Two Types Of "Pull-Off"

After playing guitar for a long time, and studying several different techniques, especially pull-offs, I have found that there are two types of them. This article is about the two types of pull-off that I use.

Ultimate Guitar
Hi everybody. This article is about something you probably know already, but that I have recently discovered, and since I haven't found anything about it in this website, I want to write about it. Well... straight to the point. After playing guitar for a long time, and studying several different techniques, especially pull-offs, I have found that there are two types of them. Perhaps you're thinking "This guy is wrong, there is only one pull-off", but believe me when I say what I say. First, there is one type that all of us know, and that type consists basically in playing a note fretted by one finger, and then, while the note is still sounding, placing another finger directly behind the first one and 'pulling' this one off the string, in order to sound the note that is being fretted by the second finger without picking it. This is O.K., but I have found another type: It is basically the same, but with this difference: Once you have played (with your picking hand) the note fretted by the first finger, you pull this finger off, but instead getting this finger out of action as you would normally do when pulling-off, you pick the string with the tip of your first finger. You would probably think that the effect of this "second type" of pull-off technique is the same, but if you have a good musician ear, you will note the difference. In my opinion, the advantage of this type is that by doing what I have described, the notes produced will be enhanced, producing a cleaner sound; so, your pull-offs will be "well-heard" by you and your audience. Thus, this type of pull-off is vital in order to perform trills, whether if they begin with a hammer-on or with a pull-off. I have heard several guitarists who don't know this, and the sound produced by the trills they perform are weak, because once they have played the first note(with their picking hand), the vibration of the string (and the notes) played decreases, yielding nothing but weak notes and weak sound. So, once you now know it, give it a try. It's not difficult; you only need three things: 1. Knowing how to play pull-offs; 2. Hard finger-callousses; 3. Practice. This way, your pull-offs and your trills will sound much better, and won't lack of strength. Cheers, JC Rea

37 comments sorted by best / new / date

    good article, I was doing this before but it's good for beginers
    this ain't a bad articule for beginners, just do what you feel is right.
    I always thought there was one way to do pull-offs, that being the seconde way you described. O well now I know I am doing the right thing. Now I now why my friend can't get enough sustain for Thunderstruck.
    JC Rea
    Many of you think that the "second type" of pull-off I explain in my article is the same as tapping, but you're all wrong. Tapping is a different technique because it's composed by several notes, and not only 2 notes as pull-off. You're all right when you say that the "second type" of pull-off is necessary in order to perform tapping, but both tecniques are not the same. Thus, tapping technique requires the use of more than two fingers,and sometimes requires the use of both hands; pull-off technique only needs the use of one hand. So, don't say second type of pull-off is the same as tapping.
    its kinda funny how everyone has to give there opinion even though everybodys opinion says shit all about shit everything, but yea now i just thought i had to share my opinion about your opinions, now if any of you say opinion one more time then theres gonna be trouble.
    how come everyone is saying i already know this but good article for beginers dont you guys read the other postings??
    It's still a pull-off, it's just the one you described first is bad technique, and the way you desribed second is good technique. Not two types at all..
    i have been doing that for ages! never thought of it as a second type of pull-off. nice article for begginer guitarists, but not for intermediate to pro's.
    I would already do this before reading this article. It sounds cool when you do it on Dumpweed by Blink 182.
    as a beginner teach ing myself I thought that was how it was done until a couple of weeks ago ty
    JC Rea
    Obviously, when I wrote this article I was thinking of those beginner guitarists who are discoverying the world of guitar, and finding new things. Anyway, what are you professional guitarists doing, reading articles for beginners uh?
    Yeah i kinda thought this was obvious. Oh well if it wasn't before hopefully it is now.
    OpeN WidE
    i say this is common sense also, anybody that has played "Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead" by Cannibal Corpse has to know that. pretty good article but i thought i was gonna learn something new. great for beginners
    good technique. it sorta comes natural to me, but definitely good for newer players. i think this article could have been aided by tabs and a slightly clearer description of the technique. i had to read that one part about three times to see what you were getting at. peace!
    Altough I always do this, I'm sure not everyone knows this. Good idea to bring attention to it. Since is a new "type" of pull-off. Maybe we should name it accordingly. How about... the Pluck-off ?!?
    iv been doin that for years and never thought there was any major difference between the 2
    with your finger that you lift up, you slide it of the side of the string instead of strait up. it will give it more volume
    amazing how u can write a long article on such a simple thing. lol
    I'm not sure if I get your point in this article, because if I do understand what you mean it would be hilarious. I think everyone knows these techniques.
    Bubonic Chronic
    Not a bad article, but could be better written. Also, the information presented is very base-level. By that I mean it is applicable (it would seem) only to one type of technique, as opposed to presenting us with more general information that could be applied to tapping, pulloffs, right-hand fretting and so on. I'll let you off the hook now, though. At least you're not spamming up the Pit!
    has he heard of eddie van halen and by the way the second type is actually called tapping
    ^yeah, why did no one point this out. its just a form of finger tapping
    Hana Hardcore
    dude..tah for the article..kinda already been doing what you've said..but can anyone help me with this...1p0 who do you play that?