well, ive been practicing my scales and im doing then in thirds, all hammer-ons and all pull-offs. i can do the hammer ons fine, but i cant seem to do the pull-offs very fast at all. does anyone have any advice for doing pull-offs fast?
start slow, and then work faster on one string.
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Quote by ifeastonbums
GuitarSymphony you are my hero!
All you basically have to do is make sure your finger's on the lower note firmly before you start your pull-off. Then you basically... well... pull off! It helps to, in addition to simply pulling off, move your pull-off finger a bit sideways to sort of re-pluck the string. It's hard to explain, but it's just a minor thing that makes the pull-off louder and more precise. If you think I need to be clearer I'll be happy to go more in-depth.
The hard part really isnt doing it fast but making it audible. Many people trying to do pulloffs have problems making it even sound at all, the sideways pull off thing is what they are missing.
Well, okay, I'll try to give a solid example.
G string. You want to do a pull-off from the 9th fret to the 7th fret. I'd suggest putting your index finger on the 7th fret, and your ring finger on the 9th. Pluck the G string with your pick/finger/whatever. Now, instead of just lifting up your ring finger, move it up and sideways, almost diagonally (toward the B&E strings), and very subtly almost "flick" the G string with your ring finger. Don't overdo it, because it's simply not needed, but if you do it with enough force it should make a difference.
Does that help?
Once again, here is my "Pulloff Clinic"

Here's something I posted somewhere else about doing pulloffs, maybe it will help....

In my opinion, the pulloff is the fretting hand move that requires the MOST
sublime coordination of hand muscles. As such, I think most people do it
wrong. The symptoms are generally a really cramped hand from excess
tension, weak sound from just lifting the finger off the string (not pulling),
and difficulty getting it rythmically correct and controlled.

I'll try to describe the right way of doing it and some exercises that will help
develop this move. Hammers & pulloffs are a very important part of playing,
particularly in soloing. Therefore doing a pulloff correctly is important.
As an aside, a series of hammer and pulloffs, using only the fretting hand is
generally known as legato -- because of the smooth nature of the note

One thing I won't cover too much is overall good technique of how to fret.
That would be a whole article in itself. Suffice to say, you should be playing
on your finger tips and have a relaxed hand and arm. I will offer one really
great tip though: If your arm is relaxed you can let the weight of your
squeeze the hell out of the strings with your fingers. Your finger tips
should be simply directing this pressure where you want. Let gravity do the

OK, on to pulloffs....

I will diagram the case where one finger is fretting a string and another
finger is pulling off and releasing. You can off course pulloff to an open
string and that's a bit easier to do. The first, fretting finger I'll call the
holding finger and the second the pulling finger. Don't think the holding
finger just plonks down on the string without doing much else -- it's very
dynamic thru the pulloff.

For demonstration, I'll use a 3 - 1 pulloff. That's where your index finger,
1, is the holding finger and your ring finger, 3, is the pulling finger.

Find a comfortable spot on the neck and use one of the middle strings and
place your 1 and 3 fingers LIGHTLY on the strings, on the fingertips, with
just enough pressure to fret the string. Now, SLOWLY start to increase
pressure on your pulling, 3 finger, downward. The movement should be
like you're trying to touch the tip of your finger to the base of your
finger where it meets your palm. As you do this, INCREASE PRESSURE WITH
HAVE to do this so the string isn't pulled downwards (and pitch is altered).
This is often overlooked.

OK, we now have the 3 finger applying downwards pressure to pull the string,
and the 1 finger applying upward pressure to keep the string forces opposing.
The string is now pulled out of it's usual position a little bit. Stop and notice
how little force this really takes (if you're relaxed). Now, just rotate your
pulling finger tip just a little. Enought to release the string. As this
happens relax the upward pressure from your holding finger. You need
just enough force to keep the string fretted and note ringing. Your pulling
finger should be lightly resting on the fretboard between the string you
just pulled and the next string.

Did you get a noticeable TWANG when you released the pulling finger,
and a nicely ringing tone from the holding finger's note? If so, congrats!
You basically did it right. Keep practicing that and notice how little
force it takes to get it right. Use other finger combinations to practice
this move.

That's the basic pulloff. But, of course, you eventually want to start to be
able to play that fast. That's where you'll start needing some hand &
finger strength. HOWEVER, don't try and muscle through excess tension
when you try and play fast. Always, start slow and keep the above exercise
in mind -- the actual movement itself doesn't require a lot of force if you're
relaxed and execute it properly.

There's some exercises I like to do the help me build up accuracy, speed,
finger independance and strength for pulloffs. Generally I will practice
using TRILLS. This is basically a sequence of hammer & pull combinations.

For example:


Basically hammer on with 3, pull to 1, hammer 3 pull 1, and so on. In solos
these are usually done really fast to get a kind of "trilling" effect. You
should do these with a metronome to make sure you're in time and start
SLOW. Making sure you're doing the pulloff correctly.

This is a great sequence for finger independence and strength. It's really
HARD to begin with so start slow. You should be able to do it on ALL strings

2 - 1, 3 - 1, 4 - 1, 3 - 1, 3 - 2, 4 - 2, 4 - 3, 4 - 2

Each of the combinations is a trill, repeated 4 times. So 2 - 1 equals
2 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1

Well, I guess that's about all I'll put in for exercises. There's lots more you
can do and find on the net. Also, check out Troy Stetina's "Speed
Mechanics for Lead Guitar" which has lots of great exercises in it.

Good luck!