Different playing techniques

Here we shall look at some different way to play on guitar. Some of these techniques are basic and you are probably already familiar with them even if you have not heard the terms before. Others can be great for you to incorporate into your guitar playing to broaden your styles.


A first distinction in the area of guitar playing techniques could be block chords and broken chords. Block chords are not used very often as a term because the practice is such a common and natural way of playing guitar – it means that you are playing the whole chord on one strum. Broken chords on the other hand refer to playing the chords in parts, usually one or two strings at a time.

Finger Picking

This is a very common technique when the fingers are playing the strings. Finger picking are often referred to playing just one string at time in the opposite to regular strumming.

Flat Picking

Flat picking refers to a technique when you are using a plectrum (or a pick) for playing both melody tones and chords together.

Hybrid Picking

This is, as you might have guessed, a technique that combine finger picking and flat picking. The procedure is to use down strokes with a plectrum and up strokes with the index and middle finger. Sometimes are a thumb plectrum used.

Specific techniques with exercises can be found in the book Complete Technique for Modern Guitar.

See also Cool guitar techniques.