Our beginner guitar lessons will teach you how to master all guitar techniques you'll need to learn the guitar. Read up on the technical elements below, then head on over to our video lessons on beginner guitar songs to practice actually using these techniques.
Once you know your basic beginner's chords, you’ll want to learn how to strum chords. This is the point where you actually start making real music, and you’ll see that it's relatively easy. Actually, if you know 3-5 chords, you know how to change between them, and you learn how to strum, you can already play hundreds, if not thousands of songs.
Fingerpicking the guitar is a must-know for any guitarist, and is a technique the beginner guitar student should familiarize himself/herself with right at the beginning of learning how to play the guitar.
Lead guitar techniques
Mastering hammer-ons is a vital element of playing lead guitar and solos. A hammer-on is basically what it sounds like. You use a fretting finger to hammer onto a string at a given fret, and if you do it hard and fast enough, you will sound that given note.
Just like a hammer on, a pull off is way of sounding a note without having to pick at it, which can speed up your riff. Pull offs are carried out on strings that are already vibrating (giving off sound). As it’s the opposite of the hammer on, the pull off will sound a note lower on the given string, either a fretted note, or the open string itself.
Palm muting involves the dampening of the strings on your guitar with the edge of your picking hand. Palm muting is a technique used by rock and heavy metal guitarists, since doing palm muted plucks with high gain (distortion) brings out a thick, rhythmic punch sound, to the extent of making it sound percussive.
Using slides effectively adds texture to lead guitar solos. This, just like with other lead guitar techniques, such works best when combined with other techniques, such as vibrato, bends, etc.
String bending is an essential part of playing lead guitar, and is a must know if you want to play great solos. It gives added texture and color, and gives more freedom ont he fretboard.
Vibrato is a musical effect, produced in singing and on musical instruments (like the guitar 🙂 ) by a regular pulsating change of pitch. It’s basically a sound effect which makes a note oscillate up and down.
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There are 3 types of harmonics: natural, artificial, and pinched. Harmonics are played every time you pluck a note, you just don’t hear them most of the time. What you hear is the fundamental (sometimes called the first harmonic), which is the loudest sound you get when you simply play a fretted note. Nevertheless, it is accompanied by harmonics.
Tapping the guitar means you produce sounds by tapping the string at any fret, instead of plucking the strings. Tapping can be carried out with just one hand, or both hands at the same time, and can be used to give your music a more percussive feel, therefore rhythm and timing are very important.
The tremolo picking style (also called scratch guitar) is nothing else, but alternate picking the string really, really fast. Heavy metal guitarists use it often since it has a rather aggressive, harsh sound and feel to it.