Pull-off is a technique when we use a finger to fret a note and sound that note, while the note is still sounding, a finger can be placed behind the first finger, and then the first finger can be 'pulled off'. By doing this, the effect is the same as plucking the string with a finger, it creates vibrations. And now the note that is being fretted right behind the first finger will be sounded.

Pull-offs create vibrations, while hammer-ons mostly don't. In other words, in performing a pull-off, it is possible to make the second note sound louder than the first. [1]


Motives of use

It's used to make a passage easier to play. This is true for two reasons. The first is that we can usually do a pull-off faster than we can pick two notes in succession. The second reason is that while performing a pull-off with two fingers of the fretting hand, it's possible to play something else at the same time with other two fingers and pick.

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"How to play pull-off" guitar lesson

History of pull-off technique

In "Ellis's Thorough Course For 5 String Banjo" written around 1900, the term 'pull off' is used to explain the action of performing technique called 'snap'.

The term pull-off was first defined by Pete Seeger in his book "How to Play the 5-String Banjo" in 1962.

Tablature notation

In tabs, pull-offs are usually shown by the letter 'p' accompanied by a number to the left and a number to the right. E.g.:


Songs for learning pull-off technique

Foo Fighters - Razor

Tab versions

Interactive versions:

Guitar Pro, Tab Pro

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Original track

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"Razor" guitar lesson


  1. "Hammer-ons and pull-offs lesson" Ultimate Guitar