Heres the tab https://www.songsterr.com/a/wsa/ludwig-van-beethoven-fur-elise-tab-s2482t0?c=48754 As you can see there are many continous hammer-ons and pull-offs.

How can I differentiate between them?

  • @DoktorMayhem The alleged duplicate is asking "Why are there hammer ons and pull offs?" This question is asking, "When I see a slur, how do I know whether the slur indicates a hammer on or a pull off?" They are not at all the same question. May 29, 2018 at 13:13
  • 1
    Admittedly I did edit to make them more different. The original was much more duplicate!
    – Doktor Mayhem
    May 29, 2018 at 18:25

1 Answer 1


For guitar, both hammer-ons and pull-offs are usually notated with slurs between two notes.

If the second note is higher than the first note, then that must be a hammer-on, because you can't pull-off to a higher note.

If the second note is a lower note, then that must be a pull-off, because you can't hammer-on to a lower note.

  • Why is it ao sir?
    – MathsWiz
    May 28, 2018 at 17:03
  • @MathsWiz I don't understand your question about why. If you have a guitar, try pulling off to a higher note. It's impossible. Same with hammering on to a lower one. May 28, 2018 at 17:04
  • You can hammer on to a lower note though (by moving to another - lower - string). But still, this will never cause confusion between hammer-ons and pull-offs.
    – Matt L.
    May 28, 2018 at 18:26
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    @MattL. Some might call that a hammer on but I never would. I might call it left hand tapping. May 28, 2018 at 18:55
  • You are probably looking at electric guitar tab but there is something in classical guitar called a vibration slur where you just slap the note with your left hand finger, no right hand attack. Also, the thumb glide slur. The context of the notes and what is physically possible determines the type of method to use.
    – user50691
    May 30, 2018 at 15:18

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