Hey there, welcome to Part 1 of the Pull- Offs Guitar Lessons where you will learn exactly what this technique is and examples to get you incorporating it into your guitar playing.
A Pull- Off is when you play a note without picking the string, but instead use another finger to pull off the string at an angle so that the string sounds a note onto the fretted note behind the note you pulled off. You can pick a note as you usually would but have a note ‘prepared’ lower in pitch than the note picked on the same string. After you pick the higher note you then need to pull away from the string towards the floor so that the note fretted lower can sound from the pull off motion created.
You will be able to see a pull-off in TAB shown by a curved line (tie) between notes.
Exercise 1- A Minor Pentatonic Pull- Offs
If you have not realised how you would play this exercise already then here are my simple tips to mastering the beginner Pull- Off exercise. Place both your first and third finger on the G string to start with, making sure your first finger is on the 5th fret and your third finger is on the 7th fret. Pick the G string and now pull your third finger towards the ground so that the note does not die as it would if you just lift your finger off. You may at first hear some excess string noise created by pulling the note off, so you will need to mute this by using the underside of your first finger laying gently on the higher strings (B and high E). Once you have the two notes on the G string working comfortably then its time to tackle the D string notes.
Repeat the exact same process on the D and A string, ensuring to mute unwanted string noise as you move across the strings. When you reach the low E string you will need to use your fourth finger on the 8th fret and it may be harder to achieve a solid pull off with this finger but be persistent, it will pay off!
Exercise 2- A Minor Pentatonic Pull- Offs short run
This exercise is an extended version of the exercise you have just completed and utilises notes on the higher string of the A Minor Pentatonic Scale we are using. If you are interested in learning all about Scales and how to use them then please see Be The Guitarist for easy to understand diagrams and full explanations. This example uses a pattern often found in rock guitar based music during the guitar solo where high energy licks are a favourite.
As with many of the exercises I give you, I would suggest using a metronome to work on accuracy. Start out at 80 bpm playing two notes per a beat and working up in 5 bpm slots once it becomes easy at the current tempo.
You should use this pattern with other guitar scales to broaden your chances of being able to pull it out of the bag when you need it most! Once again, if you want to master guitar scales then Be The Guitarist is a great resource.
Exercise 3- A Minor Pentatonic Pull- Offs Long Run
This exercise is a further extended version of the previous A Minor Pentatonic Scale Pull- Off Run licks you have learnt. Notice the sequence based phrasing used by not simply moving up and down the scale with pull- offs, but instead using notes from surrounding strings to create a predictable but effective sound.
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