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Adding Hammer-Ons to Your Strumming
You can create more interesting strumming patterns by using hammer-ons after the strum. A hammer-on is when you pick a note, and while it's ringing, you fret a note that's higher on that string without picking it. The result is subtle but effective. In the examples in this lesson, we'll use our standard C, A, G, E, and D open major chords, and we'll modify one note in each chord with a hammer-on. In these cases, the modified note is always an open string, and then we fret the real note in the chord just after the initial strum.
In the example below, we take our basic C chord and modify the E that's played on the 4th string. When we strum the chord, the E isn't there. It's replaced by the open D string, and we then hammer on at the 2nd fret. The last measure shows how it might sound in a real strumming pattern.