Doing Some Hammer-ons And Pull-offs

Hammer-ons and pull-offs are constantly used in rhythm and lead guitar riffs and it's a great way to add some class and intellectual style to any guitar section.

Since both of the skills are pretty fundamental and basic, it's not too difficult to put them together to create some awesome licks.

If you're not familiar with hammer-ons or pull-offs, please visit the corresponding posts before attempting these exercise:

Let's take a look at hammer-ons and pull-offs marked on a guitar tab.

These two are easily marked on guitar tablature with the letters 'h' for hammer-on and 'p' for pull-off. (Not much of a chance of mixing them up.)

Here's a simple hammer-on and then a pull-off:






You'll notice that both skills require at least two notes to fully exist.

With a hammer-on, a note rings and then you place your finger on the ringing string to create a new tone. It's similar with a pull-off but you pull away in order to create the new tone.

Exercise 1:

Take at look at this simple pentatonic scale.

e------------------------------------------5---8--- b----------------------------------5---8----------- g--------------------------5---7------------------- D------------------5---7---------------------------

This can be played ordinarily by picking every single note going up and back down the scale. For this exercise we'll use it for hammer-ons and pull-offs.

First use hammer-ons up the scale by striking the first note on each string with your pick and then "hammering" onto the next note on the string with either your pinky or ring finger.

e------------------------------------------5h8--- b----------------------------------5h8----------- g--------------------------5h7------------------- D------------------5h7---------------------------


Exercise 2.

Now, for the pull-offs, we'll start at the top of the scale and work our way going down by having both fingers planted on a string to begin, striking the first note on the string with the pick, then pulling off the string with either our pinky or ring finger to produce the second pitch.

g------------------7p5--------------------------- D--------------------------7p5-------------------

Try not to pull so hard that you hear a twang in the string. You simply want to pull enough to create a noticeable second pitch.

Exercise 3.

This time, we'll take the pentatonic scale and use it for both hammer-ons and pull-offs by integrating them into a single string, coming down the scale. Try your best to give equal emphasis to your hammer-ons as well as your pull-offs.

5h8p5----------------------------------- g------------------5h7p5--------------------------- D--------------------------5h7p5-------------------

It's best to learn hammer-ons and pull-offs early so that you're prepared for them later when they show up. And boy... they show up everywhere.

My important guitar supplement links:
How To Guitar Play- Important Tips For Beginning Guitarists
Fast Electric Guitar Learning Course
Best Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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