This page continues on from
the individual hammer on and pull off
lessons (links below). We're now going to combine these two
create "slurred" lead guitar phrases, known as legato
playing, requiring less use of your picking hand to do the
When using hammer ons and pull
offs together, in a rolling or slurred phrase,
you need the physical strength and endurance to apply both
techniques using various finger combinations.
Make sure you go through
both the introductory lessons to ensure you're physically confident
When you're ready, we can take
our fingers to the gym once again with some exercises to combine these
Hammer on and
pull off exercises
Just like in the introductory
lessons, we're going to make use of different finger combinations so we
can physically get used to the different note
we'll come across in the scale patterns we learn.
The most common way to apply
both techniques together is to apply the
hammer-on and immediately pull-off back to the starting note. You can
obviously do this at various speeds.
Let's try the hammer-pull
Click the diagrams in this lesson
to hear examples.
step (one fret)
you can hear in the example above that kind of skip effect we can
create by applying the pull off straight after the hammer on.
Let's look at the different
finger combinations for this interval.
your index (1) finger and middle (2) finger...
Now try using your middle (2) finger and ring
Then try using your ring (3) finger and pinky
step (two fret) interval
Using your index (1) finger and ring (3) finger...
Now try using your middle (2) finger and pinky
(4) finger for the same interval.
interval (one and a
- 3 fret interval)
Using your index finger and pinky finger
all these intervals (and even larger ones, especially when higher up
the fretboard) can be used when you're
soloing around a scale. It's all about using your personal judgement
and musical expression to pick out these intervals
in the scale patterns you learn and apply hammer ons and pulls offs
however you think
Remember, hammer ons and pull
offs are just another lead
to spice up your
solos, so only use them when they complement the music you're trying to
on and pull off trills
Another common use of the two finger hammer-pull technique is known as
A trill is a fast alternatating movement between two notes. Therefore,
we can simply extend the hammer-pull sequences from above as follows:
So, try this technique across all
using the intervals from earlier. Also try different finger pairings
(trill between index and middle, index and ring, index and pinky).
The trill is a nice effect to add occasionally
to your solos!
Larger legato phrases
This is where it gets slightly
more difficult physically. Only when you're
comfortable with the above intervals should you move onto
larger, more complex phrases involving more fingers.
The most important thing in
larger runs is to know when to pick in between the hammers
and pulls. This essentially keeps the rhythm stable (as
picking has a firmer texture to hammering on/pulling off).
Try the below (again, across all strings) as
physical exercises for your fingers that you'll later apply to
various scale patterns as you learn them (the theory side of lead
marks the position you should pick the string to begin the sequence.
The rest of the sequence is hammer-ons and pull-offs - one pick per
ring and pinky combo
middle and pinky combo
and ring combo - wider pattern
For hammer-pull phrases spanning 5 frets/2 whole tones. Good for use
higher up the fretboard where the fret spacings are narrower.
and pinky combo - wider pattern
For hammer-pull phrases spanning 6 (or more) frets
You don't have to just use
hammer-pull sequences either. Try the below technique (known as pedal
point) on the finger
combinations from above (I'll start you off with the first combo)...
There are more possible
hammer-pull intervals/combos, especially when you're playing higher up
fretboard, so try and come up with some yourself!
and open string hammer on/pull off exercises
In the video below, Neal
Walter shows you a couple more staple hammer-pull
techniques. Take a look...
Inserting legato phrases into your solos
exercises in all three hammer-on / pull-off lessons (more exercises
here), you should be
physically confident to experiment with these techniques in your solos.
You should now have the freedom to use any finger combination for the
interval and sound you're trying to achieve.
However, it doesn't end here, because there are timing elements to
think about when inserting hammers and pulls into your scale phrases.
Randomly throwing them in won't accomplish much, so I will be covering
how to insert them seamlessly into your solos in a later lesson.
Like I keep saying,
this is only the physical side of things covered -
you need to know your scale
patterns in order to know which hammer on / pull
off intervals can be used... and how to get in the
right position for
them. This is the physical/theory split in your learning you need to
So, still lots more to learn,
but we've made excellent progress here! Thanks for your time.