Guitar Techniques

1 Tapping
Popularized by Eddie Van Halen in the 1970s, tapping is one of the most widely used guitar techniques in the world today. Its being used in blues, rock, metal, etc.

2 Shredding

This literally is the stupidest list based on guitar I have ever seen on this website.1) Shredding is not a technique, it’s just the slang word for playing quickly. “Eruption” is tapping.
2) Tapping should not be in the number 1 slot. Please don’t vote if you don’t play guitar.
3) Hammer-ons and pull-offs should be two dofferent technique, because even though they are easy to use together, they are not the same

Its the most common technique used in heavy metal and is difficult to master. It was brought into the mainstream by Ulrich Roth of the Scorpions and was then used by Eddie Van Halen in his popular solo “Eruption”. It involves extremely fast guitar playing with precision of notes.


3 Vibrato

Used by almost every professional guitarist in the world, vibrato is a popular technique which produces a vibrating sound of a note.


4 Hammer Ons and Pull Offs

Mainly used in metal and rock solos for fast guitar playing. It is used by many metal guitarist such as Kirk Hammet, Dave Mustaine, etc.

5 Sweep Picking

Sweep Picking is a very cool technique, but it is hard to do, especially to keep the sound clean.

Used by many instrumental guitarists such as Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.

6 Pinch Harmonics

It is a popular technique in which the player’s thumb or index finger on the picking hand slightly catches the string after it is picked, canceling the fundamental of the string, and letting one of the overtones dominate. It is used by popular guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani who utilize the tremolo arm and high gain amps together with the pinch harmonic to produce horse-like wails from the instrument.


7 Palm Mute

The palm mute is a playing technique for guitar and bass guitar, executed by placing the side of the picking hand below the little finger across the strings to be plucked, very close to the bridge, and then plucking the strings while the damping is in effect. This produces a muted sound. It was popularized by Black Sabbath in the song “Paranoid”.

8 Sliding

The most common and effective technique used in guitar playing. It involves the sliding of the fingers on the fret board on string.


9 Dive Bomb

Dive bomb is a guitar technique in which the tremolo bar is used to rapidly lower the pitch of a note, creating a sound considered to be similar to a bomb dropping. One of the most recognized pioneers of this technique is Jimi Hendrix. Other notable musicians who are widely known for using this technique are Eddie Van Halen and Joe Satriani.

10 Volume Swell

The technique is often executed by the little finger of the guitarist which is wrapped around the volume pot of the guitar. When the note is struck the volume is increased from zero by a rolling motion of the little finger. Alternatively, the effect is achieved with a volume pedal. It is sometimes called “violining”, because the sound is similar to a bowed violin. Allan Holdsworth pioneered the technique of the pedal swelling along with a delay unit to create a thicker sound that is more associated with the cello.