Hammer-On

author: RockstarAdam date: 02/09/2012 category: for beginners
rating: 7.7 / votes: 13 
(Before we begin, you should know that I am South African so I apologize in advance if my speech is a little slanted. Thanks) The hammer-on is a technique used by guitarists to improve the smoothness and the flow in the songs they play. The hammer-on is used because if a guitarist chose to play a song without any hammer-on's, the song would sound very amateurish and would not reach its full potential. The hammer-on is the act of using a free finger to suddenly press down (hammer down) onto a fret above the note that is currently being played at that time (will make sense later). The hammer-on actually becomes very easy with practice To perform a hammer-on you will need a fret to begin on and a fret to change to. For example, here is your guitar's fret-board:
e|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
If you read in a tab that you needed to use a hammer-on, (indicated by the 'h'):
e|---------------------3h5--------------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------2--------------------------------------------------------|
G|-----------------------------5----3---------------------------------------|
D|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|---------5--6------------------------------2------------------------------|
E|-----2----------------------------------------------4---------------------|
You would play the first four notes as normal, and when you reach the '3h5', you would play the third fret with (for example) your index finger, and then WITHOUT plucking the string again, you would hammer down your middle finger down onto the fifth fret and then playing the final four notes, therefore keeping the flow and making the song that much better! I hope I helped :)
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