You can play your guitar during your leisure time at home as a hobby, to record in the studio, to perform in a quiet café, or to perform in front of a huge crowd. To make that record worthy of being platinum, to make that soothing aura within the café, or to make that crowd uncontrollable and crazy partially depends upon the technique you use to play the guitar. Three techniques that are popular and can be used to amaze your listeners are elegant fingerpicking, strumming, and sweet sweep-picking.
Elegant fingerpicking is mostly used to serenade the audience into a state of complete relaxation or euphoria. You can pick with the natural sound-muting characteristic of your fingertips or the solid and natural sound-amplifying characteristic of your nails. You can also choose to hit any combination of strings to emphasize the sound of each string or to create a soothing rhythm by hitting multiple strings at the same time. Fingerpicking is only an intermediate level technique, but there are many details that can be added to make it a more advanced skill and much practice is needed for it to be perfected. Using the fingerpicking technique you can assemble different pitches and patterns with however many strings you have to formulate an attention-grabbing rhythm.
Strumming, which is more common than fingerpicking, can be used to create catchy tunes and can also bring about many different moods within the different musical audiences. You can use a guitar pick to give you a louder and bolder sound or use your hands which allows you to be more flexible, creates a blurred effect, and makes the sound more natural and brighter. Strumming brings more attention to the rhythm of the song or piece of music because the strumming itself has percussion characteristic. Strumming is preferred for beginners because it’s one of the most basic techniques of playing guitar and helps you get used to the sound of the guitar in a fun, but quick way. Even though strumming one of the most basic and popular techniques, it is also a very effective attention grabber. Whether you are trying to play a slow song that’s heavy on the eyelids or an exciting piece that can make the crowd lively all depends on the strumming pattern used
combined with the chord progression.
Sweep-picking is the most advanced of these three techniques and when used efficiently can produce a heart-racing performance. Sweep-picking combined with the customized sound of an electric guitar can create some of the most crowd-shaking performances. It can be aggressive yet gentle, but sweep-picking isn’t usually used to serenade or sooth. It consists of hammer-ons, pull-offs, bending, and so on, all in a single strum. The key is that the left hand, for right-handed guitar players, has to be timed and trained perfectly so when the pick goes over the string it hits all the notes needed by the time the pick gets to the next string. This is what makes sweep-picking a very advanced technique. It’s the heart of the performance and the flow is beautiful.
Although there are many approaches to playing the guitar, these three techniques, no matter the difficulty, make for great performances. There’s always a way to get creative with fingerpicking when you have six strings and five fingers. A song can be complete with just strumming due to its percussion aspects and flexibility. And sweep-picking can always get the crowd to either shed tears or go wild. If you have practiced enough and you are confident about your skills then by the end of your performance, or when you publicize your record not only will the listeners be satisfied, but you will too.
Courtney from Study Moose
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