The pull-off is what i would call the sibling of the hammer-on. Mastering how to perform one will take your playing to the next level. It allows us the blend notes smoothly.
Performing a pull-off involves placing two fingers (often the first and ring finger) on the fretboard. Then plucking the string and dragging your finger (ring) off the higher note. This will reveal the note behind and change the pitch of the sound.
Getting the hang of playing the pull-off can take a few attempts. Lets take a closer look at how to do it.
How to Play A ukulele Pull-Off
The concept behind the pull-off is pretty simple and involves just 3 steps.
How fast you pull-off really depends on the speed of the song. Its important to pull-off quickly though. Thats so the note does not lose any of the juice. When we pluck a string, its only going to make a sound for so long. We dont want to pull off after the note has stopped ringing otherwise we wont hear the next note.
Lets Give It Go
So you know the fundamentals of the ukulele pull-off. Pick up your ukulele and let’s get practising.
We are gong to use the bottom A string. Place your first finger on the 6th fret and your ring finger on the 8th fret.
The bedrock of ukulele playing, pluck the string.
This is the key part. We are going to drag your ring finger off the 8th fret. Thats going to reveal the 6th fret. Only pluck the string once.
What Do They Look Like On Ukulele Tabs?
The pull if always representing by a “p” sat between two numbers on ukulele tab. That means you need to perform it with those two notes.
Lets Play Some Examples
We are going to take a look at some ukulele riffs and licks that include pull-offs. If you are unfamiliar with ukulele tabs, it’s worth checking out this guide to get up to speed.
Black Sabbath - Iron Man
The pull-offs in this riff are towards the end and Its all played on the C string. Use just your first finger for all the notes except the 8th fret notes. For that we are going to use our middle finger for the pull-offs.
Smashing Pumpkins - Today
Lets step things up a notch now and stretch our fingers a bit more. We are going to be using our pinky finger to perform the pull-off. We are also going to be bringing another string into the mix.
Place your first finger across the bottom two strings on the 5th fret. Pluck the first two notes then use your ring finger to hit that 7th fret. Repeat yourself, then stretch your pinky to reach the 9th fret on the A string. Give that a pluck and then drag it off to reveal to the 5th fret.