For questions specifically about solid-body or semi-acoustic electric guitars. For acoustic and electro-acoustic guitars, or guitar playing in general, see the "guitar" tag.

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29
votes
19answers
2k views

Glossary of Guitar Effects

There are numerous effects options available to the guitarist, especially the electric guitarist. This question is intended to gather and cultivate a set of answers to questions in the form of: ...
28
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is the bridge pickup on a Stratocaster angled?

I've always wondered why the bridge pickup of a Stratocaster was angled. Is it cosmetic, or does it make a difference in the sound?
27
votes
4answers
46k views

What Does a Compressor Pedal Do?

Quite often, when I see a pedalboard of guitarists I admire, there is a compressor pedal in the chain. How exactly does this pedal affect the sound?
25
votes
15answers
15k views

How can I practice in an apartment without annoying the neighbours?

I live in an apartment and I find my current amp (a 15W solid-state) to be poorly suited to that. I can't turn it up without upsetting the neighbours, but at low volume it sounds horrible with any ...
22
votes
9answers
25k views

How to play a long sustained note on an electric guitar?

I've seen such effects on Santana, Robert Fripp and Steve Hackett. They produce a clean sustained sound and I don't know how to create it.
22
votes
5answers
22k views

How does scale length affect my playing?

This one's a bit rudimentary, but scale length is a bit of a mystery to me. I understand what it is, but I don't understand what it does. I own guitars with different scale lengths (Telecaster vs ...
19
votes
4answers
10k views

In phase, out of phase pickups

What is the purpose of having guitar pickups out of phase with each other?
16
votes
7answers
5k views

What to check when buying a new guitar?

I have been playing acoustic guitar for quite some time now. I'm not a beginner but neither am I pro. I'm now looking into buying an electric guitar. My questions are - What do I need to ...
16
votes
6answers
7k views

How can I minimize going out of tune when using the whammy bar?

Perhaps my selection of musicians is biased, but usually when I see a whammy bar used, it's usually with a locking tremolo bridge like a Floyd Rose. Everybody else seems to take the whammy bar out and ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I set up an electric guitar?

How do I set up the pickups, neck, etc. in an electric guitar? I'm not concerned with producing a particular sound as I am with keeping the neck from warping, prevent string buzz, improving ...
15
votes
3answers
9k views

What are the benefits of guitars with fanned frets?

I've seen fanned frets on some extended-ranged classical and electric guitars. What are the benefits of guitars with fanned frets? Are there any drawbacks?
15
votes
6answers
4k views

How to accurately intonate a 3 saddle telecaster?

I have a traditional 3 saddle telecaster bridge. With two strings on each saddle my intonation is always a slight compromise. This is OK on the first four strings, but the bass strings are noticeably ...
15
votes
3answers
738 views

Alternate picking vs down picking

When I see professional musicians play their songs on guitar, I see them down picking certain parts where I would prefer to alternate pick. Follow the url below to a riff that I play first using ...
15
votes
8answers
8k views

Cleaning the fretboard of an electric guitar

I have had my electric guitar for several years and I noticed that there is some "sweat dirt" on the fretboard of the guitar, so the inlay is less shiny. I'd like to clean that without taking the ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

How should I tune a guitar with a Floyd Rose tremolo?

A number of my guitars have a Floyd Rose tremolo system with the locking nuts near the headstock. How can I effectively tune a guitar that has a Floyd Rose locking tremolo?
14
votes
3answers
910 views

How do guitarists switch on/off multiple effects via pedalboards?

An example would be a guitarists on stage with various sounds for his setlist, and he has around 10 pedals. For solo, he needs to turn on boost, change the channel, a bit of reverb, turn off chorus ...
12
votes
9answers
376 views

Should I worry about painful fingertips?

I just started to learn playing the (electric only for now) guitar, and I love it! I've read on a few pages that it was normal for my fingertips (those that I use on the fret board) to hurt in the ...
12
votes
4answers
11k views

Difference between “hi” and “low” on amps?

What is the difference between "hi" and "low" input jacks on guitar / bass amps? Usually bigger amps have both of them (didn't see them on smaller ones really)..
12
votes
5answers
687 views

How to make swell effect on electric guitar?

The effect I'm thinking of is when you don't hear the pick attack as you play a note, but you hear the note afterwards as it seems to get louder before decaying. I suppose you can mimic this with a ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

What to look out for when buying a super-cheap used guitar

I found a red Yamaha Pacifica fat strat at a local pawn shop. Most of their guitars are $60 and up, but this one has a $25 sticker on it. I'm considering buying, cleaning, and restringing it but I'd ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I improve my picking and fretting speed?

I've seen people like John Petrucci playing incredibly fast with their right and left hands, but I can't seem to get any faster than I am now (which is speedy, but not near as fast as John). Is there ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What changes in the amp when I adjust its presence?

The tone controls on a guitar amp are pretty obvious, but what does the presence knob affect? It's a subtle effect but can sure make or break a sound. It doesn't seem to be treble or midrange boost, ...
12
votes
1answer
441 views

Effect of nickel cover on Telecaster bridge pickup?

Traditionally telecaster guitars have the neck pick-up covered in a nickel/chrome cover, and the bridge pickup left with exposed pole pieces. What is the origin/logic of the nickel cover? What ...
11
votes
5answers
9k views

guitar cabinet: why not just use a PA speaker cabinet?

I've been thinking about building myself a rackmount rig to replace an old 12" combo amp, and was wondering if it really makes any difference to use a something that's marketed as a "guitar" speaker ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Acoustic/Electric Guitars

So I was going to get a new acoustic. I really want to start getting into acoustics but I don't want to lose the ability to jam with friends who are on drums/bass, and have their own electrics plugged ...
11
votes
2answers
906 views

Will Playing a Guitar Through a Bass Set-Up Damage the Amplifier and/or Speaker?

