Hammering Pulling And Tapping

author: JeffBrower date: 10/01/2008 category: guitar techniques
rating: 8.4 / votes: 18 
Okay, it's time to learn a very useful skill: hammering and pulling. You'll see it in just about any song that you play. We're going to start at the lowest level of hammering that there is.

Figure 1: Your First Hammer


1-|-3h5-|
2-|-----|
3-|-----|
4-|-----|
5-|-----|
6-|-----|
 1 3
The first thing I should tell you is that hammers are marked with the 'h' symbol. The symbol is between the starting note and the ending note. To hammer, place your index finger on the third fret. Then pick the first string. Right after you pick the string, place your ring finger on the fifth fret. You just hammered!

Figure 2: Your First Pull


1-|-5p3-|
2-|-----|
3-|-----|
4-|-----|
5-|-----|
6-|-----|
 3 1
Just like hammering, pulling is marked with a symbol, but this time the symbol is a 'p'. To pull, place your index finger on the third fret and your ring finger on the fifth fret. Pick the first string. Right after you pick it, take your finger off the fifth fret. You can now hammer and pull! Lets do some excercises.

Figure 3: Crossing Strings


1-|-----3h5-5p3-----|
2-|-3h5---------5p3-|
3-|-----------------|
4-|-----------------|
5-|-----------------|
6-|-----------------|
 1 3 1 3 3 1 3 1
Hammering and pulling aren't always on the first string. We're going to play on the top two strings now. Place your index finger on the third fret of the second string, and hammer up to the fifth fret. Repeat that on the first string. Your index finger should still be on the third fret and your ring finger should be on the fifth. Now, pick the first string, and pull off to the third fret. Repeat on the second string. Congratulations! You can hammer and pull on any string!

Figure 4: Up and Down a Scale


1-|---------------------------------|
2-|---------------------------------|
3-|---------------------------------|
4-|-----------2h4h5-5p4p2-----------|
5-|-----2h3h5-------------5p3p2-----|
6-|-3h5-------------------------5p3-|
 2 4 1 2 4 1 3 4 4 3 1 4 2 1 4 2
Now I will cover more difficult: hammering up and pulling down a scale. Just do what you did before, except use the numbers at the bottom of the tab to see what finger to use (Index-1, middle-2, ring-3, pinky-4). Every time you go on a new string, pick the new one. | Tip | Did you know what scale this was? It was G because the root note (first note) was G, and it was major because the thirds weren't flattened.

Figure 5: Higher Notes


1-|-------------------------------12h15-15p12-------------------------------|
2-|-------------------------12h15-------------15p12-------------------------|
3-|-------------------12h15-------------------------15p12-------------------|
4-|-------------12h15-------------------------------------15p12-------------|
5-|-------12h15-------------------------------------------------15p12-------|
6-|-12h15-------------------------------------------------------------15p12-|
As you get into the higher octaves, some people find that the notes get harder to hammer pull on. This is because the frets are thinner, and some people have fat fingers (That's okay, just be precise). From now on, I'm not going to have the fingerings on the bottom, you will have to figure it out on your own. Practice this a few times to get the hang of it.

Figure 6: Multiple Strings


 (a) (b)
1-|-5h7-7p5-|-5h7-7p5-|
2-|-5h7-7p5-|-5---5---|
3-|---------|---------|
4-|---------|---------|
5-|---------|---------|
6-|---------|---------|
Just like single-string hammering and pulling, you can hammer and pull across multiple strings. In (a), hammer both the fifth to seventh fret on strings one and two, then pull off. In (b), pick both strings, but only hammer the first one. Then, pull off to both fives. Practice (b) a few times, it can be a little tricky.

Figure 7: Tapping


 +
1-|-12p5h8-|
2-|--------|
3-|--------|
4-|--------|
5-|--------|
6-|--------|
Tapping is hard at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's rather easy. The symbol for tapping is a '+' or a 'T' above the first note. You aren't going to need your pick for this one. Start with your left index finger on the fifth fret. Use your right index or middle finger to tap the twelfth fret, this might take a little force. If you can hear that high E, you tapped hard enough. Then, pull off to a 5, and hammer up to an 8. Repeat this several times to get the timing down. Try tapping on different strings, although you will rarely see it on strings three, four, five and six.

Figure 8: Tapping Excercise


 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
1-|-------------------------------------------------|
2-|-9p2h5-9p2h5-9p2h5-9p2h5-9p2h5-9p2h5-9p2h5-9p2h5-|
3-|-------------------------------------------------|
4-|-------------------------------------------------|
5-|-------------------------------------------------|
6-|-------------------------------------------------|

1-|----------------------------------------------------------|
2-|-10p2h5-10p2h5-10p2h5-10p2h5-10p2h5-10p2h5-10p2h5-10p2h5--|
3-|----------------------------------------------------------|
4-|----------------------------------------------------------|
5-|----------------------------------------------------------|
6-|----------------------------------------------------------|

 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
1-|---------------------------------------------------------|
2-|-10p4h7-10p4h7-10p4h7-10p4h7-10p4h7-10p4h7-10p4h7-10p4h7-|
3-|---------------------------------------------------------|
4-|---------------------------------------------------------|
5-|---------------------------------------------------------|
6-|---------------------------------------------------------|

1-|----------------------------------------------------------------|
2-|------|-12p4h7-12p4h7-12p4h7-12p4h7-12p4h7-12p4h7-12p4h7-12p4h7-|
3-|----------------------------------------------------------------|
4-|----------------------------------------------------------------|
5-|----------------------------------------------------------------|
6-|----------------------------------------------------------------|
This is an excerpt from Eddie Van Halen's Eruption. Well, good luck with your musical endeavors. Expect more lessons from me.
+------------------------------------+
| How's my Tabbing?                  |
+------------------------------------+
| E-mail me at jefffbrower@yahoo.com  |
+------------------------------------+
More JeffBrower lessons:
+ Types Of Scales For Beginners 09/23/2008
+ Arpeggios For Beginners 09/23/2008
+ Bending And Its Variations For Beginners 09/16/2008
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