When playing guitar, slurring is the use of hammer-ons and pull-offs to vibrate the strings and sound notes, rather than plucking them with the pick.

In music notation, a slur resembles a parenthesis tipped on its side over the top of two or more notes. It looks identical to a tie except that a tie joins two identical notes, while a slur must span distinct notes. It indicates that the notes should be articulated smoothly together, with no or very little pause between them.

When drawn on the staff, it looks something like this (complete with time signature and a quarter note scale):

    /\                      ___           /   ---___       
---| /----------------___---   \----|----/----------\----||
   |/                /          \   |        |       \   ||
  /|     4         /             |  |   |    |        *  ||
|  |  |  4             |    |    |  |   |   *   |    |   ||
 \ |  |          |     |    |   *   |           |    |   ||
   |             |    *                                    
  \|           -*--     

Slur (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Slurred (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Slurring (?).] [Cf. OE. sloor mud, clay, Icel. slra, slora, to trail or drag one's self along, D. sleuren, sloren, to train, to drag, to do negligently and slovenly, D. sloor, sloerie, a sluttish girl.]


To soil; to sully; to contaminate; to disgrace.



To disparage; to traduce.



To cover over; to disguise; to conceal; to pass over lightly or with little notice.

With periods, points, and tropes, he slurs his crimes. Dryden.


To cheat, as by sliding a die; to trick.


To slur men of what they fought for. Hudibras.


To pronounce indistinctly; as, to slur syllables.

6. Mus.

To sing or perform in a smooth, gliding style; to connect smoothly in performing, as several notes or tones.


7. Print.

To blur or double, as an impression from type; to mackle.


© Webster 1913.

Slur, n.


A mark or stain; hence, a slight reproach or disgrace; a stigma; a reproachful intimation; an innuendo.

"Gaining to his name a lasting slur."



A trick played upon a person; an imposition.


3. Mus.

A mark, thus [&upslur; or &downslur;], connecting notes that are to be sung to the same syllable, or made in one continued breath of a wind instrument, or with one stroke of a bow; a tie; a sign of legato.


In knitting machines, a contrivance for depressing the sinkers successively by passing over them.


© Webster 1913.

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