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Different Techniques for Playing the Guitar

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Attorney Jonathan Nadler is currently a partner at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, in Philadelphia. When he is not working, Jonathan Nadler likes to play the guitar and listen to a variety of music, including jazz and the blues.

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Different Techniques for Playing the Guitar

  1. 1.  Attorney Jonathan Nadler is currently a partner at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, in Philadelphia. When he is not working, Jonathan Nadler likes to play the guitar and listen to a variety of music, including jazz and the blues.
  2. 2.  There are a variety of ways guitar strings can be played. A guitar player can use a pick to strum chords or to pluck individual strings. If the player chooses not to use a pick and instead uses only his or her fingers, this technique is known as finger picking or fingerstyle guitar. In the vast majority of finger-picking patterns and songs, the thumb is used to play bass notes on the low E and A strings, while the index, middle, and ring fingers play the higher notes on the other strings. Popular songs that feature fingerstyle guitar include Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven and Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day; in the latter recording, guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong incorrectly begins the fingerstyle pattern twice before the song begins.
  3. 3.  Slide guitar is another style of playing that originated nearly a century ago. There are a variety of slides a guitarist can purchase, but most are a fine glass or metal tube that fits on the middle or index finger. Guitarists press the slide to the strings and can move it freely up and down the neck, creating a glissando effect. Some examples of slide guitar on mainstream songs are The Joker by Steve Miller and George Harrison’s Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth).

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