February 19, 2015

Guitar Solos – Pt.5 – String skipping, hammer on’s and pull off’s

Hi there,

Thanks again for reading my blogs, if you’ve found them useful feel good about recommending other guitarists to read the blog.

So on part 5 of the Improv series we’re going to look at integrating String Skipping, Hammer on’s and pull off’s into your scale exercises.

So far we’ve looked at learning your 4 essential scales, then patterns of 3’s and 4’s. IMHO the next exercise is another excellent way to help integrate your scales into using them in a more musical context.

  • Often in riffs and solo’s guitarists will play a pattern and then switch to a string that’s not necessarily next to it. Being able to jump across strings whilst still using the same scale is a great skill to have.
  • Hammer on’s and pull off’s are used a lot in creating riffs, melodies and solos as they provide you with different sounds and ways of connecting up shapes.
  • A ‘hammer on’ is where you pick a note on a string and literally hammer on the next note with another fretting finger (without picking)
  • A ‘pull off’ is where you are picking a note and then creating another note by pulling off your finger (with another finger already pressed down)
  • This exercise combines 3 techniques at once so it’s a fantastic one to learn.
  • With the 3 examples below when ascending up the shape you use hammer on’s and coming back down you use pull off’s

Here’s the 1st shape of the A minor pentatonic using the exercise:

Here’s the 1st shape of the A major scale using the exercise:


Here’s the 1st shape of the A minor scale using the exercise:

Have fun using these exercises, you’ll also find them great at stretching those fingers. Remember to practice them in all shapes and keys.

Many thanks
Rock ‘n’ roll

Twitter: @jsmusicschool

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