Beautiful Acoustic Guitar Tricks | Kev Minney | Skillshare

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Beautiful Acoustic Guitar Tricks

teacher avatar Kev Minney, Guitar tutor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Open tunings

    • 3. Finger-style plucking and snare hit

    • 4. Harp harmonic

    • 5. Chord tapping

    • 6. Slapped harmonics

    • 7. Rolling harmonics

    • 8. The bass drum

    • 9. Two handed harp harmonics & picking

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About This Class

My name is Kev Minney, I am a professional and experienced guitar tutor.  I have taught thousands of students over the years, and have been featured in Guitarist & Acoustic magazine multiple times.  I teach guitar grades from grade 1 - 8, plus diplomas.  

As an artist, I have recorded three albums which have gained over 250,000 streams on Spotify and have been played several times on BBC Radio. 


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Kev Minney

Guitar tutor


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1. Intro: Hello, my name is Kev Minney I am an acoustic artist and a guitar tutor In this video, I'm gonna be showing you my top 10 acoustic guitar tricks. This is anything from playing various rhythms to playing harmonics. I hope you enjoy. 2. Open tunings: Before we get going, I want to talk about open tunings. You can learn and use all 10 of these beautiful tricks in standard tuning. But the ceramic opened chain in which I, they're easier to learn and pay. They sound better. Even if you've never used a open tuning in. I want you to use this open tuning. It's quite easy. You just need a guitar tuner. And what i want you to do, is tune your strings to these notes. So your bottom E is going to be D And then A, and then D, Fsharp, and A, and then D 3. Finger-style plucking and snare hit: So I'm actually going to show you the first two tips. In this. First part. I am is because they worked together really well. The first one is going to be the guitar plug. And this is where we're creeping in certain strings and plucking, plucking strings as opposed to two strumming. And the second tip is going to be using your phone as a snare hit. So if I was to play these both. So what I'm doing here with my guitar player, I'm using, I'm using my phone. My phone is sitting on my sixth string here. And these three fingers here, fing fingers 123, is sitting on strings 2, 3, and 4. And in my firm is, I'm basically missing out my, my, my string here. And, but this is favorable, like when you're doing different shape codes. You can plug here or you can bring, bring your hand down or just bring your thumb down. There is lots of various ways of plane, a plane that, and so the reason why I'm teaching you this, the pluck and the snare is because naturally when we pluck we could easily lift our thumb and come back down with a thumb snare, snare hit. So, and how I'm doing my snare, I'm lifting up my phone and I will use the pit of my wrist, wrist too. But I'm just basically during this, I always say to my students, then create large again yellow and, but then you didn't ness. So you kind of go wondering, is this so to put that together, snap, snap. A secondary thing to, to this is you can pluck without your fun. So basically if I was to take my thumb, my farm away here, I would use these middle strings here, which is creating this. So I could say do a and an a without my firm and then my phone is Ready, Player, player snack. So I'm gonna go with black without the firm and then snap. So it's gonna go. If I was to put a ribbon down, Sangre, if it might sound like this. Even if I didn't have any code down here and I'm randomly playing code. So say if I was to mute my strings here, best kind of sound you are, you are one I get. If I speed and speed it up. And that's a great sound, is grieve you sound. So that's my first couple of tips. 4. Harp harmonic: So my third tip is going to be the harp harmonic, which is this. Let's call it harmonically as it sounds a bit like a harp, right? Yeah. So what am I doing? And so my thumb is picking, my thumb is going to be literally picking, whatever notes we, we're going to choose. And my first finger here is going to be floating above a certain note So it's kind of like this is your string and your thumb is picking it a whist your first will be floating and catching. it's like it's catching the string when it vibrates Now, this only really works on certain frets. So here it works best on, it's best to start on on your 12th fret. If I try to do this on my 11th fret it just wouldn't, wouldn't work. But it works really well on 12th, the 7th and the 5th So, stick with 12 if this is totally new. And so what I'm doing is my thumb is plucking, that string But my first is kinda bouncing off, is bouncing off this 12th fret here. And I do find two is the nearer you add two to that metal fret line The clearer that it sounds If I was to turn my guitar like this And if I was to put my first about the 12th fret here and if I pluck this note you can see one using my thumb to pluck, which