Short Classical Hammer Run

Animated Short Classical Hammer Run tab by ActionTab on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This is a short and simple exercise from the Core Skills section on Hammer Ons.

We use a classical / Spanish style 'run' through some notes of the A natural minor scale. For those who wish to know - the order of notes played is:

E - A - B - C - E - F - A - B - E

We let certain notes continue to sound out from this scale - and this will give us a chord (and it's not A minor, so read on!)...

This style of scale 'run' is typically used as a bridge between segments in a tune or song. It sounds lovely and of course can be applied to various combinations of chords and scales. The 'feel' of the run is given by the quick succession of hammer on notes.

Notice there are slight variations in timing between notes as each string is played. Don't be mechanical when playing this exercise. Try and roll through the notes faster at the start, slowing down a little towards the end of the run.

Also notice that many notes are left sounding out. Try not to mute notes once you have played them. Leave the open strings ringing and your fingers on the frets as shown in the ActionTab. Doing this means that towards the end of the run you are gathering together a combination of notes - giving a chord.

Playing 'into' chords like this from scales is a very common technique, and rather beautiful too. We approve. The chord we get at the end here is called F major 7th diminished 5th. A very common chord for this style of music, and very pleasant despite the complicated name.

So do you see how we move 'into' this F chord from an A minor scale? This is why we can bridge between song segments so easily. As long as we pick a chord that shares notes with the current scale we are playing, we can make the transition in a very melodic way to the next chord!

So if the song is currently in E minor and it's about to move to a D major chord, we could do an E natural minor scale run, and leave the notes that make up D major sounding out until we move 'into' that chord. There are many notes shared between E minor and D major, so this is quite possible. Just remember - some combinations of chords and scales work well, and some don't. It takes some experimenting to find out!

The trickiest part of this run is in controlling your first finger. You must hammer on with it, but then move it across very quickly to play on the next string as soon as your second finger has hammered onto its target note. Practice it slowly and let the speed come with time. As you get better, think about being able to keep the other notes sounding whilst you move through the sequence. Part of control with hammers is in NOT sounding out the strings either side of your target note when you strike it.

Once you can do this technique - try it with other scale / chord combinations. It's a fantastic way to play the guitar and learn your way around the fretboard.

You don't need a pick to play this ActionTab - If you prefer to fingerpick, then listen up....A good way to play this ActionTab is to use your thumb to play each string in a downwards motion. Just as we showed in the Controlled Strumming exercise in the Fingerpicking section. A controlled strum is a slowed downstrum across the strings. Give a slight pause as your thumb moves between strings to allow time for the hammer ons to sound.

Oops! You need Flash 9+ and Javascript enabled

In order to view this ActionTab preview you need a web browser with Flash 9 or higher and Javascript. If this is your first time visiting you should be seeing a blue animated fretboard. If you feel your system meets these requirements but it still isn't working get in touch and we'll see if we can help.

Unfortunately Adobe Flash isn't supported on Apple's iPhone and iPad. If you are using a device running on Google Android you will be able to use Flash. Click on the Adobe Flash button below to download it.