There isn't a musical instrument quite like the Electric Guitar. Â You go out and buy one, planning on touring the world like a Rock & Roll God. Â You take it home, plug it in and... Well, you might need a bit of practice before you go around making millions. Â I would recommend looking around the web for some beginner tutorials. Â Learn a few chords, play a few simple riffs and maybe even pick up some scales. Â "But I want to play like a God now!" Â Well be patient. Â Playing guitar takes practice and patience. Â There are, however, a few "Advanced" techniques that you can learn, which are surprisingly easy to do. Â They sound awesome, and make you look like you know what you are doing. Without any further ado, here they are:
The Palm mute is a tehnique used in almost all styles of rock. Â The basic idea is that you use your picking hand to mute the sting, making a more percussive sound then a regular note. Â To start, place your fretting hand on the note you wish to play. Â Any note on the E or A string is the easiest. Â Play it a few times. Â See how it sounds full and has a bit of sustain? Â That's what a regular note sounds like. Â Now, with your picking hand gently press the palm of your hand against the strings. Â Be very gentle, as anymore then a light touch will totally mute the strings. Pick the note. Â You want it to be so you can still tell the differnce between notes, but the sound is a bit more flat and all sustain is cut off. Â If you hear any sustain, press your hand down a bit harder. Â If you can't hear a tone, lighten the tension a bit. Â It is easier if you place you're hand slightly in front of the bridge of the guitar, as this will improve both your accuracy and your speed. Â Effective ways to use palm mutes would include adding a little variety to some riffs or playing quick notes between power chords.
Harmonics are another thing that can make your guitar solo more interesting. Â It's difficult to describe exactly what they are, but once you hear them they make alot of sense. Â The first kind of harmonic you can do is a natural harmonic. Â Place your finger over top of the metal bar that Â separates the frets. Â Place it on either the 5th, 7th or 12th fret. Â use about as much pressure as you would well palm-muting. Â Pick a string, and if done correctly, you will hear a very high pitched note. Â One way to see if it works is to take your fretting hand completly off the string. Â The note should remain high pitched, even when not touching the strings. Â This techniqe sounds especially good if you have a whammy bar, as the note will sustain for a while without losing volume.
What? Â The technique used by Eddie Van Halen to create crazy guitar solos is easy? Â Well, yeah. Â The only thing that's remotely difficult about this is building up speed. Â Incase you don't know, tapping is a technique which involves using both hands to play notes, and using a series of hammer-ons and pull-offs to create really fast solos. Â To teach this technique, I will use a specific example. Â The first thing you want to do is place your picking hand near the 12th fret. Â With your fretting hand, place your index finger on the 5th fret of the high e string, and your ring finger on the 8th fret of the high e string. Â You will need quite a bit of gain on your amp to pull this off. Â With your middle finger of your picking hand, press down on the 12th fret. Â If done right, it should sound the 12th note, as if you just played a hammer-on. Â Then flick down with your middle finger, picking the sting and playing the note on the 8th fret. Â Flick down with your ring finger after that, playing the 5th fret. Â Hammer on with your ring finger, playing the 8th fret again. Â You should now be in the exact same postion you were when you started. Â All that's left to do is repeat. Â The most important thing to do when learning this technique is to start slow. Â Master the pattern, and then increase your speed. Â It may take awhile, but the reward is well worth the wait. Â Good luck with your guitar playing experiences!