Playing The Guitar

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How to use dynamics when playing the guitar

Dynamics are essential when playing the guitar as they help to spice up your playing, and also your songwriting. Using dynamics when playing the guitar can help you to make your performance stand out from the crowd. Dynamics are also a simple way to add emotion expression to a song when playing the guitar.

Dynamics for playing the guitar

Go from a hard-driving section to a soft section

When playing the guitar it can be easy to fall into the trap of playing the same riff you’ve become comfortable with since you started playing. The problem with this is that your fans are likely to start losing interest with your music if all of your music has a familiar sound. Therefore using guitar dynamics exercises can help to build the melody in different ways for each song you compose. A popular technique is to contract between hard-driving sections to a softer section, as it allows the song to breathe.

You don’t have to be an expert guitar player to add dynamics to your performance, start with what you know and experiment with guitar dynamics from there!

Change the intensity

Changing between picking and strumming when playing the guitar can be the easiest way to work on your guitar dynamics. The benefits of picking the guitar are that you get a more mellow sound from the instrument. Whereas when you’re strumming it can help to build up a livelier section of the song, helping you to strike a balance between both intensities using guitar dynamics.

Put silence/rests at the end of a section

Using silences and rests in your melody whilst playing the guitar can help to add extra dynamics which help to bring more emphasis to specific areas of your song. Silences and rests can be used to help emphasize a lyric, or even just to build anticipation for the next section of the song.

Using dynamics when playing the guitar

Change the tempo

Another way to bring dynamics to your performance when playing the guitar is to change up the tempo of the song to spark the attention of the listener. The tempo of the song is the speed at which the underlying beat goes, therefore altering this can be an interesting way to bring dynamics when playing the guitar. A slower tempo will help give a mellow feel to the song, whereas a faster one gives an upbeat impression to the song. Changing up the tempo can help to bring more of an effect to the song and helps the guitar player to emphasise certain sections of a song accordingly.

Volume pedal

A volume pedal can be used to vary the volume of performance and create wild dynamics. Volume pedals are popular as they are easier to use than the guitar’s volume control, mainly because they can be operated hands-free, making it easier to do more complex tricks. Using a volume pedal for playing the guitar can help to regulate the volume of the instrument and ensure solos and rhythm sections are all played at the same level.