A question on legato, or pull offs to be more precise.

When performing a pull off, how should my fretting hand be position? I can only seem to perform pull offs when my fingers are perpendicular to the fretboard, and my thumb is pressed on the back of the board, acting like a pivot for my fingers, and it seems like a rather uncomfortable position for performing fast legato runs.

When I try to do a pull off with my thumb almost wrapped around, and my fingers at a slant, I can't seem to do the twangy pull off, but rather my fingers just seem to slide off the string, making no real noise.

I've been watching Guthrie Govans lesson:


...and he seems to pull off with more slanted fingers and wrapped thumb, but I don't understand how to force a pull off with that position.

Any help please?
Do what works for you, everybody's hands are different.
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Yeah, I know what you mean. I have been doing it with my thumb behind but a few months ago changed to my thumb over as it seems to give me better control and I can add better vibrato. However i can't stretch as far so I change depending on what I need to do. I was watching Vai and Satch, that's why I changed. They are probably good to imitate.

I am still getting used to it with my fingers slanted, just practice for a while, it comes easy enough.
Last edited by Tempoe at Jun 28, 2009,
Your hand position is pretty much correct, threadstarter, but you must be doing something wrong or it wouldn't hurt. Guthrie has huge hands and incredible finger strength, by the way. Not to mention he uses the thumb behind the neck when he starts actually using his incredible reach. Watch my posture vid, read the sticky.
Did you delete a post there TS? Got an email alert...?

Anyhoo, answer that - for rock vibrato/bends (same thing) thumb over or high on the neck is essential. Hopefully posture vid'll clear that up. Enjoy.

ED: ahhhh,it was you tempoe you sly dog. You need both hand postures. One for bends and thumb chords and one for everything else. Vai and Satch both CHANGE what they do depending on what they need to do.
Great, cheers for the responses guys

While on bends, is there any exercises that develop bending technique or is it all finger strength?
Last edited by thedoors92 at Jun 28, 2009,
Well, listening really carefully and making sure you're in tune before starting any vibrato is great (although starting the vibrato straight away is fine, many guitarists do this to hide their **** sense of pitch)... as is reading the sticky section on bending, which pretty much explains how to physically do a bend.