OPEN HUMMER PLUCK
For the next few lessons we will explore this Open Hammer Pluck concept. It is a key factor in my thumb playing. It is what I am using most of the time when I'm playing fast with my thumb or using it to go through chord changes. You will see that this will allow you to use less effort to play faster. This is because we will be using both hands to produceindividual notes not two hands to produce only one note. I use this technique a lot in the song "Sinister Minister" and I will write out some of those parts a little bit later. I know that I have only scratched the surface with this technique so I am relying on you to take it deeper and further. I hope that you enjoy this.
"Open Hammer Pluck":
A concept of hitting an open string with yourthumb, Hammering a note with your left hand and then plucking a note with your index finger. "Open Hammer Pluck" (OHP) is just a name and like all names they can be changed. It could also be called "thumb hammer pluck" or "right, left, pluck" or any other name but the concept stays the same. Throughout all of the different ways that we will explore this technique over the next few lessons, it is goodif we can keep the concept the same. "Simple". This will allow us to keep our "thinking" simple as the technique gets more complex. To get us started, here is an example of the basic OHP. Ex.1) It consist of three notes or three "attacks" (since some of the notes can be played as muted notes). Start with this and get comfortable with it. Practice it at different speeds and with different levelsof dynamics but make sure that each note stays clean and distinct. Make sure that you can hear each individual attack. That will allow us to move it around much easier later.
Always keep in mind that each of the three notes can be changed at any time. For example, the first note doesn't have to be "open". The second note can be "hammered" anywhere on the neck causing the pitch to change. Itdoesn't even have to be a "hammer". You can also "pluck" any note you want to. You can "pluck" two notes if you want to, as we will explore later. Again, get comfortable with this basic pattern first.
Now, let's move to Ex. 2 & 2a. This shows us how to move the "hammered" note around. Everything else stays the same. This is the start of being able to use the technique to play melodies or tooutline chords. Just move the left-hand hammer anywhere you want. The thought process should be kept simple, the same as if you were doing the "basic" pattern (because you are). Here are a couple of examples to get you started. Once you are comfortable with this, practice moving the hammered note anywhere at random. Play melodies with the hammered note. Play whatever you want.
Now, checkthis out. We will change the first (open) and the pluck note. (EX. 3 & 3a.) Actually all three notes of the pattern will change but it's still thought of as the "basic" pattern. Although the notes are changing, the pattern is not. "Right, Left, Pluck." Are you starting to get it? Take the time you need.
I want to leave it here for now. We will explore more later. If you become "free"with this concept you will need me to tell you nothing else about it. You can tell me about it. (and please do) Break away from my patterns here and come up with your own. Then, break away from patterns all together. That is the true freedom. You control the technique, NOT the other way around.
For those of you that feel bored with this because it's old news to you, I'll give you something else toplay with. EX. 4& 4a are ways of playing with the rhythm while still thinking of the "basic" pattern. EX. 4 is basically (pun intended) a triplet but we are fitting four notes into the same space. The last two notes are played as a "flam". (almost at the same time). EX.4a is the same thing spread out into even 1/8 notes. Get comfortable with both ways. If you're still bored, change all four of...