Trouble with pull offs
Ive been playing guitar on and off for over 20 years but for most of that could only play a hand full of chords.
in the last few years i became more serious about it and have tried to learn new things.
I dont know why but I find it so very very hard. Especially legato playing.
Im pretty good with hammer ons but pull offs are really difficult for me. Is this a common problem?
I recently started doing some excercises but I even struggle with those. Ive been working through Fast Forwards Lead Guitar Licks which shouldnt be too difficult but I struggle with it. Bends and pull offs. Im pretty ok at bends i guess but when you put it all together i mess it up. Especially if say, theres a pull off on the high E string followed by one on the B string.
So my question is
a) are pull offs in general an area that everyone struggles with?
Are you pulling the finger straight off?
To pull-off properly you should pull your finger slightly to the side before lifting it - if you were to look along the neck the movement would be like a "j". You just need to catch the string with the tip of your finger to make it ring when you lift it.
I pull off so the edge my callous catches the string. same idea as greybeards suggestion.
As already said, pull off to the side of the string. You are using your pull-off finger as a "pick" to pluck the string.
Why do we have to get old...
Well I started by kinda just lifting the finger off - which of course sounds naff - so i guess now im kinda 'flicking' as I release if that makes sense.
Im not quite sure what you mean by the movement being like a J. do you mean to angle the finger toward or away from the headstock?
I'm also having some trouble with pull offs - I seem to have a lot of trouble with keeping note that I'm pulling off to "anchored." I always seem to bend the note before I can pull off, even when I'm holding down the string firmly.
You only need a small amount of sideways pressure.
Put your index finger against the side of the G string at the 3rd fret. Don't press on the string.
Now lift your finger straight up. You won't hear much - there was nothing to catch the string. Now repeat, but push very slightly against string - now lift straight up. You should hear the note ring out. If not, add a slight amount of pressure until you do hear the note.
That is all the sideways movement you need.
Practice with all 4 fingers on the open string, until you can do it without thinking. Then practice further up the neck, with fretted notes.
You will find, however, that pull-offs on adjacent frets are harder than 2 or 3 frets away, but you can adjust to a bit more pressure on the string far easier than a bit less.
I always found pull offs to be tricky, especially when using all four fingers in a legato. Try isolating each finger slowly without rushing all of them, and focus on flicking the string down and away (at an angle), at least just in the beginning. This will get the note to ring true and clear and will develop some solid strength and accuracy.