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Feb 26, 2020 - 7:33:03 PM
36 posts since 1/26/2020

Hey guys, I know the subject of the pull off has been well discussed on this site. I’ve done the searches and read plenty of threads on it. I’m wondering if there’s something I’m missing here in terms of consistently nailing it. Particularly I am referring to the 3-2 pull off on the third string. I’d say 50% of the pull offs I do are nice and snappy. The other 50% are complete fails or land somewhere in between. I’ve found the index middle pull off to be especially tough. My best results seem to come from the index and ring (Jim Mills) approach, however those fingers are not always so quick to move from another position. My second best results are the middle and ring fingers. Push offs are even bigger fails. I’ve found that when the string after the pull off is 2, I do hit it momentarily with the finger that’s pulling off but it seems to move in time to sound that string, even at a quick speed. However I have a bigger issue when the string after the pull off is 1, and my palm from behind the neck ends up muting it. Is there anything specific you would suggest, or just more time and practice?

Feb 26, 2020 - 7:43:43 PM
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chuckv97

Canada

47677 posts since 10/5/2013

My only advice, as was always told to me, is slow everything down to where all your finger and hand movements are exactly how you want them. It might be painstakingly slow, and patience is required. Best of luck. No pain,,no gain.

Feb 26, 2020 - 8:13:24 PM
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Blackjaxe47

Canada

1477 posts since 6/20/2014

I would bet the reason the palm of your hand ends up muting the string is you have a death grip on the neck. Just let the neck cradle in the web between your thumb and hand. If your standing and playing let the strap do it's job and support the banjo, when sitting let the rim sit on your lap. Give that a try and get back to us.

Feb 26, 2020 - 8:31:35 PM

36 posts since 1/26/2020

Blackjaxe47 I’m not holding it tightly but perhaps I’m too far wrapped around it? I usually rest my hand on the back of the neck but it does tend to wrap around and the ‘meat’ of my palm creeps over the edge there. I will try that tomorrow, resting the neck in that web area a little better. Thanks.

Feb 26, 2020 - 8:48:32 PM

Blackjaxe47

Canada

1477 posts since 6/20/2014

Your more than welcome Jeff. I had a student that had the exact issues you mentioned and once he stooped wrapping his hand around the neck his pull-off's and hammer-on's sounded much better plus his speed up the neck improved.

Feb 27, 2020 - 12:19:10 AM

63 posts since 2/10/2017

I have a really hard time making my 3-2 pull-off sound snappy with index and middle. I started using index and ring where possible, and that has improved my sound. When the song demands index and middle, I just have to tolerate a less snappy pull-off.

Feb 27, 2020 - 1:20:33 AM
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nooby

USA

6849 posts since 2/14/2006

Getting that snap is deliberate thinking on my part. And I'm thrashing the callouse that's responsible for the snap. It doesn't hurt anymore, but a good callouse is important.

Feb 27, 2020 - 5:22:47 AM

474 posts since 9/21/2018

I'm still a novice player, and I still have pull-offs that are a miss. Usually it's when they are in a more odd picking sequence. It was said above but as a new player you can't here it enough: slow down and practice deliberately. Repetition, muscle memory, and deliberate form. That goes for any of your troubles in learning/ playing. Good luck and have fun!

Feb 27, 2020 - 6:31:02 AM

3308 posts since 7/12/2006

i agree with Doug. a good callous goes a long way to getting that snap.and mske sure you have that index fibger right behind the fret akerp the presdure down

Feb 27, 2020 - 6:36:44 AM

1604 posts since 2/10/2013

In my case, slowing everything down and exaggerating hammer-ons, pull-offs. and slides helps improve my ability to play them. It also helps to give a little extra time to quarter notes and half notes. This makes you playing sound more like music. A steady endless stream of eighth notes sounds more like typing than music. When you play up-to-speed those notes of a longer duration can be heard.

Feb 27, 2020 - 8:28:33 AM
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3308 posts since 7/12/2006

im a terrible texter

Feb 27, 2020 - 11:34:35 AM
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Players Union Member

corcoran

Canada

374 posts since 8/3/2004

An important tactic for producing the snap with the 3-2 pull off is to have a longer nail on the finger pulling off the string. I anchor with the index on the second fret and pull off from the third fret with the middle finger. The nail on my middle finger is longer than on the others, and this permits me to dig into the string to produce the snap a la Crowe, Emerson, and others. Incidentally, in all my years of playing I have never been able to execute a “push off.” For me, it’s pull off or nothing.

