Pad or tip of ring finger when playing?

Which do you use when doing hammer-ons/pull-offs, trills, etc.? I’ve heard many times to use the tip but curling my finger over the fretboard can be awkward sometimes depending on what I’m playing.

I use both depending on context. Neither is wrong both have advantages and disadvantages.


I find with pull offs, I tend to use the tip more to try reduce some of the percussive noise from contacting the strings higher in pitch when pulling off. Apart from that, as @Tom_Gilroy said, it can vary depending on the situation.

1 Like

I’m more carful of starting with the tip when rolling arpeggios, not specific to the ring finger though.

Conversely I’ll be more specific about using the pad if I’m doing an ascending economy pentatonic run because I want to cover two strings when it’s fretting - Brandon Ellis does that a lot if you look up his Betcha Can’t Play this it’s a good example.

It’s really only going to matter in a particular run, if there’s something about the previous or subsequent note placement to implies tip vs pad then