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5 rare guitar techniques just for fun #2

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Published on May 20, 2016

[Scroll down for info about the techniques]

And so the madness continues. Here's 5 rare guitar techniques just for the views I mean for fun #2 as requested by many of you. It's probably not as good as the original video but hopefully there's a thing or two you haven't tried before. Some of these are a bit goofy and perhaps not very useful but keep your mind open and don't judge the techniques based on my presentation, try them yourself to see what kind of sounds you can come up with. You might end up inventing more techniques while experimenting anyway.


1. Playing guitar with a screwdriver (0:38)

After the original video many people have told me that Godspeed You! Black Emperor uses screwdrivers to play guitar and at the same time, many people have asked me what else can they use besides drumsticks so it made sense to start where we left off and show you a couple of alternative "bowing” methods, only this time using a screwdriver. I think the one at 0:48 is pretty interesting since it feels so different to play. I'm using the screwdriver to control the pitch while grabbing the string and playing a vibrato with my other hand.

The screwdriver I'm using has a part rubber, part plastic handle. The rubber is great because the friction makes it extra bouncy on the strings and darker sounding when rolling the handle behind the neck. Note that I'm not using a room mic, I'm using an iso cab (watch https://youtu.be/acAwsNM127I). The sound travels through the guitar to the strings when rolling the handle behind the neck. VST distortion adds some nice bark to the sound (1:22).


2. Bending harmonics with a pick (1:32)

Touch the string with a pick and pluck the string with your free fingers. The trick is to find the right spots on the string just like with pinch harmonics. These spots can be marked with a marker until you learn to eyeball it. Add vol swells and a ton of reverb to get ghostly sounds.


3. “Picking” with a slide (2:33)

I don't know if it counts as picking but the easiest way to describe this one is “picking with a slide” because it's like picking, only the pitch is determined by where you pick. This can be used for sound effects like bird and ray gun sounds but also to play arpeggios or even melodies.


4. Bowing with a slide near the bridge (3:24)

Not really bowing, more like “using a slide as a moving bridge”. This might seem similar to bowing over the fretboard but in this case both hands control the pitch as the fretting hand is used to fret the notes. Note that again, this is different from bowing with an actual bow since the slide controls the pitch as well as the amplitude. Slow(ish) circular vibrato with a slide seems to work well.

With a right kind of sound this can sound really nice and haunting but the downside is that it will screw up your tuning and intonation so it's tricky to play in tune even if you lower your tuning a little bit to compensate (4:04).


5. Glitch tapping (4:20)

“Glitch tapping” is a term coined by a master of this technique, Josh Martin. Basically, what it is, is hammering the same note multiple times in a row using different fingers.

Watch these awesome videos:
Josh Martin of Little Tybee - "Glitch Tapping" on his Ibanez SIX28FDBG
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCTRC...

Little Tybee's Josh Martin "Glitch Tapping" A Closer Look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atGeW...

Martin does a great job showcasing the technique so at first I wasn't going to include this technique on the video but since I couldn't find any videos of people doing this with a high-gain distortion I wanted to show you how it sounds in a more conventional rock / metal context.

As you probably guessed by the short bursts and the fast edits on the video, this technique isn't exactly my forte. I can kind of do it with only two fingers (maybe three on a good day) but even that can be a nice way to breath new life into some old tapping patterns.

I find that experimenting with different angles of the tapping hand can help with the articulation. You can also try both, exaggerating and minimizing the movement of the fingers to see if there's a difference. For me, keeping the fingers close to each other it's easier to play fast (4:41) but the articulation can suffer. Multiple taps can be grouped and felt as a single motion (4:54) but sometimes it helps to focus on an individual finger if it doesn't keep up with the rest.


Bonus – Using an EEG headset to control sound (5:13)

“Your description is too long”, says Youtube so the rest can be found here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zdq8t1ikf4p...

Another video about EEG stuff here:
Mind-controlled guitar sound (brainwaves meet VST effects)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9O6Y...

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