Lead Guitar 101

2 - Pull Off's


Pull Off's

Lesson Goals:

♦ Learn the left hand technique to perform a pull off
♦ Learn the picking technique
to perform a pull off
♦ Practice pull off's using the minor pentatonic scale pattern


Obviously, just playing the notes up and down the scale pattern during a lead would get pretty boring for you, and the listener.

As we said earlier, playing lead guitar is a matter of taking the notes within a scale "pattern", and playing them in various combinations to make guitar "licks".

Over the next several lessons we will show you a number of ways to "manipulate" notes through various techniques. These will give you an idea of the different ways that notes on the guitar can be "expressed". Every guitar player eventually develops their own "style", and that style is simply a result of how they interpret these expressions.

The first technique we will work on today is called a "Pull Off". You may remember that we touched on this briefly in the Beginner Guitar Lessons course, but now we will dig a little deeper into how you can use them.


Left Hand Technique

A pull off is performed by starting on one note and "pulling" off of that note, to a lower note. Obviously if you are a left handed guitarist this will be your "Right Hand" technique!

Look at the TAB below.

101 pull offs 02 01

In this example, you will start with the note on the 8th fret of the 1st string, and end with the note on the 5th fret of the 1st string.


Picking Technique

A pull off involves only picking once, but producing two notes, as the initial note is "pulled off".  In the above example, you would pick the note on the 8th fret of the 1st string, then "pull off" of that note so that the note on the 5th fret of the 1st string is sounding.

Try that for yourself.



Now look at the chart below. This is the "A" minor pentatonic scale - the root note is on the 5th fret of the 6th string (A).


101 a minor pentatonic 01


Use this scale pattern as a reference when looking at the TAB example below.

101 pull offs 01 01

In this example we can practice doing pull off's up and down the "A" minor pentatonic scale. The TAB above illustrates doing a pull off on each string of the "A" minor pentatonic scale shown in the example above that.

Work on doing these ascending and descending until you get a good feel for performing a pull off.