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Learn These Techniques To Use On Your Guitar

Although you may have high goals for your guitar playing you should never forget the fun you had when you first picked the guitar up. The feeling of exploration of the instrument does not have to end after you have learned the basics of playing guitar. There are many techniques to play on the guitar that are a lot of fun which are not hard to execute. Explore these. Get to know the sounds you can produce with them and who knows maybe you want to incorporate them into your regular guitar playing.

Whammy bar

Many bridges on a guitar have an optional part that is called a whammy bar. The bridge is where the strings are lead to their anchoring. Usually they come with an attachable metal bar which allows you to move the bridge up or down. This alters the length of and the pressure on the strings slightly. Both are very important for the pitch of the tone the string produces. Pushing and pulling on the bar allows you to alter the pitch. This can create sounds like a diving plane or an elephant if used right.


If you lightly put your finger on the twelfth fret of any string and hit the string you will hear a curious kind of sound. It is significantly softer than the sound produced if you would fret the string at the twelfth fret. This sound is called a harmonic. You can find those harmonics over a few frets. Try to find them over the twelfth, seventh and near the fifth fret.

Altered harmonics

If you fret any note you can produce a harmonic twelve frets above that note. To produce that harmonic you could use your index finger and hit the string with your thumb.

Pinch harmonics

There are even places near the fretting area where you can produce harmonics. Those are typically played with the pick and dampened with the thumb. Start looking for them near the pickups.

Pick scraps

Pulling your pick along the lower three strings produces a screeching noise. This is sometimes used in metal tracks. You can use them to transition between two techniques.

Slide guitar

The highest three strings are tuned to an E minor chord. You can easily play different minor chords by fretting those strings in the same fret. You could use your fretting hand index finger for that. Some people use tools to make that easier. Those tools range from small metal tubes to the neck of glass bottles. Tip: Moving seven frets up then five frets down sounds really good. These techniques may give you ideas to make even more out of your guitar playing. If you like the sound of one of those techniques try to incorporate them into your guitar playing. For example exchange the next A minor chord you play with the slide guitar sound played at the fifth fret. Then play a pick scrap before you start playing a power chord riff in which you insert a few pitch harmonics to make your guitar scream. You end this sequence with a sustained chord. Over that sustained chord you use the whammy bar to apply vibrato to the whole chord. After letting it fade out you could regain momentum by playing a few harmonics on the D, G and B string first and then arpeggiating an open G chords. The open G chord you can spice up with the altered harmonics mentioned above.

This article was brought to you by Rene Kerkdyk. He is living in Hildesheim, Germany and teaches guitar in his guitar school. If you are looking for guitar lessons in Hildesheim you should give him a call.