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> Vai-able Hammer-ons, Lesson By Ben Higgins
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post Dec 23 2019, 08:24 PM
Post #1

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Original lesson: Vai-able Hammer-ons by Ben Higgins

I thought this lesson would be super-easy. I was wrong. Though there are few notes to pick, there is a lot of control and precision to apply on the fretting hand. I enjoyed learning and practicing the notes. Also enjoyed finding a VAIable tone :D Video contains 2 parts: 1) video practice and 2)audio comparison, original track on left and my practice on right side. I also practiced a few times E Lydian scale over the Jam Track, and that was fun as well. Not recorded yet but maybe in the future. My video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_acjbSrlDuU Thanks for this lesson, Ben!

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Darius Wave
post Dec 24 2019, 12:38 PM
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Hey there again!

So...now you know that things sometimes look much easier than they really are wink.gif

Legato is never an easy thing. Same as ultra-fast picking it demands sport-like attitude and condition(regular training...not only to progress but to keep the skills on some level.

We often hear that we should make things to be executed calm and relaxed. There is important thing to be added. Relaxation comes when your body/hands get used to do things the hard way on daily basis. If you for example make 30 miles on a bike daily, than after some time you start to feel relaxed while doing this. You breath keeps on a constant depth and rate. You body feels constant but lower tiredness. When you're a beginner and someone tells you to be relaxed...he's partially right but he's just not tellign the whole truth. You first need to prepare the muscles and it will takes some strength and time, working in less relaxted conditions.

It's exactly the same with legato. Legato needs strength. It should be clear and the pitch of the note should be detectable even when the guitar volume is rolled down. You hands are visibly too loosen for this part. what you do at the moemnt is using the "wave of previous note" to surf on it with another one. It seems to work fine on distortion but it doesn;t on the clean tone.

Legato technique is one and the same no matter if you playe distortion, clean tone or even an acoustic guitar. From my observation there is not enough strength in you legato. The name of "hammer-on" has it's reason behind it. You sould feel like you literally hit a nail with a hammer (fret with your finger) and hear a characteristic noise of this process)

There are a few moments towards the end when you hit harder and that's the way to go!

Aa for other aspects there is some problem with timing - you tend to be little late and than try to compensate it by rushing next few notes. If you will try to make every move to have same distance from the fretboard, there is a chance to get better timing. Yet again - at this field lagato also has some extra difficulty to it.

No matter how it all sounds above, keep in mind you're somewhere bayoned the half-way to the target. Your hand positioning for legato is ok and there are no critical mistakes to fix/redo from the scratch.
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Todd Simpson
post Dec 25 2019, 02:14 AM
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First off, well done learning this entire thing. It's a LOT of notes to memorize. Secondly SCORE on the vaible tone. It's not easy to build a tone using just the ear and you've clearly spent some time on it. Nice tone!!! Now onward.
THE GOODSingle strike and then hammer ons. This is a challenge for many players. Just getting notes to sound consistent when using only the left hand to initiate them is tough. You do a good job here on getting the notes to all sound similar, as if they were all struck, instead of being mostly hammered on. This technique can be leveraged to make things sound like you are playing a million miles an hour. I use this same strike once, hammer many, approach in many of my QUICK LICKS. It's one of the "Sacred Secrets Shredding" imho. It's used slowly in this REC but once you have a handle on it, you can apply this to entire scales and runs and have them sound insanely fast even though your only picking one out of every 3 or four notes.

DRIFT: I did notice a pinch of drift. E.G. you seemed to be lagging behind the beat by just a small pinch. I listened to the practice recording where you panned it with the original and you sound spot on. Is it the same recording as in the video at the front? The practice one sounded more spot on, then again, it's possible that having both going at the same time blended things a bit. I listened on my studio monitors instead of headphones though. I don't trust headphones much.

On the whole I really enjoyed your performance and as REC is performance based, that carries a LOT of weight with me. Well done. I think you are ready for the next one!

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Dec 26 2019, 02:02 PM
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Hi Oscar!!

Yeah! Legato is much more difficult than it seems. You need to do the right movements (hammer on and pull off) and strength to make everything sound clean and clear without the help of your other hand, but besides the sound, I can assure that timing is also very tricky when playing only with your left hand.

You playing is not bad at all, but there is some room to polish each of those elements to make everything sound clearer and tighter. I remember Steve Vai saying that he practices some vibrato licks (like the ones in this lesson) every day to keep his technique in shape. So this is not a momentary exercise, it can become a cool warm up in the future.

I can hear that your tone is very close to the original. It's always important to dedicate some time to train our ears and experiment with guitar tones. Well done!

Keep on the hard work!

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Kristofer Dahl
post Jan 8 2020, 12:41 PM
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Very nice!

I do agree with Darius that at the end you display the optimal ratio of strength vs control of tension. If you can learn to consistently recreate that you will def be legato:ing with the best of them.

I also want to emphasise that it seems to me you have done it in the right order:

FIRST learn to control tension

THEN apply tension/strength

I dare say most people struggling with a tensed shredding technique are trying to do it the other way around.

Well done you get a 9 from me!

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post Jan 14 2020, 07:41 PM
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