View Full Version : Hammer on/pull off volume?

12-28-2008, 03:38 PM
Hey guys, so I've recently tried to up my uke game by trying out harder songs and all and I'm getting through them alright for now, but I have a small issue. With my hammer on's and pull-off's they are extremely quiet, especially the pull-off's. I've tried to 'pluck harder' I guess would be the best way of describing it, but this destroys my technique. So, is my technique perhaps wrong, or is it just a sign for more practice time needed?

12-28-2008, 05:44 PM
Practice more would be the usual suggestion... I remember when I furst tried doing those, I was going crazy since I could not hear anything.

Another suggestion I would have ( and the more experienced players can correct me) is to change the strings. I was using the GHS strings my Uke came with, but when I changed them I could hear the notes better. It could just be my imagination :rolleyes:

12-28-2008, 05:49 PM
I have a hard time with them too. I have two ukes, a soprano with aquila strings and a concert with GHS strings. The soprano works better with hammerons/pulloffs, I think partly because of the strings.* The strings are very tight and stiff on my concert, supposedly because the longer the uke, the more tension required, but also because the GHS are fat and stiff strings. I just ordered four different sets of strings in the hopes that I'll find a more suitable fit for the concert and maybe I'll be able to pull off some righteous hammer-ons and sweet pull-offs. If not I'll be forced to resort to practicing.

* I'm a newbie and everything I say may be completely wrong.

12-28-2008, 06:29 PM
Naturally, they'll be quieter than a normal pick since your right hand can't apply as much pressure to the strings as your left thumb . I had a little trouble with this, since I usually used my pinkie and it had to bend so that it hurt. But I learned how to play Dragon by Jake S. a few weeks back, and that was pretty good practice.

12-29-2008, 05:52 PM
Well, I feel it might be just practicing more. I have brand new aquilas on so its probably not the strings. I guess its just my left hand's finger strength and coordination.

12-31-2008, 06:32 AM
Part of it is technique, no doubt about it. For pull-offs, make sure that you're fretting the second note properly so it will sound. When you're pulling off the first note, it might help to pull the string at an angle with whatever finger you're using for the high note. It's almost like plucking it with your left hand. Wish I could do it properly myself. XD

Giant Jack
01-02-2009, 08:59 AM
^right. just pull your 2nd finger off at a downward angle, that way it plucks the string and you get much more attack. :}

01-04-2009, 07:33 AM
Hey thanks guys, i think I've found my problem. Whenever i did my pull-off, I didn't keep the 2nd note secure enough. Just need more practice I guess.

04-05-2009, 04:57 AM
I have exactly the same problem. I hardly get any sound from pull-off's especially further up the neck.
Pulling the string down does help a bit but it's still so quiet. Are there any other tips or will it just take lots of practice?


04-27-2009, 10:07 PM
As mentioned above..practice definitely helps.

What it comes down to is finger strength.

I've been playing bass for quite awhile and hammer ons/pull offs are something that I learned on some thick strings.

One technique that might help you with finger strength and ho's/po's is just to use your pointer finger on one fret and your ring finger on the position it should be on (the second fret from where your pointer is) and just do a repetitive hammering on and pulling off exercise.

You can also do the same with the rest of your fingers (pointer-middle, pointer-ring, pointer-pinky).

I would suggest doing it on your A string since it probably has the highest tension.

Hope that helps.

05-02-2009, 11:33 PM
I'm a noob too but used to do this on classical guitar, and what I notice among my various ukes is that string tension is the biggest part of it for me. The tighter the string the harder to pull off or hammer on, and it isn't as loud. That's the benefit of UAS, different sizes, different strings, different tunings, :D

But the higher tension strings sure give your fingers a work out. I do scales with each finger, up and down, both to stretch, extend my reach and accuracy, and add flexibility. I figure it strengthens the ability to have my brain tell the correct finger to move how and when and where a lot faster. I hate when I expect say my ring finger to move and it just stays there, like "You talkin' to ME?!" :rolleyes:

The benefit is if I practice on higher tension strings, then go to a uke with lower tension, what sounded like crap and was really frustrating me with all the bad results is suddenly much easier and pleasant and sounds like I know what I'm doing.... sounds like anyway... ;)

05-29-2009, 03:38 AM
When I was first learning to play, I would sit in front of the TV and practice chord changes without strumming. Eventually I realized that if I put my fingers down hard enough and held them, the strings would sound (at the time I didn't know that this was actually a thing) Then I realized the converse, if I lifted quickly and crisply I got the open string sound. Any way the point is you can practice your hammer and lift without strumming, when you get to where you can sound the strings that way, then add the right hand and your hammers will be nice and audible.

06-01-2009, 05:36 AM
cool .....