I can get a nice sound with hammer-ons, but when I do pull-offs, seems like the second note loses a lot of its.. power.

I did some research over the web and seems like you have to do some kind of little bending when pulling of your fingers, but that didn't worked too well for me.

Any advice?

4 Answers 4


It is obviously much easier to hammer your finger quickly onto the fretboard to hit the string, than it is to let your finger come off the string. The idea is to pull-off to the side, i.e. across the fretboard, not lift-off, hence the name.

This doesn't need to be much, and in fact if you do it too far you will bend the note.

I find callouses help a little, as my fingertip is more rigid, but that is not necessary.

Additionally, you can make the guitar string more "live" by increasing the gain. With high enough gain, you can touch a string with a feather and it will ring out.

  • Obviously much easier? – Actually, convincing-sounding hammer-ons are quite a bit more difficult on many instruments than pull-offs, especially on bass instruments (wide string spacing gives plenty of room to literally pluck the string with the pull-off finger). Mar 21, 2017 at 15:39
  • I think you misread my post. That's exactly what i said:-) The pull off rather than the lift off
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Mar 21, 2017 at 16:14

JustinGuitar touches on this in his excellent Finger Gym video. As Dr Mayhem has said, it's critical to not merely "lift off" your finger, but rather add a nuanced perpendicular-to-the-strings motion, or as Justin calls it, a "flick off".


A pull-off is pretty well using a fretting hand finger to pluck the string. Whatever you may do to make a string sound, using a r.h. finger, the same will apply to produce a pull-off. You must pluck the string in an upwards or downwards stroke, at rightangles to the string, with your r.h. finger. So, the same applies for a pull-off. If you're pulling off to another fretted note on the same string, press a little harder with the second note finger, in order to stop the string being pulled sideways and out of tune.

A good practice regime is to play, say, top string fret5, hammer on to fret 6, pull-off to 5 again. Keep this going until each note is the same tone and volume, then change fingers - for both notes when it's good- and all without stopping a regular rhythm. Slowly at first, of course, and don't rush either the hammer on or the pull-off.


I saw a video a while ago (cant find it anymore) in which the teacher said that the pull-off should be quick in order to produce the correct sound. Quick doesnt mean fast (that's probably why you lose power). Think about snapping finger, if you do it slow you dont produce any sound. So when you litterally "pull-off" (dont put too much strenght in this) the string with one finger , the other finger below should be there in that exact same time of the movement. Remember also not to move the hand but just the fingers. Then practice it with the metronome and you'll get it! Hope that helps

EDIT: that's the video

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