First Hammer-On & Flick-off Song?

Hey All,

I’ve finally got the Legato Pentatonics lesson (Grade 3, Module 18) exercise under my fingers, so I’m looking for a good beginner’s song that uses hammer-ons and flick-offs to learn.

Either a song with a riff using them or a song that uses them as chord embellishments should work, but “Over the Hills & Far Away” by Led Zeppelin is definitely too fast & too complex (for now).

I’ve been digging thru my music collection for a week, but haven’t come up with anything appropriate yet :face_with_diagonal_mouth:


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I’m not sure about flick-offs (I rarely use them consciously), but this riff can be played with hammer-ons:

This one is to be played with hammers-ons and flick-offs, but I wouldn’t call it a beginner song. When you get the hang of them, it’s pretty good for practice:

Off the top of my head at this time of the day (night :laughing:) I can think of Black Sabbath’s NIB that has some in the intro and in other places too. I’d class this song as easy although I gotta admit I haven’t tried learning the solo yet.

If you are also interested in solos, Paranoid and Ironman are full of those.
Not that I know too many solos but all of those I do, have them…

Well, after some more digging around, here are two songs I came up with:

  • Thunderstruck by AC/DC

  • Nobody’s Fault But Mine by Led Zeppelin

Thunderstruck is way faster tempo than ideal, and Nobody’s Fault only has pull-offs, plus I’ll have to replace the bends with slides since I’m not string-bending yet. But, they are both songs that I’ve loved for decades, so the motivation to practice them will be high, which is most important to me.

I’m still hoping to find a 12-bar Blues progression with a riff that includes HO-PO (with no bends), or a Folk/Americana song with HO-PO embellishments added to the chord progression.

The Search Continues… :face_with_monocle:

The concept of legato is to do with speed. Rather than pluck everything you pluck once and hammer on or pull off to get the other notes quickly. With practice you can play without plucking. So you can use legato to play any solo fast or slow. Ritchie Blackmore used a lot of legato.

IIRC the intro to Thunderstruck, which uses an open string as a pedal, was played in the studio with a guitar with only one string on it.

PS: if you really need a riff with hammer ons and pull offs try “Oh Well” by Fleetwood Mac (the original band with Peter Green).


Yeah, I thought of Oh Well. Great intro riff!

anything by Eddie Van Halen. He uses a lot of Hammer-ons and Pull-offs along with tapping but he uses a lot of hammer-ons and pull-offs in his rhythm playing

Hey @Fast-Eddie, to me hammer-ons and pull-offs, no bends, means folk music. Try some of Neil Young’s easier songs. Heart of Gold has a hammer-on (just 1, I think) in the little riff. Needle and the Damage Done has a few hammer-ons (though not really a beginner song). I think Hey, Hey, My, My also features some hammer-ons and/or pull-offs.

By the way, you can take any most any riff you know and change a note here and there into a hammer-on or pull-off. Find a riff that has 2 consecutive notes on the same string where one of them is the open string (easiest case). If the open string is the first note, pluck it and hammer-on to get the 2nd note. If the open string is the 2nd note, pluck the fretted note and then pull off to the open string.

The Wish You Were Here riff does this - you can hammer open A to A2.

I started doing this somewhat intuitively…but only after I’d been doing the Finger Gym exercise for a few weeks.

Sweet Home Alabama will give you a good work out. :+1:

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