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A Guitar Technique for you all...

In my recent trip to the brilliant Camden Guitars, I was playing a guitar to see if I wanted to buy it, spoiler, I bought it, but moving on.

The lovely chap there was listening to me play and noticed I'd done something he'd never heard done on an electric guitar before, so thanks Richard for giving me the impetus to make this post.

From my perspective I was simply translating a technique from flamenco style classical playing to the electric, as I had found over time that it really gave my funk licks and riffs a nice "hit" and is very good for "on or offbeat note accenting in staccato", which is just musician speak for a single defined note, that "hits, hard and quickly."

I will now outline this technique:

It requires what I grew up with as "standard guitarist's nails" which is something I keep to this day and is a call back to my very earliest days as a classical player in my childhood.

Simply put, you keep the nails on your fretting hand, the hand on the neck of the guitar, very short and keep the length of the nails on your picking hand, the hand you pick with, reasonably long, about 5mm or so, and all well kept.

This technique in particular needs a long picking hand thumbnail.

As you can see here, I have intentionally caught the Low E string between the tip of my thumb and my nail, as per classical rules, this is generally only done on the Low E and A strings as those are where the thumb lingers or rests during play.

The technique itself is simple, having gotten the chosen string, be it the Low E or A, into this gap between nail and fingertip, you simply, and with a reasonable amount of force, pull it up and away from the fretboard and let it snap back and ring out, ring out is simply musician speak for "let the note be heard".

It takes a little practice to get smoothly and to fit naturally into your playing, but it is a fun little "fusion" technique to add some flavour to your playing style.

I first really got to grips with using it, when I played "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry, without a pick, on an electric, given my background it seemed natural to me to do this, and it works very nicely with that most famous of funk riffs.

I hope that I have explained this adequately, and that you too can bring this little "trick" into your playing too.

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Dear Reader, Welcome to my blog, here I will chart my ongoing journey in music. Yours, Distance Left


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