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Michael Johnson >> Guitar Techniques I >>


Teacher: Welcome everybody to the lesson on Guitar Tricks. This lesson will focus on Pull-off techniques. Pull-offs are a very important technique for any guitarist to master. This technique will allow you to play faster and add more character to your playing. Let's get into the lesson.

Teacher: This is the main pull-off technique, you start by placing your finger on the string, then pulling the finger downward until you produce a note.

Part 1 - Basic Pull-off - 1

Part 1 - Basic Pull-off - 1

Teacher: For you more advanced players we will get into more advanced techniques as we move along. It is very important to build strength in your hands and these will all be excellent exercises for all of us; beginning and advanced. Here's the next technique:

Part 1 - Basic Pull-off - 2

Part 1 - Basic Pull-off - 2

Teacher: Notice you play a chromatic run while each note will pull-off to the open G note. Try to see how fast you can play this pull-off.

sammy_andrews: michael ...as a beginner, is this an exercise I should do everyday?

Teacher: Sammy that is a big YES to your question. It is very important for beginners to build up hand strength and dexterity. This builds the muscle memory in your hand to apply to all sorts of licks and techniques.
Now try to play the pull-off chromatically on the 3rd string (G)

Part 2 - Pull-off 1

Part 2 - Pull-off 1

John: Do you push up on the bottom string ?

Teacher: John you always pull down on each note, the video will help illustrate this technique better. Here's another variation:

Part 2 - Pull-off 2

Part 2 - Pull-off 2

Teacher: Notice you are playing the same notes, only this time you use you 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th fingers, instead of the 1st finger only. This will be more of a challenge for most of you.

Hunter: Affirmative on the "challenge" Michael! Especially the pinky pull-offs. This is a great exercise.

Teacher: It is important for you to develop strength in all of your fingers Hunter. The pinky is the weakest link. Here's the next exercise:

Part 2 - Pull-off 3

Part 2 - Pull-off 3

Teacher: Notice how the sequence of notes change, this time you descend using all of your fingers while you shift up the fret board. Remember you can try these exercises on the other strings as well. Let's move to the next technique. You can also use diatonic scales on a single string as well. Here's G Major using pull-offs.

Part 3 - Pull-off 1 - G Major

Part 3 - Pull-off 1 - G Major

Teacher: This technique makes the scale sound faster and more interesting.

John: Is there stuff on the left past the part1 basic pull-off -2 ?

Teacher:
John, the open note is the pedal tone so that is also the root note of the scale being used. You can also change the scale pattern as well, in this case we'll use the same technique, only this time you will use the G Minor scale.

Part 3 - Pull-off 2 - G Minor

Part 3 - Pull-off 2 - G Minor

rickdog: You're not using the right hand at all? Hammer the first note, then all pull offs?

Teacher: I'm only using pull-offs, the hammer/pull-off technique will be later.

sammy_andrews: oh... I was picking the first note of each.

John: Wow i was picking too. When I just pull off it sounds like the open note.

Teacher: John it takes a awhile to play pull-offs without picking each note, you can try with and without the pick if you want. Now we will use the same scales, only this time playing a sequence off the notes in the scale. Here's the first example.

Part 4 - Pull-off 1 - G Maj Sequence

Part 4 - Pull-off 1 - G Maj Sequence

dh: When you pull-off how careful do you have to be to not catch the adjoining string? Or do you just naturally mute the adjoining string when pull-off?

Teacher: The pad of your finger can be used to mute the other string, or you can pull downward and lift slightly away to avoid hitting the other string, or you can even palm-mute with your picking hand.

Teacher: Notice how the notes jump as you descend the scale pattern.
Try playing around with all of these techniques to see what works for you. OK, this sequence might sound familiar to some of you. Here's an example.

Part 4 - Pull-off 2 - ACDC Style

Part 4 - Pull-off 2 - ACDC Style

Teacher: Notice you start off by pulling off from the 4th and 7th fret, then shift a half-step higher to play the 5th and 8th. Then you descend the scale pattern like you did in the previous exercise. Angus actually plays this lick using only one hand. So you can see how it would take time to build up your hand one play this way. Practice this lick awhile.

sammy_andrews: whew!

Teacher: Remember Sammy, Rome was not built in a day. Be kind to yourself and slowly build up your hand over time. Let's try another. In this example you will use the E Minor scale on the 1st string (E).

Part 4 - Pull-off 3 - E Minor

Part 4 - Pull-off 3 - E Minor

Teacher: This is a basic descending pull-off pattern in E Minor. Now we will take this scale and apply another sequence.

Part 4 - Pull-off 4 - Iron Maiden Style

Part 4 - Pull-off 4 - Iron Maiden Style

Teacher: The trick to this lick is being able to keep your alternate picking as you shift through the sequence, This pattern can be very tough to play. You might start out slow at first and slowly build up. Come back and visit this lesson often as you build your skills using this technique. Let's try another.

Part 5 - Pull-off 1 - A Min Pentatonic

Part 5 - Pull-off 1 - A Minor Pentatonic

Teacher: This exercise uses box 1 of the A Minor Pentatonic scale, notice how the open notes sound good with this scale. The open notes are relative to the A Minor scale which the Minor Pentatonic comes from.

A Minor: A, B, C, D, E, F, G
A Minor Pentatonic: A, C, D, E, G

Teacher: This technique can be used with all the A Minor Pentatonic box patterns as well. Let's try the 5th box pattern just in front of box 1.

Part 5 - Pull-off 2 - A Min Pen - Box 5

Part 5 - Pull-off 2 - A Min Pen - Box 5

Hunter: Michael, I have trouble with dragging my high e string around the side of the fret and making a weird sound. Any tips? When I'm doing a pull-off, that is

Teacher: Hunter, that is a touchy string to use on this technique, try readjusting your elbow either closer to your body, or away. Also try to readjust your grip on the back of the neck as well. Let's try a lick using the last pattern, I'm sure some of you will recognize this lick.

Part 5 - Pull-off 3 - Jimmy Page Lick

Part 5 - Pull-off 3 - Jimmy Page Lick

Teacher: Here's the next part of the lick, only repeated.

Part 5 - Pull-off 4 - Jimmy Page Lick 2

Part 5 - Pull-off 4 - Jimmy Page Lick 2

Teacher: Here's another example:

Part 5 - Pull-off 5 - Ozzy Style

Part 5 - Pull-off 5 - Ozzy Style

Teacher: Notice how the pull-off fits nicely between the chords. Now you can use pull-offs while using a A Minor scale as well.

Part 6 - Pull-off 1 - A Minor

Part 6 - Pull-off 1 - A Minor

Teacher: Notice how these pull-offs get progressively harder. Here's the last one which uses a diatonic scale, but shifts notes as you play.

Part 6 - Pull-off 2 - Rush Style

Part 6 - Pull-off 1 - Rush Style

Teacher: Well this should give you plenty to work on. Make sure you give your hand a rest at regular intervals.

Teacher: See you next lesson!

rickdog: Fantastic, awesome, and wonderful, fives stars Michael.

John: Thanks

Hunter: Thanks, Michael

Teacher: Thanks!

sammy_andrews: thanks michael

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