Lesson 1 - Creating Basic Kick and Snare Sounds

In lesson 1 we are focussing on the very basic percussive sounds we can achieve on the acoustic guitar. In three different areas on the guitar body, we can create the three key percussive sounds;

  1. Kick drum sound

  2. Snare sound on the strings

  3. Kick and snare beat at the end of the guitar

These sounds are relatively easy to produce but the trick really is in the consistency and dynamics of the sounds produced (loud or quiet). This is how we can be more expressive in our playing.

Exercise 1 - Snare tap on the strings

  • Use the side/joint of the thumb to produce a 'slapping' or 'clicking' sound

  • Use the twist in the wrist, like a 'downstroke' when strumming

  • Aim roughly for the E, A and D strings over the sound hole

  • Work on producing some dynamics (loud/soft) and as much consistency of the sound as possible

Exercise 2 - Kick and snare on the end of the guitar

  • Similar to upstrokes and downstrokes when strumming, we use the twist in the wrist to make percussive sounds

  • 'Downstroke' hit with the thumb on the belly of the guitar

  • 'Upstroke' tap with the fingers on the side of the guitar

  • Tap and hit lightly with a little bounce in the action, to allow the body to vibrate for good sound

Exercise 3 - Kick drum over sound hole

  • The heel of the hand moves independently for this technique

  • Keep the elbow and fingers level so that the heel can work independently

  • Aim roughly above the sound hole (and strings), but find the best placed area for your guitars sound

  • Start gentle and build the volume to a suitable and consistent level

  • Repeat and try to get used to the motion as you build muscle memory

Next Up: Lesson 2 - Get Started Adding Drumming To Your Strumming

Well done! Let's jump into the next lesson of the course.