A great way to add variety and speed to playing is by hammering down on notes with the finger without picking, and then pulling of the notes by plucking the notes with the left-hand finger.
First, practice hammering and pulling on open strings. Pick the g string and then hammer down with the second finger. The pick the string again and pull off the string, but with enough effort so that the open note sounds afterwards.
Then do the same on all the strings. Then practice with the other fingers.
Practice these on all strings also.
Moveable forms of hammering contain these patterns.
Try sliding this pattern up the fretboard also. Move this pattern to all strings, then reverse the order.
Some patterns require finger stretches. Use the fingers in the upper row with the frets on the lower row.
finger 3 h4 4 p3 1 h2 2 p1 1 h4 4 p1
Also slide these up and down the fretboard and change strings.
Alternating hammers and pulls on the same notes over and over as fast as possible is known as a trill.
Any two notes can trill. Practice trills starting on the higher note or the lower note.
Hammering more than one note in succession leads to faster patterns since less picking is not necessary. Try these three note hammers and pulls.
This document is incomplete. The notes are correct but not yet editied for redundant notes.
Moveable Three Note Patterns
Moveable Three Note Patterns with Stretches
Following the context of scales produces the most musical results. The following are the three-note open position patterns in the context of the modal scales.
The A/F# Minor scale does not have an open note on the third string, as indicated by the x.
(C#/A# Minor has no open strings)
Adding another note to the mix adds even more possibilities.
Moveable four note patterns
Five note pattern open
Since hammers and pulls to open strings are not limited to the open position, try playing up the neck with hammers. These could occur at any place up the neck, but for the sake of musicality, they are presented here using modal scales. Where to place the notes depends on where the open string happens of the scale. For example, in the key of G, the G string begins in the Ionian (major) mode.
Open Note Ionian
For other modes, the G string represents other scale degrees. In the key of F, G is the Dorian mode.
Open Note Dorian
In Eb, G is Phrygian
Open Note Phrygian
In D, Lydian
Open Note Lydian
In C, Mixolydian.
Open Note Mixolydian
In Bb, Aeolian
Open Note Aeolian
And in Ab, Locrean
Open Note Locrean
(For an explanation of the Greek modes, see the Theory Document.
Which pattern to use on which string follows scale patterns.
In G/Em use
Patterns in other keys are just extensions of the patterns from the section Three note patterns in context, open position. For the full scales, Use appropriate scale from the “Scales in Other Keys” document and match the patterns.
The three note patterns up the neck in the Ionian mode are
Use similar patterns from other modes.
Each of these tree note patterns could occur in any order
Or with repeated notes in groups of four.
Four note arrangements of three note groups
Pentatonic scales would be a subset of these scales. Just follow the appropriate notes
The moveable versions of the three note patterns just follow the scales,
With the same patterns of arrangement possibilities as the open versions.
The three not patterns work well for efficiency styles, with three notes per string. Pick each string with a down stroke, sweeping through
And then with all upstrokes on the descending version, allowing for maximum speed.
Or, for maximum speed, forget the scale altogether and just play patterns.
Eddie Van Halen often plays fretboard patterns without regard to scale, lading to his unique sound. Sticking to the modal scales leads to a neoclassical sound, like Yngvie Malmsteen.
Whole tone scales work well with the three-note pattern
As well as portions of the octatonic scale
Adding a fourth note increases the possibilities.
With an increasing number of possible arrangements.
In groups of four
In groups of five
For harmonic minor, simply raise he appropriate note
And for Melodic Minor
For whole tone
And for octatonic
Five-note patterns are difficult, but cover a lot of fretboard.
Octatonic works well in this pattern.
The five note patterns multiply the different arrangements from the other patterns, but in practice, these patterns would be difficult to master because of the stretched finger position necessary.
Adding fingers from the right hand increases the possible combinations. Practice using a finger on the right hand as a hammered note. Some people prefer the first finger and some the second. Practice hammering up the neck using only the right-hand tap.
(Some tablature refers to a tap with the symbol t.)
This technique is in the song “Thunderstruck” by AC-DC.
A common technique is to hammer on the twelfth fret and pull down to a note below.
For three note patterns, take the two note patterns and add a hammered tapped note. Here the 12th fret hammers are with the right hand and the others are left-handed.
Three-note hammers and pulls off the moveable positions started with this lick from “Eruption” by Van Halen.
Other patterns include
Once the tapping becomes natural, move the tapped note around the scale also.
The song “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen is based on a three-note pattern moved around the strings.
Practice sliding both hands around the scales, or just to where you fund interesting sounds.
For four note patterns, just add a tapped note to the three note patterns from the last section,
Tapped notes insert into any of the previous patterns of four or five notes lead to five or six note possibilities.
These methods are a great way to build up lots of fast notes with minimum effort.
Advance practitioners of tapping technique use more than one finger on the right hand. Any of the moveable patterns from the left hand are transferrable to the right hand. When coupled with left hand technique, long strings of notes are possible; for example, this scale is with the left hand on the first four notes and then the right hand on the rest
Finger l 4 5 r1 r2 r4
Since the palm is no longer available to mute strings, many players use some kind of cloth muting device to prevent string ringing.
Adding the right-hand leads to an amazing amount of possibilities. Now the guitar plays like a piano, so separate right and left hand lines are possible. The Chapman Stick is an instrument designed for tapping. Chords may also be hammered out by either hand. Listen to work by Stanley Jordan for amazing two hand technique, including playing two guitars at once at times, one with each hand.
Using hammers and taps is the quickest way to achieve lightning fast runs and patterns, particularly when coupled with efficiency style picking techniques. But remember the main goal of music is to emote, and not just to play fast. Avoid musical diarrhea, just fast and runny with no substance. Use these techniques sparingly, or they quickly become dull and uninteresting.