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Dec 2, 2022 - 12:28:54 PM
115 posts since 3/14/2020

So, I have been trying, without much luck, lately to get my pull-offs to sound good. My question is, when doing a pull-off are you suppose to just pull the finger off with a little flick of the string, or is the string supposed to be pulled a bit, like a mini choke? I hope what I am trying to explain makes sense.

Regards

Edited by - pmartin9363 on 12/02/2022 12:29:31

Dec 2, 2022 - 12:43:48 PM
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8332 posts since 8/30/2004

Peter,
I find it best to dig into the string and then pull it or push it rather hard--you should hear two notes being played. You are basically deadening the string briefly so it needs power to make a good sound. Kind of "dig out" the note you pull off...Jack

Dec 2, 2022 - 2:05:34 PM
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RB3

USA

1587 posts since 4/12/2004

I think folks that are starting to learn would be better served if we called it a "pick-off", but that phrase was already taken by baseball.

Dec 2, 2022 - 6:03:12 PM
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2115 posts since 1/28/2013

Sometimes it requires the pull off to sound like 2 separate notes. So you must hold down the first strike string and pull off the second note, and make it sound totally separate.

Dec 3, 2022 - 5:45:03 AM
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3156 posts since 4/19/2008

Practice holding down the finger on the string, wait a second or two, flick the finger off. Do this exercise using up flicks and down flicks, add the right hand later.

Dec 3, 2022 - 6:26:56 AM
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Greg Denton

Canada

98 posts since 10/5/2014

I have my students do two things:
1) try to pluck the 1st note and make the 2nd note sound just by lifting your finger.
2) don't pluck the first note but try to make the 2nd note sound just by flicking your finger off the 1st note. (try both an upward flick "push-off" and a downward flick "pull-off")

From there, it's a question of trying to find a balanced combination of the two options to develop whatever nuance works for you to create the best feel and clearest articulation to your ear.

Dec 3, 2022 - 7:10:10 AM
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Players Union Member

Lew H

USA

2801 posts since 3/10/2008

In old time banjo, we do alternate string pull offs. That is, we pick one string, then get the next note by pulling off on a different string. This necessitates the pick off described here. But even a good loud regular pull off needs a pick with the fretting hand.

Dec 3, 2022 - 8:08:25 AM
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240 posts since 12/16/2012

Peter,

BanjoBen wrote a nice little tune that you can play over and over to practice pull offs, it is on y*tube.
youtube.com/watch?v=cA15RX6j1lY

Dec 3, 2022 - 8:41:46 AM

115 posts since 3/14/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Fretting Fingers

Peter,

BanjoBen wrote a nice little tune that you can play over and over to practice pull offs, it is on y*tube.
youtube.com/watch?v=cA15RX6j1lY


Thanks, I am a Banjo Ben student . I believe that I never used that lesson. I will go back to take a look at it. 

Dec 3, 2022 - 8:52:13 AM
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3940 posts since 7/12/2006

Getting a good callous on the finger(s) helps to get a snappy pull off. How do you get good callous? By playing lots of pull offs!

Edited by - stanleytone on 12/03/2022 08:52:33

Dec 3, 2022 - 10:16:33 AM
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115 posts since 3/14/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Fretting Fingers

Peter,

BanjoBen wrote a nice little tune that you can play over and over to practice pull offs, it is on y*tube.
youtube.com/watch?v=cA15RX6j1lY


I watched Banjo Ben's video on how to play pull-offs. He does a great job explaining them. I had skipped over this lesson because I had learned how to play them on another video lesson site. Ben goes into more detail. Mine are already sounding better.

Dec 4, 2022 - 6:25:18 PM
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Tim13

USA

3177 posts since 4/1/2008

Also, you'll never be happy with your pull-offs and push-offs. I've been playing for years, and still work on them. I know they can always sound a little better with some concentrated, focused, practice.

Dec 5, 2022 - 1:49:09 AM

552 posts since 5/21/2020

quote:
Originally posted by pmartin9363
quote:
Originally posted by Fretting Fingers

Peter,

BanjoBen wrote a nice little tune that you can play over and over to practice pull offs, it is on y*tube.
youtube.com/watch?v=cA15RX6j1lY


I watched Banjo Ben's video on how to play pull-offs. He does a great job explaining them. I had skipped over this lesson because I had learned how to play them on another video lesson site. Ben goes into more detail. Mine are already sounding better.


A fatal mistake, skipping a lesson. Learning to play Pull-offs, Hammerons and Slides are the key fundamentals to learning Scruggs Style banjo. It's a slow frustrating process that takes lots of patience and practice. You also need to build calluses on your fretting fingers.  Fret the note, pluck the string, PAUSE to let the string vibrate and sound the note then Pull-Off you should hear two separate notes. Next you have to learn the timing of the notes. I am not going to attempt to explain that here. You'll find all that info on Banjo Ben's beginners learning track. 

Dec 5, 2022 - 3:34:31 AM

115 posts since 3/14/2020

quote:
Originally posted by FenderFred
quote:
Originally posted by pmartin9363
quote:
Originally posted by Fretting Fingers

Peter,

BanjoBen wrote a nice little tune that you can play over and over to practice pull offs, it is on y*tube.
youtube.com/watch?v=cA15RX6j1lY


I watched Banjo Ben's video on how to play pull-offs. He does a great job explaining them. I had skipped over this lesson because I had learned how to play them on another video lesson site. Ben goes into more detail. Mine are already sounding better.


