How To Play a Hammer-on and a Pull-off

Based on Lesson No.29  from Greg’s Bass Shed on YouTube

These 2 left hand techniques will  really enhance and add  style to your basslines. 

 

Hammer-on 

A Hammer-on is played by tapping the fretboard with a finger of your left hand, without plucking with the right hand.  You need to apply a fair amount of pressure for the note to sound as strongly as a plucked note. 

You use a hammer-on to play a note above the one you have just played.  Technique wise it is important to keep the previous note held down in your left hand while playing the hammer-on note. 

 

EXERCISE:  Play a C on the G string which is the 5th fret and then hammer-on the D 

                        above which is the 7th fret. Keep your finger down on the 5th fret while you 

                        play this. Try to have the D sound at a similar volume to the C. 

 

This is how this particular hammer-on is written

 

Pull-off 

A Pull-off is the opposite of a Hammer-on in that it goes in the opposite direction.  You first play a note as normal and then play a note below.  You play the note below by having that note already fretted and then plucking that string with a finger of your left hand. 

 

EXERCISE: This time we will play a D on the G string down to a C.  So get your fingers 

                        ready with finger 1 on C and finger 3 on D. Play the D by plucking with your 

                        right hand and then pluck that string with finger 3 of the left hand.  The C 

                        should sound as it is already pressed down. 

                         This is a tricky technique to master but with practise you can perfect it. 

 

This is how this particular pull-off is written:

 

Follow the link on the top of this page to see the video lesson and download the PDF with some very useful exercises to help.

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