I'll be moving at the end of the year due to work and have sold my guitar amp, but still have my electric guitar. I've been playing it unplugged and I'd like to plug it into my bass combo amp. Am I ...
11
votes
5answers
14k views

How can I prevent the noise my guitar pick makes?

When I play the guitar (electric with steel strings), I can hear the noise of the pick clashing against the steel strings. When I play a chord, after my pick triggers one string it then falls against ...
11
votes
4answers
11k views

Getting started with an electric guitar and Rocksmith as an absolute beginner

I am an extreme beginner to the guitar and music and just picked up Rocksmith and an electric guitar. Some reviews of the Rocksmith game suggest its a good learning aid for those who know a certain ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

Guitar produces hum due to poor soldering

Is it possible that a guitar could produce a low hum after replacing a pickup? I own a guitar that I (poorly) replaced a pickup on when I first started playing, and I was wondering if there was some ...
11
votes
6answers
14k views

Is the sound of a semi-hollowbody guitar significantly different from that of an equivalent solid body?

I'm wondering if the sound of a semi-hollowbody electric guitar (i.e. one that looks hollow but in fact has a solid central block) really differs that much from an equivalent solid-body guitar with ...
10
votes
9answers
7k views

How important is it to have an EQ pedal in your chain?

I have a Digitech Bad Monkey, which in my experience, is a very transparent pedal. I use it to mainly to boost my volumes during solos etc. But I've ...
10
votes
6answers
9k views

What factors affect a guitar's ability to sustain a note?

There are effects and gadgets that can create a long sustained note, but what about the guitar itself? I have a squier standard strat which I can't help but feel could be letting notes ring longer, ...
10
votes
11answers
924 views

Really light electric guitar strings and the blues

I just got a new Fender Strat Mini. I have super weak fingers. Is it possible to replace the strings with some lighter-weight while retaining a good sound for blues? What repercussions does using ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

How does string gauge affect intonation?

I have a problem with intonation adjustment on my g-string on my Epiphone Les Paul. It's correct now but the bridge saddle cannot be adjusted any farther in range. I need to change strings but I ...
10
votes
5answers
256 views

What electric guitar string set should I use to go down to B?

me and my band are planing to play some slipknot and maybe korn (A) but we don't want to get 7-s guitars so what string should we use?
10
votes
2answers
206 views

Is anyone able to outline the purpose of these controls?

I have an Aria MAC57/7 (7 string). Excuse the dust (the flash on the camera shows it up...) It has a dual humbucker setup and a set of controls that I never fully got to grips with. I assume the ...
10
votes
3answers
171 views

What indicators enable consumers to identify counterfeit guitars?

For consumers shopping for specific name-brand guitars, such as Gibson, how may one identify counterfeit knock-offs? Can we collectively develop a check-list of tip-offs confirmed by experienced ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

H-S-H vs H-H what can do one and can't another?

I'm seeking a guitar to elicit the rich fat heavy sound. So as I understand a guitar with the H humbucker (double coil) pickup is what I need for that. But there is a wide range of layouts for the ...
9
votes
9answers
851 views

What are the advantages of point to point (PTP) wiring?

What are the advantages of having a pedal or amp that is point to point wired as opposed to one that is built on top of a printed circuit board? Are there any disadvantages of PTP?
9
votes
7answers
5k views

How can I stop my electric guitar strings from rusting so quickly?

I suffer from hyperhyrdosis which means my hands sweat quite a lot. The problem is that because of this my electric guitar strings seem to rust quite quickly because of this. Is there anything I can ...
9
votes
5answers
391 views

Techniques for “Dynamics” with Distortion on Electric Guitar

Recently I went to a workshop on electric guitar. Between several subjects, the presenter talked about dynamics with distortion. He said that you can use palm mute to create the effect of a "growing ...
9
votes
3answers
344 views

How to develop soloing vocabulary

Background: My first guitar teacher used to show me small licks or note patterns that had that special quality of arousing interest during a solo improvisation. They were essentially "tools" in my ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Can one play acoustic/classical music with an electric guitar?

I've once got a very cheap acoustic guitar when I was very young, I later replaced it by an electrical guitar because I disliked it's quality and I don't know what I was doing when I was young. Can ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

What are the differences between an American and Mexican Fender Stratocaster?

Many Mexican Fenders have the same or similar price as the American-made versions. Some of the parts are also the same. Generally what's the difference?
9
votes
8answers
10k views

How to bend and release without flicking the other strings?

I'm trying to bend up then back down on the G string (so it plays both notes, I'm not muting the bend back down to G) but I always catch my fingernail on the D string. So when I let the bend back ...
9
votes
6answers
7k views

Do I need to have my guitar re-set up if I change the string gauge

I'm a newbie transitioning to intermediate and I have a rather nice strat with 11 gauge strings. I'd like to try lighter strings but someone told me changing gauge will require the guitar to be re-set ...
9
votes
2answers
983 views

Does a covering on a humbucker pickup make a difference?

I have seen a number of different pickup designs, like the ones in the image: Notice how some humbuckers have a covering, and what look like screw heads. Is this just style or do these different ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

We got together with another guitarist. What can we play together?

Recently I met a great guy who also plays guitar. We became friends and decided to get together once in a while to jam. When the time came, we realized that we do not know what to do musically at our ...
8
votes
5answers
668 views

Decrease bpm and practice

I am using Guitar Pro 6. It has an option to decrease bpm of a song. Is it ok to decrease a song's bpm and practice if you can't play at the song's original bpm?
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Building an electric guitar from scratch

I want to make an electric guitar by myself from scratch. How can I do this?