Do you want to make cool noises on guitar? Me too. Most of these sounds have been discovered on accident, as some of the best things tend to be.
In your endless quest to sound original on guitar, these enchanting noises will surely aid you along the way.
Noise 1: Robot Sprinkles
Eddie Van Halen has his hands all over this one, among other shred lords. This mysterious artificial harmonic takes a little bit of finger strength, but once you get it down, you will be addicted to playing it.
The basic idea is to perform a fast hammer on and pull off while simultaneously caressing the string with the little finger of your picking hand. Pretend you’re petting a kitten. Be gentle. You’ll start with your finger hovering near the bridge of the guitar, and as you begin to hammer on and pull off, lightly drag your finger along the string toward the neck.
Noise 2: The Nasty Bend
I recall hearing this done by Joe Walsh in the "Hotel California" solo, but Jimi Hendrix also has pioneered this extremely emotive guitar noise. It requires strong finger dexterity and control, as you will bend two strings at once, but only the string closest to the floor will sound out initially. Once you reach the top of your bend, grab the string closest to you, mute the first string with your palm, and release the bend on both strings, creating a nasty, sultry blues statement.
Noise 3: The Alien Tap
Whenever you see the word “alien” in a guitar-related story, there’s a 99.9 percent chance it has something to do with Joe Satriani. You’ll instantly recognize this signature Satch sound as you create a flurry of notes that are apparently reminiscent of extraterrestrial beings. The idea is to furiously tap your pick against a fret while pulling off two other notes with your fretting hand. If you crave added insanity, try tapping your pick along the string itself while you ascend toward the bridge of your guitar. These sounds are truly not of this Earth.
Tyler Larson is the founder of the guitar-centric brand Music is Win (opens in new tab). His insightful, uncomplicated guitar lessons and gear demonstrations along with entertaining, satirical content about life as a musician receive tens of millions of video views per month across social media. Tyler is also the creator of the extremely popular online guitar learning platform, Guitar Super System. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Tyler has been teaching guitar for over a decade and operates a production studio in Nashville, TN.