Cool Guitar Tricks Every Guitarist Must Know

cool guitar tricks

Do you know what guitar legends Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Eddie Van Halen have in common?

These professional guitar players implement cool guitar tricks to make their music stand out.

If you are also looking to create something interesting, you have come to the right place.

Here, I will touch upon the following:

  • Cool guitar tricks that every guitarist must know
  • How to use those tricks in your practice
  • Tips that will make you a pro guitarist

Without further delay, let’s jump right in.

10 Cool Tricks Every Guitarist Must Know

As a teenager, I experimented a lot with different guitar tricks. My parents were fed up. But irritating everyone was worth in the end because I came up with my list of 10 cool tricks every guitarist must know.

These are not simple guitar tricks but ninja techniques that will take your music to a level you never imagined.

1. Thumb Slapping Trick

Did you know that thumb-slapping is John Mayers’ favorite guitar trick?

The first cool guitar trick is easier than it looks. It is generally used in bass guitars, but you can also use it on your acoustic and electric guitars. It generally gives the impression of a drum’s percussive sounds.

Have a burning desire to play like them? Well, now you can.

This trick is exactly as the name suggests. You have to slap the strings of your guitar with your thumb.

How to do Thumb Slapping Trick

  • Drop-tune your guitar. For those who don’t know what this term means, drop tuning is when you tune your guitar strings lower than the standard tuning so that you can play specific notes that you otherwise could not.
  • Slap with the side of your thumb onto the strings of your guitar.

You must try the thumb-slapping technique whether you use a pick or not.

Tips to remember:

  • Don’t take your hand away from the strings. Remember, only twist your wrist.
  • You can also use the slap technique while fingerpicking which creates melodic beats.

2. Tapping Trick

The tapping trick is an excellent way for beginners to showoff their guitar skills.

However, before getting into the technique, I will tell you why every guitarist should use this cool guitar trick.

Tapping is an easy technique where your pick hand plays the role of your fret hand to create a dynamic arpeggio effect that would be impossible to achieve with the fretting hand only.

How to do Tapping Trick

  • With your picking hand, hammer on and puff off strings just as you would with your fret hand.
  • Use your middle finger for tapping. Your middle finger will be available for tapping even if you use your pick to pluck the strings.

Tips to remember:

Hold the pick with your thumb and index finger. This way, you can quickly switch to tapping if necessary.

Dear beginners, I know that this is the first time that you are using this technique. But play through the pain. With time, you will buildup callouses on your tapping fingers.

3. Open String Trick

This is the easiest cool guitar trick you must know.

Generally, we use fretted strings to bring out the melody of the song we are playing. But in the open string technique, the chords are played in open. Simple, isn’t it?

How to do Open String Trick

  • Glide your picking hand smoothly over the strings
  • Do not press any finger on any of the six strings to create a chord

Tips to remember:

Try to alternate fretted chords with open ones to create cascading symphonic music.

4. Sweep Picking Trick

Did you know that sweep picking technique was a significant success during the Jazz era of the ’50s?

Be it Jazz, country, or even metal music, sweep picking trick has proved to be a versatile technique that is not genre specific.

In my professional guitar life, I have heard people referring to this technique by several names, such as the shredder’s technique and raking. But, for convenience’s sake, we will stick to the original word.

A chord is made up of several notes. In sweep picking, you have to play single notes on consecutive strings. That is to say, no two single notes are played at the same time.

How to do Sweep Picking Trick

  • Your plucking hand must glide smoothly over the strings, one at a time, in a ‘sweeping’ motion.
  • The transition from one note to another with your fret hand

Now, combine the two harmoniously.

Tips to remember:

  • Always use a metronome to improve your coordination and confidence to employ this technique in your daily practice.
  • Sweep-picking might seem daunting for beginners. But synchronization is the secret to achieving it.

5. Harp Harmonic Trick

Harp harmonic music is one of the most mesmerizing, mind-blowing, and unique sounds a guitar can produce. I bet once you learn this trick, you will never get enough of it.

Harp harmonics bring the sound of another instrument and add a new dimension to the music.

It can look complicated at first glance. But practice, and you will be an expert in no time.

The picking hand plays a significant role in this technique.

How to do Harp Harmonic Trick

  • Keep your index finger and your thumb straight and a reasonable distance away from each other.
  • Use the tip of the index finger to touch lightly on the 12th frets.
  • Use your thumb to pluck the strings to bring out that harmonic sound
  • With your fret hand, keep playing chords as usual.

Combine all three, and you will create the perfect harp-like sound.

Tips to remember:

Always maintain a 12-fret distance between the fret and the picking hand to create that octave harmonic sound.

