How does he get the snare drum sound at about 1:51 when he starts imitating drums?

I think he hits the high silver strings with his nails, but my guitar just rings out when I do that. Hitting the wood is making a different noise for me.

Then I think maybe he mutes the strings left hand, but he actually plays the high E string simultaneously to the snare one time and the B string other times and I think it’s hard to control that kind of muting.

So I wonder what he’s actually doing to get his guitar to make that noise, I’m really struggling to replicate on mine.

  • 1
    It’s an overdub. He’s not doing it all live at the same time. Oct 1, 2018 at 1:40
  • Todd is correct. You are not hearing what you are seeing. The sound you are hearing is muted strings being slapped. Lots of reverb as well.
    – b3ko
    Oct 1, 2018 at 4:13
  • 2
    You could use your fretting hand thumb to mute the low E string and then it won't ring out if you lightly slap it with your picking hand thumb, if you can make the stretch. Oct 1, 2018 at 9:17
  • 3
    Can't decide on an overdub. The 'snare' doesn't come out the same every time.
    – Tim
    Oct 1, 2018 at 12:45
  • It looks to me like he's slapping the low E string against the frets with his picking thumb and muting it with the same thumb at the same time. If you notice, he's fretting the string at the same time, effectively tuning his "drum". Oct 8, 2018 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


The thumb slaps the bass E string into the fret board.

When the high steel E string is played simultaneously, it looks like he strikes it with the nail of the picking hand. That made the right noise for me.

If the B string is being played simultaneously, just pluck it with a finger and hit the thumb for the snare at the same time. I found coordinating this very difficult, especially to get consistent volume, but it's possible.

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