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Thread: What is the difference between a trill and a hammer-on?

  1. #26
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between a trill and a hammer-on?

    Isn't "Trill" a short-name for Tribble?

    ... And "Hammer-on", just a quaint way of telling someone to get drunk?
    -- Don

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  3. #27
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between a trill and a hammer-on?

    I just remembered I keep forgetting to mention that the opposite - perhaps more correctly, the complement - of a hammer-on is the pull-off. It's sort of a means of discovering a lower note than the fretted one. I probably perform this technique a bit incorrectly - I push my fingertip slightly horizontally, which engages the string, causing it to sound. If one uses this technique in succession with a hammer-on, repeatedly, swiftly, one produces a trill. I mention this because the pull-off may be overlooked, the hammer-on being a bit more noticeable. But if one pays attention to this, it is possible to produce very long trills indeed.
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  5. #28
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between a trill and a hammer-on?

    Good hammer-on/pull-off technique can produce pretty trills …

    Back to the original question: What is the difference between a trill and a hammer-on?

    The answer was eluded to in several posts, but to highlight the difference, here you go …

    A trill is an EFFECT. A hammer-on is a TECHNIQUE.
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  6. #29
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between a trill and a hammer-on?

    Well ... a hammer-on is also an effect. I hear it often from people playing fingerpicked guitar, usually in folk music. It's an ear-catching rhythmic device, and can really drive a song along. It may not be used so often with mandolin, but there's no reason why not. Critics may comment on its perceived overuse as being distracting or showy, so one may wish to be judicious.
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  7. #30
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between a trill and a hammer-on?

    Youíll get no argument from me that hammering or pulling notes create an effect of their on, they usually create slurred notes to an extent, but they are specific, mechanical techniques of playing stringed instruments, while a trill is definitely a musical effect that can be created using different techniques on a variety of instrument Ö Iím just saying that in my own admittedly personal opinion and understanding, that is the difference between a hammer on and a trill, thus my answer to the original question.

    And I personally use hammer ons and pull offs frequently on mandolin, it was an automatic crossover technique from guitar for me, and I use them to slur notes in my blues playing and also often when playing triplets in any genre.
    Last edited by Mark Gunter; Oct-10-2021 at 7:38pm.
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