Mastering Pentatonic Hammer On Pull Off Trick

Pentatonic Scale Pattern
We are pleased to feature a guest post by Gary Heimbauer, writing on behalf of Guitar Tricks and 30 Day Singer.

Welcome to an exciting guitar lesson where we’ll explore an ingenious technique within the pentatonic scale – the Pentatonic Hammer on Pull Off Trick.

As you embark on your journey to master this technique, you’ll not only uncover the mesmerizing potential of the pentatonic scale’s structure but also discover a fresh way to approach scale practice.

This guitar technique adds a dash of excitement to your scale exercises, expanding your horizons and transforming your playing style. Whether you just start to learn guitar or a seasoned player seeking to elevate your skills, this lesson offers invaluable insights that will enrich your musical arsenal.

So, grab your guitar, and with the addition of the Diagonal Pentatonic scale version, let’s explore the realm of pentatonic creativity in a way you never thought possible!

Unveiling the Consecutive Hammer on Pull Off Technique

One of the great things about the pentatonic scale is that in any of the basic patterns, there are never more than 2 notes per string, and often two adjacent strings have the same pattern – this creates little vertical pentatonic stacks.

This is a great tip for those who are starting online guitar lessons. For instance, here in the main pattern of the A minor pentatonic scale, you can see a string pair where the two strings have the same pattern, stacked on top of each other!

One cool technique that allows us to use is consecutive hammer on pull offs going between a string pair. Let me explain what I mean.

Use your index finger to bar the fifth fret of the first two strings (counting toes to nose). Now, pick the first string one time, and see if you can then hammer on to the 8th fret of the first string with your little finger, and then pull off, so that you get three notes to ring out for just one pick!

If you do this correctly you’ll hear A then C and then A again. After you do that, then do the same exact thing on the second string, so that you’ll play E, then G, then E again!

Your index finger shouldn’t move since it’s barred on the two strings, on the same fret. Only your little finger is moving! And remember, you’re only picking each string one time, and getting three notes per pick, on each string!

Now that you’ve done this on this string pair, try it on another one! Below are some options. As you can see, some pentatonic patterns and string pairs are easier than others.

Check out how on the first pattern below, we can use our ring finger for the hammer on because there is only one fret between the two stacks, while on the next pattern down, things get more tricky because we need to alternate between ring finger and pinky for the hammer on.

The pattern after that is even more tricky because we can’t barre.




Now, don’t only try this on the highest two strings. Try it on any string pair in any pentatonic position, like some of these:





This is something you can do to build a climax in a solo where you do this repeatedly, or you can do it very briefly, as a way to move between melodic ideas, or to vary the speed and rhythm of a phrase!

Learn more details from this video:

YouTube video

Final Words

In conclusion, the Pentatonic Hammer on Pull Off Trick is a remarkable technique that empowers your guitar playing with a fresh dimension of melodic richness. By strategically utilizing this method, you can effortlessly create fluid transitions and captivating sequences that will mesmerize your audience.

As you explore various string pairs and positions, remember to infuse your unique style and emotion into each phrase. Whether you’re aiming for a soaring solo climax or subtle rhythmic variation, this trick will become a valuable asset in your musical toolkit.

So, practice diligently, experiment fearlessly, and watch your guitar playing soar to new heights.

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About the Author

Guitar Instructor at Guitar Tricks | + posts

Throughout Gary's career, from School of Rock, to Public School Modern Band Teacher, to Director of Curriculum at Little Kids Rock, there has been one single mission - to empower students to discover, play, and create music on their own terms. His role is simply to be the best guide he can be.

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