Proper way to hammer on and pull off

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by SteC, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. SteC


    Mar 20, 2012
    Hi, hope there isn't a thread already. I've been playing bass for about 2 years and am trying to focus on cleaning up my fretting hand technique.

    I can hammer on and pull off well enough, but I was mainly self taught, so I'm looking for the safest, most-comfortable, and efficient (economy of motion) way to do them. Does the movement come from your arm, your hand, or your fingers?

    I think I have a bad habit where I kind of twist my arm to do it sometimes. I worry about RSI's and stuff.

    Any help, suggestions, links or exercises would be greatly appreciated.
  2. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I use hammer-ons and pull-offs extensively, as they are a great way to add texture to a line and help you to develop your own voice as a player. I find hammer-ons to require much less effort than pull-offs. When doing a hammer-on, for me it's strictly in the fingers; when doing a pull-off, I find that I move my left elbow away from my body by about 2 inches as I'm doing it. This seems to add a bit of extra "torque" or something akin to that. But twisting your arm does seem unusual and could possibly lead to injury over the long-term.
  3. Piggy8692


    Oct 2, 2010
    Northern Utah
    Whether its proper or not I'm not sure, but sometimes when doing a pull-off I'll pull up on the string. Pretty much plucking with your fret fingers. It is more movement, but can help the pulled-off note ring out better.
  4. SteC


    Mar 20, 2012
    Thanks guys. I'll keep working on it.