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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: How Can I improve my "hammer-on's"?


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/72686

AKUSfan2 - Posted - 01/22/2007:  11:40:03


Folks,
I'm a beginner and my instructor just introduced me to the "hammer-on's", "slides", and "pull-offs". I have been practicing them, or at least, trying to!

The slides seem to come fairly easy to me, and to be honest, my brain seems to know instinctly how to sync up my left hand "slinding fingers" with the proper timing of my right hand "plucking" fingers. Pull-offs are fairly straight forward as well.

Here's my PROBLEM. I can't seem to get these dad-gummed "hammer-on's", at all!
It's like my brain, my hands, and my timing has went in the toilet?
Obviously, I must be doing something wrong.
My "fretting" fingers constantly get crossed-up and I can't seem to hit the same string, nor hit it with any authority, and, my timing is completely "out-of-whack"!

I'm hard headed as a tree stump, so I'll keep practicing, but, does anyone have any simple advice that would help me with these "hammer-on's" and how to do them correctly and concisely?

Thanks,
Gary



BSCOTTM - Posted - 01/22/2007:  11:45:31


KEEP PRACTICING THE MORE YOU DO THEM THE EASIER THEY WILL FEEL. ANYTHING NEW THAT YOU DO IN THE LEARNING PROCESS WILL SEEM LIKE LEARNING TO WALK AGAIN. SO KEEP WORKING ON THEM YOU WILL GET IT. HAPPY PICKIN

BANJ58 - Posted - 01/22/2007:  12:08:57


hi
some will disagree with me, but when i have this problem, and some days i do, i just use the slide. keep working on the hammer and it will come.


ITS ALL GOOD IF YOU MAKE IT THAT WAY

STEVE@WVRVPARK.COM
http://WWW.WVRVPARK.COM

ALL PICKERS WELCOME, LETS JAM !!

CanynroChris - Posted - 01/22/2007:  12:46:24


Hammer-on's are usually a flourish or embellishment and are important to achieving that euphoric banjo sound. One idea is to Play the root of the note as a half-note and then play the note following it in time, taking out the hammer-on alltogether. Then, add the hammer-on when you have gained more control over the seaquence. But that's simplifying things too much I think.
Another, easier idea is to say to yourself "Bada Bing" when you encounter a 3 note hammer-on sequence. You'll find the cadence is the same as a hammer-on! Go through the sheet music first if you have it and identify where the "Bada Bing's" are and sing the tune to yourself. Then, as you play, you'll have grouped the notes as a unit instead of singling out the hammer-on note and focusing on it.
Also, s-l-o-w-d-o-w-n! Your instructor has you go slow for a reason.
Try the above and report back. I think you'll find success comes quickly.

All the best!

"Banjo, my secret shame...Hush, my sweet! Keep the secret..."

ole blackie - Posted - 01/22/2007:  13:22:40


I tell my students that one of the secrets to a hard hitting slammin' hammer-on is to make a conscience effort to firmly plant that index finger before you hammer w/the middle. If that index is not firmly grounded your h/o will sound weak and lack punch. Attack that hammer-on with authority. They dont call it a HAMMER-on for nothing!
Wil

..."The Lord opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble". I Peter 5:5

bilge rat - Posted - 01/22/2007:  13:29:33


practice x 1000

Texasbanjo - Posted - 01/22/2007:  15:09:36


One thing I've noticed that new students do is to try to strike the string and hammer at the same time. Be sure you strike the fretted string and then do the hammer-on. Be sure (as said above) that the index finger is firmly planted as close to the fret as possible and then, after striking the string, hammer on as close to the next fret as possible -- and do it forcefully. Practice slowly, be sure to count so your timing will be correct. It'll take a little time, but suddenly it'll happen and you'll be able to do those hammer-ons without any conscious thought -- and they'll sound great!

