How to Use Staccato on Guitar Like a Pro • Acoustic Tuesday 227

Looking for a technique that can help you stand out with relative ease? Try staccato playing with this in-depth lesson! Add staccato playing to your tonal toolbox and start jamming away!

This episode will dive into a technique called staccato playing. Staccato playing involves using short, punchy notes to create rhythmic drive and tonal separation from other notes. If you’ve never heard or tried this technique, don’t worry — I’ll show you how to both use the technique and how to apply it to your playing.

I love staccato playing because it allows rhythmic playing. It has a choppy sound that can give you more options to approach playing a lick or song. When you add staccato to a single-note phrase, it stands out so much more.

In addition to learning how to use staccato playing, I’ll also show you how staccato notes can help you control dynamics in your playing. Because it has a loud but punchy tone, you can insert notes without burying others you are playing with.

If you’re worried about this being a music theory lesson, you can rest assured that this isn’t about music theory. Rather, this lesson focuses on technique rather than note choice. I’ll offer plenty of examples of how to use staccato playing, so be sure to leave a comment on which example was your favorite or most helpful!

Featured in this episode…

  • Iris Carr Restoration
  • Atkin Guitars
  • Punch Brothers
  • Lost Dog Street Band
  • Western AF

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  1. Hello, trying to reset my password but the link never arrives, and can’t seem to find a way to communicate with tech support. Thanks.

  2. I really like the new format! I have mentioned this a few times in the past few weeks. I’m heading into my 3 year with TAC . Everything is coming around again. First time I heard what you said and tried to play the note I heard period. The second time I learned to hear notes and Phrases in the same lesson. Now I’m listening to learn and finding I am pushing for just a little more. Wanting to go where I have not been without stopping. This new format is giving us the opportunity to travel off the page so to speak. That first note I learned is still there for all to learn and with in the phrase’s we are learning are the doors to travel through providing daily small win’s
    . OR this is all in my head and I need to go see a Doctor.
    Have a Grateful Day!

  3. Hi Tony
    Nice shout out to Atkin Guitars. I am lucky enough to own one of their OM37 Aged models and it’s a wonderful guitar. Let’s hope ‘The Thirty Six’ comes back soon.
    Keep up the good work.

  4. Behind the lick is great. On another note…on a previous AT you spoke about choosing the right guitar for your challenges and AT based on tone, etc in relation to what you were going to play. It would be very helpful to newbies like me who don’t have many guitars in their guitarsenal to know what guitar you are playing. Just some text up in the corner would be great as it would help in choosing an instrument for it’s tonal qualities. Hope that makes sense as I am only a couple of years into my journey and don’t have much experience with different brands and models.

  5. Tony
    The “Lesson Behind the Lick” segment experiment is a great add. It helps put things into perspective and instead of us just having another cool,dangling lick, we now get a sense of what it can be used for and also gets the juices flowing on other ideas. It really helps tie things together and makes the whole Lick learning a whole lot more valuable. Call it a Systems Engineering approach to learning licks (:

    I keep a log of the licks, the Acoustic Tuesday show # and where in the show the expanded lick explanation appears, so I can easily go back to it.
    You need to keep this one going!

  6. I like the lesson behind the lick. Why?
    Because I want to know more of the how to play, and where I can use this lick in my playing.

  7. Good show today Tony, took a little time off to start learning a new hobby but felt bad leaving my musical friend sitting in the corner. Picked it up over the week and was forgiven. Any rate, good show, liked the session on both the staccato and percussive playing today. Cheers and keep up the good work! Jerr

  8. Hi Tony,
    I love the show! But I have a question. What gauge strings do you use? Do you use light, medium light, medium, or heavy? Do you use the same gauge strings on all your guitars or do you use different gauges on different guitars?
    Thanks. Again, love the show.