How to Play Techno Music on Guitar

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


You can play techno music on guitar by following these simple steps.

What is Techno Music?

Techno music is a type of electronic dance music that emerged in the late 1980s. It is characterized by a strong beats and synthesized melodies. Techno music is often played in nightclubs and concerts. If you want to play techno music on guitar, there are a few things you need to know. In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to play techno music on guitar.

The Origins of Techno

Techno is a type of electronic dance music that originated in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States during the mid-1980s. The first techno tracks were produced by Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May, who were later collectively known as the Belleville Three. Techno is typically characterized by a repetitive four-on-the-floor beat, synthesizer melodies, and minimal vocal samples.

The word “techno” was first used to describe this style of music in 1988 when Atkins released his seminal track “Techno City.” The term “techno” is an abbreviation of the word “technology,” which reflects the use of electronic instruments and drum machines in this style of music. Techno has been hugely influential on popular culture, with its signature sound often being used in movies, TV shows, and video games.

Despite its origins in Detroit, techno quickly spread to other cities in the United States and Europe during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Berlin became a particularly important center for techno after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, with many clubs and record labels springing up in the city. In recent years, Detroit has once again become an important center for techno with many new artists and labels emerging from the city.

The Elements of Techno

Techno music is a form of electronic dance music that emerged in the Detroit, Michigan area in the 1980s. The genre is characterized by a repetitive 4/4 beat, often in the range of 130-150 beats per minute, and typically features synthesizer melodies and basslines. Early techno was influenced by acid house and electro, but it soon developed into a unique sound with its own distinctive style.

While techno originally developed as a Underground Club Music movement, it has since found its way into the mainstream with hits like Daft Punk’s “Around the World” and The Prodigy’s “Firestarter.” Techno music is typically produced using software such as Ableton Live or Logic Pro, and hardware such as drum machines, synthesizers, and samplers.

How to Play Techno Music on Guitar

Techno music can be played on guitar by using a variety of techniques. Some basic techniques include using a delay pedal, playing with a clean tone, and using a pick. You can also create a more complex sound by using a distortion pedal and playing with a distorted tone.

The Right Guitar

There is no one “right” guitar to play techno music on. Different guitarists will have different opinions on what type of guitar works best for this genre. However, there are a few characteristics that most guitarists agree are important for playing techno music.

First, the guitar should have a fast neck. This means that the distance between the frets is small, making it easy to play fast runs and arpeggios. Second, the guitar should have a low action. This means that the strings are close to the fretboard, making it easy to strike the strings with minimal effort. Finally, the guitar should have active pickups. Active pickups amplify the signal from the strings more than passive pickups, giving the guitarist more control over their sound.

The Right Amp

The right amp is essential for playing techno music on guitar. You need an amp that can create a variety of sounds, from clean tones to distorted sounds. The best amps for techno music are digital amps, because they offer the most flexibility and the ability to create a wide range of sounds.

Digital amps can be expensive, so if you’re on a budget, you can use a modeling amp. These amps simulate the sound of different amps, so you can get the sound of a digital amp without spending as much money.

Once you have the right amp, you need to choose the right effects. Effects pedals will help you create the various sounds you need for techno music. Distortion pedals are essential for creating distorted sounds, and delay pedals will help you create echo and retardation effects. Experiment with different pedals to find the sound you’re looking for.

The Right Effects

Techno music is built around a four-on-the-floor beat, so the first thing you need to do is get a drum machine or sequencer to provide that foundation. For the bass line, you can either use a synth or a clean electric guitar with lots of reverb anddelay. The main melody is usually played on a lead synth, but you can also use a distorted guitar. If you want to add some sophistication to your sound, try using arpeggiated chords on a synth or keyboard.

To get the right effects, start with a clean sound on your guitar and add plenty of reverb and delay. A chorus pedal can also help create a fuller sound. For the lead synth, use lots of filters and modulation effects to create movement in your sound. And finally, don’t forget to add some grit and attitude with some distortion!

Techno Guitar Playing Tips

Techno music can be challenging to play on guitar, but with the right tips and tricks, you can definitely pull it off. First of all, you need to have a basic understanding of how to play guitar. If you don’t know how to play guitar, you can check out some online tutorials or lessons. Once you have a basic understanding of how to play guitar, you can start practicing some of the specific techniques needed to play techno music.

The Strumming Pattern

If you want to give your techno music a more organic feel, try using a strumming pattern on your guitar. Techno is all about the groove, so a laid-back strumming pattern will fit right in.

Here’s a simple strumming pattern you can use:

D – D U D U – D U D U –

To break it down, that’s down-strums on beats 1 and 3, and up-strums on beats 2 and 4. You can use any combination of down and up-strums that you like, as long as it keeps the same basic groove.

Once you’ve got the hang of the strumming pattern, try adding some open chords into the mix. A few basic chords like A, D, and E will give your techno music a more harmonic foundation.

The Chords

The chord progression in techno music is usually very simple. The most common chord progression is just two chords, played over and over again. The most common chords used in techno are the root chord and the fifth chord. For example, if the root chord is C, then the fifth chord would be G. These two chords are sometimes called the power chords. When you play these two chords together, it creates a very strong and powerful sound.

To play a power chord, you simply play the root note and the fifth note of the scale together. For example, if you are playing in the key of C, you would play the notes C and G together. Power chords are usually played on the lower strings of the guitar, so you will want to use your first finger to fret the root note, and your third finger to fret the fifth note. You can also use your second finger to help hold down both notes if you need to.

The Riffs

Riffs are the lifeblood of techno music. Without a solid, catchy riff, your techno track will likely fall flat. A great way to come up with riffs is to record yourself playing a four-bar loop, then manipulate the recording until you have something you like. You can also try coming up with riffs by playing around with scale patterns or chord progressions.

Once you have a few riffs that you like, it’s time to start layering them together. A typical techno track will have multiple layers of riffs, each one playing at a different moment in the song. This give the song a sense of forward momentum and keeps the listener engaged.

As you layer more and more riffs, you’ll also want to start thinking about how they interact with each other. Try playing your riffs in different orders, or reversing them. You can also add echo or other effects to create even more interest.

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