Ever want to play the lead guitar and rock the house down like the guitarists in your favourite band?
These tips are only for those who have mastered the basic guitar lead tips.
Technique 1: Sweep picking
The idea behind sweep picking is that you’re going to play notes, one after another, that are on strings next to each other, rather than playing notes on the same string. It sounds exactly like strumming but in the case of sweep picking, you want the notes to be heard individually and clearly. In order to do sweep picking, you have to do a sort-of strum but do it with more force so that each note rings clear. Sweep picking allows you to play notes one after another much faster than if we were using other techniques such as alternate picking.
Technique 2: Tapping
To understand and be good at tapping, you have to understand and be good at doing hammer ons and pull offs with your fretting hand. Hammer ons and offs are called slurs and using this technique, the left hand is the only hand doing the job. In tapping, the pulling off part of the slur is done with the right hand and plucking of the string is avoided. You will use the force of the string hitting the fret to cause the string to vibrate. In other ways, tapping is slurs done with both hands.
Technique 3: Legato
Legato means ?to play smoothly with no unintentional audible pauses in between the notes?. Sounds hard, it really isn?t. Legato greatly resembles slurs but only without the pulling off part. A legato can be done by constantly hammer on to while the picking hand only hits the first note. It can even be done without picking. That?s all there is to doing a legato but this technique takes lots of practice so get right down to it.
Technique 4: String skipping
As its name suggest, string skipping refers to the guitarist picking a string, skips the immediate string be it up or down, and pick the next string. There isn?t much to teach about string skipping but it requires a lot of practice. Okay! On to the next technique.
Technique 5: Natural harmonics
Natural harmonics when played correctly, sound like bells. No kidding. Natural harmonics are played on open strings. Place a finger lightly on a string above the fret (not pressed down) and pick with your right hand. To make it sound louder, remove your finger from the string immediately when the note rings. Natural harmonics can be played on all frets but they sound louder when played on the 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th and 19th frets. Natural harmonics are best played with an amplifier. Just a reminder, when you are playing the natural harmonic, don?t press where you normally press to get a note out, press gently on the metal strip dividing the two frets.
Technique 6: Artificial harmonics
Slightly different from natural harmonics, artificial requires the guitarist to press his finger or fingers on the fretboard to produce the harmonic sound. How do you play an artificial harmonic? First of all, you have to know that in the case of artificial harmonics, it branches out into more in-depth harmonic techniques such as pinch harmonics, finger pick harmonics, double attack harmonics and tapped harmonics. All these artificial harmonics have different names as they are played differently.
To learn more about harmonics, proceed to the next article on harmonics. Need more help? Consider getting a guitar teacher in Singapore to guide you to be achieve your dream of playing the electric guitar!