Thursday, February 7, 2013

Legato-Economy Two-Three

I'm feeling a little bewildered. How has this page been getting so many views when I haven't done shit in so long!? After sharing all of the Slonimsky tabs I felt like the page wasn't really getting the love it deserved, particularly the lack of feedback on the actual page itself. The majority of requests I get concerning the blog are coming from players that I've met through YouTube, or from friends on Facebook who are seeking tabs. I've come to realize that posting a video of me playing a million notes on a Macbook iSight camera is not the best way for people to learn from me. The problem has always been the amount of time it took me to upload to the blog vs. the effect it seemed to lack. Coming back to the blog has been educational, and it seems like it's worth the second effort. Perhaps I will post more frequently, although the material will have to be lighter. If I try to continuously match the content I provided with the Slonimsky transcriptions I will want to hurt people. 

Just to give you an idea of how I get tabs on here, and why it can sometimes piss me off:

- I noodle around until I find an idea worth exploring
- I spend the requisite amount of time perfecting the technique and building examples
- I record them visually
- Normally I don't write the tabs out when I play, so I'll watch the video and tab them out by ear
- I write the licks into a tab software program
- I have to screenshot them individually so they are legible/not cut off by pages 

It's a lot of work. There's also the option of adding fingerings, pickstrokes, etc. etc. 

Anyways, we'll move on to the reason why I came back to the blog. These licks are awesome! 

Before continuing there are a few guidelines. Always stretch before you play these kinds of licks. I've already dealt with repetitive stress injuries (my fretting pinky) and it's the perfect way to ruin your craft. As you'll see, the licks become increasingly wider and more demanding for the fretting hand. That's a good thing, and the fretting hand is the focus of these exercises, but start slow. Secondly, there are no fingerings. The reason why: I'm lazy, fingerings are an individual choice, and I also believe that the licks are predisposed to a certain technique. If possible try to incorporate all 4 fingers. I had to screenshot the tabs so there are no 'Ex' numbers, but they will follow the format of the YouTube video of me playing them. Allons-y!

Meet example 1. The purpose of these exercises is simple: continuous motion, and the ability to ascend and descend without meeting any obstacles/resistance. This is precisely why the ascending and descending patterns are different. Ascending from E to E strings, we are employing strict legato. We are dealing with the trusty old 3 octave technique. If you visualize it that way, you will see 5 notes per octave ascending, with a distribution of 2 and then 3 (regarding notes played per string). I like to pick the first note on a downstroke, hammer to the next. When going to the next string (the string with 3 notes) I'll use an upstroke and hammer both adjacent notes. Rinse and repeat. 

When you reach the high E string you will be doing a longer legato sequence. This sequence is what I would consider the pivoting action of the lick. It allows you to get ready for the double upstroke attack that follows for the descending sequence. In this example the second time you play the G# (fret 16 E string with the downstroke indication) is when you are focusing on the descending portion. It starts with a downstroke (on G# 16th fret) and pull off to the E note on the 12th fret. After the pull off you will want to play the next two notes (as shown) with a double upstroke. This is treated almost like a short sweep and followed by a pull-off (in this case we double downstroke through F#, C# and we pull-off to the B note). *A great place to see this technique is Jason Becker's AIM Clinic videos; he used it extensively for pentatonic ideas. The process is repeated twice more and you are back to square one on the low E string. Play the first note only once if you wish to play through the lick a second time without stopping. 

Thanks for stopping by!

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