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Tremolo Technique

Mike Mullins

Tremolo Technique


(Strumming the guitar)
Hello Mike here again of another little episode of Acoustic Snapshot and today I wanna talk Tremolo; is a technique used on the Mandolin and it can be use on the great effect on the guitar too mostly it’s a tool for extracting sustain of the Mandolin, co’z Mandolins by their nature don’t have a lot of sustain when you pluck a Mandolin the key of the note it’s rather rapid it doesn’t hang in the air like a guitar, it’s got a smaller sound chamber just by it’s nature, it’s just kind of it doesn’t really blend itself well to a lot of sustain, I mean an open note (Strumming the guitar), well sustain fairly well but if you fret the notes, that sustain gets decaved quite a bit and you can’t really rely on just the sustain to keep a note going for a very long period of time. So what we do with Mandolin is one of the oldest technique and it’s used what’s called the Tremolo which just basically just an alternating pick stum which goes just down up, down up, down up, down up (Strumming the guitar), kind of like that. But up to speed the Tremolo sounds like this (Strumming the guitar. And there’s many ways you can approach holding the pick for a Tremolo but one thing you must absolutely do to have an effect of Tremolo is to hold the pick loosely between the thumb and first finger so loose that the faster you go, the faster that back and forth much is going, the loosely you wanna be holding the pick. If you wanna fell the pick kind of flex in the point sort of moving between your thumb and 1st finger not to worry that your gonna drop almost, almost to that point. What people tend to do I’ve seen players especially when they’re starting out they tend to grip the pick really hard we’re they wanna speed up or play a fast Tremolo so they grip the pick really hard like this and then you end up with your arm rigid and it’s like you’ve got this 2 by 4 sticking out of your from your elbow and it’s just (Strumming the guitar), you have no control, you have no over the dynamic, or the force, or the speed of the Tremolo and it’s just all falls apart. So mainly one secret is hold the pick very very lightly and the other is rather than trying to do the Tremolo (Strumming the guitar), from the elbow. My Tremolo tends to be more in the thumb and 1st finger it’s just very localized (Strumming the guitar)
Anyway another thing about the Tremolo is the position of the pick if you want a more brittle sound kind of a more percussive sound you can, it tend to sometimes hold the pick at an angle up like this if you can see that kind of with this left side of the pick pointing up and not that exaggerated sligthly but that’s kind of (Strumming the guitar), a little bit louder more percussive sound it’s also a little easier going that way. If you want a more mellow Tremolo if you wanna catch some of the windings some of this slow strings to give you kind of a brushy sound (Strumming the guitar), then the secret is hold the pick kind of angled down away from your body like the left side of the pick that is on bottom winding up with the edge of your thumbnail you wanna angle that down sligthly and that will control the thumb controlling the volume is just a question of (Strumming the guitar), not gripping the pick but kind of just (Strumming the guitar), kind of just, well it’s sutle. It might have to do with sligthly gripping the pick very very sligthly with more force, but just a little bit and that enable you to ratch up the volume on your Tremolo (Strumming the guitar), it’s also just pl,aying a little bit harder, with practice you’d be able to get an even Tremolo and increase and lower the volume really get the exercise once you get the tremolo you just practice (Strumming the guitar), turning up the volume, turning it down and having the pick strips being even having enough having enough vary volume increases and decreases,tuning it across more than one string. You can start up on one string and then eventually do things on double stuffs like you would on a violin (Strumming the guitar). So it’s possible to do a Tremolo across 8th strings, it takes a little practice but you can do it. So their is my 10 cent tour on the Tremolo and hope it was helpful to you will see you next time.
(Strumming the guitar)


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