Acoustic Guitar Techniques and Repertoire

Acoustic guitar – proper Techniques and Repertoire

Are you a fan of acoustic guitar? Perhaps this is the most universally loved musical instrument and the first you think of when it comes to parties or bonfires on the beach. With just six strings, a wooden sound box and a fretboard put in your hands an entire repertoire of beautiful songs to play and sing with your friends. Acoustic Guitar Techniques and Repertoire.

Here at Guitar Lessons London you can learn how to properly play classical guitar and discover the best techniques to improve your music skills. Our teacher James will be happy to reveal you all the secrets behind this fantastic musical instrument and help you become a good musician.

Like anything else, playing guitar requires dedication and perseverance. Anyway, our lessons are perfectly conceived to make you learn while having fun, so don’t worry of being judged!

Are you curious to know everything about acoustic guitar?Here are a few examples of the playing techniquesyou can learn at Guitar Lessons London:

Acoustic Guitar Techniques

1) Don’t grasp the guitar handle!

If you are a complete beginner, you will discover soon that pressing guitar strings can make your fingers hurt a little. To avoid this you will probably have the tendency to hold the guitar handle with all the hand, putting your thumb around it to be more comfortable.

Well, sorry for your fingers but… this is not the correct position! Our teacher will explain you that the correct position of the hand is with your thumb behind tha handle, so you can press the strings only with your fingertips. Yes, it hurts at the beginning, but it’s totally worth it!

2) Fingerstyle melodies, arpeggios…

As you progress with your lessons, you will learn that there are a lot of different ways of playing guitar and each one produces a different sound effect.

James will show you how to do properly fingerstyle by pinching strings without a plectrum. Also, he will explain you the meaning of terms that may sound to you weird at the beginning, such as “triads”, “arpeggio”…

3) Last but not least, be patient!

It is comprehensible that you look forward to play your favourite song and that some basic chords may seem boring, but don’t hurry: progress will come quickly and you’ll be able to perform in front of your friends and show everyone what you’ve learned.

Classical guitar repertoire

Speaking about songs, which are the best pieces to play? Well, classical guitar repertoire is so large that you’re spoilt for choice! It covers a lot of music genresand ranges from rock music, folk, oldies and much more.

Just to mention some titles:

  • Hotel California (Eagles)
  • Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel)
  • Blowin’ in the Wind (Bob Dylan)
  • Smells like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
  • American Pie (Don McLean)

Whathever music genre you like, you can certainly find something beautiful to play for your own pleasure and the one of those who are listening to you.

Acoustic Guitar Techniques and Repertoire

Acoustic Guitar Techniques and Repertoire

If you would like to know more, contact us and book your first acoustic guitar lesson at Guitar Lessons London!

Acoustic Guitar Techniques

Acoustic Techniques: How to Rock Unplugged

Ah the acoustic guitar: a campfires best friend. Servant to the troubadour, and sufferer of the Wonderwall covers. Its safe to say that acoustic guitar certainly has a lot of negative press going for it. Well not necessarily negative, just not cool. The electric guitar has chunky riffs, picks slides, and wailing solos, you name it, and it’s got it.

That doesn’t mean I’m saying that the electric guitar is the better of the two; I’m just saying that if you were organizing a house party and you needed someone to supply all the booze, I know which one I’d be asking.  

But maybe that’s just because the techniques and traits of the electric guitar are much more brash and bold than its unplugged counterpart, and you need a more refined taste to appreciate what the acoustic offers you. Tequila will definitely get you drunk more quickly than red wine, but that doesn’t mean its better right?

Acoustic Techniques How to Rock Unplugged

Yeah that is right so don’t question it. Anyway enough with the waffling, here’s some acoustic techniques to help you make your Arcala swoon at your next scout meet. 


Ok so before you all start making hilarious jokes about how you “never thought to strum a guitar before Dan thanks” I’m going to be talking specifically about the slight sonic differences between a few strumming styles. Because you can manipulate the sound of an acoustic less than an electric you have to think more precisely about how you approach playing it. For example, playing with the nail of your finger versus playing with your thumb.

At first glance you wouldn’t assume there would be a difference, but the percussive nature of your nail brings out a brighter tone than the skin of your thumb. Try switching between the two during a song to help with dynamics. Maybe the brighter timbre of your nail will help lift a chorus up a bit? (It will).  

Finger picking:

So it wouldn’t be acoustic guitar without finger picking would it? Everyone from Bob Dylan all the way to the big Bieber have had a good ole’ crack at it. Biggest faux pas people make with this is not thinking enough about the patterns they play. The reason finger picking is amazing is because you can shift the dynamics of a song simply by switching the finger picking pattern you’re playing. Don’t just sit there and play The Boxer’s pattern over every song, be better than that. You want inspiration? James Taylor, Nick Drake. If you need more inspiration than that then you’ve not listened well enough. 

The Power of Open Strings

So this one sounds more complicated than it is. In short, acoustic guitars can either sound beautiful, or really boring and flat. Most of that is down to technique, and specifically the use of open strings surrounding the chords you’re playing. No one wants to hear just the three notes in a G chord, they want all the over tones and open strings that give the acoustic guitar so much life. Try making sure your when you’re playing your chords that you’re note accidentally muting any open strings that help give the acoustic guitar life when being played solo. Equally however, do make sure you mute notes that don’t belong in the chord. There’s something about a duff note being played in and amongst other notes on a solo acoustic guitar that’s just a little bit more pathetic than usual. So don’t do it. 

Happy playing!


London Guitar Academy

The London Guitar Academy is London’s only dedicated Rock Pop and Blues guitar school specialising in one to one guitar tuition in either electric or acoustic guitar.

Each lesson is tailored to suit each students individual taste and ability; offering a fresh and innovative approach to learning the guitar.

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