– Expressive Techniques –

Muting, Vibrato, Raking


Other Techniques:

Sliding, Bending, Hammer-ons&Pull-offs, Harmonics


• To apply light muting with your picking hand, rest the heel of your palm slightly over the bridge.

• Muting with your fretting hand is an essential technique for stopping strings from ringing and is used for a percussive effect in funk music, etc. (called "chicken scratch" ). Just lift up slightly to deaden the strings while picking or strumming.

• "Vibrato" means to vary the pitch of a note. ("Tremolo" means to vary the volume.)

• "Shake" vibrato: Only tips of fingers touch neck (don't let palm touch neck). Shake, or 'swing,' the neck vertically. Use the elbow of your strumming hand to stablize the guitar.

• Practice both shallow and wide vibratos. Try them both fast and slow.

• BB King did his distinctive fast vibrato with his first finger. He would swing his other fingers, pivoting on the knuckle of his first finger against the side of the neck.

• Raking is when you skim your pick over one or more muted strings before the target string. It's a great technique for blues, rock 'n' roll, etc.

• You can use the other fingers of your fretting hand to mute the raked strings.

• There are many other things you can do to personalize your sound:
- how close to the bridge you pick
- picking with fingers or pick or both (hybrid picking)
- choice of amplifier (tube, solid state, brand...)
- effect pedals (distortion, chorus, compression, reverb/delay, etc.)
- pick (hard/soft, plastic/nylon, etc.)
- strings (alloy, gauge, round/flat wound...)

• Check out the other vid's in this series on Expressive Techniques.

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