are essential to your guitar playing and
songwriting. They are yet another weapon
in the arsenal of many techniques you
can use to spice up your music.
What are dynamics?
Well, they come in many forms. I'll
discuss a few today to hopefully give
you some ideas that you can use in your
Dynamics are basically changes during
your playing or compositions that adds
contrast to other playing techniques or
other sections of your composition.
Here are a few examples of what I mean:
- CHANGE FROM A HARD DRIVING SECTION TO
A SOFT SECTION
In my tune, "Fullness Of Time", which we
have studied in the past, you remember
that this has a high energy riff offset
with 9th arpeggios and straight ahead
To give this tune some contrast and to
give the listeners ears a break :-) , I
composed a soft mellow section after the
first and second verses.
This section really allows some
breathing for the tune. Instead of
crunching power chords, I pick them with
a soft chorus and echo effect.
I also turned up the bass a little bit
to accent it's rolling harmony in the
For the main melody, I kept my lead
sound the same with distortion and
sustain, but used volume swells to play
the slow and haunting melody.
- PUT SILENCE AT THE END OF A RIFF OR
This is a very common idea that you hear
everywhere. In my tune, "Shining Hope",
I drive the solo section home with this
type of dynamic.
Refer to time mark 1:50 for the
beginning of the solo section.
- CHANGE TEMPO
This is one of my favorites that I owe
to Michael Fath for suggesting.
In the track "Happy Are Those", which is
basically a boogie tune with added
shred, I changed from the fast paced
tempo of the main sections to a slower
tempo in the solo section.
The slower tempo makes the section much
more bluesy but I maintain the energy
level by playing a flurry of arpeggios
- ALLOW ANOTHER INSTRUMENT INTO THE
Let your drummer, keyboardist or bass
player have their turn.
In "Over Age", I build on my rhythm riff
by letting the bass guitar play it
unaccompanied before the drums and
rhythm guitar kick in to play along with
This creates "air space" for the tune
and keeps things moving in a simple and
You could even play a guitar riff
unaccompanied for two measures, bring in
the drums for the next two measures, and
finally bring in the bass for the
another two measures; basically building
your rhythm gradually instead of all at
the same time.
As I said earlier, these are just a few
of many ideas for creating dynamics in
your playing. Hopefully these will get
you started thinking about ways to
develop your own style of playing and