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Lesson Series

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Maneli Jamal - Learn Percussive Acoustic Part 1: Independent Tapping

Lesson Notes

** As featured in issue 7 **

My very first modern acoustic guitar lesson series! I always enjoy introducing this percussive style of acoustic guitar to players of all skill levels. Getting your feet wet in the percussive acoustic guitar world can be a bit overwhelming if you've never dabbled with it before. There are a few guitar techniques which are often only used on the acoustic guitar for good reason. The acoustic guitar, in my opinion, has the ability to surpass others simply because there are so many elements to it. For example, we have tapping, slapping and percussive elements which can make the guitar sound like there are two guitars playing at once. This illusion can be used to your advantage if you know how to utilise these guitar techniques together.

This lesson focuses on getting both our hands to work independently with tapping, something that is essential in this style of guitar. We can see how a simple pattern like this can be moved to adjacent strings to create an interesting sound. Tapping with the right hand fingers will take some practice on the acoustic guitar because we will have to push them into the strings a little harder than we would on the electric guitar. Make sure to get a clean sound before attempting these exercises in a faster tempo. Slow and accurate is always more important than fast and sloppy when learning anything.

When we’re hammering on with fingers, make sure you pull off the string so that open string sounds as if it’s plucked. I usually pull it down towards the ground but you can also pull it up towards the sky as well. Also, ensure that you’re getting both the hammer-on note to sound as balanced as the pull-off note. I always keep my right hand thumb placed on the top of the guitar neck for more control and stability. This can even be done with a thumbpick as you see in the video. Feel free to apply this pattern to any other string sets or other frets. It’s more designed as an exercise but can be put into a song as a transition or an interlude. Make it your own!

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