Pull-Offs Bass Technique
Covering The Basics
DescriptionLearning to do PullOffs on guitar is a basic but important technique to know. Also known as a downward slur, it will open up many musical possibilities. You will find this technique used in every style of guitar playing, from classical to metal, to blues, to jazz, to country, etc.
The PullOff can be described as connecting two notes together in a way that sounds smoother than playing each note separately. The first note is played, then the left-hand finger pulls away, plucking the string as it goes.
Don’t just lift your finger off the string. Many beginners make the mistake of just lifting the finger instead of plucking the note as you pull your finger off. Doing it this way will result in a weak sounding slur. As well, both fingers need to be in position before it can properly be performed.
First, fret a note (let’s use the E note found on the 2nd string/5th fret) with your 3rd finger, strike the note, then immediately pull-off, plucking the string with your 3rd finger to sound the D note (using your 1st finger to fret the D note) two steps below.
Here is an example of what a PullOff looks like in tablature notation.
To become efficient at doing these on guitar and to help build up finger strength, you can practice doing an exercise like the one below for say 2-3 minutes every day.
Starting with your 1st finger at the 1st fret/6th string, place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret/6th string, pick the note held by your 2nd finger and then immediately PullOff to the note held by the 1st finger.
Work your way down to the first string, then shift your hand position up one fret and work your way back up to the 6th string again. Go up and down the neck for each set of fingers.
Do this for each pair of fingers like so…
- first and 2nd finger
- 1st and 3rd finger
- 1st and 4th finger
Here’s an example of how to start the first exercise using your 1st and 2nd fingers.
Remember! Always practice with a metronome.
For the next set of fingers(fingers 1 and 3), your 1st finger will be on the 1st fret/6th string and your 3rd finger will be on the 3rd fret/6th string. Just follow the same pattern as you did in the exercise above.
A few months or so you should have the hang of doing PullOff’s as well as built up some finger strength.
You should also try creating some of your own exercises or licks using notes from a particular scale, like the major, minor, or a pentatonic scale.
Incorporate PullOff’s into your playing where ever possible.
Ya, I know that doing exercises like these aren’t the most exciting way to spend your time,
but PullOff’s are an important technique that you should someday be fairly comfortable performing.