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Hammer-On and Pull-Offs

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Like the "slide", the "hammer-on" and "pull-off" are guitar playing techniques performed on the left hand, which aims to significantly beautify an arpeggio, a riff, etc. They are two complementary techniques.

Basics required for this lesson : None
Practice this lesson : None

1) The hammer-on :

It consists in producing two different notes on one string (by scraping only once this string) through a hammer effect. The hammer-on are noted "h" on tabs:

D|-------5h7------|

Practically:

  1. With the first finger (the index in this case) play the first note (written in red in the example above) by scraping the corresponding string in the given fret,

  2. While leaving the first note ring, place a second finger (the ring finger in this case) on an upper fret (7 in this case) and on the same string without scraping the string again! We get an "ascending” effect.

 

2) The pull-off :

It consists in producing two different notes on one string (by scraping only once this string) through a release effect. The pull-off are marked "p" or "po" on the tablature:

D|-------3p2------|

 

Practically:

  1. Place the first finger (the index in this case) on the given fret for the note marked in green on the above example

  2. With a second finger (middle finger in this case) play the first note (marked in red) by scraping the corresponding string in the given fret,

  3. The finger placed on the highest of the two frets (i.e. the middle finger, fret 3) releases the string, creating a lower second note, thanks to the continuous vibration of the string. We get a "descending" effect. It’s the opposite of the "hammer-on."

In practice, it is advised to alternate "hammer-on" & "pull-off" on the same string, in varying sequences. Do not hesitate to complicate things as you progress.
 

D |--5-h-6-p-5-h-8-p-5-h-6-p-5-h-8-p-6-p-5-h-6-h-8--|

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