this is great informatiom om how to use the cap to get different shapes and thus different sounds
End Your Frustration And Reignite Your Creativity With These 3 Cool Ways To Play Acoustic Guitar
by Simon Candy
As a continuation to part 1 of how to become more creative with your acoustic guitar playing, and avoid the frustration of hitting a wall and becoming stale with it all, part 2 of this article will reveal a further three unique approaches you can adopt and use in your own playing.
Each approach covered below is just an introduction to that technique. Take the ones you like and explore them further to make them part of your own acoustic guitar playing.
Adding A Capo Into The Mix
A capo is an essential tool of the acoustic guitarist that allows you to do all sorts of cool things that you wouldn't be able to do without it. Primarily, a capo allows you to move to any key while keeping the exact same chord shapes.
You can think of the capo as a moveable nut if you like. It keeps you in the open position of the guitar wherever you place it on the neck, and is why you can mainly use open chord shapes no matter what key you are in. It essentially functions in the same way that your index finger does when playing bar chords.
For example, using a root 5 bar chord form you can play and sound a Bb chord at the 1st fret of your guitar. Now, if you clamp down the strings at the 1st fret with your capo, you can now sound the same chord using an open A shape.
How does this work?
Everything is raised by one semitone when you capo your guitar at the 1st fret. So while you are fretting an open A shape, it sounds one semitone higher as a Bb chord.
Being able to play open chords, no matter what key you are in, will open up a whole lot of cool possibilities not available to you with bar chords, such as embellishments. This is however just one of many advantages to adding the capo into your acoustic guitar playing.
Ways To Start Creating With A Capo On Your Acoustic Guitar
– Take an open chord progression and change it up by using a capo in a position that will give you the exact same progression but with different open chord shapes. Different shapes will give you a different sound because each open chord is unique in this way. You will also find different embellishment opportunities to take advantage of should you choose to use these.
– Find a song that is mostly using bar chords. Staying in the same key, capo your guitar at a position that allows you to use predominantly, if not exclusively, open chords.
For the key of Bb major place your capo at any of the following positions on the neck of your guitar: 1st, 3rd, 6th, or 8th.
For the key of Eb major place your capo at any of the following positions on the neck of your guitar: 1st, 3rd, 6th, or 8th.
These are the positions to capo that will allow you to use the most open chords for these keys. They would otherwise give you little to no opportunity for open chords and all the possibilities that come with them.
– This particular point will make sense to you once you cover the section that follows on using open strings in your guitar playing. Take the open string scales, riffs, or melodies from this section and move them to any key you like by simply placing your capo at any fret position. You will be able to keep everything identical including your open strings, no matter what the key is, thanks to the capo.
How To Change The Way You Play Using Open Strings
Of course you know what an open string is. We have all used them in the open position when first learning guitar via simple melodies and riffs. However, it's outside of this open position that open strings really come into their own, transforming the sound of your acoustic playing.
For example you could take a G major scale and change it up by replacing notes in it that could be played with open strings, with an open string. This creates a really unique sound that comes from the open strings ringing through against the fretted notes of the scale.
When using this approach, be sure that the notes you replace in the scale are in the same octave, or are unison to the open string. Apart from that one basic rule you're good to go and start creating using this cool technique right now.
Some Ideas To Get You Started With The Open String Approach In Your Playing
– In addition to G Major, re-arrange other scales using open strings where possible. The keys of C, A, E, and D are a good place to start as they have enough open string notes in them.
– Learn some melodies or riffs in the key of G, and replace fretted notes with open strings where possible. There will be more than one way to arrange the riff or melody using open strings, so experiment.
– Do the same step as above regarding melodies and riffs, only in the keys of C, A, E, and D. It's in experimenting and applying this idea yourself that you really learn to implement it into your own playing, so go for it!
Adding Percussive Guitar Technique To Your Acoustic Playing
When you look at it, your acoustic guitar is nothing more than a wooden box with some strings, so in addition to playing it melodically why not play it percussively too.
This ever increasingly popular way to approach playing acoustic guitar is a lot of fun and sounds great with just a few of the fundamentals under your fingers. No need for years of practice at all before sounding any good. You'll wonder why you never thought of playing your acoustic in this way before. The creative potential of this style alone is massive to say the least.
There are a variety of sounds you can create by hitting different areas of the guitar body. For example, try hitting the lower area of the sound board of your guitar, on the front side just below the bridge, with the side of your picking hand thumb to get a kick drum sound.
For a snare sound, tap the 3rd and 4th fingers of your picking hand against the side of the guitar at the same time, just below the strap lock. You are after a higher pitched sound when doing this, much like a snare. It can take a little time to get this sounding consistently so be patient. Also, be sure to keep your hand and wrist nice and relaxed. You are flicking your wrist with both the kick drum and snare techniques.
Some Ways To Develop Your Percussive Guitar Techniques And Make Them Part Of Your Everyday Acoustic Playing
– Include percussive techniques in the chord progressions you play such as the kick drum and snare sounds discussed above. The more you play around with this stuff, the more you will learn.
– Listen to your favourite songs and copy elements of the drum parts that you hear in them with your percussive guitar techniques. This is a great way to start applying this stuff to real music.
– Experiment with both the kick drum and snare techniques from the example above. Even without any chords, you can create some cool grooves with just these two sounds.
Now Is The Time To Start Creating With All This Stuff
The whole point of presenting these approaches of playing your acoustic guitar with you is to get you out of a flat spot, if you are in one, or to inspire new ways for you to play. Rather than get overwhelmed with all the possibilities, get excited! I know I do when I find new stuff to work into my playing.
Start by focusing on one area and go from there. There is plenty of time to explore all the cool and unique ways to play your acoustic guitar with many victories along the way. These will inspire you to amazing new levels of guitar playing!
Change the way you play your acoustic from today onwards by learning to play percussive guitar with this free video/PDF download.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Percussion is accomplished by tapping the body of the acoustic guitar and is worthwhile learning if you play acoustic guitar