Technique Rules! - March 2001
This time I'll give you an exercise focusing on Legato technique as well as Staccato. Legato technique is… when we hit only one note with our (right) picking hand and the other notes (in the phrase) are played with the fingers of left hand only, using pull-offs or hammer-ons (or a combination of both). The idea is to "connect" the notes into seemingly "flowing", "smooth" runs. Sometimes this can be done even with the left hand alone! The exercise is all on one string (E1). The patterns used are all from the C major/A minor scale that I used in previous lessons - just the "3 note" parts of it "seen" on E1 string only. Make sure that all the notes are of the same duration while you play this. Avoid "slurring"! Practicing this slowly with a metronome at first can be of help.
The "Staccato" version is exactly the same just that all the notes are picked (alternate picking). I would also suggest that you start with a "down-stroke"!!! Once you have it "down" try to do it on all other strings in the same way… Though it's an often heard phrase (Allan Holdsworth, Joe Satriani, Uli Jon Roth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Al Di Meola,…) it's really great for building up strength in your left hand.
P.S. I added a bonus part (Bonus 1 and Bonus 2) to show you how this exercise could be used in a "musical situation". Everything that I am playing in the bonus is based only on this exercise (I am just expanding it to other strings). Bonus 1 is an excerpt (more or less) from the composition "Master of Strings" from my album "Fantasy" involving string skipping. Bonus 2 is an improvised phrase- just to give you an idea how to incorporate this type of sequence into a solo.
Tab For Technique Rules, March 2001
Note: Links to MP3's for this exercise is available on the tab page