Playing the guitar is all about having fun. Even more so, learning guitar should be just as fun. One of the best ways to learn the guitar — and have fun while doing it — is to experiment. That’s why the team at Acoustic Life put together an awesome series of tone experiments
Whether you feel like you’re in a rut or not, these fun and simple tone experiments will help get your creativity pumping. Whether you use this guitar tone experiment to jumpstart your creativity or not, the most important part is that you learn the guitar in a new way.
If you are looking for more online guitar lessons like this one, be sure to check out Tony’s Acoustic Challenge. With hundreds of lessons, Tony’s Acoustic Challenge gives you a clear path to living your best acoustic life. Whether you’re looking for beginner guitar lessons online or you want to learn advanced flatpicking technique, Tony’s Acoustic Challenge can help you. Don’t wait — request an invite today!
Acoustic Guitar Tone Experiments 101
Tying our acoustic guitar tone experiments gets the creative juices flowing — plain and simple. If you are feeling stuck or uninspired, give these different tonal experiments a shot.
1. Try an alternate tuning.
There are so many different alternate tunings on the guitar. You have open G tuning, drop D tuning, open D-minor tuning, DADGAD tuning, and many more. It may be difficult to learn opening tunings and new chords, but your efforts will be rewarded.
Sonically, open tunings are rich, colorful, and make you understand your guitar in new ways. Open tunings can also open your ears to new melodies or strumming patterns. Open tunings make your guitar sound powerful and fresh. Make sure you give alternate tunings for acoustic guitar a shot!
2. Slide Guitar Experiments and Exercises
Using a slide on your acoustic guitar unlocks a completely new tone. Even if you have never used a slide before, experimenting with a slide can bring new perspectives to your guitar. In addition, a slide pairs incredibly well with open tunings!
You can place a slide on your ring finger or pinky finger. You can start by just playing single strings, holding the slide on the string. Once you feel comfortable doing that, you can use the slide for chords. Either way, you’re going to start hearing your guitar from a completely new perspective.
If you are looking for a great slide to use, check out our review of the Rich Robinson guitar slide.
3. Use Different Acoustic Guitar Strings
You might be asking how much of a difference 80/20 bronze strings vs. phosphor bronze strings make. Well, it can create a completely different tone on your guitar. Beyond that, an individual guitar will respond differently to different types of strings.
There’s different alloys, tensions, gauges, and constructions of strings. From aluminum bronze strings to titanium strings, there are a variety of tonal differences in strings. Each and every type of string you try will bring out new sounds on your acoustic guitar.
4. Use a Capo on the Guitar
This may seem like a simple, perhaps too obvious experiment, but using a capo can change the way you look at your acoustic guitar. When you use a capo to do tonal experiments, the goal is to find where your guitar sounds amazing. Try placing the capo on different frets until your guitar sounds more resonant and full.
For some guitars, placing a capo on the fifth fret can do wonders for the tonal quality of the instrument. Beyond using a capo for tonal experiments, there are many reasons to use a capo to improve your playing. Be sure to check out our reviews of the G7th Performance 3 Capo and Thalia Capos.
5. Use a Different Pick!
This one may sound obvious, but changing the type of pick you use on your guitar can change your tone. Picks come in a variety of different compositions, shapes, and thicknesses. Whether you decide to go for a thin, celluloid pick, or a hard, bone pick, you’ll be surprised at the different tones that come out of your guitar.
As a general rule, the softer the pick, the more mellow and round the tone on your guitar will be. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a hard pick will create an articulate and stringy tone. Some pick shapes are round and fat, while others are skinny and sharp.
Experimenting with different picks will give you new perspectives on your guitar’s tone. Check out our reviews of some of Acoustic Life’s favorite picks, including Red Bear Guitar Picks and Ernie Ball Prodigy Picks.
Learn Acoustic Guitar Online with Tony
If you like the way Tony teaches, you NEED to request an invite to Tony’s Acoustic Challenge. This is an online guitar course like no other. Whether you are a beginner or you’re stuck in a rut, Tony will teach you almost everything you need to start and continue your guitar journey.
It’s a daily acoustic guitar practice method that helps you have WAY more fun with your acoustic guitar while improving one day at a time. In fact, it’s rated 4.9 stars from nearly 500 reviews. Don’t hesitate to learn more and request your invite today.
Great synopsis of small underlying details that can make a big difference. It all adds up to increased enjoyment of playing – thanks!
great video N tips thank you so much.
I recently bought a resonator that I tuned to open d and I’ve been playing with a slide. Something I’ve never done before and it is so cool. I’ve had to think in different ways because of the alternate tuning. I have never tried finger picking which iam trying to learn so I can slide better. I’ve always messed around with different picks. My favorite is the Dunlop ultra. It just sounds good to my ear
Thanks Tony, I really like using the capo on different frets!
Tony, That was a very informative lesson. There are so many things I don’t know about my guitar, Least expensive Yama,
and your lessons and explanations, are very understandable. I seethe capo you are using look like a small metal one/ I have bought a capo =, but is much bigger Plastic frame work, KYSER, is there a big difference?
Thank you for all your FREE advice.
THE OLD TIMER IN LAKELAND, FL AKA Charlie
I would like to know what type of small unobtrusive capo you use?
Great video with good tips. My koa Taylor has tended to sound a little too bright, so I’m going to try silk n steels.