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Hammer On "h"- Guitar Tabs Technique Explained

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Look at the example below:


It shows two hammers-on.... A hammer-on is a guitar playing fretting hand (right) technique that is used to sound a note without picking the string. The already vibrating string, from playing another note is rapidly pressed down at another fret to change the sound.

In tab notation, hammer ons are written using "h" as the symbol; the syntax is "x h y," where x is the staring note while y is the hammered on note.

It works as a "hammer-on" only when the pitch is to go up. That is, a string may be hammered on at a fret higher (further behind) than the fret that was sounding already. The reverse process may also be employed (pulloffs).

It may be so that a silent string is hammered on at a certain point sounding the note. It is also a kind of a hammer on, but the sound produced is very metallic, short lasting and muffled.

In the above example, first the 1st string that was vibrating while being held at fret #7 was hammered on onto fret #9; again, the 6th string vibrating at fret #8 was hammered on at fret #10.

Here's a free Youtube lesson on this:

This is one of the most basic techniques for fast and fluent guitar playing. It works best with an electric guitar - there you can play a series of hammer's on and pull offs.

To see this technique in action, see this the video of Van Halen - Eruption:

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Hammer On "h"- Guitar Tabs Technique Explained

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