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  1. #1

    Legato 101 - How to Improve Finger Dexterity???

    Hey guys,

    I just recently started playing Rocksmith 2014 and I think its quite awesome. I decided to start with some of the Lessons before attempting to learn any full songs in the game (I didnt even know how to hold a guitar prior to playing Rocksmith) and after completing the first few lessons, I'm at the Legato 101 lesson...which is where I'm currently hitting a wall, so to speak.

    I'm having trouble with moving the clumsy fingers on my left hand quick and accurately enough to press down on the right frets and strings. Its like my brain knows what to do but my fingers cant keep up with what my brain tells it to do, or with the speed at which Rocksmith sends the notes down the screen.
    I'm thinking, if I cant even do hammer-ons and pull-offs properly, how I'm am I going to learn to play a full song??? :-/

    Now I know with practice I will gradually get it down, but I was wondering if anyone could share any guitar fingering exercises/drills inside or outside of Rocksmith 2014 that will help improve my finger dexterity and accuracy so that I dont keep pushing down on the wrong strings by mistake and play better.

    Coming from a total guitar noob with dreams of shredding like a rockstar someday... :-)
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Steel_Nirvana's Avatar
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    Conventional wisdom is that you should take the riff, slow it down to a crawl, and memorize it by practicing until your fingers bleed, then slowly speed up.

    Or, you could use the RS teaching method, and just play. While a commendable idea, there's nothing that says you have to complete all the lessons before playing any songs. In fact, it's pretty much designed to teach you by playing. I'd argue you're missing out by not playing songs you like.

    Don't feel like you have to play songs at 100% or nothing (just like the lessons). Let the dynamic difficulty push you--it's not perfect, but does pretty well overall. And playing songs to practice is a whole lot more fun than just playing a riff over and over and over and over and over at 30% speed until you're sick of it. Learning while playing is pretty much the point of RS.

    What's giving you problems? Is it hitting different strings, or is it moving accurately to different frets?

    For finger dexterity, "Super Freak" is a lot of funky fun, and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" is also good, as is "I Can't Hear You." "Islands" is good for shifting, and so is "Mind Eraser."

    Really, just playing songs you're interested in, even at lower levels, will build skills, and you'll come back to the legato lesson in the future and find it's a breeze. FWIW, the final exercise on that particular lesson is a bit crowded to sight read easily.
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  3. #3
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VApk-vvhp8 a lot of usefull staff from master )
    also ur current problem just in muscle memory dont rush, play all parts slowly in RR(30-40% mb slower, but u must play all notes clear), and increase it by 2-3 per run. And never rush for speed shreding, u can just harm ur hands, If u wanna play fast, u must to play very slow ). i hope help u a bit.

    P.s. sorry for my bad langauge skills
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  4. #4
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    I agree with others that you shouldn't get too stuck up on the legato lesson.

    Honestly, in normal teaching, you wouldn't be playing legato a couple of weeks into starting, just focusing on playing basic stuff.

    Many songs also don't use it at all, or only use it a little bit, the ones that do use it heavily tend to do so in high-speed solos and those songs are going to beyond your level for a long time.

    However to answer your question:

    The lessons in RS are good for getting a basic appreciation of techniques, but it's generally a good idea to practice them many ways. You should eventually be comfortable playing every finger combination and have them all sounding good. Legato also takes some finger strength, so what you can do is try trilling(repeatedly hammering and pulling) every combination: 12, 13, 14, 23, 24, 34. Also playing various combinations of all 3(the following are just from an exercise in the shredders bible): 1h2h3h4->4p3p2p1, 1h2h4->4p2p1, 1h3h4->4p3p1, 1h32h4->4p23p1, 1h4p3p2->4p1h2h3.

    The above will improve your legato and strengthen your fretting fingers. But it's not particularly fun, and at a beginner level there is probably plenty of other areas you need more work on.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLashKing View Post
    Hey guys,

    I just recently started playing Rocksmith 2014 and I think its quite awesome. I decided to start with some of the Lessons before attempting to learn any full songs in the game (I didnt even know how to hold a guitar prior to playing Rocksmith) and after completing the first few lessons, I'm at the Legato 101 lesson...which is where I'm currently hitting a wall, so to speak.

