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How to Play Pull-off Notes on Your Ukulele

To play a pull-off on your ukulele, you transition from a higher note to a lower one without re-picking. In tab, a pull-off is shown as a tie between the notes with a p above. To play the pull-offs in the figure, follow these steps:

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  1. Fret the A-string at the third fret with your ring finger as usual.

  2. Prepare your index finger by fretting the A-string at the first fret while keeping your ring finger where it is.

  3. Pluck the A-string.

  4. With the note still ringing, pull the string downwards slightly with your ring finger and release it. Keep the string fretted with your index finger.

When you pull-off, make sure that you go downward rather than straight off the string, almost as if you’re plucking the string as you’re pulling off. This technique gives the string extra volume and so when you pull-off you hear the string ringing loudly at the first fret.

In the real world, tabs don’t always show a p for pull-off or h for hammer-on. If you see an arch linking two different notes, if the second note is higher, hammer-on; if it’s lower, pull-off. (If the two notes linked are the same, the arch indicates an ordinary tie, which combines their values.) You can hear both hammer-on and pull-off notes in the audio clip, the tab for which is here:

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