Welcome to Peoria Guitar School! Classic Rock - Heavy Metal Guitar Lessons
One thing that makes guitar so cool, is that you do not simply play notes, but you can also make all kinds of cool noises that make up for great sound effects in your songs and in your playing in general.
I want to shed some light on these here and give some understanding on how to produce those sounds.
The Pick Scrape
Especially in metal, this is THE classic noise to make, when introducing a new part or a solo in a song, just to give an example. Over the course of a few beats, it can gently or roughly lead you into another part of the song and announce that something awesome is right ahead.
Here is a raw sound sample. First you will hear a pick scrape with the pick moving towards the headstock and after that a pick scrape in the opposite direction with the pick moving towards the bridge:
And here is a sound sample with some music:
Make sure to use some distortion from your amplifier. It also works without, but it is a different sound. Try them both!
Take your pick and place it perpendicularly on the lower strings, then slide it along the strings to the head stock or from the headstock to the bridge, both ways are fine and give a different sound.
When going to the headstock it sounds like falling into something, because the distance between the pick and the bridge gets longer, thus making the actively ringing part of the string longer, same as if you would for example play the 12th fret and then the 8th fret, for example, which would make it sound lower.
You can also vary the strengths with which you press down the strings, so that they either touch the fretboard or just stay hanging in the air.
Both is possible, and they sound differently. Start some experimenting here!
Scrape with the fretting hand
This works the same as the pick scrape described above, only that instead of using your guitar pick, you use the fingers of your fretting hand to slide it across the fretboard. Again, start experimenting with the amount of strength you use to press down the strings. There will be some cool sounds coming out of your hands
Did that not sound cool? Want to learn how to make those sounds?
Let us look at them mainly there were two effects that I used. One is called the divebomb:
You will need a whammy bar (sometimes referred to as tremolo bar or trem in short) for this to work:
This can also work with a normal tremolo system but in general, I personally would recommend a Floyd rose system (or for Ibanez: Edge III) to make sound effects like that, because with that systems your guitar will stay in tune after using it, which probably will not be the case with a regular bridge that has a whammy bar.
Play a flageolet somewhere on the guitar, for example over the 5th fret. That means: merely lay one finger on the string exactly above the fretstick without pushing the string down, now pluck the string. You will hear a pretty high note, that is definitely higher, than the note, that you would hear if you would fret the note in the usual way.
When you hear that note, grab the whammy bar and push it down towards the body of your guitar. Do not spind the whammy bar around. You need to have the bridge moving up and down, to get any effect.
If you want to get that chaotic crashing sound from the sound sample above, you simply need to randomly hit the strings on the guitar.
The other I do not really know what it is called, so I call it the whammy bar snap
It is a pretty cool way to emphasise and important note of your solo or to simply give more importance to a note in your solo.
It is pretty easy to do, if you have a Floyd rose system or an Edge III tremolo system. It will not work with the usual tremolo system, because it relies on the bridge to be able to swing back and forth. Standard bridges simply do not do that.
To make this interesting sound all you need to do is to play ANY note you want (works very well with higher notes) and pull the whammy bar and then releasing it in a moment, so that the bar snaps back to its standard position.
This one is a bit tricky and takes some experimentation on your part, but it will sound very cool once you mastered it, so do not get discouraged if for some time you do not succeed in playing this reliably.
First, put a finger anywhere on the fretboard and fret a note. I recommend fretting a note in the lower region, between fret 2 and 7 for now.
Next, from this point forward ignore the fretting hand completely, just make sure, that it still holds down the string to the fretboard. But the focus now needs to be entirely on your picking hand now.
Now you need to hit the string right after plucking it, with that part of your thumb, that is closest to the string somewhere between the tip and the first joint. For right hand players it would be on the left side of your thumb.
Now try to hit different places on the string until you found the sweet spot!
There are several that can work.
This technique is great to combine with the whammy bar tricks explained above!
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