Development, Mechanics and Compositional Uses of Virtuosic Electric Guitar Techniques

  • Alexander Vallejo

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This project explores the history, mechanics and practice exercises of guitar techniques that are considered to be virtuosic as well as exploring how these techniques (amongst others) are used in compositions for either a musical or ergonomic reason.

The history and development of these techniques will be explored throughout this thesis. The EP will be used as a demonstration of techniques and musical songwriting within the guitar centric genre that will be supported within the commentary with references to different artist within the scene. The exercises created are influenced by various sources such as guitar tablature books about exercises and music while applying them to how artists have developed these techniques themselves.

Techniques discussed are sweep picking, tapping and thumping along with different approaches in each. Within each approach there is a learning curve and practice method that needs to be taken into consideration when learning them. In the EP all techniques are used, and their compositional qualities are tested.

New knowledge explored is within the realms of exercises and guidance for each technique. New guitarists have been brought into the world of academia that have not been discussed, such as Jason Richardson, Yvette Young, and Sarah Longfield. I have explored the reasonings behind each technique, whether it is compositional or ergonomic.
Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJan Herbst (Main Supervisor) & Eric Smialek (Co-Supervisor)

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