How to Play Rakes on Electric Guitar

The rake guitar technique is one of those little tricks you can use to make your playing more expressive and maybe dramatic in a way. In a nutshell, it is a sort of scraping sound that goes right before a normal note or a string bend, so the note stands out and gets more attention.

Listen how it sounds in the composition with the first note of the solo, just before the end of the 4th second:


1. Place the edge of the palm of your picking hand near the guitar bridge, so the strings become moderately muted, like when playing palm muted notes:

Performing a rake on electric guitar - picking hand

2. Put your fretting hand's index finger across the strings in order to muffle them farther, no pressure is necessary here; and with any other available finger press the string at the fret where the note that you're gonna play right after the rake is located:

Performing a rake on electric guitar - fretting hand

3. Scrape the plectrum (like in sweep picking) through those strings towards the one you are going to let ringing, and a moment before you about to go through it as well, lift the palm of the picking hand off the strings, so the target string will be able to sing.

How to rake on electric guitar

All the 3 steps are to be performed as a one solid unit. It may look tricky at the beginning, but it isn't with some practice.

The short video right below will help you get the idea more clearly:

Licks where I used the guitar rake technique:

In printed guitar tabs a rake has the following notation:

The notation for the rake guitar technique used in guitar tablatures

As far as I know there's no any specific notation for it in "plain text" tablatures.