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Guitar Tutorial: Guide To Various Techniques

Jan 17 2007, 03:29 AM (Post #1)
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Most who are complete beginners on guitar will have no idea what people mean when they hear the word "arpeggio" or "sweep". This lesson is for you beginners out there who need quick reference to what most of these techniques are, and how they are performed. There will be examples for each technique. Nothing too complicated of course. Be sure to already know how to read tablature, and to know what simple terms like "riff" and "lick" are. So, lets get started!

Alternate Picking: Just about every beginner I've ever seen only picks with down strokes. That limits playing drastically. One of the few keys to speed and accuracy in your playing is definitely alternate picking. Alternate picking is quite simple. You pick with up strokes and down strokes like so: Up, Down, Up, Down, or it can be Down, Up, Down, Up. Perform the tab below using alternate picking.


Economy Picking: It's pretty much the same thing, except the same stroke is used when changing to another string. The patterns can range from Down, Up, Down, Down, to whatever is required for the particular riff. An example of this will be a small part from Metallica's "Master Of Puppets". Take note that D stands for down, and U for up.


Notice as you changed strings, when you hit the 6th fret on the A string that you had to do another down stroke.

Sweep Picking: When doing a type of solo, or when doing shredding, there will be some licks that can be done alot faster with sweep picking, instead of using the alternate or economy picking methods. The main idea here is to use one sweeping motion from string to string. Kind of like strumming, except you're hitting various frets on your way down or up, rather than staying on chords. While sweep picking, make sure you are hitting frets in sync with the strings that your picking arm is sweeping. Pick one fret at a time, and avoid letting more than one note ring as you're playing, because that will turn it into pretty much a chord. Try this very basic lick out using the sweep picking method, strumming the strings downwards, and then back up.


As you can see, the idea is simple, but it takes loads of practice to master and to be able to play more complex things.

Arpeggios: An arpeggio is simply a chord picked one note at a time. If you're thinking there is more to it, sorry. There's not. The use of arpeggios is for doing various licks, riffs, and alot of times used in solos. The tab below consists of arpeggios of a power chord, with a few added notes afterwards. The arpeggio portion will be separated in the tab from the added notes.


Pinch Harmonics: Ever wondered how alot of guitarists like Dimebag Darrell and Zakk Wylde make their guitars scream? They're using pinch harmonics! These can be hit anywhere on the fretboard, though some sound much better than others. You will need distortion to do this technique. If you perform this on clean, all you will hear is a quiet ringing note. To do a pinch harmonic, you have to be holding your pick so that a little bit of your thumb is sticking out and barely any material from the pick is showing. When you hit the note, you're trying to hit it with your pick, and rake the small part of your thumb on it at the same time. If done right, you will know when you hear it squeal, scream, etc. It does take a bit of practice, but this is one of those things that once you have it, it barely takes any effort to do. Try hitting a harmonic on the G string, 8th fret.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this lesson. The following will be covered: Hammer Ons, Pull Offs, Fret Tapping, Sting Bends, Vibrato, Slides.
Click here for part 2.

This post has been edited by Wrath: Jan 18 2007, 02:42 AM
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Jan 19 2007, 11:25 PM (Post #2)
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Excellence Wrath! This is exactly what we are looking for ^_^ keep it up, look forward to reading the rest.

PS I'm off to practise now stongue.gif
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