The Little Known Secrets Of Playing Acoustic Guitar

acoustic guitar

The guitar has gone through many developments and there are always new things going on in terms of innovation. The acoustic guitar has been on the more “traditional” side of guitar types, with its distinguishing features being the wood from which it is made and its strings.

The electric guitar brought with it many new opportunities for amplifying the sound as well as modifying it, especially with things like the effect kit. On the other hand, the acoustic guitar seemed to remain in the “normal” sound of guitars.

In the past, if someone wanted to learn guitar, it was the acoustic guitar that was the “default” recommended guitar. Many things influenced this recommendation, one of them being the fact that the fret was wide and therefore would train the learner to stretch their fingers over a wider distance as compared to the electric guitar.

headstock of a guitar
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

However, these days, there are people who prefer learning with the electric guitar.There is really no “right” or”wrong” way of learning, provided that the objective is met – to master the guitar.

Nevertheless, there are techniques that can only be enjoyed by the acoustic player and which add some gist to the guitar playing. Did you know that the structure of the acoustic guitar gives it percussion abilities? The following techniques help add a percussive effect to your guitar playing by going through the different parts of the drum set:

The Kick Drum Effect

The kick drum in the drum set, gives the bass and generally the basic beat of any song. With that in mind, you can hit the bottom strings of your acoustic guitar since they are the ones with the lower notes compared to all the other strings to add some spice to your guitar playing.

part of a guitar
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

The kick sound that is most satisfying to me is found by striking the bottom three strings with my pick hand’s outstretched middle finger just in front of the bridge (see PHOTO A). If you’re using this technique in a live performance, make sure the sound technician understands what you’re going to do and provides a little more bottom end in the EQ to give your tone a satisfying thump.

 As an added benefit, if you have a bass line going on the bottom strings, you can perfectly synchronize them with your kick pattern by attacking the notes with this same pick-hand finger. This guarantees that your virtual bassist and drummer will always be perfectly locked in together. Via Guitar World 

The Snare Effect

The snare is responsible for giving a staccato sound and is usually used in orchestras and bands. The effect of the snare can be realized in the acoustic guitar in the following way:

There are several ways to achieve a snare drum–like effect on an acoustic guitar, and they all involve striking the instrument’s body anywhere that produces a pitch that is higher than that of the kick sound, which is pretty much anywhere.

 My rule is that the snare is wherever I can reach it, based on whatever other duties either hand is performing. My go-to snare drum is at the top corner area of the body, which I likewise strike with my pick-hand middle finger. Via Guitar World

sound hole of a guitar
Image Courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

Hi-Hat Effects

The hi-hat is a set of cymbals which are played either when they are firmly together or when they are apart. It produces different sounds when the cymbals are together and when they are apart, best known as the open hi-hat or closed hi-hat. For you to achieve these sounds in your acoustic guitar playing, the following is what you should do:

By sweeping either hand along the wound strings, you can approximate the sound of closed or open hi-hats. Depending on your musical proclivities, you can conjure up a little old-school vinyl scratching by sweeping your hand over the strings in a way that visually resembles a DJ manipulating a record turntable (think Tom Morello). Via Guitar World

Are you now itching to try these effects out? Go ahead and spice up your guitar playing and give yourself a stunning new sound when playing.

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