Suppose a song is in the key of F# minor, as soon as a player finishes his/her climatic phrase, the chord is going to perform a perfect cadence, switching from C# to F#. The verse will begin on F# again.

C# -> F#m -> F#m (verse begins)

Here's a concrete example, timestamp 01:25.

Right before the verse begins, the player would perform a glissando that approximately drops from F# (14th fret low-E string) to F# (2nd fret) and then enters the F#m power chord to start the verse. I've only seen this technique done in Rock settings (with heavy distortion), not sure if other genre does similar technique?

In general, is glissando required to start and end on specific notes of a scale? I think "required" is a strong term in music. Let's say "preferred".

(EDIT: Further clarified the question by rephrasing it)

  • Not clear what you're asking: You can gliss from any note to any terminal note you want, based on the desired harmony (chords) at both ends. BTW, I suspect you mean "portamento" . A glissando strictly means playing sequential notes in some scale, as on a piano keyboard. Mar 18, 2021 at 14:29
  • What's wrong with just sweeping your fretting hand down and hitting every note in the chromatic scale in between? Alternately, what about combining the glissando with some whammy bar use to make a more continuous large pitch bend?
    – Dekkadeci
    Mar 18, 2021 at 15:11
  • 1
    I thought I remembered reading about some traditional Indian music where tones of a scale carry defined articulational rules, such as certain pitch-bends being only used on certain notes in the scale. This question reads a bit like that, except in Western music theories, all articulations and embellishments can be used on any note. Is that similar to what this question is asking?
    – user45266
    Mar 18, 2021 at 18:23
  • Yes I want to understand whether articulations and embellishments follow musical rules in various genres of Western music
    – mofury
    Mar 18, 2021 at 19:19

1 Answer 1


You have many options here, ultimately it’s up to you. Some factors are:

How long do you want the slide to be? An octave? A fifth? More? Less?

How long are you going to hold the beginning note for? If it will be sustained long enough for its pitch to be recognized pick something relevant to the harmony. If not it can be a random pitch.

Since the slide starts on a C# chord you can try using a chord tone from C# begin the slide. You can also do the tonic F# octave like you mentioned.

Experiment and pick something that works to your ear. There’s no right or wrong answer. Sometimes the random note works best because it will sound less planned and a little edgier.

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