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Video:What Are Hammer-Ons in Guitar Tab?

with Omar Saad

Hammer-ons are an important technique to learn when playing guitar, and it's just as important to recognize them in guitar tab. Here's a quick guide to playing hammer-ons and reading them in guitar tab.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Are Hammer-Ons in Guitar Tab?

Hi, I'm Omar Saad, here for About.com, and today, we're going to take a look at what hammer-ons are in guitar tab.

How to Play Hammer-ons

If you're learning to play the guitar and are using guitar tabs your guide, you've no doubt run across a number of specific play techniques outside of a simple listing of what notes and chords to play. Among the most common of these techniques is the hammer-on. Here's a closer look at hammer-ons in guitar tab. A hammer-on is a common guitar playing technique that involves playing a note on a certain string, and then playing another note, also on the same string, without re-picking that string. For example, we can play the third fret on the third string and then, without re-picking, hammer-on with our second finger to the fifth fret on the third string. This will allow us to play both notes. Let's take another listen.

Hammer-ons in Guitar Tab

As far as what hammer-ons look like in guitar tablature, they are depicted in several different ways. In ASCII style guitar tablature, the most commonly found version online, hammer-ons are depicted with the letter "h" between the two notes to be played. They can also be depicted by using this symbol between the two notes. In formal guitar tablature, such as the kind found in magazines, the hammer-ons are written as slurs with a curved line placed over the first and second notes, as seen here.

More Examples of Hammer-ons

Let's take a look at how to play a hammer-on depicted in guitar tab. Here we have an example of two different types of tablature from About.com's Guitar site. We can see that in both cases, we pick the ninth fret on the third string and then hammer-on to the eleventh fret on that same string. Let's play it. Tablature is an easy way to start learning how to play the guitar. Understanding what the different characters mean in guitar tablature, along with the techniques behind them, such as the hammer-on, will only help to improve your playing proficiency.

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