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Flatpick Guitar Lesson: Hammer-Ons & Grace Notes


One of the most beautiful characteristics that all musical instruments share is their unique ability to mimic the emotive qualities of the human voice. Musicians are able to perform subtle inflections on their instruments that imitate the expressive nuances of the human voice in a way that speaks to us and moves us universally as people. The guitar is no exception to this trait, and there are several techniques in particular that highlight the vocal-like qualities of the instrument, including hammer-ons, pull-offs, the use of grace notes, vibrato, and more.


In this online flatpick guitar lesson, National Flatpicking Champion and ArtistWorks guitar instructor, Tyler Grant, outlines the fundamental techniques to begin performing hammer-ons, particularly in the context of executing short, expressive grace notes.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play bluegrass guitar from a master musician like Tyler Grant? Try some free online flatpick guitar lessons now!


“Grace notes are created on the guitar using a variety of different techniques,” Tyler explains. “These techniques include hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides—really any method that allows us to produce a note without really picking.”


What is a grace note?

Grace notes are any note produced on an instrument that serves as an embellishment and is not essential to the harmony or melody of the song or piece being performed.


What is a hammer-on?

A hammer-on is a playing technique performed on a stringed instrument by sharply bringing a fretting-hand finger down onto the fingerboard behind a fret, causing a note to sound, after the picking hand has already plucked the string and a different note was resonating.


We’re going to be working on hammer-ons and building on that fundamental technique throughout the entire course,” explains Tyler. “As such, it’s really important to focus on these critical finger movements now. This will help you execute hammer-ons more fluidly as we continue to progress. With some practice, you’ll be seamlessly incorporating hammer-ons into the flow of your music.”


To learn more about hammer-ons and integrating grace notes into your playing, dive into this online flatpick guitar lesson from Tyler Grant:


Hammer-Ons & Grace Notes with Tyler Grant:




Have you always wanted to learn how to play bluegrass guitar? Through our comprehensive flatpick guitar lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned players, like Tyler Grant, and get personal feedback on your playing.


Tyler’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner guitar to advanced performance techniques, improvisation, classic bluegrass tunes, music theory, and more. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as guitarists and musicians!


Sample some free music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



Flatpick Guitar Lesson: Modified Crosspicking Patterns with Tyler Grant

“Flatpicking Academy with Tyler Grant” is Now Open!

Bluegrass Guitar Lesson: Relating Chords & Scales with Bryan Sutton




Affordable Plans

Each subscription is for a single school. Pricing and features can vary slightly per school.

1 Month membership
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Unlimited Access to Lessons
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$35/month (prepaid)
3 Month membership
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Unlimited Access to Lessons
Unlimited Video Exchanges
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$30/month (prepaid)
12 Month membership
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Unlimited Video Exchanges
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