Resources from SW Guitar

scrapbook iconSlur Workout in F Major


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, but players in other styles as well (those familiar with tab firstly). Play it in perfect time with and without a metronome and use it as a warm-up before guitar lessons or your practise session.

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scrapbook iconRCM Exam Preparation Available!

All classical guitar students have the option of signing up for participation in exams offered by the Royal Conservatory of Music. This is a reputable organization, making available a vast repertoire of solo guitar music from the art history periods. Also, students are given the chance to practise ear training, memorise scales, learn valuable technical studies, gain an understanding of cultural context by learning historical considerations and study rudimentary to advanced levels of music theory.

scrapbook iconChromatic Slur Workout


Becoming proficient at slurs (hammer-ons and pull-off) on our guitar is necessary work preparing us for the left hand techniques used in many pieces. Finger strength, accuracy, distance judgment across the fret-span in different positions and many other technical aspects are enhanced when we independently practise slur exercises.

The following idea utilizes many left hand slur combinations, shifting between two positions on the neck of the guitar. The time signature change, while maintaining stress on the downbeat, requires focus on the constancy of the eighth note. Before long, the goal is to have the slurs sounding clearly, as the fingers tap the neck with a bit of attack and instancy. Play it with a metronome to be honest and accurate, and on all strings - good luck learning this useful idea!

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