This week we’re looking at the left hand. I’ve got a few simple exercises you can use for developing your legato technique and your overall dexterity. We’re looking at hammer ons and pull offs and focusing on good form and consistency of tone.

Exercise #1

First of all let’s look at some simple hammer on – pull off combinations from each finger in turn. This is all using a 1 finger per fret span and you should look for good technique focusing on the following points:

  • Keep a firm index finger – no wiggling or bends
  • Curl the fingers
  • Stay parallel to the frets
  • Strive for a strong flick off the string in the pull off
  • Mute the unwanted strings. Use the index finger to mute the higher strings, use the picking hand to mute the lower strings.

Practice this exercise on each string in turn

Exercise #2

Next we can try a tougher variation. This is the same exercise but pulling off to each adjacent finger. Again, pay attention to your form and repeat the line on each string.

Exercise #3

Finally we can try a complete run through every finger. We chromatically run up from the 1st finger to the 4th finger and back. Focus on good form and repeat on each string.

This exercise can be played round and round for a longer practice routine.

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