is producing the harmonic. And that's what a harp harmonic is. My fourth tip is going to be using a harmonic, but any notes. And this is really, this really opens up your chords or even your notes. Notes too. And it sounds, it sounds great. So if I was just randomly fret a chord and let's say if, if I fret it a E minor chord, even though this isn.t an E minor chord as I am in a different tuning But if I was to fret E minor chord, here and if I was to follow this, so you can see here, I'm going 0,2,2,0,0,0 So if I was to mirror this, on my fret here, it's going to be 12, 14, 14, 12, 12, 12. It's almost like I'm visualizing how this chord is fretted here. But with those open strings to so it will sound like this. If I randomly played a different chord, Let's let say if I played a C shape chord and this is not going to be a C this is guna sound very odd. but once again, I am mirroring that chord You can also play these harp harmonics as individual notes too. So if I was playing a note here, oh, if I was playing a scale, say, like I could just follow exactly what my left hand is playing. And I'm randomly playing notes now, you can hear that, that the, the potential is huge with any chord of what you want to play, any note, you can produce this, this, this, this harmonic sound. 5. Chord tapping : Hey, so for my fifth trick we're going to learn how to do tapping with chords. Now this is not like Eddie Van Van Halen style. 8o's tapping. If that stuff is bloody great and cool, but it's, it's not nice for folk music, is, is it? So what we're gonna be doing is called chord tapping. So I'm going to randomly press my first finger here across the fifth, fret, just to create a chord obviously, you can choose any, any chord here. They all work They, are all chords I'm gonna play this chord here. And with my right hand I'm going to tap a note. That sounds nice now, and then I'm going to pull it off. So what I'm doing now, I'm tapping down, now, kinda flicking away. I'm flicking down, I'm creating different, different sounds, now obviously I could have picked a different, different note and that may or may not have worked. If I say, hit this note here you can clearly hear that, that's not a nice sound. So I'm using my ear to guide me to what notes sound good. And so if I was the create a bit more of a riff here, say if I tapped my eighth fret and then I pulled that note of And then on the string above I could tap the 7th fret here, pull it off And then above that, above that too, that's a pretty, pretty nice. I kind of got like some country folk, folk lick And literally the two techniques I'm doing, I'm tapping and I'm pulling off. whilst the chord is ringing. You can do this in all sorts of different places. If I was to slightly change my chord that is better. So you you can see there how I picked some really duffy notes, but once I found a couple of nice notes notes and see if these notes work I think these four, we're gonna work on nice 6. Slapped harmonics: Trick number six, we're gonna do a technique called the slapped harmonics. And this has got a nice percussive harmonic sound Say if I was playing, say if I was playing a groove using technique one and two which is our pluck and snare. I find this slapped harmonic works well when ending a groove or even finishing ones song its a nice sound So what I am doing here, just like we did with our harp harmonics. This works when you're 12 frets away from whatever chord you're playing So if I'm holding my first here and it's first fret, these notes are going to be on my 13th fret it's always 12 frets away If I go back to here and they sound pretty because there are harmonics, they always sound pretty. 7. Rolling harmonics: For tip number 7, we're going to rolling harmonics. And what these are is when I'm using my third or, or any finger I preferred to use my third what I am doing, I'm rolling over multiple strings I'm kind of following what I am strumming And what my third finger is doing is floating over the top of the strings, and touching them, just kissing them then you get that sound. The second part of this, this trick is you can do the same thing with your right hand This is more difficult because I'm going to be strumming with my thumb and then doing the harmonics with my first like this. That's harder to control trial because I'm using my finger tip rather than my whole of my finger If we used our rusted barre chord and these are always 12 frets, like all harmonics. So if I'm on the fifth fret, I'll be on the seventh fret, and we get that sound. I use these, either one of these for when I'm ending a song. He's got that kind of like ... sound So if I was like, I want to finish, this song, then it finishes really nice. 8. The bass drum: So for tip number 8, we're gonna go back to some more rhythm stuff And what we're gonna do, we're going to do a bass drum, which is just this. And I'm just using my wrist. And be careful to not hit it too hard because you can break it So what I'm going to be doing if I'm going to go back to my riff I got this groove, if i wanted to put a bass note in I could do a bass