How do you trill?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by WrapRough, May 4, 2021.

  1. Index finger holding the "constant" note with middle finger hammering the adjacent note or sometimes hammering my ring finger for a trill a full step up.
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  2. I use both but they are to different technique trill indicated by either a tr or a tr~~ is the quick hammer on typically incorporating the index and middle finger. The other a Mordent which is the upload_2021-5-5_8-38-1.png indicating that the note is to be played with a single rapid alternation with the note above or below (sometimes revered to as a "shake") using one finger
  3. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Hammer on. Hammer off. Slide in or slide out. Trill? Never heard that word before except to a class of aliens on Star Trek.

    JeezyMcNuggles likes this.
  4. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I utilize the hammer-on method extensively. The “squiggle” never came naturally to me, so I never practice it, therefore, it remains an elusive, frustrating challenge that I continue to shy away from.

    But my hammer-on trills are killer. I hereby resolve to get my squiggles in order.
    WrapRough likes this.
  5. Nuage420

    Nuage420 Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    StevieMac likes this.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Do both. Then you don't have to worry about being stuck with only one choice. Purpose driven techniques for different purposes.
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  7. Two fingers, usually, index an middle.

    If you really want to hit your head against the wall for a while, try trilling with your 2 middle fingers or the 3rd and 4th LOL!
  8. WrapRough


    Jan 26, 2021
    Funnily enough I often trill with my pinky as I find it quite natural. But as i have experience playing piano, i've probably taken that from there... But yeah two middle fingers does feel very weird :)
    Nuage420 and dbsfgyd1 like this.
  9. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Shoals Indiana
    This whole thread gave me a trill up and down my spine.
    Nuage420 likes this.
  10. landrybass


    Oct 23, 2011
    Slide it like Stevie!
  11. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    Never heard the term "Trill". They used to be called "hammer on's" in the 70's
  12. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    'Hammer-on' and 'pull-off' are just vernacular guitar-centric terms for one method of executing the trill, which is an instrument-agnostic ornamental device.
    12BitSlab, DrMole and WrapRough like this.
  13. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    What language is this?
    As an Aussie, we only speak 1770's
    SteveCS likes this.
  14. VolverseLoco

    VolverseLoco Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2018
    Las Vegas
    Randy Rhoads used them in the Crazy Train solo, among other things. He is known for that.
  15. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    It means a trill is a trill no matter what it's played on. You don't use a hammer-on/pull-off to play a trill on a keyboard or piano, for example. Perhaps I should have said that first time, but it sounded a bit snarky. On reflection, the first version does sound a bit pomous. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
  16. OogieWaWa


    Mar 17, 2013
    Oak Harbor, OH
    And don't forget their counterpart, rapid tremelo-like bending by sliding on the fret sideways back and forth. That makes it go up and back down. Of course you could also bend up to the note on the lower fret, bring it down and back, that's down and back up. I do that on one song to match the guitar player's bend, on the first string, fourth fret. It's hard but sounds cool.

    I've seen a guy bend the neck by rapidly pushing or pounding on the lower sticky-out-thingie (bough? horn?) with the body against himself and a firm grip on the neck, could never get the nerve to try that. So many choices, anything that effectively changes the string length or tension, and they all sound different.
  17. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    Don't understand this goofy stuff.
    5o years learning and still learning I guess.
    Sounds like some people like making it sound harder. Never knew it, never heard of it, never missed it, so will just carry on as if this mornings didn't happen.........but, that's the internet right there in that last sentence......
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
  18. Now I want to adopt two cats just to name them Squiggle and Trill.:roflmao:
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  19. WrapRough


    Jan 26, 2021
    Not sure what you mean, it's just called a trill. If you wanna call it a trizza or something, that's cool :) It's just an embellishment to add some spice to a line. A good example is the intro to Bombtrack. Note the difference to the end of the line in the 3rd bar. It adds a ne se quois

    SLO Surfer likes this.
  20. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I watched a video awhile back where a classical guitarist promoted using a trill with two strings and allowing both of them to ring out for baroque pieces. Argument was that they were written with harpsichord in mind and that harpsichords do not mute notes. He played a piece both with the two string method and the more usual "hammer on" method. The tonal differences were very noticeable.

    Use whatever technique gets you the tone you want. Honestly, no one in the audience cares about visual aspects technique 99.997% of the time.
    Aussie Player likes this.
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    Jun 20, 2021

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