Don Adler - Percussion Techniques For The Acoustic Guitarist Part 1: Drum Sounds

Lesson Notes

** As featured in issue 14 **

Acoustic guitarists have been using percussion techniques for some time now and when done properly can really engage an audience. We’re going to look at some percussive sounds and how to integrate percussion into your playing. We will also explore an exercise to help build independence between the right and left hands as well as tighten up your rhythm. If you plan on using percussion in live performances keep in mind that real drummers always do it better, so be cognisant of using techniques for the sake of the composition versus using techniques for the sake of the techniques.

Let’s get started by looking at my video. You can simulate the basic parts of a drum kit such as the bass drum, snare, hi hat, toms etc. As you explore the various areas, focus on finding the sweet spots. Using different parts of the hand also provides a range of sounds. My approach is to get a layered sound by using the upper thumb to down stroke on the note while using the lower flesh of the thumb to hit the soundboard for a kick type sound.

Groove Lick - Std Tuning (Sequence of notes: E-E-F#-G-G-D-C-C-C-B-B)

In this example I modified my approach to incorporate the kick and snare. I use the thumb slap to play the bass line and the lower flesh of the thumb to hit the soundboard at the same time. The index finger strikes on the upper end of the fret board to get a muted snare sound. Depending on where you strike you can get extra effects such as harmonics. I strike upwards on the strings to get a percussive sound that is not exactly a hi hat sound but will call it that for lack of a better name. You can combine these techniques to create some very cool patterns such as the 1/8 note triplet fill shown in the clip. This technique sounds a bit like the Flamenco Rasgueos technique, however, instead of using strings and chords you actually slap the thumb down on the soundboard for the kick, followed by the index finger hitting down on the soundboard for the snare and then upstroke up to hit muted strings.

The last thing I want to show you is a rhythm exercise that you can do without a guitar anytime, anywhere. It will help you become more aware of right and left hand independence. You can also develop your own exercises. It will also help with your timing and keeping a solid groove. Important? Yes ! If people can't tap in time to your songs they eventually will lose interest. Any song will do but for this example let's use Day Tripper by the Beatles.

We start the exercise using the left foot and right hand. For some odd reason the limbs furthest apart are easiest to work with. You will be using your left foot to tap a single bar of 8 notes so 8 - 1/8th notes. Then with the right tap out the melody as shown in the video. Once you get this down switch to the right foot and left hand. Then move to both hands and once completed reverse hands. You’ll find using both hands is a bit harder. Then move to just one hand using the fingers for the 1/8th notes while using the index finger to tap out the melody. In my example I miss the first few but at 9:34 I get it right, so no need to email me with the correction! To conclude, we progress to the final stage where you use the thumb to tap out the melody and the fingers doing the 1/8 notes


Up Next

Don Adler - Percussion Techniques For The Acoustic Guitarist Part 4

Our thanks to Canadian acoustic guitar virtuoso Don Alder, who concludes his short series of ...

Don Adler - Percussion Techniques For The Acoustic Guitarist Part 3: Pickups & Live Sound

Learn how to create the best amplified tone for your acoustic guitar in this percussion ...

Don Adler - Percussion Techniques For The Acoustic Guitarist Part 2: Right Hand Technique

Canadian acoustic virtuoso Don Alder continues his short series of modern acoustic guitar lessons on ...

Don Adler - Percussion Techniques For The Acoustic Guitarist Part 1: Drum Sounds

Don Adler takes you on this modern acoustic guitar lesson series exploring how to play ...

You May Like

Andy James - Metal Edge Part 1: 10 Pentatonic Shred Licks

Andy James teaches 10 ground breaking fast pentatonic shred guitar licks in this metal guitar ...

Nick Jennison - Creating Drums On Acoustic Guitar

In this percussive acoustic guitar techniques lesson, Nick Jennison shows you how to emulate drums ...

Sam Bell - Extended Range Secrets Part 2: Seven String Guitar Approaches

Sam Bell continues our series of 7 string metal guitar lessons, stepping into the world ...

Nick Jennsion - Extended Range Secrets Part 1

Nick Jennison steps into the world of extended range guitars with this exclusive 7 string ...

Nick Jennison - An Introduction To Slide Guitar

Get started with slide guitar playing in this beginners guide to slide guitar with Nick ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 17: Englishman In New York

Learn how to play this amazing fingerstyle guitar arrangement of Englishman In New York by ...

Sam Bell Rhythm Guitar Concepts Part 11: Using Simple Syncopated Rhythm Parts In Arrangements

In this rhythm guitar lesson, Sam Bell shows you how to create space within your ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 18: Lullaby

Take this fingerstyle guitar lesson and learn how to play the beautiful solo classical guitar ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 16: Yesterday

Giorgio Serci teaches you how to play The Beatles classic Yesterday as a full fingerstyle ...

Sam Bell Rhythm Guitar Concepts Part 9: Chordal Tapping Extensions

Learn how to play the fundamentals of chordal tapping guitar techniques with this great guitar ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 15: The Lonely Man

Giorgio Serci teaches you how to play The Lonely Man for classical guitar; made famous ...

Danny Gill - Pentatonic Sequences That Can Be Used Anytime, Anywhere, And On Any Song Part 3

Rejuvenate your pentatonic guitar soloing with these great guitar exercises, sequences and routines in this ...

Chris Buck - Rock & Soul Part 5: Play With Repetition Part 2

Chris Buck presents you with more reasons to use repetition in your guitar solos as ...

Danny Gill - Pentatonic Sequences That Can Be Used Anytime, Anywhere, And On Any Song Part 2

Uncover some game changing pentatonic sequences and guitar licks with the help of Danny Gill ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 14 - Momentum (aka Matteo)

Giorgio Serci takes you through his fingerstyle guitar composition Momentum in this creative acoustic guitar ...

Sam Bell Rhythm Guitar Concepts Part 8: Using Triads To Create Melodic Movement Within A Part

Add a sense of melody and movement to your rhythm guitar parts using triads. In ...

Danny Gill - Pentatonic Sequences That Can Be Used Anytime, Anywhere, And On Any Song Part 1

Play more interesting pentatonic guitar licks and runs with the power of scale sequences. Danny ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 13: A Walk In The Park

The jazz influenced fingerstyle solo guitar piece A Walk In The Park is taught by ...

Sam Bell Rhythm Guitar Concepts Part 7: Spread Triads

Sam Bell gives you an insight into modern guitar chord voicings using spread triads to ...

1 2 3 18
Top magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram