Acoustic Guitar Slap Technique

Over the past few years quite a few guitar players have learned the “slap technique”. When you are playing the acoustic guitar the question sometimes comes up of what to do to make your guitar playing a little more interesting. This is where stuff like string muting, striking the body of the guitar with the right hand and other exotic techniques come to the rescue.

Now you can add the slap technique to you arsenal of guitar skills. The slap technique kind of creates the illusion that you have percussion player in your pocket. It brings a little drama to your guitar playing and helps to add some emphasis to the rhythm. Basically this is achieved by slapping the guitar strings withe the thumb of your right hand.

Here’s a word of caution: you can’t use the slap technique if you have a pick in your hand. It won’t work. You need your hand empty to execute the slap. If you use a pick you are left with good old string muting to produce a similar effect.

There are two ways you can make the slap technique work for you. You can separate your slaps from your picking and chord playing. Or you can slap the strings at the same time as you strum the chords.

Let’s take the first way first, doing the slapping and the picking separately. This is the easier of the two methods. So you are playing notes on the beat and your slap is heard off the beat. Once you have this technique down you can add notes and slaps wherever you want but let’s keep it simple for the sake of the explanation. So you play a chord by plucking and you slap the sixth string with your thumb.

The second method of using the slap technique is to strum the strings with your first finger while at the same time slapping the sixth string with your thumb. This is a new kind of movement that you will not have found in guitar playing before so it’s going to take some slow and tedious practice.

You can also pluck the strings with your thumb and fingers and hit the strings with your fingers as well as your thumb which gives another type of sound. If you find some videos of guitar players using the slap technique with the acoustic guitar you will quickly see why dedicating some time to this style of playing will pay off.

Nov 28th, 2015 | Posted in Music
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