Dynamic range – quiet, loud and everything inbetween – is what audiences unconsciously listen out for, and they listen in a sophisticated way. Imagine a singer who screamed every note at exactly the same volume – there’d be no variation, and no drama. And no audience.
Control over the quiet-loud dynamic is one of the things that separates pro musicians from amateurs. The way to achieve it is to start at the beginning of your signal chain – your brain, your fingers and what you strike the strings with.
Experiment with your pick attack, the angle you strike the strings at, using your fingers, different plectrum materials, and combine pick and fingers.
Pop, snap, scrape and dig in – the guitar is the most expressive instrument there is in terms of sounding a note, and all of these techniques will help you prick up your audience’s ears. And sometimes, grasshopper, silence can be your greatest weapon.