Guitar Techniques


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fretting notes

Fretting Notes

Guitar Techniques
Fretting Notes (frɛ́tɪŋ nóts) is a term used to describe when a guitar player presses his/her fingers down on the strings of a guitar until is the strings press against the small metal bars laid into the neck, know as the frets. Fretting a note changes the vibrating length of the string, which changes the tone made when the fretted string is plucked or strummed. Therefore, unlike other stringed instruments that do not use frets such as violins and cellos, frets are also used as placeholders for every note on a guitar.
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Hammer-On

Guitar Techniques
The Hammer-On (hǽmər- ɑ́n) technique is when notes are played on the neck of the guitar by pressing the fingers on the strings behind a fret, then removing them quickly, as if the strings were being "hammered." It is the opposite of the "pull off," which is when the guitar player rapidly presses his/her fingers on the strings and then lifts them off resulting in their  ability to speedily play notes and expand their sound. The sound of the hammer-on notes will not be as vibrant as those that are plucked with the strumming hand. The hammer-on is typically used in metal music but it can also be found in rock or bluegrass.
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Harmonic

Guitar Techniques
The Harmonic (harmɑ́nɪk) is a unique sound produced on the guitar by touching a string very lightly over certain frets with your left hand while your right hand plucks the strings. To allow harmonics to ring you must quickly removing your left hand as you pluck. Producing harmonics on the guitar string requires practice, as the finger pressure and timing must both be accurate. The term harmonic is sometimes used equivalently with the term overtone, as both sounds are created when the guitar or other instrument produces multiple frequencies known as partials. The primary difference is that harmonics and overtones are counted slightly differently when you are determining where on the string to touch to create the sound you are looking for.   
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Hybrid Picking

Guitar Techniques
Hybrid Picking (háybrəd pɪ́kɪŋ) is a technique often used in more technical playing styles that can allow for more difficult passages to be played more easily. It is done by holding the guitar pick between the thumb and index finger, leaving the other three fingers free. This means that the player can play with the pick and fingers either alternately or simultaneously. Hybrid picking allows the guitarist to play songs with wide string leaps more easily. Depending on the skill level of the player, it may allow them to play things that would otherwise be impossible to play. Examples of hybrid picking can be found through out many different genres, though it is most often found in country, bluegrass, and heavy metal. It is also often used by guitarists while shredding.
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Legato

Guitar Techniques
Legato (ləgɑto) is a musical direction where the notes that are played are smoothly connected together. This is the opposite of "staccato," where the notes are sharp and disconnected. With guitar legato, musical phrases are more played with pull-off and hammer-ons, instead of finger picking; creating a more disconnected sound between notes. When first learning how to play legato lines on an electric guitar, the notes played will be close together and on the same string to keep the sound smooth and connected. However, as more skill is gained in the techniques of legato, more complex phrases can be played.
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Palm Mute

Guitar Techniques
The Palm Mute (pɑ́m myút) technique is a method achieved by strumming a chord with the strumming hand and following up that particular motion by palming the strummed strings with the playing hand. This gives a sharp effect to the guitar chords played prior to incorporating the palm mute. The palm mute is used to "chop" a song or to give a sharp vibrato sometimes indicative of an interlude or another movement to the song entirely. Palm muting is used by rock guitarists as well as in classical works too. The palm mute is considered an advanced technique for guitar players by many and is learned after one has a solid foundation of chords and their progressions along with a particular style of play.
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Pattern Picking

Guitar Techniques
Pattern Picking (pǽtərn pɪ́kɪŋ) is a style of playing guitar when a player uses their fingers to pluck each of the strings respectively. Fingers are used with the corresponding strings to pluck in a pattern, to produce notes that belong to a certain chord. Styles range from being very complex to extremely simplistic. There are special picks and devices that can be worn on the hand in order to assist the guitar player with plucking the strings, and often a player will grow their nails longer in order to make the picking easier. Pattern picking is commonly practiced slowly at first, gradually increasing speed to increase muscle memory. It is a versatile way of playing guitar that can be attributed to a wide variety of styles of music. Pattern picking styles are very rhythmic and are often used within folk music and flamenco music. 
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Picados

Guitar Techniques
Picado (picado) is a technique where a guitar player plays a scale by alternating the middle and index fingers on the right hand to provoke an emotional response from the listener. Picado is normally used for playing melodies and is performed using rest strokes. To play this technique, slide the flesh of the fingertip on the string and pluck with the nail and then rest on the next string. It is very important to maintain the posture of the wrist and the hand being used to play. Moving the middle and index fingers from the knuckles is also important to mastering this technique.
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Pick Slide

Guitar Techniques
A Pick Slide (pɪ́k sláyd) is also known as a “pick scrape,” which is a guitar playing technique where the guitar player holds the very edge of the guitar pick against the desired strings, usually three or four, and then rapidly running the pick along the strings’ length, effectively “scraping” the strings. If done correctly, the pick slide will create a grating, scratchy note that rises in pitch as the pick nears the bridge or lowers in pitch if performed in the opposite direction. Typically used in rock, metal and punk, this technique is used most frequently with electric guitars with distortion, since its sound may be confused with normal fret noise in acoustic and non-distortion scenarios. Though a pick slide sounds like it may be tough on the strings, any damage done is very minor, and can be minimized or even eliminated by using thinner picks.
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