Soloing Concepts: 4 Note Pull-off Slurs

Danny Stewart proudly presents a lesson from:


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Danny Stewart said,

December 9, 2012 @ 6:45 am

@kurosawa Thanks! Your insight is very useful to hear and well put, so I recommend anyone read the above comment because it explains some extra details useful for this technique.
Playing with the bigband is a whole different animal, it must’ve been an excellent experience, it is certainly interesting to hear about, Yoroshiku!

kurosawa said,

December 7, 2012 @ 12:24 am

Nice lesson! You chose a very valuable technique to share. Just like you, I pre-tension the string by dragging it sideways but bearing down into the fretboard with the pull-off finger (as all other fingers keep the string buried in the fretboard), then the finger is reluctantly forced to release the string at highest (escape) tension, riding upwards off the string because it can’t contain the pressure any more. You are right; the claw is the key to success here.

Another good exercise that builds on that one, to develop the muscles for pull-offs, is to pull off those three notes, stretch the string forcibly toward the nut to glissando down a half step, gliss back up a half step forcibly, then hammer on the three half steps upward and repeat as long as possible, trying to make all notes even in volume, intensity of attack, and fluidity of slurring.

That was part of a library of techniques I was forced to learn in big band in order to be able to track musically with the bones in the tutti in Rob McConnell’s “Louisiana.” That is a good workout for dynamics, articulation and phrasing. I was so technically underdeveloped that it took me a month of listening and trying different things to sit musically in the bone section.


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