Ukulele 101: How To Read Ukulele Tab Part 5

Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs


Hammer-ons are produced by plucking a note on the uke then ‘hammering on’ a finger at a higher fret – making the sound of the higher note without picking it. You can watch this being done here.

Example 1
ukulele tab hammer on

In tab, hammer-ons are shown by an arch between the two notes (with the second note always being higher than the first). These arches can appear above or below the notes themselves.

Here the string is being played open, then the middle finger hammers-on at the second fret (without the string being repicked).

Some tabs will represent a hammer-on with an ‘h’ between the notes.


Pull-offs are the opposite of hammer-ons. They are produced by playing one note then lifting your fretting finger off the string so that a lower note sounds. You can watch it being done here.

Example 2
pull off tab ukulele

The tab for pull-offs is also the opposite of that for hammer-ons. Again, there is an arch between the two notes but this time the first note is higher than the second.

Here the string is being played second fret, then the middle finger pulls-off the string (without the string being repicked) to let the open string sound.

Some tabs will represent pull offs with a ‘p’ between the notes.

Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs

You can have a combination of hammer-ons and pull-offs in a single run. In this case, there is an arch over all the notes that are produced by hammering-on or pulling-off rather than being picked.

Example 3
hammer on and pull off ukulele tab

Read the rest of the series here: How to Read Ukulele Tab.

This series was derived from my ebook Ukulele 101: 101 Things Every Ukulele Player Needs to Know.

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