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An appogiatura is one or more notes that precede the note that should actually be played in the melody or the chord. This technique is often used in Manouche music. In all the following examples, it is important that the target note be played right in time, whereas tha appogiatura should be played a bit earlier. All the appogiatura notes are picked.

Chromatic appogiatura descending

The first example is a chromatic descending 3-note appogiatura. It's widely used by Tchavolo Schmitt for instance.


Chromatic appogiatura ascending

However a chromatic 3-note appogiatura can also be ascending.


Other examples

Simple single-note appogiatura is common and most of the times, it is played with an ascending half-tone or tone glissando. Only the appogiatura note is picked.

Half tone glissando
Tone glissando

The simple single-note appogiatura is more scarcely played descendingly and it's usually only with a half tone. There again, only the appogiatura note is picked. Biréli Lagrène uses this effect for some of his ballads and on several consecutive notes played in a descending chromatic way.

Half tone glissando

Another kind of chromatic appogiatura can be played with two descending notes of which only the first one is picked, the next two notes being played in pull-offs, in other words by releasing the pressure of the fretted left hand fingers.

Appoggiatura pulloff