It doesn’t matter if learning to play the guitar is your ultimate goal in life right now or if you are just practicing it as a hobby with a few YouTube lessons over the weekend; it is an extremely rewarding process. It enables you to broaden your knowledge base and significantly enhances your hand-eye coordination, and even if you just master the basics, it’s a super-cool skill in the bag.
Here are a few tricks and secrets that can help take your prowess one step ahead and make your guitar sound even cooler!
#1. Hammer-ons and pull-offs
Hammer-ons and pull-offs are brilliant techniques to create fluidity in your guitar playing.
For a hammer-on, you simply need to hammer your fingertip onto a string to produce a note instead of plucking it with a guitar pick. For the pull-off, it’s the reverse as you produce a note by lifting your finger off the string.
Sliding, at least in theory, is a relatively simple trick. You play a note, and then you just need to slide your finger over to a higher or lower note. However, the caveat here is not to ‘undershoot’ or ‘overshoot,’ basically slide too little or too far.
Vibrato is a popular technique used to add character to single-note lines. You need to simply push the string you’re fretting gently but quickly up and down while it’s ringing out. You can also use a whammy bar for this. You need to push the bar in and out as your note plays out. Another quick way to play the vibrato is to press down the string behind the guitar’s nut.
A double-stop, quite evidently, is when a guitarist plays two notes together. It produces a short, sharp, stabbing sound that is ideal for blues and old-style rock ‘n’ roll. You simply need to strum two notes at once to play a double-stop.
An arpeggio is when a guitarist separates the notes of a chord out instead of playing them all in one strum. This produces a jangly sound. To play the arpeggio, you need to simply pick a chord and separate the notes out. You can begin by doing them in order and experiment by mixing the order of the notes to create a rather unique sound.
#6. String Bending
The sound in blues, which sounds like a note is being stretched, is produced through string bending. Nevertheless, it’s popular in a lot of other music styles. To execute a string bend, you don’t just press the string against the fret but rather bend it to alter the pitch of the note.
This is a favorite trick of acoustic guitarists. It can produce a sound with an array of different notes coming at once if done right. To finger-pick, you must pluck the guitar strings using your fingers instead of a guitar pick.
These were just seven of our favorite guitar tricks amongst the hundreds out there. Each guitarist has a range of their go-to tricks and secrets, and the best way to upskill yourself and expand your knowledge of such antics is to hang out with others within the community and see what they’re doing to stand out. Over time, you’ll have your own ideas that help you create a distinctive style.