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Know the feeling techniques on the guitar

In this set of techniques, we will talk about the ways to give feeling or sentiment to the notes. Not simply playing the notes but the different ways of playing them. In other words, the same note can be played in different ways to achieve different effects.

There are many ways to give feeling to a note or set of notes:

  1. a) Vibrato: Simply by adding a small tremor to the note. In the guitar, there are several ways:

- The traditional method and the simplest one consists of moving the string slightly sideways.

- The vertical method is used more when bending a string and consists of stretching it slightly up and down.

- There is also the circular vibrato which consists of rotating or oscillating the finger slightly while pressing it.

- The wild vibrato consists of an exaggerated vibrato.

- The Greg Howe vibrato, also known as glissando vibrato, goes even further and consists of exaggerating the vibrato to such an extent that it slips out of the fret where the movement is made. It is a mixture of vibrato and slide; it must be executed very quickly.

- Whammy vibrato or vibrato bar, is the vibrato generated with the guitar lever.

- Vibrato capo.

Vibrato produces a richer and more prolonged sound and is really effective when combined with bending. A detail is that you can also add vibrato to the chords.

  1. b) Bending: The basic idea of bending is to reach 1 semitone, tone, or several tones by pressing without changing the fret. That is to say, being in C you could play a D without changing the hand of place simply by stretching the string, which produces the sensation of going up in the scales on guitar.

It is worth noting that there are several ways of bending: stretching one only, two in the same direction, bending one up and the other down, hitting two notes while bending one while the other remains static.

The pre-bending is known as the act of stretching first the string and then hitting it, making the sound of the stretched string which produces the sensation of going down. It is also known as reverse bending. Unlike normal bending, it is forced at the same time as it is executed, which produces a rise in pitch.

The string bending plus the pick harmonic (pitch harmonic) makes the guitar cry or scream. Release is the act of letting go of the string or lowering the tension.

  1. c) The smear: it is a kind of a bending, but it does not change the tone. Let's say a tone ¼ which produces a very particular sound because it does not change tone. It is usually executed quickly, erratically, and nervously. It is also known as micro-bending.
  2. d) Legato: It consists of playing two more notes without interruption. In the guitar, it is done by combining the techniques of hammer-on and pull-off, playing two or more notes by pressing the string once. That is to say, the sound is produced by hammering with the fingers of the left hand, without using the pick. The upward slur is also known as hammer-on, and it is playing a note without returning to play the string by stepping on a note upward. The descending slur or pull-off consists of first playing a note, and this is released by playing a fret that has already been stepped on. The strict legato consists of creating a legato with the left hand while the right hand is used as a capo.
  3. e) Glissandros: Similar to slurs, you can hear the intermediate notes between the first and the last.
  4. f) Trill: It is a fast alternation between two notes making it sound and linking it with the previous one making sure that the string sounds clear.
  5. g) Ghost note: Consists in making the note sound very softly, making it almost unhearable.
  6. h) Slides: Consists in dragging the note from one fret to another. Of course, there are up and down slides.
  7. i) Dragged chords: The guitar is the only instrument in which you can drag chords up and down. It is similar to a slide as opposed to dragging the whole set of notes from one position to another.
  8. j) Bend behind the nut: It consists in applying a small pressure on the strings behind the nut part in order to produce a bend on the air strings or harmonics.
  9. k) Dragging octaves: Consists in playing only the octaves of a chord while silencing the rest of the strings, and usually dragging them to emphasize the effect.

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