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  #1  
Old 09-03-2017, 06:25 PM
funkapus funkapus is offline
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Default My pull-offs suck.

I suck at pull-offs. Well, to give myself some credit, 1st string pull-offs to an open string aren't so bad. But on 2nd (or lower) string pull-offs, I always seem to catch the neighboring string, causing it to ring a tiny bit. It's even worse when I'm doing a pull-off to a fretted note: for a tune I'm working on, I need to pull-off from the 3rd fret to the 1st fret on the second string, and I always get a lot of fret buzz. I practice it over and over, slowly, trying to make sure I get it right, but I never get any better. I keep thinking that there must be something wrong about how I'm practicing because I'm not getting better, but I don't know what. Was there any subtlety to how you learned to do this?
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:30 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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It doesn't take much of a stroke. Quick flick of the fingertip gets it done
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:55 PM
Pitar Pitar is offline
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The pull-off is a vertical movement, not a lateral one. A hammer is straight down, a pull is straight up. Adjacent strings should not be touched. Practice, practice, etc.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:02 PM
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Think of the shape of the letter

J

in regards to how the finger tip moves.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:56 PM
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It takes time. Just keep practicing. Try the 4 to 2 to open pull offs on the D string or A string as practice. 20 times a practice session won't cut it. Think 80 to 100 reps as a minimum.

When my son was playing b-ball in high school and college he did 300 to 500 shots a day and he was just a center/forward, not a point guard.

Go big if you want results.
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Old 09-04-2017, 05:49 AM
SunnyDee SunnyDee is offline
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Are you pushing the string in the opposite direction from the pull-off with the fretting finger?

This may be obvious to everyone already, but it wasn't to me as a self-taught guitarist. People online describe pull-offs in lots of different ways, so I sorta doubt I'm the only one who was unsure about it. Anyway, I never heard this until I happened to find just one guy online talking about it (I can't find it now).

The idea is, for example, if you have the index down on the first fret and you want to pull off the middle finger from the third fret, you are pushing up slightly with the index as you pull down slightly with the middle. The idea being to keep the string straight. The opposing pressure and the up and down of it is very subtle but allows for control that may help. I was having a bad time of it, before, but, after understanding this, I found it very easy.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:12 AM
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I play a lot of Irish music and there is a technique used often called an Irish Roll. Its a sequence of 4-7 notes with the first note picked or plucked and the subsequent 3-6 played as a rapid series of hammers and pulls.Each individual note in the sequence has no set time value, but the sequence as a whole has the value of a single quarter or eighth. The sound decays through the sequence so the pulls are what re-energizes the sound and keeps it audible throughout.

Generally, the pulls involve actively plucking the note with the pulling finger. I always pull down (towards the treble side) and lift at release which puts energy back into the string allowing for the next note to sound clearly.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitar View Post
The pull-off is a vertical movement, not a lateral one. A hammer is straight down, a pull is straight up. Adjacent strings should not be touched. Practice, practice, etc.


I agree with this ^ .

When I practice pull offs, I notice there is something about playing the tune at full tempo that makes it work better.

My experience seems to need getting clean chord changes at tempo before I can get to a clean pull off.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amyFB View Post
I agree with this ^ .

When I practice pull offs, I notice there is something about playing the tune at full tempo that makes it work better.

My experience seems to need getting clean chord changes at tempo before I can get to a clean pull off.
You actually have to pull the string a bit sideways and friction hook it with the fingertip skin. Don't simple just lift the finger straight up.
That's why it's called a "pull-off" rather than a "lift-off" . Start with the fingertip a little towards the bass side of the fingerboard
so you don't end up muting the next more treble string.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
You actually have to pull the string a bit sideways. That's why it's called a "pull-off" rather than a "lift-off" . Start with the fingertip a little
towards the bass side of the fingerboard so you don't end up muting the next more treble string.
I agree with this. The string is not vibrating below the fretted note so just lifting will give a weak sound.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:58 AM
amyFB amyFB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
You actually have to pull the string a bit sideways and friction hook it with the fingertip skin. Don't simple just lift the finger straight up.
That's why it's called a "pull-off" rather than a "lift-off" . Start with the fingertip a little towards the bass side of the fingerboard
so you don't end up muting the next more treble string.


I think I may be doing lift off then, and maybe there is more I could achieve with a fresh set of attention.

And some YouTube videos are sure to exist so....thanks, I think! And off I go...
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitar View Post
The pull-off is a vertical movement, not a lateral one. A hammer is straight down, a pull is straight up. Adjacent strings should not be touched. Practice, practice, etc.
I completely disagree. A very common misconception. The strongest pull-off you can achieve is when you literally 'scrape-off' - really scrape across the top of that string with your callus. That will bring out the sound of that second note in equal volume to the first plucked note. Simply 'lifting-off' the string won't come close.

Sure, you'll hit the adjacent string on the way down, but you can easily mute that with your fretting finger.

I teach this technique to my students all the time, privately and in workshops and they ALL get it within a few seconds. You should see the expressions on their faces when they realize how easy it can be.

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Old 09-04-2017, 09:16 AM
agfsteve agfsteve is offline
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Check out Justin Sandercoe's lesson:

https://www.justinguitar.com/en/FO-1...mersFlicks.php

Justin uses the term "flick-off" instead of pull-off, because he flicks his fretting finger off the string, so it is a little pluck of the string, which is achieved with a quick downward movement (not a vertical lift).

My pull-offs improved when I started using Justin's technique. Prior to that I was only employing a vertical lift, and it had no power, resulting in weak sound.

However, the amount of "flick" that you need to put into the pull-off depends on how loud the note needs to be, and how much the previous note has already died out, so sometimes you need to flick hard, and sometimes you can actually get away with zero flick (just a vertical lift) , and most of the time it is something in between.

I think I noticed in Justin's lesson that a couple of times he accidentally contacted, with his flicking finger, the string below the string he was flicking off of, so it does seem really tricky, and I would think the usual "mute everything you don't need just in case" rule comes into play, and also maybe the safeguard of making sure the string that might suffer accidental contact is fretting a note in the current chord.
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agfsteve View Post
Check out Justin Sandercoe's lesson:

https://www.justinguitar.com/en/FO-1...mersFlicks.php

Justin uses the term "flick-off" instead of pull-off, because he flicks his fretting finger off the string, so it is a little pluck of the string, which is achieved with a quick downward movement (not a vertical lift).

My pull-offs improved when I started using Justin's technique. Prior to that I was only employing a vertical lift, and it had no power, resulting in weak sound.

However, the amount of "flick" that you need to put into the pull-off depends on how loud the note needs to be, and how much the previous note has already died out, so sometimes you need to flick hard, and sometimes you can actually get away with zero flick (just a vertical lift) , and most of the time it is something in between.

I think I noticed in Justin's lesson that a couple of times he accidentally contacted, with his flicking finger, the string below the string he was flicking off of, so it does seem really tricky, and I would think the usual "mute everything you don't need just in case" rule comes into play, and also maybe the safeguard of making sure the string that might suffer accidental contact is fretting a note in the current chord.
Yes, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Simply lifting off, or a vertical lift won't achieve the same, desired effect.
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:19 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toby Walker View Post
The strongest pull-off you can achieve is when you literally 'scrape-off'
Agreed. I do it as a lateral move... scrape is a perfect description. It's not a vertical move to me. If I did that, there would be very little sound.
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