Rock Guitar Lick 5: Scalar Legato

Welcome back. Hope you’ve been practising like a maniac!

In this guitar lesson we’re going to take a look at a lick that uses an 8-note legato pattern. It’s one of my favourite patterns and has a really nice flowing quality to it. As well as sounding good, it’s also a great pattern to practice if you want to strengthen your fretting-hand.

Here’s what the lick looks like…

Rock Guitar Lick 5: Scalar Legato

Rock Guitar Lick 5: Scalar Legato

This lick uses the E Natural Minor scale, and uses a lot of hammer-ons and pull-offs. This is to be expected, because the term legato in music means to play the notes very smoothly with no audible gaps between them. Hammer-ons and pull-offs are often used by guitarists to create this legato sound.

If you look at the TAB above, you’ll notice that we are repeating an 8-note pattern twice to create the lick. The first and fourth notes of each repetition of the pattern are picked, while all the other notes are played using hammer-ons and pull-offs. Here’s the lick again with a line drawn on it to make the pattern clearer to see…

Scalar Legato Lick Explained

One last thing I need to mention here is to take it easy and don’t overdo it. Legato licks tend to be quite hard on the fretting-hand and forearm muscles. So be sure not to practice the lick for too long before taking a rest. And don’t forget. If you feel any pain, then you need to stop immediately.

Have fun!

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