Hammer On Trouble

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    Hi Andrew,

    I’ve been working on the Hammer On and Pull Off lesson. I’m having three challenges.

    1. When I hammer on, the second note is note nearly as loud as the first note. In fact, sometimes it can barely be heard. Any tips on how to get the second note to ring out?

    2. When I’m pulling off on the bottom string, it’s okay if it is pulling off to an open string. But when pulling off to a closed string, like in Sponge Bob where one pulls off from the 10 to the 7, it doesn’t sound right. The string seems to slide under my finger. Or if I try to pull off from the 3 to the 2, the string seems too tight to get a good sound.

    3. When pulling off on strings 2, 3, or 4, My finger hits the next string down when pulling off.

    Would love a little guidance. #2 and 3 feel like mostly careful practice would help. But I’ve been working on a simple song with 3 hammer one since May 15 and they are still so quiet.



    Hi Connie, I’d be happy to help answer these questions.

    1) The lack of volume is probably due to finger strength. Unfortunately, this is a technique that takes time to develop. Try to incorporate hammer-ons and pull-offs into your daily practice time.

    2) The string should always remain straight, as in it should not be pulled up or down. It’s also important to make sure that you have proper pull-off technique (execution). This is discussed in detail starting at 3 minutes 16 seconds, in this video lesson: https://youtu.be/J6yCsCNRMW0?t=3m16s

    3) Muting the other strings will help with this issue. If you look at the photo below, you can see that I am on a fingertip on string 2 (to the play that note). But my index finger is lightly touching the first string to mute it. This is an advanced technique, if you are a beginner player I wouldn’t worry too much about it just yet.


    Please let me know if you have any questions.

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