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How to Play a Guitar with One Hand

There are several ways you can play the guitar with one hand to free your other hand up for playing a keyboard or another instrument. In this article, you will learn some techniques that will allow you to open up some new and exciting creative possibilities by playing with one hand.

Tune your guitar to a chord.

Determine the key of your song. Tune your guitar to a chord in the key of your song. For example, if your song is in the key of G, you can tune your guitar to A G major, C major, or D major chord. Here is how your guitar would be tuned using each of these examples. Standard tuning is provided first as a reference.\n\nStandard tuning - E A D G B E\nG major - D G D G B D\nC major - E G D G C E\nD major - D A D F# A D

Play the notes of the guitar with only your picking hand. The strings can all be played open. All notes will work with the key of your song. Your other hand is now completely free.

Delay

Add a great amount of delay to your guitar tone by using a delay pedal.

Turn the feedback on the delay pedal up very high. Use a lot of gain (distortion) and experiment with turning the feedback knob of your delay pedal up very high in order to create some permanent sustain.

Fret with your left hand. Play a melody with just your left hand. The sustain of the distortion and the delay pedal will make it unnecessary to use your other hand!

Hammer ons and Pull-offs

Turn up the gain high on your amp or distortion pedal in order to create a great amount of sustain.

Adjust the gain of your amp or pedal until you are generating enough feedback to sustain a note for a few seconds at a time.

Use hammer ons and pull-offs with your left hand to create a melody. The sustain will make it unnecessary to use your other hand. You now know three ways to play the guitar with one hand!

Tip

Practice! These techniques are going to be a bit tricky to get used to at first. Don't give up. If you keep practicing you'll be opening up some incredible creative possibilities!

About the Author

Lars Tramilton has been writing professionally since 2007. His work has appeared in a variety of online publications, including CareerWorkstation. Tramilton received a bachelor's degree with a focus on elementary education from Kean University.