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> Pull Off Trouble, I cant seem to get my pull offs right
post Aug 2 2010, 03:32 PM
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Hey guitar master class . I really cant seem to get my pull offs to ... well... pull off. Im working on crazy train and i need to use pull offs alot.

any advise dry.gif
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post Aug 2 2010, 03:36 PM
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Hi and welcome. You're supposed to kind of pluck the string with the finger you pull off with. Not just lift it or pull off as the term suggests.
If that was the problem... unsure.gif

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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Aug 2 2010, 05:01 PM
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Hm, interesting... Try practicing on clean. Sometimes the neck with can be problematic, I know that pull-ofs are much easier on classical guitar with wider neck then on some electrical guitars with much smaller neck...

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post Aug 2 2010, 08:17 PM
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Pull off = pull down smile.gif
You want to lightly pluck the string downwards to keep it sounding as loud as the previous notes. Also you need to mute or dampen the other strings and ensure you don't make extra noise.

Change the left (fretboard) hand grip to a baseball bat grip, with the thumb over the top a bit slightly sideways. This will give you way more control over bends, tapping, vibratos, etc. Move it back to straight pointing upwards on the back of the neck for normal playing around behind the middle finger, scale runs, riffs and finger stretchs. So remember there are two basic positions for the left hand: one is your thumb behind the neck, the other is with the thumb hooked over the top. Try both of these ways for hammer-ons and pull-offs.

You have to make it a habit to have each finger land right behind its corresponding metal fret bar, not just anywhere within the fret space. If your fingers are gluing to each other, this needs training.

Practice also have to play on your fingertips. You can still lay your fingers at enough of an angle to hold the adjacent strings mute. There's exceptions like finger rolling, etc, but using the fingertips is best.

You also want to be able to do it with all fingers, including the pinkie! With a flow, either anchoring one or more fingers or lifting the previous finger when the next has comed down. Practice both ways.

This is the hardest part (well for me), elminate having one or more fingers flip up too far when you hammer or pull another finger. If it's happened it's too late, correct and stop it before it happens. If you cannot comfortably keep your fingers hovering in unfretted position, you are probably using too much pressure when you play. This will be slowing you down!


Set your amp to a clean sound so you can really hear what your doing, practice at a slow steady rhythm without hesitating between or rushing notes. Use the back of neck thumb position, lift each finger as the next comes down.

Run up and down a scale like up 1-2-3-4 using hammers only and down 5-4-3-2 using pull-offs only and up 3-4-5-6 using hammers, etc till the 12th fret or higher)

Use the same sequence repeat for different fingers:
(1-2-4 and 4-2-1) and (1-3-4 and 4-3-1) and (1-3-2-4 and 4-2-3-1) and (1-4-3-2 and 4-1-2-3)

Also practice trills like:
Hammering and Pulling off (8-5-8-5), use the A minor scale or something to do the each string.
Try (7-4-5-4 repeat) and (8-5-7-5 repeat) and (10-7-8-7 repeat), etc up and down the neck.

This is a killer exercise! 2-1-2-1 / 3-1-3-1 / 4-1-4-1 / 3-1-3-1 / 3-2-3-2 / 4-2-4-2 / 4-3-4-3 / 4-2-4-2

"Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar - Master Lead Guitar Technique" by Troy Stetina is the book I learnt this from. All Troy Stetina books are quite good, a great teacher, I also enjoy his Heavy Metal Rhythm Guitar and Heavy Metal Lead Guitar book series. This Speed Mechanics book is more just killer exercises rather than music and quite hard to follow right at first, needs times, practice and a lot of will-power to break a lot of bad habits, but if your a seriously hardcore lead player you should take a look over it again and again and again. They have made me such a better player!

"Crazy Train" is a crazy fun song to play, that took me a while to learn. You also need to practice placing down the fingering in the correct locations first time in order to get it up to a smooth flowing speed, those exercises might also help a bit with that (finger independence). Take is slowly and accuracy is key at first, speed with come when your trained the fingers correctly. Good luck and have fun!

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Aug 2 2010, 08:36 PM


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post Aug 2 2010, 10:04 PM
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I sometimes "pull up" as well. smile.gif

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post Aug 2 2010, 10:41 PM
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yh when trying to explain it to people I tell them to 'think' down...

you don't want to pull down so hard that you bend the string out of tune...

just thinking 'down' will give you enough downward motion to ensure a good tone.

on my LP the sting is close t the neck on string 1 so I have to pull up... so wierd after 15years off pulling down..
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post Aug 3 2010, 01:49 AM
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QUOTE (Vasilije Vukmirovic @ Aug 2 2010, 11:01 AM) *
Hm, interesting... Try practicing on clean. Sometimes the neck with can be problematic, I know that pull-ofs are much easier on classical guitar with wider neck then on some electrical guitars with much smaller neck...

That is what I do (practice clean to really give myself a clear picture of what I really am). Whether I am playing metal or whatever. If you can't sound great clean, in any style, in my view, you have work to do, and listening to yourself clean tells you want you need to work on. Then I use some effects, but try to keep a focus on what I need work work on, not to let the effects or backing fool me into thinking I am better than I really am.
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 6 2010, 12:46 PM
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Like everybody said, pull offs are usually done by pulling the string downwards with the finger that is doing the pull offs. This implies that you have to rehearse pull offs with every finger, even index on open strings. Another important thing is that pulling the string downwards doesn't mean you have to pull hard, this is a very small movement, but it needs to be correct. Try practicing on clean and see how it goes, take your time.

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