Playing The Blues On Your Guitar Well
The guitar is an fantastically versatile instrument. It can be played to handle rhythm or are applied to go center stage and solo. For playing the blues there are some fundamental proficiencies you need to learn if studying to be a competent blues guitar player.
The design and quality of the guitar gives you many techniques to play with – string deflects, slides, vibrato, hammer-ons and pull offs, trilling, paw picking, strumming, muting, pinched harmonics, smoothing and more. All of these should be learned and perfected.
For blues guitar, of the above, bendings, slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs and and vibrato are the most important. You must master these techniques as they should become a part of your playing form if you want to play solos and other licks and riffs.
String bendings are the most commonly used “technique ” and most important element of blues style guitar soloing. Every blues guitarist loves their bending of the strings. Depending on the thickness of your strings and how many steps up you are bending it, string deflects vary in difficulty. If you are completely new to playing guitar or soloing then you are in for a unpleasant time, but it won’t be too long before your hot fingers have rock hard calluses.
Heres What You Need To Know
- The top three strings are most often used for string bending
- You can bend a string and thus raise its pitch by a semi-tone (one fret), a tone (two frets), a tone and a half (three frets) and even two and a half tones (five frets)
- Pushing the string upwards rather than pulling the string downwards is easier
- You can bend strings with all your fingers, but the third and fourth fingers are mostly used
- Hooking your thumb over the top of the neck gives you leverage and makes string bending easier
- Finger strength is vital
- String bends can be very subtle, especially in blues guitar styles
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