Guitar slaps are a fairly new technique for strumming the guitar which is frequently used in country and bluegrass music. It entails playing a guitar while holding onto a hard object such as a club, or a metal pole, against the guitar's strings, thereby creating the opportunity for deeper vibrato and glissando that mirror characteristics of a human's voice. The results can be incredibly subtle or are sometimes referred to as 'twangy' because the slap sounds like it would if you were strumming a twangy chord. Guitarists who strum in this way add a distinctive sound to their guitars that is unmistakably country-meets-folk.
Country guitarists are famous for their sliding guitar slides. Many songwriters and performers include the technique in their songs. Lead vocalist Scott Weiland used the technique in "I Remember You", which peaked at number three on the US Pop chart. Mark Langan also uses guitar slides heavily in his soul and country music. For instance, "Back in Black" from Back to the Future II features an impressive guitar slide guitar solo.
Blues guitarists also use steel string and glass slide guitar slides to create a bluesy sound. A popular instrument is the steel-string acoustic/electric guitar known as the Fender Stratocaster. One of its signature features is the tapping plate or the sustain bar, which allows the guitarist to maintain the pace of the rhythm guitar part without having to hold down on the sustain pedal. Since the sustain pedal is pressed at the same time as the Strummer's pick, the effect of tapping is somewhat similar to what musicians call 'snapping' or finger snapping. In other words, the sustain pedal becomes an extension of the fingers, allowing the player to more easily play notes and chords.
Glass slides are another type of guitar slides that guitarists commonly use. The sounds they create are similar to nylon string acoustic guitars. Many famous musicians such as Eric Clapton and Mickey Hamilton make use of this type of slide in their musical performances. While regular guitars can be played with a regular guitar slide, playing with these slides require expert guitar skills. They allow the guitarist to play in a manner similar to a metronome while also allowing them to vary the intensity of their playing by exerting more control over the speed of the slides.
The thickness of a guitar slide is also important to musicians because the closer the guitar slide thickness is to the note, the more musical it will sound. For instance, a full-length slide played at the same pitch and timing would produce a deep drone rather than just a soft and subtle sound. As a result, many guitarists tend to alternate sliding speeds depending on the intensity of the chord being played.
Many guitarists also experiment with playing with two guitar slides instead of one using a full-length metal slide. Two guitar slides are made from different materials, so they play at different pitches and timings. One consists of glass that slides on the fretboard and steel that slide on the neck. The other consists of a small piece of plastic that slides over the steel. Some guitarists may play three types of slides: half-length metal, quarter-length metal, and full-length metal.
Some guitarists prefer not to play with guitar slides at all. Instead they use their fingers for playing in their pentatonic scale as this allows greater control over the tones of each chord. Other guitarists like playing the notes of a chord with a combination of slides and chords. For example, if a C chord is played and then an E chord is played followed immediately, the E chord will have a stronger tone than the C chord. Some guitarists like to use the combination of a regular guitar slide and a pentatonic scale to make a solo sound like a band.
There are many different types of playing guitar slides depending on what you want to achieve musically. You can experiment with the different types of slides that are available. Some guitarists like to have a bit of variety when playing, and you may find that a half-length or quarter-length slide may suit your playing style. So, keep exploring new music styles, experiment with various types of guitar slides, and discover new guitar techniques and solos that you can play with different types of guitar slides!