Let's Pick!
Texas Banjo

eagleisland - Posted - 01/22/2007:  16:06:38


As usual, some good advice here. Just to add a bit of emphasis to a few points - I found that it helped to go slowly and gradually increase speed. Find a four note lick that has the hammer either on the first and second or second and third beats. Work it SLOWLY. It will NOT sound right at first, because the loudness decay in the string being hammered will be very obvious at first. But as you become comfortable with the movement of hammering, coordinated with the right hand, it will start sounding better and better. When you start approaching a good speed for the lick, the hammer should sound pretty durned fine. And once you get the idea down, all other hammers become easy.

Another way that might help would be to use a more dramatic hammer, with a larger gap - it could help you get the concept and the physics of the instrument might make it a little easier. Try this four-noter on a simple forward roll:
________________0______
_______________________
___________0___________
__0 (h) 4________________
______________________




eagleisland

Learning the banjo: It's a process, not an event!

mosco - Posted - 01/23/2007:  10:22:40


Virtually every beginner I've ever worked with initially was very tentative about the physical movement involved with the hammer-on; the finger would gently touch the string, killing the vibration of the string before it was fretted. Even when the movement started out well, they would slow down just as they started touching the string. The above comment that they don't call it a hammer-on for nothing is dead on; many times I have actually held the student's fingers and hammered-on so that they could feel the amount of velocity and force they needed to do it correctly. Learn the open string-hammer-on first; the above tab is a good exercise. You can also change the hammer-on to the second fret as well, and then play the rest the same. A good solid hammer-on note should be just about as loud as the one you just picked. If it isn't, you're not hammering solidly enough. Another beginner thing that happens with the 2-3 fret hammer is that the finger holding down the 2nd fret will start to lift as the hammer-on movement starts, effectively killing the string vibration before the hammer-on is completed. Have your instructor check for tentativeness and out of sync fingers to see if you have either or both problems, and, like the other posters said, "HAMMER-on".

555Glenn - Posted - 01/23/2007:  12:39:28


Do them slow for 15 min then speed them up.

Pick that banjar any way you can.

AD3AD3AD3 - Posted - 02/06/2007:  13:29:30


The cheap glib answer is: PRACTICE. That said, PRACTICE is really the only way to improve hammerons. It's more a matter of timing than anything else - start slowly and keep working at it. For my money, the hammerons are less troublesome than pull/push-offs.

Ad3

GP4 Tom - Posted - 02/06/2007:  14:08:21


quote:
Originally posted by AKUSfan2

Folks,
I'm a beginner and my instructor just introduced me to the "hammer-on's", "slides", and "pull-offs". I have been practicing them, or at least, trying to!

The slides seem to come fairly easy to me, and to be honest, my brain seems to know instinctly how to sync up my left hand "slinding fingers" with the proper timing of my right hand "plucking" fingers. Pull-offs are fairly straight forward as well.

Here's my PROBLEM. I can't seem to get these dad-gummed "hammer-on's", at all!
It's like my brain, my hands, and my timing has went in the toilet?
Obviously, I must be doing something wrong.
My "fretting" fingers constantly get crossed-up and I can't seem to hit the same string, nor hit it with any authority, and, my timing is completely "out-of-whack"!

I'm hard headed as a tree stump, so I'll keep practicing, but, does anyone have any simple advice that would help me with these "hammer-on's" and how to do them correctly and concisely?

Thanks,
Gary



Try slowing the whole process way down to develop the technique.
Work with hammer-on from open to 1st or2nd fret on any or all the strings just to get the feel of it and after a while you can speed it up to tempo. Maybe this will help you.

Have Fun!
Tom


flange5st - Posted - 02/06/2007:  14:53:10


..........Howdy AKUS2.........I have found over the years that when folks start talking about , "left hand technique", they use the word "strength"..somtimes the word "control" would be better because folks tend to put way to much pressure on the finger board therefore losing some of the "quickness" in their hand, ( notice I did'nt say fast),.....if you give just enough pressure to make the note sound clear, then when you hammer, push, pull,et cetera, the note you are playing and noting with your left hand will snap off the end of your fingers instead of a mushy slide off or hammer.... your hand won't get as fatigued, your fingers will callous better, and you won't waste energy.....good luck and lay the thumb to the ol' five..Peace

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