Sound Smooth With Hammer Ons/Pull Offs

By Darren DeFranco


Hey guys!

Perhaps you’ve noticed that there is just something special when a pro guitar player plays a solo or lead part that you can’t explain. The way he plays the guitar makes it sing, and the notes become more than notes – but rather emotions and feelings. Many factors go into being able to play like this, but one of the most important is the use of embellishments. In this section we’re going to talk about the main embellishments people use to get their solos to really sparkle. First up we’ve got the hammer on and pull off. While we’ve already mentioned these with the open E pentatonic scale, there are other things to consider when both notes need to be fretted. But we’ll walk you through this entire technique!

So what are you waiting for?


1) Hammer ons and pull offs are among the guitar’s most important techniques so it’s worth the time to really master them. First, just try to hammer on a single note on a single string and get both the picked note and the hammered note to have the same volume.

2) After that, try going up the entire scale with hammer ons, going very slowly and making sure you have consistent volume. Try something like 70bpm.

3) Then, do the same thing with pull offs.

4) Finally, try playing a note and a hammer on twice per string, the proceeding to go up the entire pentatonic scale. This is a great exercise and makes for a very cool sequence.


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