I'm just curious about what some you guys throw into your acoustic playing to spice things up a little. I see a lot of threads on the theory/songwriting aspect of acoustic playing, but I hardly ever see any threads on the actual playing of the instrument. I see it a lot in the electric guitar forum, but not so much here.

so I wanna know what some of your litte tricks are, no matter how minor or unorthodox. Even if you think it's common knowledge, I still wanna hear it. I've been playing for about two years, completely self-taught, so it may be something you take for granted that I've never even thought of... so I'd love to hear some stuff I can use to help my playing. Here are some examples of stuff that I do:

  • mute the low strings with the thumb of my fretting hand
  • I also actually fret the low strings with my thumb sometimes (with a chord like 5x565x)
  • when strumming without a pick, I play with my index finger on down strokes, and I play with my thumb on upstrokes.
  • when playing barre chords, sometimes I strum really fast and let my fretting hand dictate the rhythm by lifting the pressure slightly when I want a muted percussive sound and applying pressure when I want the note to sound
  • when I play without a pick, I slap the low strings with the side of the thumb on my picking hand so I can get that *tch* sound while still letting the other notes ring out.
  • when picking notes with my thumb, I like to switch between picking with my thumb nail to get a louder, brighter sound, and picking with the meaty party of my thumb to get a more mellow sound.
  • I've gotten really good at moving the pick to and from my pinky finger so I can go back and forth between strumming with a pick and fingerpicking. (when I curl my pinky around to hold the pick I lose the use of my ring finger, though, so it limits me to only being able to pick with three fingers )
  • picking really close to the bridge gives a pretty cool sound.
  • and, of course, there's bends, hammer ons, pull offs, taps and vibrato.
  • I'm currently working on sweep picking too.

that's all I can think of right now. yeah yeah, a lot of you probably already do most of that stuff, but what are some other things you guys incorporate into your playing? I'm looking for some new tools...

Banging on a trash can
Drumming on a street light
What i sometimes do to ad a little rythim is knocking on the body of the guitar with either the fingers or knuckles while strumming
Also i sometimes (also for rythim) mute with my strumming hand but keep stroking the strings with my index/thumb, gives you more options than just muting with the freting hand....
yeah,and sometims i "drum" with my strumming hands fingers on the strings...
slap muting sounds good and also slap strumming chords.

i very often manipulate the sound of the chord with right hand pressure manipulation.

tapping the body of the guitar for rhythm/hollow drum sound.

ALWAYS rotate where im picking from neck side to bridge.

there are i jsut cant think of them
Sometimes I'll push the strings down between the nut and the machine heads to manipulate the sound of the picked string(s), just like Doyle Dykes does!

Doing it too much, too frequently puts the guitar out of tune but otherwise it's alright.
^-- normally i think tommy emmanuel is just amazing... i think he got a little carried away on that one though, lol