note first So what I'm doing now, I'm kinda being a bit of a drummer I'm using bass, snare and pluck, so the chord is coming through. And there's lots of different ways of doing this, like you'd use bass drum in playing any kind of grooves I would say there's one easy version and one harder version The easiest version is where you're playing the bass drum and then you playing your snare, and you kind of separate in it. So if I was doing....bass, snare very clear that I separate it from the groove even though it's in that grove But if I was doing the second way where I'm kind of plucking whilst i'm doing a bass drum. This is quite hard because you have to train your hand to be able to pluck, and then hit a bass drum too. It's tricky. It's one of those things where it is a bit of a knack and it's one of those things where you have to just keep on doing it So what I'm going to show you here is this playing, that, with this groove which is going to sound like this. And you may notice there, you can pluck and do the snare sometimes or most of the times it is harder to get your fingers back under those strings. So you can just strum whilst, hitting that bass So you got some kinda doing this motion where I'm hitting with my bass But then these couple of dangling fingers are being quiet, relaxed and they're catching those, those strings. at the same time is on hitting that bass 9. Two handed harp harmonics & picking: And for tip number nine, we're going to do two tips in one. So this is the final tip. So this is technique number nine and technique number ten These are your harp harmonics. These are my favourite tricks ever because they just sound amazing. but they are much more difficult because we're going to add, add a bit of plucking And we're going to add in a bit of left-hand work too So for this first trick, we're gonna be learning how to do this. And what this, what I'm doing here. I'm essentially, doing a harmonic, and then I'm plugging in a certain way. So for this exercise, I'm doing my trusted fifth finger here I'm plucking the seventh fret harmonic. And then we'd my third, i'm going to pluck the third-string So I'm going to do harmonic, then pluck the third string, then harmonic on the fifth string, then the second string, then harmonic on the fourth string, and then pluck the first string, and kind of doing this thing where the harmonic, I'm missing a couple of strings and plucking a string and then, and then a harmonic below that and doing a similar, a similar shape. And you can do these anywhere. I mean, you don't have to follow what I what I was showing you there. Like you could do a harmonic I can pluck your fourth string or do a harmonic and pluck your first It doesn't really matter. it's the technique I'm trying to show here. And the technique is a harmonic followed by a pluck. And, and once again, I'm doing a simple chord If, say if I was doing, let's take, let's take our barre chord and I'm adding another note here on the seventh fret on my fourth string. What I would then do, here, is find that note which is 12 frets on doing that mirroring thing. Once again. And you can hear now I've got a different sound, a different chord. For the final trick, which is the same, the same The type of trick What we're going to be doing is a harmonic with our right hand. But we're going to be doing harmonic with our left hand too This is quite tricky. What I'm doing is I'm plucking with my left finger and my fourth and you can use your fourth Or your third is going to floating above the note that you're going to make a harmonic So my 4 finger is going to be floating above. My 7th fret whilst my first is going to pluck it. So plucking, and harmonic. This is floaty, so pluck and float around. So what you're going to be doing is there in this. So I'm able to get harmonics with my left hand as well as my right. And the great thing about this, the real special thing about this is when you've got harmonics on both hands, you get this kind of star-like sound. And I think it's my favorite, favorite trick. If you incorporate your harmonic, you're picking and your harmonic on your left, you then get a real like, even more spacey, dreamy, dreamy sound. So what I like to do here is I choose a harmonic. I pluck a note, and then I do a harmonic on my left. Now you can do these any, anywhere, as long as you're not doing your left and your right hand is doing the on the same, string because then you're doing and you kind of make you not getting the most out of that sound. So here I'm going to go harmonic on my fourth string, plucking my second string, harmonic on my fith here. And then I might change this, this around and they were harmonic my third string plucking my first harmonic on my 6th string You've also got these notes in different places. This is much more advanced thing now I can find these notes on my 21st fret here too. So I've got multiple options, if I wanted to go. And that's it, that was my top 10 guitar tricks. And I hope that you will have fun and be creative with it My name is Kev Minney and I hope that you have enjoyed my first video