6. Volume Swell Trick

Also called violining, Volume Swell Trick is generally used in electric guitars.

As the name suggests, the guitar’s treble notes are manipulated by toning down or up the volume knob. The guitar volume is set to zero while playing a single note or chord. It swells up as you start playing.

The reason behind this technique’s success is how it takes advantage of the amplification by adding a “crescendo” sound. It is as straightforward as it sounds.

How to do Volume Swell Trick

  • Start by turning your volume knob to zero
  • Use your pinky finger to turn up or down the volume note, depending on the music you are playing.

Tips to remember:

Control the amount and timing of the notes swelled. Try to mix your chords with a lot of delays and reverbs.

7. Double Stop Trick

Did you know that Jimi Hendrix extensively used the double-stop trick in his music?

Double stops or dyads on the guitar greatly enhance your music’s character. The rhythm produced by employing this trick creates intriguing soundscapes, which are impossible to achieve by playing mere notes or chords.

You play double stop when you play two notes simultaneously. It is similar to a chord but consists of two notes instead of three.

How to do Double Stop Trick

  • Fret the notes you want to play on two adjacent strings
  • Using the pick, pluck both notes simultaneously with a downward motion.

Tips to remember:

  • Play two notes at the proper interval.
  • Take care to avoid unwanted noise from other strings.

8. Vibrato Trick

Vibrato on a guitar involves constantly rocking the string back and forth. The note’s pitch somewhat trills as a result, but not enough to change into a different note or even sound out of tune. Imagine it as a lot of quick bends and releases.

How to do Vibrato Trick

  • Lock your first finger against the neck
  • Use any finger for vibrato, but the ring finger is commonly used to play this.
  • Push the string in one direction.

The Vibrato technique mainly depends on your skill level, that is, how much you can control the instrument’s output.

Tips to Remember:

  • Ensure your vibrato is controlled, accurate, and consistent.
  • The vibrato width should be narrow. Otherwise, it will sound obvious.
  • Go for a rapid vibrato if you want to play jazz gypsy music. For metal music, try slow vibrato.

9. Pinch Harmonic Trick

Pinch Harmonic is so easy. It will only take you two minutes to learn.

You only need to pick the correct node. Did I say “node”?

Well, a node is that point of a string that determines a particular harmonic and riff. Imagine it this way, the farther the node from the 1st fret, the shriller the harmonic.

How to do Pinch Harmonic Trick

  • Pinch the right part of the string to create the node you want.
  • Place your thumb right in front of the pick in a hovering state. You should not hold the pick with the tip of your thumb. Instead, it should work as an extension of your thumb.

Tips to Remember:

Don’t restrict yourself to one part of the string. Apply pinch harmonic to the other parts of the neck as well.

10. Feedback Trick

Warning Alert: This will irritate your neighbors.

However, this trick should be up your sleeves if you want to be a solo guitarist.

When amplified sounds are continuously produced in a loop, the amplified signal feeds back into the instrument, creating feedback. As the sound is repeatedly increased, your amplifier is forced to develop the strongest signal it is capable of, which can occasionally be an ear-splitting scream.

How to do Feedback Trick

  • Position your guitar right up against your amp
  • Turn up the volume. This will create sonic havoc.

Tips to Remember:

  • Use a clean boost stomp-box.
  • Experiment with several frequencies, using different pedals, the movement of guitar position, and the placement of the whammy bar to recognize which fits you the best.

More on Guitar

How to Improve Guitar Muscle Memory? A Guide to Fingerstyle Guitar
How to Play Guitar Faster Guitar Chord Exercises
How to Protect Fingertips How much Time to Spend on Guitar Practice?


What are the 7 natural notes on a guitar?

Natural notes on a guitar are those without a sharp or flat tied to them. The notes, such as A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, are natural.

Is playing guitar a natural talent?

In truth, becoming a great guitar player and using music to express yourself are results of studying and mastering specific musical abilities that are necessary. To play guitar in the manner you like, you can be born with exceptional natural aptitude.

Is guitar playing painful?

Many beginners feel uncomfortable with aching fingertips in the early stages of learning the guitar. This discomfort is caused by repeatedly pressing sharp guitar strings against your fingertips. Remember that as you develop calluses, the pain will ultimately go away.

How to play guitar by ear?

When you play by ear, you can play almost any song you hear in your brain. It is because you’ve perfected your guitar the same way you’ve learned your voice.

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Wrapping It Up

Remember that you can only adapt to these techniques if you get your guitar posture right. Therefore, always be mindful of how you are holding your guitar.

Spice up your guitar music by wielding these cool guitar tricks.

You’re welcome!

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