Troubleshooting To Guitar Techniques

I'll show you how to overcome any problems with technique.

Ultimate Guitar
Hello metallers, grungers and wannabee slashes. I'm Sion Atkinson. Now you may be wondering 'if I haven't heard of you before how can I be certain that what you are teaching is top notch stuff. I would answer that by saying that I've practised these techniques and found that I've not got anywhere with them. Until, my teacher taught me how to do them properly. And so I'm writing this to prevent this happening to you. Over the next lessons, I'm going to provide lessons on how to sweep pick, hammer ons and pull offs (groan)and lots of other useful crap. Hammer Ons And Pull Offs I know. There are thousands of articles on this subject but many don't know how to execute them properly. When you hammer on and pull off, you want to make sure that the high notes and low notes sound equally loud. Therefore, you have to apply more force with your left hand fingers when they pull off or hammer on than you do when you use a pick to play the notes. If you're hammering on, make sure the string hits the fingerboard as this helps the string vibrate more. Pull offs are a lot trickier, especially if you're using your 3rd and 4th fingers. When pulling off you want your pull off finger to move in a horizontal direction so you pull your finger off the string. Trust me, the amount of people (myself included) who just lift their finger off the string is enormous. And if you bend the string (which you shouldn't unless told to do so in the tablature), support the string with other fingers so it doesn't move. However if you're pulling off to an open string like so
e 5p0 7p0 8p0 7po
b                 5p0 6p0 8p0
Try and control how much you pull off. You could pull off earlier instead of dragging the string with your finger by accident. Another example would be
e 8p5p0h8p5p0h8p5p0h4h7p0h4h7p0 
This shows how you can mix hammer ons and pull offs together. It shows how important it is to make them loud otherwise the notes will fade out (unless you're using loads of distortion. Here's an example from one of my own solos
e                       12
b 15p12   12 15p12 17p12   14 
g       15                   15p14p12 
d                                   14 
This includes a pull off from the 4th finger to the 3rd on the last phrase which is quite tricky. Be sure to practise before playing the whole lick. Even Kurt Cobain used them and he wasn't one of the most proficient players around. Here's the main riff from 'Man who sold the world'
g 2 2 2 0 2p3p2p0
This would make a great excercise if you moved it by one fret each time until you reached the twelth fret. Other Examples You might want to listen and check tabs to the following songs 'Battery' by Metallica, Anything by Alterbridge They also use hammer ons from nowhere. 'Crush day' by Joe Satriani. 'Whiskey in a jar' by the one and only Thin Lizzy. Also check other lessons on the website for excercises. They really do help! O.K. my work is done. Please post any comments if you'd like to tell me what technique I should write about next which you need help with.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Thanks this is great! Just what I was looking for, when I'm kinda dry at the moment. Also I like these "naked" tabs! They're really great, make it MUCH MUCH easier for my eyes to concentrate!
    It's also easy to see where it shift string or where it's a great jump in strings.
    Don't worry about sweeps. Keep tuning in to these lessons and you'll see it soon. I promise.
    Music MadMan
    Question: How can you prevent from hitting adjacent strings when your pulling off. For example, When I do a pull of on the B string from 7 to 5, I usually make the other string ring. Now, I mute it with my index finger, but since I use a good amount of gain most of the time you can still hear an anooying *clink* when pulling off. Is there anyway to prevent from doing this? Thanks
    When pulling off, your finger should move a small amount, but enough to make it pull the string, otherwise you end up hitting unwanted strings. I suggest practising at a slow speed until you can pull off without hitting other strings.
    ...Oh! I almost forgot, use your other finger pressing the fret that you pull off to stabilise the string i.e to stop the string from moving. Make sure you don't move that finger as you pull off as this will make the string bend, which might explain why you keep getting unwanted string noise.