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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Pull off 5 to 2 or 3

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mjbrennan - Posted - 07/01/2020:  13:44:28

Hi All.
I am looking for advice on the po on the 1st string from 5 (pinky) to 3rd fret (middle finger) and to 2nd fret (index finger). Is it advisable to have these fingers ,middle and index ,in place before the pull off, which I find difficult. But I am not getting a nice sharp sound.
I know I could cheat and play pinky on the first, 5th fret, followed by drop thumbing the 5th on the 2nd string , ring finger on 2nd, and pinky on 1st followed by middle finger on 4th fret, 2nd string.
I know you can do what it takes to get you there, but is there an easier way to get a nice po.
Practice I suppose!!!!!
Thanks in advance,
Michael B.

lapsteel - Posted - 07/01/2020:  14:16:04

Start out by playing each one slowly without any pos. Do that for a few days. Then do the first po from 5 to 3 and still play 2 separately for a few days. Then try the double po. Pretty soon, you’ll be doing it while reading the newspaper!

Edited by - lapsteel on 07/01/2020 14:16:29

John Gribble - Posted - 07/01/2020:  17:52:03

Hi, Michael,

You're on the right track, having all three fingers in place before starting to play the passage. A four-fret stretch like that is uncomfortable at first. I know. But for most normal healthy hands it's not a problem to master with some patience. Here are some things which worked for me.

First, always put the pinky in place first, then the other two fingers. The reach will then be easier.

You can gradually improve your stretch with an exercise up the neck. Try pulling off 12-10-9 on the first string a few times. Then, to drive your loved ones and neighbors crazy, move down one fret and play 11-9-8. Then 10-8-7. Then 9-7-6. Then... Well, you get the idea. As you move down the neck, the frets are gradually spaced wider apart. The hand gradually gets used to the stretch.

Keep a light touch. Getting muscular doesn't help.

As for the pulloff itself, Lapsteel's approach is good. I myself see the two POs as one motion, the fingers coming sideways off the string. Like dominos falling. I assume this lick is a quick one, maybe a triplet taking up only half a beat. The listener's ear doesn't hear three separate pitches, just a little flurry of notes.

I don't see drop-thumbing the second string as cheating. But you may be adding right-hand rhythm problems. This would be more serious than left-hand PO problems. It depends on the rhythm.

I assume from the fret numbers you're in Double C or Sawmill tuning. I would finger like this: first finger, first string, third fret; middle finger, second string, fourth fret; pinkie, first string, fifth fret. You could use the ring finger on the first string, fifth fret, but that's a worse stretch and for me it would be harder to get a clean sound.

I hope this helps.

Edited by - John Gribble on 07/01/2020 17:53:07

mjbrennan - Posted - 07/02/2020:  14:05:19

Thank you lapsteel and John for your most helpful advice. That should sort me out, with the necessary application on my part.

I am working on traditional Irish music for CH banjo. I am making good progress, but will not have it up to speed for another few months. When I have, I will post a video and see what response I get. I will be able to provide tabs for anyone interested. At the moment I don't have the skills for this either, but I will get help.

By the way, I am in double D tuning, which I find good for Irish trad, as we often move from one tune into another ( or others ) with the most often necessary change in keys. G and D are our most common ones.

Again, a sincere thank you for your help and
Best Wishes,

QldPicker - Posted - 07/02/2020:  15:38:25


Originally posted by mjbrennan

By the way, I am in double D tuning, which I find good for Irish trad, as we often move from one tune into another ( or others ) with the most often necessary change in keys. G and D are our most common ones.


What Irish tunes are you playing OR consider suitable candidates for Double D Tuning?

mjbrennan - Posted - 07/03/2020:  06:28:40

Hi Oldpicker.

At the moment I am working on the Sligo Maid and the Carracastle Lass, 2 nice reels. But most Irish tunes can be played CH. I played for years in sessions with the great Peter Horan, famous fiddle and flute player, playing the tenor banjo and sometimes guitar, so I have most of the well known Sligo tunes. I am afraid my memory is not as good as it was so many tune names I cannot remember, but no bother with the tunes themselves when they come to mind. Easy ones to start with would be McClouds and Davaney's Goat (reels). And hornpipes are easy eg. the Harvest Home and the Boys of Bluehill. You can look these tunes up on Youtube. In a few months I'll post some in the media section and if you like any, I'll get you the tabs. A small thanks for all the help and advice I've got from the Hangout.
Best wishes,
Michael B.

QldPicker - Posted - 07/03/2020:  15:54:09

Thanks for the ideas. Hopefully you can enjoy some tunes (and black nectar) in Matt Molloy's or similar hostelries now that COVID is under some control.

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