One of my favourite things to do when playing guitar is to use…
The power of ‘contrast’.
There are a few ways you can do this, but one way is by using ‘pitch’.
The guitar has a pretty big range of notes we can use… Not as many as a piano, but more than many other instruments.
We can pluck deep and rich bass strings that are low in pitch.
We can play soaring melodies higher up the fretboard.
We can also play all the notes in between, of course.
When I see this, to me it is like an almost “orchestral” way of playing the guitar.
In an orchestra, you will often hear a huge range of pitches from the low instruments such as the double bass to the sweet and high instruments such as flutes and violins.
It all adds up to an exciting range of sounds.
On the guitar, many don’t tend to use this range.
Instead, most people stay in the ‘open’ position, playing in the ‘safe’ zone.
There’s nothing wrong with that though.
A lot of great music can be played using open chords and melodies played on frets 1, 2, and 3 and the open strings.
…But if you want to add more depth and excitement to your playing, it is well worth moving around the fretboard and using more ‘pitch’ in your playing.
Take my arrangement of “The First Noel” for instance.
I’m teaching this carol (which I find to be an absolutely beautiful one) in my new course.
Here are a few things we’re doing in this arrangement to add more range and pitch:
1 – Tuning the low E string down to drop D. This adds extra low range to our guitar. Doing this is like the guitar-playing equivalent of adding more notes to the left-hand side of a piano.
2 – Playing the melody up and down the high E string. This can make it technically easier to play (as we are not changing strings as much), but it can also sound majestic played like this as the melody will sound sweet, high, and you can more easily add vibrato to it.
I like to do this because of the word ‘contrast’.
It gives us the best of both worlds – low and high notes.
Anyway, that’s something you might want to think about when you play.
How can you add more range and pitch to your playing?
Can you find ways to play things in a higher position of the fretboard?
Is there a way you can play low deep bass notes to add more depth to your melodies?
Worth thinking about for sure.
If you like this way of thinking, then take a look at the link below to see the new video I’ve put up featuring a few of the arrangements from my new course.
In that video, you will see me playing “The First Noel”, and a few other classic Christmas carols.
I hope you enjoy it.
P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.