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Different Pull-Off Techniques to Add Variety to Guitar Articulation

7 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Adding Effects and Articulation to Guitar

A pull-off is a guitar articulation technique that enables you to connect notes more smoothly. In addition to the standard pull-off, there are a variety of different pull-off techniques that you can learn that will give your guitar playing more variety.

Double pull-off

To play a double pull-off to the open 3rd string, start by simultaneously fretting the first two notes (with your first and third fingers). Pick the string and then pull off with your third finger to sound the note at the second fret; then pull off with your first finger to sound the open string. (Notice the two Ps next to the slur connecting the three notes; these indicate that you’re pulling off two notes and not just one.)


To play a double pull-off on the fretted 3rd string, start with all three notes fretted (using your first, second, and fourth fingers). Pick the string and then pull off with your fourth finger to sound the fifth-fret note; then pull off with your second finger to sound the fourth-fret note.


Double-stop pull-off

You can also play pull-offs as double-stops. As is true with hammer-ons, the double-stop pull-offs that are the most common and are the easiest to play are those where both double-stop notes lie on the same fret, enabling you to barre them.

The following figure shows a double-stop pull-off to open strings on the 2nd and 3rd strings. After striking the notes at the second fret, and while the strings are still ringing, pull off your first finger (in a half pluck, half lift) from both strings at the same time (in one motion) to sound the open strings.


Next, try a double-stop pull-off from the fourth fret to the second fret, as shown in the following figure. Place your first finger at the second fret, barring the 2nd and 3rd strings, and place your third finger at the fourth fret (also barring the 2nd and 3rd strings) at the same time. Pick the strings and then pull your third finger off the fourth fret to sound the notes at the second fret of both strings.


Double double-stop pull-off

Now try a double double-stop pull-off on the same strings, as shown in the following figure. This type of pull-off is similar to what you played in the previous figure except that, after the notes on the second fret sound, you pull your first finger off the second fret to sound the open strings.

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