Flynn Amps and the value of enthusiasmK is for Knopfler, MarkM is for Modes

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L is for Lead guitar techniques
October 5, 2013

Few things to talk about and this is by no means a comprehensive list of all of the techniques and skills I teach and encourage people to explore. Lets begin;

Slurs

Slurring is a term that is used to describe both hammering notes on and pulling off. Hammering consists of not plucking the string again, rather you firmly and quickly ‘hammer’ your fretting finger down onto the desired note hopefully with enough accuracy and clarity to achieve the correct note. Pulling off is more or less the same thing in reverse. After plucking your choice of fretted note you pull your fretting finger downwards and across the string effectively plucking it with your fretting hand to sound the lower note. Using slurs can make playing both faster and smoother.

Slides

Sliding between notes is a distinctive and highly effective musical technique that is ideally suited to the guitar. You can slide quickly from a few frets away into your target note and it doesn’t matter too much where you start from so long as you do not linger on the starting note. Alternatively you can play and hold a lower note before sliding to a higher note in that scale (or vice versa) aloowed as many of the intervening notes to sound as you like.

Vibrato

Vibrato is the practice of repeated varying the pitch of a note very slightly by moving the fretting hand finger and/or wrist. You can get the effect by waggling the tip of your fretting finger up and down. The wrist is more likely to come into play when you are using the first finger. This technique is a very personal one and many famous players can be recognised by the way their vibrato sounds, adding character to their lead parts and solos.

String Bends

You can change the pitch of the note without altering fret or string choice by playing a note and then pushing the the string upwards while letting the note ring. String bending is very common and is a fantastically expressive way of adding emotion and feeling to guitar lines. It’s common to use the third finger to bend a note and add the second and first as support behind the fretting finger. There are many different kinds of bends to try, including but not limited to the choke bend, the hold bend and the double bend. Bending is also a situation where bringing the thumb over the top of the fingerboard can help and not hinder.

Until next time, happy playing!

/harry