I just got Paul Gilbert's Intense Rock instructional DVDs and was doing pretty well following along with the exercises - albeit at a severely reduced speed - but when the lesson started to cover his advance legato licks, my fingers turned into limp noodles and I couldn't do anything! Guess that means I don't know how to pull off a pull-off.

Is a pull-off a strictly horizontal movement - parallel to the fretboard, or is a pull-off more of a J shaped movement? It seems to work for my right hand when finger nubbing but my left hand has difficulty doing that - remedied by more practice perhaps, or is that the wrong way to do it?

Another problem I've been having with pull-offs: I've been able to manage parts that have something like 10h12p10 like in Jordan since I just keep my index finger on the 10 whilst I hammer-on and pull-off the 12...but is that "proper technique" or should I be quickly hammering the 10 as I pull-off the 12?

If that is the correct technique, then how would I approach practicing something like Get Out Of My Yard, which involves pulling-off with the pinky to a note fretted by the index finger, which then pulls-off to a note fretted by a human capo...immediately followed by the same sort of pattern on another string? Should I be following the same pattern of thinking has before and fretting both the index and pinky notes at the same time, then pulling-off fingers in order?

Thanks UG
A pull off does have a J shape sort of.
If something says 10h12p10, it means pluck 10, hammer on 12, pull off to 10.

Should I be following the same pattern of thinking has before and fretting both the index and pinky notes at the same time, then pulling-off fingers in order?

A pull off has a 'J' shaped movement in the right technical way.

I used to do the horizontal movement till my guitar teacher taught me the 'J' shaped movement.
You've gotta sorta pull the string down a bit before you let go. Like you're doing a sorta bend. But pull down just really slightly. Instead of just taking yer finger away from the fret, you've gotta pull yer finger down a bit before you let go... Something like a "---_---" sorta movement.

for 10h12p10, (a very common technique used for triplets),
pluck 10, keep yer finger on 10 and hammer onto 12. Don't take yer finger off 10. after you've hammered onto 12 and let it ring for a while (depends on the note length you're playing), pull off the 12 onto 10 in the "J" or the "---_---" sorta motion as i described earlier. The whole time don't take yer finger off the 10th fret. Only after all the notes have rung well you can take that finger off. It'll take a lil while in perfecting that pull off motion and becoming smooth at it so don't expect to pull it off (haha! pun!) the 1st time you do it... It'll take some practice...

And for the index and pinky thing. Its the same pattern, yeah. pluck the index finger fret. Hammer onto yer pinky finger fret. Dont take yer index finger off the fretboard. Pull off yer pinky in the "J" motion to yer index finger. Pull off yer index finger in the same motion to the capo or open string. Making sure all the 4 notes (index fret - pinky hammer on - pinky pull off - index pull off) ring clearly and for about the same amount of time.
Last edited by af_the_fragile at Aug 9, 2007,
I still dont get how the pull off motion is a J? I mean pulling off i just lift the finger straight off? I've been trying to do a J sorta motion as i pull off eg: pull off to the right of the fret before curving to the left(like a J) but it feels constricted and just.. well not as good as technique as pulling off striaght off the string directly away from teh fretboard.

Am i doing somethign wrong? :S