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Slur Workout in F Major for Guitar

To slur is to not articulate note(s) after the first one plucked. On the clarinet, this means not using the tongue to stop and release airflow to or through the reed and instrument - changing the fingerings to thereby produce different notes without interruption. On the guitar, slurring is done by using hammer-ons and pull-offs. The result is a legato (smooth, connected) sound, which is necessary in many of the pieces we play. If you practise slurring enough, you will eventually get a good sense of the left hand fingers "tapping" at the neck. If at any time your slurs lack in volume, take your left hand to the body of the guitar, rest the wrist on the guitar, and one at a time lift and then tap the fingers to the wood. If you produce a nice tapping sound, simulate this when you play slurs. The idea is that we are substituting this for plucking, so we have to hit the fingerboard hard enough for the sound to be legit.

The following workout opens the left hand as it spans at times across five frets. I have utilized the idea of harmonizing a major scale, while adding "five"/"V" chords in various places to add harmonic color. Also, acquiring a good ear for the chords native to any key is a good idea because it helps us in situations where we have to learn by ear (and in improvising!). This manuscript includes the tablature below because the workout is a useful idea not only for classical guitarists (in other styles, players are more familiar with tab). Play it in perfect time with and without a metronome and use it as a warm-up before guitar lessons or your practise session.

Good luck learning it - I will soon create similar sheets in various keys, rotating in a "five-to-one" manner.

- S. Weiss

guitar slur workout


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