LESSON: Open String Carter-Style Hammer-Ons
Carter-style guitar playing may be primarily based around first-position chord shapes, but within that simple framework there are plenty of ways to make the music come to life.
Example 1 adds an embellishment to a basic G-chord strumming pattern. On beat three of each measure, pluck the open A string and then quickly â€śhammerâ€ť the middle finger of your fretting hand onto the second-fret B note. Do this with the right amount of speed and force, and the B note should sound clearly without any additional help from the picking handâ€”youâ€™re counting on the leftover string vibration from picking the open A note (along with the impact of the hammer-on) to make the note sound.
In Example 2 the same lick is used on the C chord. Although youâ€™re strumming partial chord shapes on beats two and four of these examples, you should take care to accurately pick the individual notes on beats one and three. In Examples 1 and 2, the embellishments are written as pairs of eighth notes, so you should aim to land the hammer-ons right on the and of beat three, allowing both notes to sound clearly.
Excerpted from Carter-Style Guitar Basics: Carter-Style Embellishments