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Five Small Things That Make a Big Difference in Your Guitar Playing

(Image credit: Cindy Moorhead)

Imagine Zakk Wylde and Chuck Berry playing the same lick through the same rig. It would sound totally different because Zakk and Chuck manipulate guitar strings very differently.

It all comes down to touch, folks.

And touch just one of the concepts Samurai Guitarist Steve Onotera discusses in his recent video, "Five Small Things That Make a Big Difference in Your Guitar Playing."

The rest are, in order (along with exactly where to find them in the video), cutoffs (1:03), using space (1:49), knowing your musical role (3:18) and bend intonation (4:32). Steve explains and demonstrates all five pointers in the clip.

For more pointers from Steve, visit his YouTube channel.

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Damian Fanelli
Damian Fanelli

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor, and his non-Pulitzer-Prize-winning stories have appeared in Guitar Aficionado, Vintage Guitar, Total Guitar and countless other publications, including 13.7 metric tons of daily newspapers. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton and Ty Tabor chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (one of which appears in the 2015 Disney film 'Tomorrowland' starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson). He's in two NYC-area bands and plays Teles with four-way switches, B-benders and semi-snazzy aftermarket pickups. He quotes Terry-Thomas twice daily.