To practice the execution of a guitar hammer on, position your first finger on the second fret of the third string. Got it? Now, ready your third finger - poising it above the fourth fret of the third string.
Use your pick to play the note on the second fret, then, without re-picking the note, "hammer" the tip of your third finger down firmly on the fourth fret. If you do this with enough force, the note on the fourth fret should sound, even though you didn't re-pick it. If you didn't hammer your third finger on the string accurately enough, or with enough force, the first note probably stopped ringing... try repeating the exercise, and keep doing so, until the second note rings out clearly.
If you're having trouble understanding what a hammer-on should sound like, listen to an audio clip of the above hammer on, played several different ways.
Hammer Ons: Things to Try
- If you can't get the second note to ring, be sure you're putting your fingertip down directly on the string. If you're not accurate, you won't get good results.
- Try repeating this technique on different strings, and on different frets.
- Hammer two fingers onto a string. For example, start at the fifth fret, then hammer on to the sixth fret, then the seventh.