I have the riff shown in the image and I'm not sure if I should be just barring the 8th fret, partial barre, or moving my index finger as I walk across the strings. It seems faster to barre it, but those pull offs are sloppy ( presently ) I guess what would be standard practice as this is a fast run, and I want the legato to be smooth, but I dont want to practice the wrong way. Thanks


2 Answers 2


In your head it can easily seem faster and easier to barre the 8th fret for this kind of thing, but if you actually tried it both ways and worked it up to speed both ways you’d find it’s actually easier and faster to not barre and to fret each note right before you play it.

It takes more strength to barre than to fret and single note, and you can’t use the leverage and control that you get at your fingertips with a barre.

Another advantage of not barring is you can mute more effectively to have a much cleaner sound.

The best way to learn a passage like this is to start very slowly and even use a metronome to make sure you are playing it evenly, then slowly increase the metronome speed over days or weeks until you have it at tempo.

  • I guess where I struggle too is that when descending the scale from string to string, am I supposed to be moving my index finger and other finger in a coordinated method where both are going to the next string as one unit? Or do i start picking the (ex 10th ) fret before my index finger makes it over to the new string? I'm talking about the pull offs here.
    – mike628
    Jun 23, 2022 at 22:43
  • 1
    @mike628 Yes when you get up to speed and have the technique down, you’ll be fretting the 10th fret on the lower string while still holding the note on the 8th fret of the higher string. Then right when you pick the 10th fret note is when you release the previous note and move your index finger down one string to prepare for the pull off. Another advantage to doing it this way is you’ll have the technique down for when the pull offs are to different frets when a barre could not work. Jun 24, 2022 at 1:26

One big disadvantage of barring here would be that barring strongly affect the agility of the hand. So while it might seem faster at first this would be much harder to play at tempo consistently.

But barring is absolutely not necessary here. You just need to properly coordinate your fingering. You can play this in some kind of alternating motion with your fretting fingers, so you do the pull off, while you put down the upper fingers onto the next string you can lift up your (probably index) finger on the 8th fret, and just while you start doing the next pull off you need to have put that finger on the current string. Once you manage to get this smoothly you can do that quite fast.

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