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Flamenco Guitar Left-Hand Technique: How to Play Slurs

Learn how to play slurs in this beginner guitar lesson video from Howcast about left-hand flamenco guitar techniques.


Hi, I'm Dan Garcia. We're going to talk a little bit about left hand technique for flamenco guitar. A left hand should be straight with our fingers kind of parallel to the frets. Okay, our thumb behind the hand in such way without the thumb sticking out too much, and either without it being too far down, so we really want to keep this straight hand position right here. Okay, and this is going to allow us to play these slurs that we're going to learn about much better.

Okay, so a slur is a left hand articulation that's going to free up our right hand. Meaning I'm going to play one note with my right hand and produce two notes with my left hand. This slur in particular is called a hammer-on. Yeah, I play one note and I hammer-on the next note. Okay, I should be doing this with all fingers. Another type of slur is the pull-off, which is the opposite. Okay, we have two fingers down. We play one note and we pull-off the finger producing two notes from our left hand.

We do that with fingers three and one and four and one, also we can do it with four and two, four and three, okay? Now we can do both hammer-on and pull-off. And we can also do all kinds of combinations, where we actually play a lot of notes without even playing much on this hand. Notice how I'm only playing one note with my right hand and I'm producing one, two, three, four, five with my left hand.

Okay, so you should practice all kinds of combinations with your slurs. Start very slow with little hammer-on's and pull-off's, and then start combining them in all different ways. Opening your hand a little more, with fingers one three or four, and you can open those. So slurs are a very important technique in any style of guitar you play and flamenco is no exception. It changes the way something is phrased.

For example, I can play a couple of notes without slurs and it sounds totally different if I play it with the slurs. Here the phrasing is completely different. So this is something you're going to be using all the time when you play guitar and it's something you should be practicing everyday. So make sure you include it in your daily practice and have fun with it.

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