Lead Guitar 101

3 - Hammer On's



Lesson Goals:

♦ Learn the left hand technique to perform a hammer-on
♦ Learn the picking technique
to perform a hammer-on
♦ Practice hammer on's using the minor pentatonic scale pattern


Another technique that you will use extensively when playing lead guitar is a "hammer-on".

A hammer-on is the exact opposite of a pull-off. Whereas with a pull-off, you start with a note and "pull off" to a lower note on the same string - with a hammer-on you start with a note and "hammer on" up to a higher note on the same string.

Also, just like a pull-off, a hammer-on involves picking the note only once, but producing two notes as the second note is "hammered" on.

Look at the example below.

101 hammer on 01 01


In this example (above) you would start with your 1st finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd string. Then you would pick that note, and while that note is resonating, you would "hammer-on" to the note on the 7th fret of the same string with your 3rd finger.

Give it a try.


For review purposes we will look once again at the pattern for the "A" minor pentatonic scale to use as a reference to practice some hammer-on's.

101 a minor pentatonic 01


Now take a look at the TAB below.

101 hammer on tab 01


As you can see, this is just a simple practice exercise for getting used to doing hammer-on's. In this case you will be doing hammer-on's based on the "A" minor pentatonic scale.

Practice them until you get a good feel for doing a hammer-on.