Hey everyone,
(feel free to tl;dr to the last paragraph or two)

I'll give a little introduction first since this is my first post; I played the piano for several years when I was young, got bored with the childhood music lesson experience, blamed the instrument, instead of the aforementioned. Switched to alto sax... had an even worse teacher in an even worse environment (angry russian in a 5th grade band setting...fun! He literally made one of the other boys cry. That lasted a year, if that.

Anyways, fast forward a to sometime in my high school years, I bought a cheap electric guitar (Fender Squire), amp, basic accesories, etc. kit for a bit over $100... so, everything is pretty bad quality. Tried teaching myself, didn't take hold, stuff goes in the closet. Fast forward to junior year of college when I'm living in an apartment with my buddy who is teaching himself guitar + we have some mutual friends who are pretty decent and are helping him along. So, I bring my guitar out to my apartment and start learning a few little licks. Nothing really takes, if a string broke... I had to convince a friend to fix it...

Also, I decided to take up saxophone again. Alto at first, but I've been playing tenor sax now for 2 years and loving it. Been taking lessons on the side, and am now doing a minor in popular music (stopped going to school to get my head together). So, I'm learning all sort of music theory and wanted to play an instrument in addition to the sax that can play chords by itself. So, I've been teaching myself a bit of guitar again.

I have a decent little beginning rock songs book that seems contructed very well for learning guitar. I'm mostly working on getting some calluses on my finger tips, as it starts to hurt pretty quickly after I start playing, but I can tell I got some forming. Anything I can do to hasten this along? Anywho, I've also looked up some more easy rock songs on the intertubes.

**(*topic relevant info starts here if skipping*)**
Anwywas, I picked Paint it Black by the Stones as it is simple and a favorite. Here's some tabs http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/r/rolling_stones/paint_it_black_tab.htm . As you can see, the intro starts of really simply by playing the B string (fretted in a particular way) and then responding with the 0 on the high E string..

Anyways, after doing this for a little bit, you hammer on twice in a row on the B string and then hammer off twice in a row on the B string. I've been looking at this video on youtube as well for some help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTqdog5_ZDU . Ok, so I can see what he is doing here with the hammering on and then off. The problem is, I cannot get the same noticeably loud noise from hammering on and off that he does.

What am I doing wrong? Why isn't there a noticeable sound from hammering like the guy gets in the youtube video. There was another, much more complete video on youtube, except the person is using an acoustic and a clamp (neither of which I have). How can I translate the stuff he does with a clamp to an unclamped guitar? Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZsaBwtNsnU

As you can see, I'm a guitar nub, and would like to be able to play a full song, and this is the one I'm going with. The youtube videos really help, but they can only do so much.

Thanks! (Hope my post wasn't too confusing due to misconceptions and lack of terminology)
The reason you can't perform the hammer-on is probably that you simply don't have enough force in it. It might also be the guitar: If the strings are far from the fretboard (the guitar has high action), the hammer-on is a lot harder to do.

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Practice something else? Paint it Black isn't something I'd class as a beginner song, the rhythm's difficult to nail and those lead fills aren't exactly slow.

Try something by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bad Moon Rising or Proud Mary will be much easier to get under yor belt.
Actually called Mark!

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Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.

If you like The Stones, Brown Sugar is so much easier and it has plenty to keep your interest as well as giving you a few basic techniques. The Who's Substitute is another simple one that is very satisfying.
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Lemme guess, You saw the song on guitar hero and thought it was pretty damn easy?

I made the same mistake too. Try Sunshine of Your love. It'll pretty much sum up everything you need to learn for a begginer.
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No, I don't play Guitar Hero or any of those silly crappy games. I saw the song mentioned on a list of easy beginner songs, or maybe I just found a video of someone showing how to play it. Either way, I don' find it to be too difficult, and just wanted help with the matter of simple technique. One person actuall said something helpful, but I'm not sure how I can use what he said so that I can actually play the song correctly. If someone could help me out with what I asked that would be great, if I wanted a list of easy beginner songs, I would look at the stickied topic or at any of the other 1000s on the internet. Although, I suppose the suggestion of Brown Sugar was actually helpful and relevant.

Thank you though.
It's all about practicing..and focusing on the hammer on/pull off. Mine aren't very strong either. It has to do with finger strength, of course and technique. You can crank the gain on your amp to get more sound from less pressure if you need some positive reinforcement. Other than that keep trying and it will come...be confident that you are getting a little better each time...you just may not notice since it happens at a slow pace.

The Trooper by Iron Maiden has some good hammer/on pulloffs in the main riff. Justin's finger gym lesson has some good Ho/Po exercises too: http://www.justinguitar.com/en/TE-001-FingerGym.php
Thanks a lot, you and the other fellow gave me the answers I needed. I'm glad that I have experience playing piano when I was young and saxophone for the past few years as everything is much simpler to get into. Plus I have that practice ethic that you mention which was a major barrier I never broke through before on guitar. Fortunately I have a decent notion of rythm too. The main other issue here with hammering hard enough (come to think of it, hammering off doesn't give me the desires effect either... how would I be able to make this louder--is it just a matter amplifier?

The other thing that makes it hard here is that it's physically hard to get my fingers down there since I am also hold the second frets down on high E and B with my index finger whil hammer on the 4th fret on B with my ring finger and then hammer onto the 5th fret on the B string with my pinky finger in quick succesion then hit the the high E with the second fret still held down and then hammer off the 5th and then 4th fret of the B string with the 2nd fret still held down. That is really reaching the limits of how far my hand can stretch. Again, the tabs are here: http://www.fretplay.com/tabs/r/rolling_stones/paint_it_black-tab.shtml
I'm talking about the first line of tabs here.

I see that we have some good lists of beginner soungs around here, but it's hard to distinguish beginner with a bit of time under their belt from absolute beginner like me in the style of the stones, or pink floyd or something similar?

Thanks again fellows, and please never accuse me of playing guitar hero or rock band or any of those other silly games out there now.
Last edited by Haffy at Dec 16, 2009,
Thanks, but finding that clip on youtube is what gave me the idea to learn Paint it Black. The part I'm stuck on is at ~1:30. It looks simple enough if you have some bsasic guitar skillll

As Lurcher and myself already explained, it's not that simple...that's why we suggested learning something else.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.

OK dude. I don't know what else you want or expect. You said you didn/t understand the H/P part or how to do it. The tab shows you the fingering. The video shows you how he does it. Other than that, it's practice. There is no easy way to do it at your level. There's no shortcut, trick, or secret. You need to develop the dexterity, finger control, muscle memory and strength to do it. And that takes repetition, practice, and sounding like ass for a while.
Last edited by Commodor 64 at Dec 17, 2009,