Guitar Pull-offs

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons, Tutorials & Tips' started by johnny_flamenco, May 17, 2006.

  1. johnny_flamenco

    johnny_flamenco New Member

    On the list of things most often done wrong on guitar, the Pull-off holds a respectable place. In fact, I remember I was playing for years before a teacher pointed out to me that I was doing them incorrectly, resulting in either distorted rhythm, or missing notes.

    A pull off means playing a note and then pulling the string downward toward the floor with the left hand finger used to fret the note, and then releasing it so a second note is sounded by just the force of the release. You can pull to an open string, or (more common) to another note already prepared by a left hand finger.

    If going to an already prepared note, keep these things in mind:

    1) The holding finger MUST hold the string firmly, straight to the fret, and not allow the string to move at the fret where it is held by the "receiving finger" during the pull off. It often does NOT hold the string firmly, and should be checked in a mirror.

    2) Very often a player will not really pull the finger, but will just lift it straight off the string. This does not keep the string in vibration, and the second note does not come out, or is very weak, especially at fast speeds.

    Depending on the speed of the music, and other considerations, both fingers may be placed at the same time, the first is plucked, then pulls off, keeping the string vibrating so that the second note is heard even though it is not plucked by the right hand.

    So when you do pull-offs make sure of this: the pulling finger pulls the string, down a bit toward the floor, while the holding finger holds the string, pinned down as it were to the fret board, and not moving along with the pulling finger. Then both notes will be clear.

    A note of warning. This action requires strength and control, which must be developed carefully, or harmful tension will be locked in to the muscles during practice. As much as you know and understand about "The Principles of Correct Practice," use them in practicing Pull-offs.
  2. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    Good one.
    Even I have seen pull-offs being performed in manner that wont give the optimum results.

    Actually on electric with overdrive, you can get off with that since the signal is so strong it will still be audible.

    But still, the technique mentioned here is the one that works.
    fat_kax likes this.
  3. notty_lad

    notty_lad sudo undress

    Err.. What u're talking bout is a hammer isn't it ?? Pull-off is lifting the finger from the string .. and Hammer is pulling the string down as u say ..
    fat_kax likes this.
  4. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    No he+me is talking about pull-offs wonly.

    Hammer is when you bring teh finger down with force and sustain the hammered note.
    Pull-off is when you pull your finger off and the note whcih sustains is the one whic is held by your stationary finger.

    Correct pull-off happens when while lifting the pulled-off finger, you slighly pull the string towards the ground, so that it rings/sustains vibrations.
  5. notty_lad

    notty_lad sudo undress

    ^I c . . but I hope u are sure bout that hammer thing !?

    anyway .. I have heard a quite a few hindi songs where pull-offs is played by just lifting the finger without pulling ..

    There is strong possibility that the only reason its played that way in many hindi songs is bollywood guitarists are lazy(i'm being generous here) while creating music n don't wanna(can't play!!) technically great stuff :RollLol:
  6. ronnieanand

    ronnieanand n00bier th@n th0u

    I practise hammer ons and pull offs without plugging in my guitar. That way a weak hammer on and pull off wont sound at all. A bit painful in the beginning but when you can get decent hammer ons and pull offs without plugging in the guitar, then can have an above decent hammer ons and pull offs when plugged in..
    fat_kax likes this.
  7. johnny_flamenco

    johnny_flamenco New Member

    One bit of advice: if you are in the habbit of chewing on your nails, make sure you find a less destructive habbit. Pull offs are easier when you have a bit of nail on the left fingers, they provide a bit of support.
  8. rahulp

    rahulp **Fallen Angel**

    Very useful information Johnny boy!!! reps!!!
    fat_kax likes this.
  9. death_metal_fan

    death_metal_fan oh goody, it's a woody!

    That statement reeks of ignorance. It would come as a surprise to you that some of the most technically accomplished guitar players are playing for orchestras or as session musicians for Hindi artists to support their livelihood.
    CrYpTiC_angel and fat_kax like this.
  10. fat_kax

    fat_kax Kickin Ass Since 1989 !

    awesome thread...reps to all
  11. johnny_flamenco

    johnny_flamenco New Member

    Pardon my ignorance. I am new to this scene, but what exactly does reps mean?
  12. rahulp

    rahulp **Fallen Angel**

    Reps are points.. for good deeds.. intelligent comments...useful information .. appreciation etc etc.
  13. notty_lad

    notty_lad sudo undress

    I was kidding man .. Infact one of a very talented singer/musician is my distant uncle who performs in orchestra .. who tells me bout the vast talent in such orchestra's .. he's a Great person .. The thing is that such Talent in India Almost all times goes unnoticed by the masses because of the compromise these talented people have to make with their livelihood.. and cannot afford hi-fi methods to reach the people .. U're right.

    Another example .. A friend of mine Mohammad has been playing guitar since 16 years .. When he played in fronta me once My jaw dropped till the ground .. It'l be impossible to explain how amazing he plays .. he's struggling to make an album .. !!!!! but no finance .. finding it hard to make a living and reach for the Heights in music ..

    Talent unnoticed ..
  14. d_ist_urb_ed

    d_ist_urb_ed Genuflect b*tches!

    ^lol.....still'm sorry.
  15. notty_lad

    notty_lad sudo undress

    ^Don't be .. just speak somethin worthwhile related to topic thats it ..
  16. fat_kax

    fat_kax Kickin Ass Since 1989 !

    wenever i try a pullof - it duznt come out as well as a hammeron hammeron :rock:
  17. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    ^ Then practice it, pull-off and hammer-ons both shoudl be top-notch.
    They kinda complement each other.

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