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What is it?

A Hammer on is a playing technique used by guitarist, where a finger on your fretting hand (the one you're not strumming with) is sharply brought down on a string which causes a note to sound.  Your finger thus acts as a mini-hammer and you use it to play a note on a string without plucking it.
 
e------5h6--------
B-----------------
G-----------------
D-----------------
A-----------------
E-----------------
* If you don't know what this is, see how to read guitar tabs *

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Hammer on

Once you understand how to play hammer ons, proceed to the next lesson - Pull offs

Return from Hammer on  to the Pluck and Play Homepage
This is what it should look and sound like:
You can also hammer on more than one note at a time.  In the example below you'll pluck the 5th fret, then hammer on the 6th fret and (with your ring finger), hammer on the 7th fret.  Again you only pluck the string once, when you play the 5th fret.
e------5h6h7------
B-----------------
G-----------------
D-----------------
A-----------------
E-----------------
This is what it should look and sound like:
Is that all?
By now you're probably surprised that hammering is as simple as it is.  Well, once you get the hang of it you'll be surprised at the positive effect on has on picking and soloing.  By using hammer ons you'll be able to pick faster and your notes will sound much smoother then it does when you pluck each individual note.

What????

Okay, here goes.  In the tab below you'll play the 5th fret of the e-string and pluck it once and then bring your second finger down on the 6th fret causing the note on the 6th fret to sound.  Note:  You ONLY pluck the string once, when you play the 5th fret.
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