    I'm having trouble with moving the clumsy fingers on my left hand quick and accurately enough to press down on the right frets and strings. Its like my brain knows what to do but my fingers cant keep up with what my brain tells it to do, or with the speed at which Rocksmith sends the notes down the screen.
    I'm thinking, if I cant even do hammer-ons and pull-offs properly, how I'm am I going to learn to play a full song??? :-/

    Now I know with practice I will gradually get it down, but I was wondering if anyone could share any guitar fingering exercises/drills inside or outside of Rocksmith 2014 that will help improve my finger dexterity and accuracy so that I dont keep pushing down on the wrong strings by mistake and play better.

    Coming from a total guitar noob with dreams of shredding like a rockstar someday... :-)
    It's going to take you years to be able to play all the lessons is RS2014 well. You won't get there even soon! Once you've put in 500 hours, you should be able to complete most lessons at a reasonable level... some will still be hard. Guitar takes a long time to learn well. Speed comes over time, don't rush! Concentrate on little wins.
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  6. #6
    Plus, you'll be amazed what happens when you just go do other things and come back in a day or two.

    This is what happens with me: I start working on something, progress until I get stuck and feel like I'm no longer improving or I'm even getting worse, and then go do something else. Play Guitarcade, Learn a (different) Song, **** around with scales in Session Mode, whatever. I avoid what I was stuck on for a day or two, and then when I go back, I am magically better. I don't know why it works this way -- brains are funny things -- but it really does.

    I hadn't touched the Power Chords practice track in at least a week. I'd gotten stuck and moved on. I felt like trying it just last night and was delighted by how easy it was.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member VarriusTX's Avatar
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    I started doing a couple of warmup exercieses that have helped my finger strength and dexterity. There are many ways to basically accomplish the same thing, but I'll go ahead and tell you what I've been doing. I do two warmups:

    1. Start at either E string (top or bottom), and play 1-2-3-4, move to next string, same thing 1-2-3-4 and continue until you've gone up (or down, depending on where you started) through all 6 strings. Then move up a fret and go backwards, so next would be 5-4-3-2. Again, repeat for all 6 strings moving up or down depending on your start. I do this all the way until fret 12. I also practice alternate picking while I'm doing it. I started really slow, made sure I fretted each note properly, and within a few weeks to a month, I can zip through it a lot faster now.

    2. Hammer on-pull off exercise. Start at about fret 5 on the G string. Fret 5 with index, hammer on middle finger 6th fret repeatedly as fast as possible for about 10 seconds (I usually just count slowly to ten). This is basically a trill I think it's called. Once you've counted to ten, keep 5th fretted with index and move to hammer on ring at 7th fret. Then pinky at 8th. Go backwards to ring, then middle. Once done with those, fret 6th with middle, hammer on ring at 7th, then pinky at 8th then back to ring at 7th. Finally fret 7th with ring, hammer on pinky at 8th.

    I hope those made sense. I found them on youtube somewhere so maybe a search would get you a video to explain it a little better. But, no need to do things exactly like this, there are many exercises to work out your fingers. Dexterity and strength will come with time.. months, or years.

    The legato lesson is difficult. I played RS1 for a few months before giving up, and I've played RS2014 now since Oct 22nd (not giving up this time!). I also had a fair amount of previous experience some 20 years ago fiddling with the guitar, but no formal training. Anyway, I tell you that because I still cannot complete the legato 101 at 100%. Coincidentally, just the other day I went back to it and noticed I was at like 97% so I thought to myself, let me go ahead and bump this up to 100% real quick. Well, NO.. didn't happen. I still can't quite get that riff down perfectly at full speed, and I practiced it for about a half hour.

    So as others have mentioned, move on. Come back to it in 6 months, and you'll be surprised at how much easier it is then.. which should motivate you as you realize you have indeed improved.
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  8. #8
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    Start with this:



    But as others have already said, it's generally a bad idea to tell yourself you have to master one area of playing before you can go work on other things. Feel free to hop over to Learn a Song, start Riff Repeater, turn the difficulty up and the speed down and start slowly working up to speed on one of the easy songs.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member MAng0r3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juhanic View Post

    Honestly, in normal teaching, you wouldn't be playing legato a couple of weeks into starting, just focusing on playing basic stuff.
    THe basic stuff to work on is chords and rhythms it represent about 90% of what a guitarist will do most of the time.
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  10. #10
    Member Jahmbo's Avatar
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    just keep playing, dont get hung up on it. start really slow and increase speed as you feel able, or just play what feels good to you. someday you will be able to whip out some sick legato like this......(i think this guy is way past the .01% of the 10,000 hour rule achievement)

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