Hi there
My name is john and i have been playing guitar on and off for a few mon ths.
I registered this forum becuase i hjave smoe trouble with hammer ons.
I haveb been trying to play this stunningly beautifal piece on guitar
Its a little bit tough for a begginer/intremiadte player such as myself , but strangely enough the only tricky part for me is the little trill at the beggining.
When i do hammer.ons i cant get almost any sound ou of them ( using 0,12 gauge strings) so i tend to pull the string almost out of the fretboard trying to make them sound louder as i grapple the string .
Can you guys point me to some exercises or help me improve this tecnique ?
Greets John
Last edited by s0ulmates at Jan 9, 2012,
Try this on all the strings.
PRS SE Custom 24 w/ Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz Pickups
Squire Classic Vibe Stratocaster

Digitech Bad Monkey

Pignose 7100 Legendary Amplifyer
Make sure that you're using the proper technique; hammer-on directly against the fret, and only use your fingertip. Pull-offs require a slight pull down, in order to get the note to "snap".

The main thing with this (or any other technique for that matter), is to go SLOW, and deliberately. You only gain speed by doing it correctly over and over a million times.

Hope this helps.
I'd like to help, but not as much as I'd like not to.

"To be successful, you need to be a good musician. To be popular, you just need to be fashionable" - Ritchie Blackmore
Hammer on/ pull off is a tricky technique to get the hang of at first. Good news is once you get the idea, it should progress quickly.

I'd start on the high e string just practicing holding down one fret (3 or 5 is probably easiest) with your index finger and trilling with your 3rd (ring) finger. It sounds like the problem you're having is that you're trying to actually pull the string and pluck it with your left hand with every hammer. As you've found out, that's too slow and difficult to do at speed and volume.

What you really want to do, instead of plucking the string like you would with your right hand, is get the tip of your finger to act like the hammer on a piano, not the hook on a harpsichord.

Hammering on exercise: get a pen or pencil, and hold it in your left hand between index and thumb. With your third finger, act like you're trying to whack the pencil towards you - but don't "grab" the pencil with the inside of your finger. Try to just hit the top, so it bounces back to where it was. Too much horizontal motion will pull it into your hand; too much vertical motion will make it bounce up and down. What you're doing is using the pad of your fingertip to create enough friction to hammer the string - that's why it's called a hammer, not a left handed pluck/pizzicato.

Since that makes no sense, I made a quick little video. Notice that the idea here is to impart a fair amount of energy on the pencil (string) without yanking it one way or the other - this is what creates a clean hammer that doesn't twang (horizontal/too grippy) and isn't too quiet (vertical - not grippy enough).

Feel free to disregard if the video is worthless, it's just a quick little explanation of the exercise since it's confusing when written out. I exaggerated the motions so you can see what's going on, but the idea is to get your trills to look like this when you're using a string. A hammer or pull is just the front or back half of that motion.
Thanks for the tips guys
Sorry for the late reply but i have been busy training hammer ons for a week and i think im ready to tackle that lick
The only think that confusese me is that it has a part that goes 4hp0.
How do i pull off into an open string?
Cheers john
Here you go:


Do exercise 1 or 2, they should both help with your hammer ons.

Read the description of each of them though to see what suits you best .

Good luck,