|Expansion | Techniques | Techniques 2 | Barre Chords | Barre Chord Songs|
At this point, we can begin learning some technique. This will add some style to your playing and increase the diversity of your sound.
Hammer On's and Pulloffs
Hammer-on's and pull-off's are very simple legato techniques that provide a different way to play two notes while only picking one note. Hammering on and pulling off repeatedly is whats known as a Trill. For more information on this take a look at Trilling.
A Hammer-on is performed by picking a note then 'hammering' your finger onto another, higher note without re-picking.
To perform a hammer-on fret the 5th fret, G-String with your first finger. Pick that note, then hammer (Push down) on the 7th fret with your third finger, without re-picking.
e|----------| B|----------| G|----5h7---| D|----------| A|----------| E|----------|
Hammer-On more than one note
You can hammer on more than one note. Fret the 5th fret, G string with your first finger. Pick the note then hammer onto the 6th fret with your second finger and then the 7th fret with your third finger.
e|----------| B|----------| G|--5h6h7---| D|----------| A|----------| E|----------|
- If you can not get the second note to ring clearly or at all, make sure you are hamming on with the fingertip.
- Make sure your hamming-on finger should be right next to the fret wire.
- Make sure you apply enough pressure when hamming-on.
A Pull-Off is the opposite to a hammer-on, this time you are pulling off a note to reduce the pitch.
To peform a pull-off, start with both your first and third fingers on the fretboard. Fret the 5th fret, G string with your first finger. Then, while keeping the 5th fret fretted, fret the 7th fret with your third finger. Pick the note then 'pull' your third finger off the fretboard.
You may need to pull your finger off in a sidewards motion for the pull-off to ring clearly.
e|----------| B|----------| G|---7p5----| D|----------| A|----------| E|----------|
Pull-Off more than one note
You can pull-off more than one note. Fret the 5th fret, G string with your first finger. 6th fret with your second finger and 7th fret with your third finger. Pick the note then pull your third finger off the 7th fret, then pull your second finger off the 6th fret to let the note on the 5th fret ring out.
e|----------| B|----------| G|--7p6p5---| D|----------| A|----------| E|----------|
- If you can not get the second note to ring clearly or at all, you may need to pull-off in a sidewards motion.
- Make sure your fingers are right next to the fret wire.
In tablature it is common for the hammer-on and pull-off to be shown by a 'H' or 'P' on the tab itself.
e|-------------| B|-------------| G|--5h7-7p5----| D|-------------| A|-------------| E|-------------|
These two tricks are used constantly in soloing and should become like second nature. They involve (quite literally) hammering your fingers on, or pulling your fingers off of the fretboard.
You should learn this technique as fast as possible! Instead of using only downstrokes or upstrokes, you pluck the strings alternating your strokes. Instead of going down-down-down on the E string, you go down-up-down. You should do this as much as possible! Of course you don't have to use it all the time, for example when jumping from one string to another. Without this technique you will never be able to play at a decent speed!
Here's a little bit more info and some exercises about Alternate Picking
Bending is quite a popular technique. It is used mainly for lead work but can be found in rythm. How high you bend a string dertimanes the pitch of the note it will produce. For example look at the tab below. Put your finger on the 7 and lift the note when it is picked. You should hear it change pitch. It takes a little practice and strengthening of fingers to master, but you should be bending those notes in no time.
e|----------| B|----------| G|--7b(9)---| D|----------| A|----------| E|----------|
Also see Bending
The best way to understand is by trying it on your guitar. Go ahead, go get your beauty! Now try touching the thinnest string (e) VERY lightly right above the 12th fret (the metal bar). Don't push it down! Just put your finger on it very lightly. Now pluck the string and lift your finger up. It should sound like a harp or a chime. Go ahead and try it on the other strings. Now try to do the same thing above the seventh and fifth fret. What you are doing is dividing the string in 2, 3 or even more. In tabs they are marked as 'n.h.'
- These are tough and take a lot of practice. Don't expect to get them in a single day!