A fatal mistake, skipping a lesson. Learning to play Pull-offs, Hammerons and Slides are the key fundamentals to learning Scruggs Style banjo. It's a slow frustrating process that takes lots of patience and practice. You also need to build calluses on your fretting fingers.  Fret the note, pluck the string, PAUSE to let the string vibrate and sound the note then Pull-Off you should hear two separate notes. Next you have to learn the timing of the notes. I am not going to attempt to explain that here. You'll find all that info on Banjo Ben's beginners learning track. 


The reasoning behind skipping the lesson was that I have also been also using Artistworks with Noam Pikelny, and had covered pull-offs with his lessons. By the time I had started using Ben's lessons I had already been using Noam's for over a year. So, already covered things like slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs.

Dec 5, 2022 - 4:28:54 AM

552 posts since 5/21/2020

quote:
Originally posted by pmartin9363
quote:
Originally posted by FenderFred
quote:
Originally posted by pmartin9363
quote:
Originally posted by Fretting Fingers

Peter,

BanjoBen wrote a nice little tune that you can play over and over to practice pull offs, it is on y*tube.
youtube.com/watch?v=cA15RX6j1lY


I watched Banjo Ben's video on how to play pull-offs. He does a great job explaining them. I had skipped over this lesson because I had learned how to play them on another video lesson site. Ben goes into more detail. Mine are already sounding better.


A fatal mistake, skipping a lesson. Learning to play Pull-offs, Hammerons and Slides are the key fundamentals to learning Scruggs Style banjo. It's a slow frustrating process that takes lots of patience and practice. You also need to build calluses on your fretting fingers.  Fret the note, pluck the string, PAUSE to let the string vibrate and sound the note then Pull-Off you should hear two separate notes. Next you have to learn the timing of the notes. I am not going to attempt to explain that here. You'll find all that info on Banjo Ben's beginners learning track. 


The reasoning behind skipping the lesson was that I have also been also using Artistworks with Noam Pikelny, and had covered pull-offs with his lessons. By the time I had started using Ben's lessons I had already been using Noam's for over a year. So, already covered things like slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs.


I here you and I understand your reasoning but if my memory serves me Noam's lesson's although excellent tutorials lean towards the intermediate, advanced level student  and don't cover the kind of detail Ben puts into his lessons I guess that's why your asking  for help now. Maybe you didn't put in enough study / practice when you were using Artistworks.  Knowing the topic is one thing putting in the practice to develop the skill is at another level. Don't beat yourself up on this I think it took me close to a year or maybe two before my pulloffs started to sound promising.

Edited by - FenderFred on 12/05/2022 04:30:19

Dec 5, 2022 - 12:50:22 PM
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115 posts since 3/14/2020

quote:
Originally posted by FenderFred
quote:
Originally posted by pmartin9363
quote:
Originally posted by FenderFred
quote:
Originally posted by pmartin9363
quote:
Originally posted by Fretting Fingers

Peter,

BanjoBen wrote a nice little tune that you can play over and over to practice pull offs, it is on y*tube.
youtube.com/watch?v=cA15RX6j1lY


I watched Banjo Ben's video on how to play pull-offs. He does a great job explaining them. I had skipped over this lesson because I had learned how to play them on another video lesson site. Ben goes into more detail. Mine are already sounding better.


A fatal mistake, skipping a lesson. Learning to play Pull-offs, Hammerons and Slides are the key fundamentals to learning Scruggs Style banjo. It's a slow frustrating process that takes lots of patience and practice. You also need to build calluses on your fretting fingers.  Fret the note, pluck the string, PAUSE to let the string vibrate and sound the note then Pull-Off you should hear two separate notes. Next you have to learn the timing of the notes. I am not going to attempt to explain that here. You'll find all that info on Banjo Ben's beginners learning track. 


The reasoning behind skipping the lesson was that I have also been also using Artistworks with Noam Pikelny, and had covered pull-offs with his lessons. By the time I had started using Ben's lessons I had already been using Noam's for over a year. So, already covered things like slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs.


I here you and I understand your reasoning but if my memory serves me Noam's lesson's although excellent tutorials lean towards the intermediate, advanced level student  and don't cover the kind of detail Ben puts into his lessons I guess that's why your asking  for help now. Maybe you didn't put in enough study / practice when you were using Artistworks.  Knowing the topic is one thing putting in the practice to develop the skill is at another level. Don't beat yourself up on this I think it took me close to a year or maybe two before my pulloffs started to sound promising.


Yeah, one of the reasons that I started using Banjo Ben's lessons is that they  are much more geared toward beginners. A lot more detailed info for beginners.

Dec 11, 2022 - 6:47:33 PM

3167 posts since 2/10/2013

When I work on a technique, I always play very slowly and probably add extra effort. Players often seem to "rush" hammer-ons and pull-offs. The first note is "cut off" too early. Give that first note the required amount of time. No more - no less.

Dec 14, 2022 - 2:08:47 PM
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115 posts since 3/14/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Hauser

When I work on a technique, I always play very slowly and probably add extra effort. Players often seem to "rush" hammer-ons and pull-offs. The first note is "cut off" too early. Give that first note the required amount of time. No more - no less.


I have been going through Banjo Ben's Hop, Skip and Jump lesson on pull-offs very slowly and really tying tp pay attention to make sure that I am getting two distinct notes when I do the pull -off. Before, I was either pulling two soon or I was not really digging into the pull-off so they would sound flat.  They are really starting to sound much better.

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