Electric guitar

6 tips for playing the electric percussion guitar with Manuel Gardner Fernandes


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Untreated Manuel Gardner Fernandes is one of the most exciting contemporary players we’ve heard in quite some time – and a big part of that is his forward-thinking approach to percussion electric guitar technique and the synergy between his left and right hands.

Manuel was happy to offer us some advice on how to get started with this technical world and what to keep in mind with the tone choices.

1. Think about your choice of guitar pickup

(Image credit: Press)

“We use DiMarzio split-coil pickups. The split coils [where one coil from a humbucker pickup circuit is cut] are the best way to get a precise attack without the body of the note overlapping the percussion. In addition, the nasal character of the single coil contributes to the distinct sound. “


2. Learn to play the drums and sync

“It is certainly a useful thing to get an idea. If the drums are playing syncopated patterns, the guitar and bass can either pick up the rhythm-filled subdivisions, or those where the drums are resting, to fill them with dead notes. or percussion noises. “


3. Choose the right effects

“Beware of noisegates, they must be set to a threshold that would still let the small nuances pass.

“Compression is important in percussive play, and when it comes to EQ, we improve the guitars around 3,000 and 9,000 kHz for maximum attack and for 700/800 bass to get the slaps in the midrange, then a other High Shelf where the guitars are cut (depending on the individual recordings). “


4. Avoid these

(Image credit: Press)

“High gain, low end rumble too many overlapping frequencies.

“Plus, people tend to think of the sound as entirely coming from the gear, when it’s really in the fingers and the playing. A really good percussion player can achieve the same clarity with or without amplification.”

5. Try these exercises and learn this song

“For an exercise, try practicing groups 3,5 or 7 on a 4/4 click and use slaps, muted left hand, and pops in different combinations, say S / L / P (left popp slap) to three, S / L / S / L / P for 5 and S / L / S / L / P / S / L for 7. Play with the combinations and you will apply them very quickly to your riffs.

“I would also recommend learning our song Ruins, there are slaps on guitar and bass!”


6. Check out these players for inspiration

Tim Henson (Polyphia)


Tosin Abasi (Animals as leaders)


Acle Kahney (Tesseract)


Victor wooten


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