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Watch the Right-Hand Technique online guitar lesson by Christopher Woitach from Jazz Textures

Before we start in on learning jazz textures, I'm going to talk about right hand technique. The guitar has an incredible variety of tones and textures, largely because of the many ways you can produce sound with the right hand. You can strike it with a flatpick, pick it with your fingers, use a hybrid combination of pick and fingers, mute it with your palm, bang on it with the heel of your hand, use two-hand tapping, throw pennies at it, play it with an ebow, play it with a violin bow... A truly amazing instrument, with enormous possibility.

For the purposes of playing texturally, our best choices are either hybrid pick and fingers or pure fingerstyle. Although two-hand tapping can be an interesting textural device, it's outside the scope of this course. I prefer hybrid picking, myself - the combination of control over the voices and the energy that a pick can provide works best for my style. I'll play some examples using hybrid picking so you can see how I use it to highlight the textures I'm using.