10 Essential Guitar Techniques Every Singer Should Learn

Sep 03, 2023


As a singer, learning to play the guitar can greatly enhance your performances and songwriting abilities. However, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. In this post, we'll cover 10 essential guitar techniques that every singer should learn.

1. Basic Chords

First and foremost, it's important to learn basic chords. This includes major, minor, and seventh chords. These chords are the foundation for many songs and will allow you to play along with other musicians.

2. Strumming Patterns

Once you have a few chords under your belt, it's time to learn some strumming patterns. Strumming patterns vary in rhythm and can add interest to your playing. Start with basic patterns and work your way up to more complex ones.

guitar strumming

3. Fingerpicking

Fingerpicking is another technique to add to your arsenal. It involves plucking the strings with your fingers instead of using a pick. This technique can add a delicate and intricate sound to your playing.

4. Barre Chords

Barre chords are a bit more challenging, but they allow you to play chords all over the neck of the guitar. This technique involves using one finger to press down multiple strings at once.

guitar barre chords

5. Power Chords

Power chords are commonly used in rock music and involve playing only the root note and the fifth of a chord. They are played with distortion to create a heavy sound.

guitar power chords

6. Hammer-ons and Pull-offs

Hammer-ons and pull-offs are techniques used to create a smooth and fluid sound. A hammer-on involves playing a note and then hammering down on a higher fret to produce another note without picking the string again. A pull-off is the opposite, where you pull your finger off a higher fret to produce another note.

7. Bending

Bending involves pushing or pulling a string to change its pitch. This technique is commonly used in blues and rock music to add emotion and expression to a solo.

guitar bending

8. Vibrato

Vibrato is a technique used to add a wavering effect to a note. It involves rapidly bending and releasing a string to produce a fluctuation in pitch. This technique can add a lot of character to your playing.

greyscale photo of man playing electric guitar on stage

9. Sliding

Sliding involves moving your finger up or down the fretboard to change the pitch of a note. This technique can add a smooth and fluid sound to your playing.

guitar sliding

10. Palm Muting

Palm muting involves resting the edge of your palm on the strings near the bridge to create a muted sound. This technique is commonly used in punk and metal music to create a percussive effect.

guitar palm muting


Learning these essential guitar techniques will greatly enhance your abilities as a singer and musician. Practice each technique until you feel comfortable with it and then move on to the next. With time and dedication, you'll be able to add your own unique style to your playing.