Trills

author: DS_rockguy date: 05/22/2012 category: guitar techniques
rating: 7.6 / votes: 5 
Introduction. To know trills you need to know the techniques of Hammer-ons and Pull-offs. When both, Hammer-ons and Pull-offs are used together, it's called a Trill. I personally really like trills a lot because they fit well in solos and can also be used in arpeggios. Basically, I hope this lesson helps you understand what trills are and teach you how to use them. Hammer-ons. In case you do not know Hammer-ons, you must read this up. If you do know Hammer-ons, you can probably skip this part. Hammer-ons are pretty easy. You just play a note on a string and then on the same string, while the sound is still heard, you press (hit) another fret hard so that the sound of that fret is now heard. This is pretty easy. All you need is practice. In guitar tabs, it's denoted by the letter "h" preceded by the fret to play and followed by the fret to hit. Like this:
e------------5h7----------|
B-5h6--8h10-------8-6-----|
G-------------------------|
D-------------------------|
A-------------------------|
E-------------------------|
Pull-offs. Pull-offs are another useful thing to know. You need to know this to know trills. Again, if you know it already, you can skip this part. Pull-offs need you to play a fret on a string, behind which (towards the neck on the same string) you need to keep a string pressed. The trick is that while the sound of the higher fret is still ringing out, you need to pull you finger of that fret fast, so that the sound of the lower fret which your finger has pressed should be heard. It's like the opposite of a Hammer-on. In tabs, it is denoted by the letter "p" preceded by the fret you have to pull your finger of and followed by the fret you have to pull-off to (keep pressed behind the higher fret). Like this:
e-------7p5--------------|
B-10p8-------5p3--5--6---|
G------------------------|
D------------------------|
A------------------------|
E------------------------|
Once you get the hang of Pull-off and Hammer-ons, go on reading ahead. Trills. Hammer-ons and Pull-offs, when combined together, form a Trill. Trills are really pleasant to hear and can be used in many ways, especially in solos which are a part of emotional slow songs. See the following example:
e----------------------0-------|
B-5-6-5--------------2---0-2-0-|
G--------4-5-4--2-4------------|
D------------------------------|
A------------------------------|
E------------------------------|
Now try playing it like this:
e----------------------0-------|
B-5h6p5--------------2---0h2p0-|
G--------4h5p4--2h4------------|
D------------------------------|
A------------------------------|
E------------------------------|
The [5h6p5] part and the other ones like it become really quite easier to play. Trills reduce the effort that your playing hand uses to play the [5-6-5] notes separately. Plus it sounds different, adding some variation to your playing too. So, that's how trills are used. The song "Snow" by RHCP also uses trills in the song's main riff. It sounds really good. You should check it out. Thanks a lot for viewing this lesson. I hope it helped you! (P.S. this is my first lesson, so take it easy on me guys.)
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