As you begin to get more skilled with playing the guitar, your teacher will likely start to introduce new techniques that you can apply to your playing. When he or she feels that you're ready, your teacher will likely demonstrate the techniques that are known as hammer-ons and pull-offs — typically, you'll learn these two elements together because they share some similarities. A hammer-on occurs when you place your finger on a string without strumming it, allowing the contact with the finger to make the note ring out. A pull-off occurs when you quickly remove your finger from a string, allowing it to ring. Here are some ways that these complementary techniques can change your guitar playing.
The big change that you'll notice when you begin to incorporate hammer-ons and pull-offs in your guitar playing is that you aren't picking as much. By allowing the strings to ring out because of what you're doing with your fretting hand, rather than with your picking hand, you'll be able to play a series of notes quicker. For example, instead of picking a five-note sequence, which requires you to make five separate movements with the pick, you can perform a five-note sequence using hammer-ons and pull-offs. When you get better at this technique, you'll appreciate how quickly you can perform such a sequence.
Fluidity in your guitar playing is something to which you probably aspire. When you listen to talented professional musicians, you might notice how their sequences of notes appear to flow together. When you play as a novice, your sound may appear less fluid because you're individually picking each note. By using hammer-ons and pull-offs, you'll definitely notice an infusion of fluidity into your playing, giving you a new sound that you appreciate.
Better Ability To Read Tablature
Hammer-ons and pull-offs are so common in all types of guitar music that they're likely present in many of the songs that you want to learn. If you've previously read guitar tablature and noticed these techniques marked in the music, but been unable to perform them, learning them will give you a better ability to read tablature and play different songs. If you're trying to replicate a favorite song, picking the notes individually simply won't sound right if the song uses hammer-ons and pull-offs. As you get better at these techniques, you'll open the door to being able to play more songs that you know.
To learn more about playing the guitar, contact a company in your area like Guitar Works, Ltd.
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