Best Guitar Techniques

A list of the best guitar techniques used by guitarists all over the world.

The Top TenXW

1Sweep Picking

A very, and in my opinion (from experience), the most difficult technique to learn and one of the most versatile. From simple single string transitions (a term I use to describe it I don't know the actual term) and used in jazz to quick shredding in rock. Learning this skill was not only a task, but helped me more fully understand a lot of musical theory.

Not only audibly and visually pleasing, it takes a certain amount of skill to not 'eat' the notes with right hand technique. Extremely hard to master, with many shapes to learn, (did I mention that it is RIDICULOUSLY hard to integrate into a solo? ), it is the most impressive thing for a guitarist to master.

Used by many instrumental guitarists such as Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. - winner333

Indeed took me lot of time to learn it

V3 Comments

Popularized by Eddie Van Halen in the 1970s, tapping is one of the most widely used guitar techniques in the world today. Its being used in blues, rock, metal, etc. - winner333

V3 Comments

This is by far the most essential guitar technique as far as playing melodically goes, gives the note a living and vocal quality. Without a properly developed vibrato all other lead guitar techniques are irrelevant.

Used by almost every professional guitarist in the world, vibrato is a popular technique which produces a vibrating sound of a note. - winner333


This literally is the stupidest list based on guitar I have ever seen on this website.

1) Shredding is not a technique, it's just the slang word for playing quickly. "Eruption" is tapping.
2) Tapping should not be in the number 1 slot. Please don't vote if you don't play guitar.
3) Hammer-ons and pull-offs should be two dofferent technique, because even though they are easy to use together, they are not the same

It's the most common technique used in heavy metal and is difficult to master. It was brought into the mainstream by Ulrich Roth of the Scorpions and was then used by Eddie Van Halen in his popular solo "Eruption". It involves extremely fast guitar playing with precision of notes. - winner333

V1 Comment
5Hammer Ons and Pull Offs

Mainly used in metal and rock solos for fast guitar playing. It is used by many metal guitarist such as Kirk Hammet, Dave Mustaine, etc. - winner333

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6Finger Picking
7Pinch Harmonics

It is a popular technique in which the player's thumb or index finger on the picking hand slightly catches the string after it is picked, canceling the fundamental of the string, and letting one of the overtones dominate. It is used by popular guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani who utilize the tremolo arm and high gain amps together with the pinch harmonic to produce horse-like wails from the instrument. - winner333

V1 Comment
8String Bends

Where would blues, rock and even metal for that matter be without the humble string bend?!

9Palm Mute

The palm mute is a playing technique for guitar and bass guitar, executed by placing the side of the picking hand below the little finger across the strings to be plucked, very close to the bridge, and then plucking the strings while the damping is in effect. This produces a muted sound. It was popularized by Black Sabbath in the song "Paranoid". - winner333

For rhythm guitar, especially in thrash, this is essential. - gemcloben

V1 Comment

The most common and effective technique used in guitar playing. It involves the sliding of the fingers on the fret board on string. - winner333

The Contenders

11Dive Bomb

Dive bomb is a guitar technique in which the tremolo bar is used to rapidly lower the pitch of a note, creating a sound considered to be similar to a bomb dropping. One of the most recognized pioneers of this technique is Jimi Hendrix. Other notable musicians who are widely known for using this technique are Eddie Van Halen and Joe Satriani. - winner333

V1 Comment
12Toggle Switching

A famous technique used mostly on Les Paul models. Rock artists like Randy Rhoads use it.

13Whammy Bar
14Alternate Picking

This list is called "best guitar techniques" not hardest guitar techniques, people are looking at some of more shreddy elements first, but many other things are far more important. I think alternate picking is one of the most important because it is the technique that truly gives you control over individual notes (not chords). It is commonly used in both rhythm and lead guitar unlike sweep picking which is only used by shreddicus maximus/l0rd 5hr3dd0rz. All these techniques are important but think of some more basic techniques first.

15Tremolo Picking
16Artificial Harmonic

Where you play the notes with your left hand and place your index finger (right hand) lightly on the string an octave above and play the string with your ring finger at the same time

17Double Thumb/Pluck

This technique is achieved by slapping the string with a down and up motion (Like when alternate picking). Then once you've done that immediately follow through with a pluck.
You could also add in two plucks with your index and middle fingers.
Double Thumb + Index Finger Pluck + Middle Finger Pluck
Check out Victor Wooten for some tips

18Volume Swell

The technique is often executed by the little finger of the guitarist which is wrapped around the volume pot of the guitar. When the note is struck the volume is increased from zero by a rolling motion of the little finger. Alternatively, the effect is achieved with a volume pedal. It is sometimes called "violining", because the sound is similar to a bowed violin. Allan Holdsworth pioneered the technique of the pedal swelling along with a delay unit to create a thicker sound that is more associated with the cello. - winner333


It is a technical which is used in solo playing. it is a combination of pull off and hammering. it is used used by players like mark tremonti and slash any many others.

20Double Thump SlapV1 Comment
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