Hello metallers, grungers and wannabee slashes. I'm Sion Atkinson. Now you may be wondering 'if I haven't heard of you before how can I be certain that what you are teaching is top notch stuff. I would answer that by saying that I've practised these techniques and found that I've not got anywhere with them. Until, my teacher taught me how to do them properly. And so I'm writing this to prevent this happening to you. Over the next lessons, I'm going to provide lessons on how to sweep pick, hammer ons and pull offs (groan)and lots of other useful crap.
Hammer Ons And Pull Offs
I know. There are thousands of articles on this subject but many don't know how to execute them properly. When you hammer on and pull off, you want to make sure that the high notes and low notes sound equally loud. Therefore, you have to apply more force with your left hand fingers when they pull off or hammer on than you do when you use a pick to play the notes. If you're hammering on, make sure the string hits the fingerboard as this helps the string vibrate more.
Pull offs are a lot trickier, especially if you're using your 3rd and 4th fingers. When pulling off you want your pull off finger to move in a horizontal direction so you pull your finger off the string. Trust me, the amount of people (myself included) who just lift their finger off the string is enormous. And if you bend the string (which you shouldn't unless told to do so in the tablature), support the string with other fingers so it doesn't move. However if you're pulling off to an open string like so
e 5p0 7p0 8p0 7po
b 5p0 6p0 8p0
Try and control how much you pull off. You could pull off earlier instead of dragging the string with your finger by accident.
Another example would be
This shows how you can mix hammer ons and pull offs together. It shows how important it is to make them loud otherwise the notes will fade out (unless you're using loads of distortion.
Here's an example from one of my own solos
b 15p12 12 15p12 17p12 14
g 15 15p14p12
This includes a pull off from the 4th finger to the 3rd on the last phrase which is quite tricky. Be sure to practise before playing the whole lick.
Even Kurt Cobain used them and he wasn't one of the most proficient players around. Here's the main riff from 'Man who sold the world'
This would make a great excercise if you moved it by one fret each time until you reached the twelth fret.
You might want to listen and check tabs to the following songs 'Battery' by Metallica, Anything by Alterbridge They also use hammer ons from nowhere. 'Crush day' by Joe Satriani. 'Whiskey in a jar' by the one and only Thin Lizzy. Also check other lessons on the website for excercises. They really do help!
O.K. my work is done. Please post any comments if you'd like to tell me what technique I should write about next which you need help with.