The pull-off is a guitar technique that is, in a way, exactly the opposite of a hammer-on. Consider the following illustration:
You're going to start executing the pull-off technique by putting your third AND first finger on the third string, on the frets illustrated above. Play the string with your pick, then remove your third finger from the string. As you do this, make a slight downwards tugging motion with your third finger.
This should cause the note your first finger is fretting to ring out. The first few times you try it, the string may stop ringing as you remove your finger. Keep practicing the technique, and you'll get the hang of it.
If you're having trouble understanding what a pull-off should sound like, played several different ways.
Once you've conquered the above, it's important to challenge yourself a little more, and try playing things that combine multiple hammer-ons and pull-offs. One of the best ways to do this is to try playing scales - ascending with hammer-ons, and descending with pull-offs. Listen to an audio clip of the A blues scale being performed in this manner, and try to play it in a similar fashion.
Things to try:
- Hammering onto a note, and then pulling off to the original note. Repeat this as long as possible, without re-picking the string.
- Play all other scales we've learned using hammer-on and pull-off techniques.
- Try not to get frustrated. Pay attention to detail - like using your fingertips on the frets instead of the pads of your fingers.
- Try hammer-ons and pull-offs whenever you play guitar. Most songs that include single notes use these techniques.
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