Backwards hammer-ons?

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by endmysuffering, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. endmysuffering

    endmysuffering I'm serious

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    Are backwards hammer ons viable as opposed to pull offs? I've heard people saying that Holdsworth uses this technique, but I'm sure you guys here at Sso can clear this up for me.
     
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  2. MatthewLeisher

    MatthewLeisher Ghostmaker

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    I've never heard of it before, so it can't be too prevalent. I'm not even sure I understand what it is. If it is what I'm imagining it is, it sounds very awkward lol
     
  3. endmysuffering

    endmysuffering I'm serious

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    I've been trying it for about an hour now, it's easier now but not as smooth as I'd like it to be. I'm wondering if I can use this seriously because I like the sound of this more than pull offs.
     
  4. MatthewLeisher

    MatthewLeisher Ghostmaker

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    If you like it then definitely keep at it! Learning new techniques can never be a bad thing.
     
  5. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    I think at some speeds there's no choice but to do this as you can't get the pull off finger AND the.... other finger both on to their respective frets in time.
     
  6. endmysuffering

    endmysuffering I'm serious

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    Okay thanks guys, I'm gonna roll with this.
     
  7. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    It's tapping! Aka 'true legato'. Holdsworth indeed. But yes, tapping. Just slow it down until you can remove the upper finger and tap the lower finger in time, the tricky part is the higher finger being removed soon enough to not muffle the attack of the lower note.
    I would suggest trying it with your picking/tapping hand too, the technique becomes more obvious there because it's very unnatural to do a pulloff with your tapping hand.
     
  8. thesnowdog

    thesnowdog SS.org Regular

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    IIRC Marshall Harrison used to have some lessons/discussion of this on his YouTube channel.
     
  9. Lasik124

    Lasik124 SS.org Regular

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    Have never heard of this saying. Anyone care to share a vid?

    Just doing a hammer on every note I assume?
     
  10. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger Contributor

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    Marshall is an awesome player but he's not good at explaining what he's doing. Here is the video where he talks about "true" legato. His fluency on guitar is scary. His website had a ton of videos, lessons, tabs etc but its been down for a long time.

     
  11. thesnowdog

    thesnowdog SS.org Regular

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    And another one:

     
  12. JustMac

    JustMac ss not-so-regular

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    This kind of shows the idea in practice, but using Holdworth as an example is tricky because his phrasing and note choice are also decidedly alien.

    (start at 2:15, the link won't do what I tell it!)



    You can see that he only picks when changing strings, but keeps a very uniform tone, as Marshall stresses in that vid. The idea is to emulate the fluidity of horn playing, and I heard someone compare the technique to your fingers acting as mallets, which you really feel when going backwards, when practicing I would recommend really exaggerating that aspect -- you have to seriously force momentum in your fingers to make each note audible, but you'll develop finesse as you progress.

    It's a great thing to practice, if only for finger strength more above anything else. I practice the technique with my acoustic and I find it always helps my vibrato when I go back to electric because of how much it fosters left-hand finger strength and independence. About its musical worth.... it certainly has a different timbre, but I'm not entirely convinced, Harrison seems to express disdain for the pull-off but I think they still sound fine.
     
  13. Eptaceros

    Eptaceros Wayfarer

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    There's no such thing as a backwards hammer-on. The true legato technique mastered by Holdsworth is literally just all hammer-ons, all the time.

    I need to work on this reaaaallly bad, if not for playing legato, then for overall finger strength and independence.
     

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