Feb 27, 2020 - 2:48:01 PM

2144 posts since 4/5/2006

I was about to say, in addition to good callouses, short nails are the key to getting that good snap. Then I read Corcoran's post & realized I usually push off for that 3/2 PU. But it's like everything else, slow it down & repeat 1000x. wink All time telling yourself "I will not screw up, I will not screw up, and maybe do it another 1000x. smiley Whatever works for you. I've watched a lot of players left hands & often seen them do something that just makes so much more sense than the way I've always done it. But no matter how hard I try to relearn it their way, it just feels awkward & I end up going back to my way. But I regress, could be this old dog is just too damn old to be learning new tricks. crying 

Feb 27, 2020 - 3:40:30 PM
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chuckv97

Canada

47677 posts since 10/5/2013

I mostly do push-offs,, once in a while I pull. The ultimate in push-offs at 1:20 a la Kenny Ingram....
youtu.be/Zebbd80VLwY


 

Edited by - chuckv97 on 02/27/2020 15:42:49

Feb 27, 2020 - 4:47:42 PM

36 posts since 1/26/2020

I did some more messing around tonight and it does help to shift the neck a little more into the thumb web area, though it’s generally not far from there to behind with. I suppose in time it’s a matter of moving the hand up and out a bit when it comes time to do the pull off. The anatomy of all hands are different and just the slightest bit of palm is right there at that first string when i shift my hand to place two fingers on the third string. In regards to nails, i had read many people say you should be catching the string with your finger not your nail. I also hate long nails so I think I’ll be working on doing it with the finger, not the nail. I find when I’m looking at my left hand, the pull off accuracy is better. All great advice here. I appreciate it.

Feb 27, 2020 - 4:50:52 PM

chuckv97

Canada

47677 posts since 10/5/2013

I like using the hard callous,, but it takes a lot of 0laying to develop those. It also takes time as a newbie to develop hand and finger muscles to execute decent pull offs, hammers, and slides.

Feb 27, 2020 - 7:07:29 PM

36 posts since 1/26/2020

While we are on the subject, I’ve wondered if there is anything that that 2-3 double hammer on to pull off lick is called? An advanced version of this whole 3-2 pull off...

Feb 27, 2020 - 7:44:43 PM
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6485 posts since 8/30/2004

Just another incredible Earl lick...J

Edited by - Jack Baker on 02/27/2020 19:45:02

Feb 27, 2020 - 7:46:12 PM
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6485 posts since 8/30/2004

Kenny is one of the best ever. He has it all. Drive, Clean, Tone...etc....Jack   Hi Kenny....j

Originally posted by chuckv97

I mostly do push-offs,, once in a while I pull. The ultimate in push-offs at 1:20 a la Kenny Ingram....
youtu.be/Zebbd80VLwY


Feb 28, 2020 - 7:09:55 AM

1604 posts since 2/10/2013

Playing J.D. Crowe's version of tunes provides lots of opportunities to work on techniques like this. He also does some nice things with his timing as well. I often see tabs for his material, but I listen to the tunes and the tabs cannot seem to "capture" what am hearing accurately.

Feb 28, 2020 - 7:51:21 AM

3349 posts since 3/28/2008

quote:
Originally posted by corcoran

An important tactic for producing the snap with the 3-2 pull off is to have a longer nail on the finger pulling off the string. I anchor with the index on the second fret and pull off from the third fret with the middle finger. The nail on my middle finger is longer than on the others, and this permits me to dig into the string to produce the snap a la Crowe, Emerson, and others. Incidentally, in all my years of playing I have never been able to execute a “push off.” For me, it’s pull off or nothing.


I agree. I'd add that--for ME, at any rate--the nail doesn't actually touch the string. Instead, it's like a retaining wall that stiffens the soft blob of flesh that's at the end of the finger. I get my snappiest pulloffs when my middle-finger nail is too long for normal fretting.

Feb 28, 2020 - 10:26:53 AM
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Mooooo

USA

7604 posts since 8/20/2016

The trend now-a-days is to make most every pull-off/push-off snappy to the point that it's becoming cliche. If you listen to the masterful pickers of the past, you will notice everything from the snappy pull-off to the slurry, sloppy pull-off and everything in-between. Don't neglect finesse. Learn to control your pull-offs to sound how you want them to sound, not how the trend in recording studios these days would have you play them. Homogenization of technique and sound isn't a good thing for creating your own sound. Learn how to snap and do it well every time you want to, but don't do it every time or you will sound like the herd instead of like yourself. Sometimes you want to hear something dirty.

Feb 28, 2020 - 3:08:20 PM
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Black Gold

Norway

6 posts since 11/11/2019

Ive only been playing for a year, but man. I learn so much quicker when i do it slow. Do it so slow that you play correct, then do it over and over and increase speed step by step.

Feb 28, 2020 - 3:35:08 PM
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3308 posts since 7/12/2006

Moooo makes a good point.The 1/8 pulloff (or lazy pull off as i like to call it) seems to have been put on the back burner by many a player. a good 1/8 pull off requires a bit more discipline to me than that snappy Baucom pull off. i know many players will naturlly lean toward the snappy pull off. but a graceful lazy pull off can add smoothness to a break.

Feb 28, 2020 - 5:46:28 PM

36 posts since 1/26/2020

I appreciate the wisdom here guys. Been working hard at it all week. Things seem to be improving, going slow, being deliberate.

Mar 1, 2020 - 5:14:17 AM

Tim13

USA

3124 posts since 4/1/2008

Bearer of bad news here......it just takes a long time to get pull offs and push offs sounding good. It will eventually happen as your ear slowly corrects your initial improper technique from when you were a beginner.

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