Loading the player...

Andy Wood - Country Guitar Part 8: Pull-ons, Hammer-ons And Open Strings

Lesson Notes

** As featured in issue 43 **

One of the quickest ways to add a bit of Country spice to your day to day playing is to look into the world of using pull-offs, hammer-ons and open strings to create some wider intervallic ideas and ringing notes to your lines.

The beauty of the guitar (or any stringed instrument) is that when playing a note in a higher register, you can always play the open string to get a fixed pitch, and while these notes won't always work, when they do you're going to open up lots of unusual sounds.

The problem comes in that our strings are fixed pitch, so the notes E A D G and B will work great on a G7 chord (coming from the mixolydian scale – G,A,B,C,D,E,F) or on an A7 chord (coming from A Mixolydian – A,B,C#,D,E,F#,G) – but when you look at a key like Bb (Bb,C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab) you have a few problems as your B,E and A strings all clash directly with notes found in the key.

If we start by looking at the key of A and start in the 1st to 4th fret areas, we can use the open G, D and A strings as they'll give you the b7th, 4th and Root respectively. In example 1 I've demonstrated this in a descending scalar idea, and used the minor to major 3rd movement we've looked at in previous columns.

It's worth noting that I tend to reach over and pluck adjacent strings with my middle finger for some spank, but I also attempt to let these open strings ring out as much as possible to create an explosion of notes bleeding into each other.

Another great use of this technique is when playing chords or double stops. In example 2 I’ve used a little A chord double stop at the second fret as a starting point and pull off on the G string to bring out the b7 to imply an A7 chord. In this example I've continued by descending the scale similar to example 1, but there's no reason you can't continue up the neck playing out of other chord positions you're familiar with from previous columns.

The final example will give you an idea of how modern players like Brad Paisley creates his all out chaotic ideas. As a starting point I've just moved the previous ideas up to the 5th fret area and played the A minor pentatonic scale. This creates some more interesting ideas, so as an example the 5th fret G string pulled off to the open string gives you the interval of a 4th, and intervals like this are much harder to play with a conventional fingering or without an awkward string change.

When you take these ideas and move them further up the neck, you get some truly impossible to execute ideas. So if you pull off from the 15th fret B to the open string you'll get the interval of a 10th – this is all but impossible to play in context, and when you consider that you can create these impossible sounds on literally every single finger you result in some really confusing sounds.

Obviously this is just an introduction to the open strings and pull off concept, and there's a lot more to learn here, so it's important to go and listen to all the guys who have used this as part of their sound over the years, a great place to start would be with Albert Lee, Brent Mason and the super star that is Brad Paisley

Get to work and I'll see you soon!


Up Next

Andy Wood - Country Guitar Part 10: Putting It All Together

In this country guitar improvisation lesson, Andy Wood takes you through some more choice country ...

Andy Wood - Country Guitar Part 9: Pedal Steel Bends

Learn how t0 play pedal steel bending guitar licks & techniques in this country guitar ...

Andy Wood - Country Guitar Part 8: Pull-ons, Hammer-ons And Open Strings

This Andy Wood top country guitar techniques lesson presents another great soloing ideas using open ...

Andy Wood - Country Guitar Part 7: Triplets

Andy Wood shows you how to master classic chicken pickin' sound into your country guitar playing ...

Andy Wood - Country Guitar Part 6: Double Stops Part 2

Learn how to play more essential double stop country guitar licks and techniques in this ...

Andy Wood - Country Guitar Part 5: Double Stops Part 1

This Andy Wood country lead guitar lesson teaches you how to play and use the ...

Andy Wood - Country Guitar Part 4: Balanced Alternate Picking Continued ...

This Andy Wood country guitar lesson takes you through more guitar technique concepts to improve ...

Andy Wood - Country Guitar Part 3: Balanced Alternate Picking

Take inspiration from Bluegrass guitar playing to improve your picking technique in this alternate picking ...

Andy Wood - Country Guitar Part 2: Breaking Linearity

Stop your country guitar solos simply sounding like guitar scales with this Andy Wood country ...

Andy Wood - Country Guitar Part 1: Dominant Chord Sounds

This exclusive Andy Wood guitar lesson will get you started on the road to country ...

You May Like

Andy James - Metal Edge Part 1: 10 Pentatonic Shred Licks

Andy James teaches 10 ground breaking fast pentatonic shred guitar licks in this metal guitar ...

Nick Jennison - Creating Drums On Acoustic Guitar

In this percussive acoustic guitar techniques lesson, Nick Jennison shows you how to emulate drums ...

Sam Bell - Extended Range Secrets Part 2: Seven String Guitar Approaches

Sam Bell continues our series of 7 string metal guitar lessons, stepping into the world ...

Nick Jennsion - Extended Range Secrets Part 1

Nick Jennison steps into the world of extended range guitars with this exclusive 7 string ...

Nick Jennison - An Introduction To Slide Guitar

Get started with slide guitar playing in this beginners guide to slide guitar with Nick ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 17: Englishman In New York

Learn how to play this amazing fingerstyle guitar arrangement of Englishman In New York by ...

Sam Bell Rhythm Guitar Concepts Part 11: Using Simple Syncopated Rhythm Parts In Arrangements

In this rhythm guitar lesson, Sam Bell shows you how to create space within your ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 18: Lullaby

Take this fingerstyle guitar lesson and learn how to play the beautiful solo classical guitar ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 16: Yesterday

Giorgio Serci teaches you how to play The Beatles classic Yesterday as a full fingerstyle ...

Sam Bell Rhythm Guitar Concepts Part 9: Chordal Tapping Extensions

Learn how to play the fundamentals of chordal tapping guitar techniques with this great guitar ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 15: The Lonely Man

Giorgio Serci teaches you how to play The Lonely Man for classical guitar; made famous ...

Danny Gill - Pentatonic Sequences That Can Be Used Anytime, Anywhere, And On Any Song Part 3

Rejuvenate your pentatonic guitar soloing with these great guitar exercises, sequences and routines in this ...

Chris Buck - Rock & Soul Part 5: Play With Repetition Part 2

Chris Buck presents you with more reasons to use repetition in your guitar solos as ...

Danny Gill - Pentatonic Sequences That Can Be Used Anytime, Anywhere, And On Any Song Part 2

Uncover some game changing pentatonic sequences and guitar licks with the help of Danny Gill ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 14 - Momentum (aka Matteo)

Giorgio Serci takes you through his fingerstyle guitar composition Momentum in this creative acoustic guitar ...

Sam Bell Rhythm Guitar Concepts Part 8: Using Triads To Create Melodic Movement Within A Part

Add a sense of melody and movement to your rhythm guitar parts using triads. In ...

Danny Gill - Pentatonic Sequences That Can Be Used Anytime, Anywhere, And On Any Song Part 1

Play more interesting pentatonic guitar licks and runs with the power of scale sequences. Danny ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 13: A Walk In The Park

The jazz influenced fingerstyle solo guitar piece A Walk In The Park is taught by ...

Sam Bell Rhythm Guitar Concepts Part 7: Spread Triads

Sam Bell gives you an insight into modern guitar chord voicings using spread triads to ...

1 2 3 18
Top magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram