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Recently I got Tull Glazener's book Dulcified which has beautiful songs in it, and he suggests hammer-ons and pull-offs in some of the pieces.  How is this done, and is there a good YouTube that I can watch to see and hear how this is done?

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I just uploaded a lesson on this technique for the Feb. web-lessons in my "Dulcimer Circle." If you're interested, I'll give you a link to a free introductory lesson:

 http://www.peggycartermusic.com/Free_Introduction_to_Peggys_Dulcime... you can email me from the site to find out more. 

Srumelia has examples in her "Sugar Hill" lessons for the hammer-on, there is also a pull-off, but I am not understanding this and I am not sure strumelia has an example of how it is done in her video lessons.

I was going to chime in right away, but Peggy beat me to it. 

 

Anyway, here's the short answer.  "Hammering on" is basically fretting a string, but in doing so, you bring your finger down on the fretboard hard enough to make the string sound without picking it.  This can be done either on an open string or one that is already being fretted lower on the fretboard.

 

"Pulling off" is pretty much the opposite.  In doing so, you remove your finger from the string, but instead of lifting straight up, you lift it at an angle toward your wrist so that your finger sort of snags the string and makes it sound without picking.

 

While I'm at it, I should probably mention "slides".  This is where you move your finger from one fret position to another without releasing pressure on the string.  Once again, the string will produce a sound without picking.

 

The video below is a slide show, so you won't see the hammer-ons and pull-offs, but you should be able to hear them clearly, so you'll know how they should sound.  Hopefully this helps .

 

Cheers,

Jim

 

Hi Jim; Thank you for that great explaination, the slide show and beautiful music; I think I hear some of the techniques you discribed. This is a good lesson for me. I beleive that I need to listen more to others' playing.

I will keep working on it...Cheers, Lexie

Thanks, I will check that out.

Peggy Carter said:

I just uploaded a lesson on this technique for the Feb. web-lessons in my "Dulcimer Circle." If you're interested, I'll give you a link to a free introductory lesson:

 http://www.peggycartermusic.com/Free_Introduction_to_Peggys_Dulcime... you can email me from the site to find out more. 

Thanks, I will go to those lessons.

Lexie Oakley said:
Srumelia has examples in her "Sugar Hill" lessons for the hammer-on, there is also a pull-off, but I am not understanding this and I am not sure strumelia has an example of how it is done in her video lessons.
Thanks so much for the detailed explanation and I love the music and pictures in the slide show!  I will try the hammer-on and pull-off this afternoon.

Jim Edwards said:

I was going to chime in right away, but Peggy beat me to it. 

 

Anyway, here's the short answer.  "Hammering on" is basically fretting a string, but in doing so, you bring your finger down on the fretboard hard enough to make the string sound without picking it.  This can be done either on an open string or one that is already being fretted lower on the fretboard.

 

"Pulling off" is pretty much the opposite.  In doing so, you remove your finger from the string, but instead of lifting straight up, you lift it at an angle toward your wrist so that your finger sort of snags the string and makes it sound without picking.

 

While I'm at it, I should probably mention "slides".  This is where you move your finger from one fret position to another without releasing pressure on the string.  Once again, the string will produce a sound without picking.

 

The video below is a slide show, so you won't see the hammer-ons and pull-offs, but you should be able to hear them clearly, so you'll know how they should sound.  Hopefully this helps .

 

Cheers,

Jim

 

 

I just tried the hammer-on and pull-off and it worked!  I love the sound!  Thanks for the help.

Jim Edwards said:

I was going to chime in right away, but Peggy beat me to it. 

 

Anyway, here's the short answer.  "Hammering on" is basically fretting a string, but in doing so, you bring your finger down on the fretboard hard enough to make the string sound without picking it.  This can be done either on an open string or one that is already being fretted lower on the fretboard.

 

"Pulling off" is pretty much the opposite.  In doing so, you remove your finger from the string, but instead of lifting straight up, you lift it at an angle toward your wrist so that your finger sort of snags the string and makes it sound without picking.

 

While I'm at it, I should probably mention "slides".  This is where you move your finger from one fret position to another without releasing pressure on the string.  Once again, the string will produce a sound without picking.

 

The video below is a slide show, so you won't see the hammer-ons and pull-offs, but you should be able to hear them clearly, so you'll know how they should sound.  Hopefully this helps .

 

Cheers,

Jim

 

 

Hi Sue, I think you have gotten a pretty thorough explanation.  I just want to add a little observation that helped me when I learned these techniques. 

Hammer-ons are tapping out a sound with your left hand.  Imagine having your right hand in a sling for a day not able to use it to make a sound on the dulcimer.  So tap about where you usually fret when playing.  And just experiment until you hear a pretty good sound.  Don't worry, it will never have the full bodied sound of strumming. 

Now you still have your imaginary sling on your right arm.  For a pull offs it's a similar action to finger picking when you play with your rt hand.  Only now you use your left.  You will sound the tone at the "0" fret. 

Try fretting first fret, with your middle finger and then pluck at the same string with your index finger. You will be playing the first fret with your left hand.  Again it will not be as bold as pick work, strumming or finger picking with the right hand.  You can pull off and get any pitch you want.  Just fret like you generally would with the middle finger and pluck at the string with your index finger.  Good luck.  It takes a little experimentation. 

Thanks for your help in how to practice hammer-on and pull-off and for the sling analogy, I will work on that today.  Thanks!

Dusty Collings said:

Hi Sue, I think you have gotten a pretty thorough explanation.  I just want to add a little observation that helped me when I learned these techniques. 

Hammer-ons are tapping out a sound with your left hand.  Imagine having your right hand in a sling for a day not able to use it to make a sound on the dulcimer.  So tap about where you usually fret when playing.  And just experiment until you hear a pretty good sound.  Don't worry, it will never have the full bodied sound of strumming. 

Now you still have your imaginary sling on your right arm.  For a pull offs it's a similar action to finger picking when you play with your rt hand.  Only now you use your left.  You will sound the tone at the "0" fret. 

Try fretting first fret, with your middle finger and then pluck at the same string with your index finger. You will be playing the first fret with your left hand.  Again it will not be as bold as pick work, strumming or finger picking with the right hand.  You can pull off and get any pitch you want.  Just fret like you generally would with the middle finger and pluck at the string with your index finger.  Good luck.  It takes a little experimentation. 

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