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How to play Dobro Hammer-ons with Andy Hall

Now that you've learned some basic Dobro tuning, it's time for another important lesson that's integral for modern Dobro playing: hammer-ons and pull-offs. In this sample video from Andy Hall's Dobro lessons, you'll find out just exactly how it's done.

For starters, let's define what we're talking about here. Hammer-ons and pull-offs are something you use in conjunction with an open string. It's when you use the bar to create notes, not just plucking with your right hand.

A hammer-on is when you pluck a string and then set your bar down. You don't play it twice, but the act of setting the bar down on a string creates a second note. A pull-off is just the opposite of this: pluck the note and then pull the bar off the string to create another note.

Pull-offs requires a bit more delicate motion than the hammer-on. Fret the note, play it, then give it a little flick as you pull off.  Here's a tip, pull the sting back toward you rather than pulling straight up. This will create a cleaner sound.

In comparison, the hammer-on is pretty self explanatory. There's nothing too detailed to know here. Just strike a note, then put the bar cleanly down on the string.

There are some good Dobro exercises for this that will help to get more comfortable doing these.  If you're in the Key of G, try doing a hammer-on and pull-off on the 1st fret on the 2nd string. Hammer-on, then quickly pull off.

Once that feels good, try another one on a higher string. Hammer-on the 2nd fret of the highest string, then pull off. Watch Andy to see how he incorporates slides with this as well. You can follow the scale up and down using these hammer-on/pull-off patterns. When you're going up the scale you'll be using hammer-ons, and on your way down the scale you'll be using pull-offs.

Over time, this will really help you with your speed. With some practice, you'll be hammering on and pulling off in no time! 

 

Watch Andy's Free Dobro Lessons

Related Dobro Blogs

For information about Andy's online dobro school as well as more free dobro lessons visit www.andyhalldobro.com

how to play dobro

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