure out when it is time to realize that something is not working and that you have to start over. Keep it real, and be patient, speed will come only if you develop accuracy on slow tempos.
djohnneay
But do I need to go through the same process I went through with AP ?
Does this process apply to every technique ?
I am already noticing some improvements, but muting is hard to do when you need all your finger strenght in order to get some sound out of it. Like the intro of 'Elephants' by Them Crooked Vultures. It's just too noisy!

On lower tempo's I can get it, but it still doesn't sound good.
Ryan
Try this to gain finger independence.

Ivan Milenkovic
QUOTE (djohnneay @ Mar 3 2010, 01:00 PM) *
But do I need to go through the same process I went through with AP ?
Does this process apply to every technique ?
I am already noticing some improvements, but muting is hard to do when you need all your finger strenght in order to get some sound out of it. Like the intro of 'Elephants' by Them Crooked Vultures. It's just too noisy!

On lower tempo's I can get it, but it still doesn't sound good.


Not really, every technique has a process on their own, but the good thing is that most of the skills learned on one of them can be "used" for another one. This shortens the time needed for practicing. Just keep practicing, and it will be OK. Don't push yourself too much - remember - playing is fun! smile.gif
Bogdan Radovic
Its always good idea to practice strength and dexterity exercises in order to get your finger moving and under control.

Check out this series covering finger independence:
http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/solo-guit...independence-I/

Also check out these lessons that will help you train your little finger:

http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/solo-guit...inger-work-out/
http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Pinky_Exercise/
http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/move_y...le_finger!/
Conrad Harpham
ive always had trouble with the seperation of my middle and ring fingers...as some of the guys have said here, i overcame this by practicing trilling at various tempos with different combinations of fingers on my left hand. I find that if i dont practice for a while it starts to regress, so thats when i get trilling again. (after washing my nappy hands...!)
Vasilije Vukmirovic
Being a alternate picking mostly, I am also struggling with legato. Somehow, I found when I am doing lots of bending, vibrato , my left hand kind of gets better at legato. So I suggest you to add vibrato and bending exercise to your practice routine, or to simply play with more of those!
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