Ascending Slurs

Ascending Slurs or Hammer-ons have always given me trouble. At some point I figured out simple slurs (between two fingers), but am still working on compound slurs (two ascending slurs in a row). Here are some tips that may help your slurs.

  • It’s Not About Distance
  • A hammer on is not about distance from the fret. Beginners have a tendency to “swoop in” from a huge distance. They’re doing this to compensate for something that is important: speed getting onto the string. The important thing is to get down the ballistic movement. The idea is that you have to pick up speed over a long distance, but that’s not the case. Work on moving quickly from a short distance. It’s very similar to the right hand which makes very quick and ballistic movements all the time.

  • Accuracy is King
  • It’s very hard to get a strong slurred note if the finger doesn’t land just right. That means nailing right behind the fret and perfectly on top of the string each time.

To get slurs really down they should be approached from the practice perfect thought process. Nail the slur perfectly each time. To that end I suggest slow/fast alternation. It’s important to note that using slow fast does not mean moving the fingers slower, just having more time between notes. So do work on moving quickly, but more time between the first note and the slur give you time to think. As I’ve mentioned before: slow is the programming, fast is the execution.

Hope this helps! What do you do to practice slurs?

Posted on in Classical Guitar Technique