Getting A Grip On The Basics Of Playing The Guitar

Elvis Elvis

Let’s take a look at doing the basic Hammer On guitar technique.


The Hammer On guitar technique is basically accomplished by holding a note with a finger, usually the first finger but not always, and then using one of your other fingers to immediately Hammer On with enough force to sound the second note. This technique is used a lot and is something that you should become comfortable in executing.

Points to remember are:

  • Hammer with the tip of your finger.
  • The hammer must be strong enough to sound the second note clearly.
  • The hammering finger should be no more than say a 1/2 inch away before contacting the string. Any greater distance may result in you missing the string. Always try to be efficient.
  • Get the best sounding results by hammering on just behind the fret.

Start by taking your 1st finger and place it on a note (let’s use the D note on the 2nd string/3rd fret), then using your 3rd finger, hammer on (the E note on the 2nd string/5th fret) with enough force to sound the second note.

Getting A Grip On The Basics Of Playing The Guitar

To become efficient at using the Hammer On guitar technique and to help build up finger strength, you can practice doing an exercise like the ones below for say 2-3 minutes everyday.


Start the exercise by using your 1st and 2nd finger. Your 1st finger will hold the note while your 2nd finger hammers on to the string and fret indicated.

Do this exercise up and down the neck. Start on the 6th string/1st fret, work your way down to the 1st string, then shift your 1st finger up one fret and work your way back up to the 6th string.

Do the exercise for each set of fingers.

  1. 1st and 2nd finger
  2. 1st and 3rd finger
  3. 1st and 4th finger

Start slowly at first, using a metronome and staying in tempo.

After a few months of this exercise, you should have built up enough finger strength and to be fairly comfortable performing the Hammer On guitar technique.