Slapping frets on legato?

Hey all first time posting

Does anyone else cause the strings, mainly the big E, to make a noticeable slapping sound against the frets when doing hammer ons? Almost like if I chicken picked it. I have a fairly sloppy left hand and tend to use way too much tension despite years of focusing on reducing tension. When I listen to other players I never hear this. My dad for example has excellent technique and I do not hear these slapping sounds when he plays fast runs.

Even though I play at a fairly advanced level, I have always had a habit of keeping my fingers too far from the strings. I’m not sure how to get power and speed out of legato without being some considerable distance away from the strings.


I don’t think this sounds terribly unusual - legato on an acoustic, especially the lower strings, you’re going to have some audible artifacts of the string contacting the fret.

I think if anything what DOES sound a little unusual to me, is the “slapping” noise you’re referring to is more pronounced on the lower fret notes where you’re also not getting especially clean articulation. 0:09-0:11 in particular, whats making the “slap” sound more pronounced here is you’re not really getting much of the “body” of the sustained note behind it. Could be a couple of things, and I’d sya maybe try fretting a little further behind the fret to see if that helps, but it also looks like after hitting some of those low notes, particlarly on the E string, you’re almost immediately pulling away, choking off the note.

Also… Descending legato lick, are you transitioning to each new string with a pick stroke, or a hit-on-from-nowhere? The latter works well enough with a saturated distorted guitar, but is awfully - I’d say impractically - hard to do on an acoustic. Simply picking that first note on a new string rather than trying to hit on into it would both solve your problem, and probably make the whole lick flow a little better.

Thanks for the reply. Good to know it doesn’t sound too out of the ordinary. Yes I’m just picking the beginning set of 5 on those descending licks and doing hammers from no where. Mostly to accentuate the fret noise. That guitar has very light strings at the moment.

Finger position relative to the fret is a funny thing. I think it sounds better and more sustainful when the finger is more in the middle of the fret. But all of the rock guitar heros play right up to it, so that’s the way I’ve always done it. Not sure if its psychological, but I find my playing is a lot cleaner when I focus on playing in the middle of the fret. But after 20 years, that’s quite a tough habit to change lol.

I’ve wanted to start a thread on fret position on here to get a consensus of what most people do.

I’d say that maybe NOT doing this, at least on an acoustic, might go a long way to cleaning this up, and hat I wouldn’t be shocked if a lot of the other players who you think sound cleaner in this respect aren’t doing hammer ons to no where on an acoustic. For an instrument with essentially no natural compression to it, it’s just not a really ideal technique, whereas it works a lot better on a compressed, saturated electric guitar tone.