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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

25
votes
4answers
36k 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?
24
votes
15answers
1k 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: ...
24
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?
22
votes
9answers
21k 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.
21
votes
5answers
19k 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 ...
20
votes
13answers
11k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
8k views

In phase, out of phase pickups

What is the purpose of having guitar pickups out of phase with each other?
16
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
4k 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?
15
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 ...
14
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 ...
14
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
9answers
333 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
9k 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
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 ...
11
votes
6answers
980 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
6k 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?
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
1answer
358 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
6answers
11k 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
4answers
10k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
242 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
200 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
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, ...
9
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
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
3k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
859 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
875 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
7k 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, ...
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?
8
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
8answers
482 views

Can I use really light electric guitar strings?

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 ...
8
votes
8answers
303 views

Can I wind my own pickups?

I want to know this to see if I can do some modifications to my guitar tone but I don't want to screw the pickups... is there any guide arround?
8
votes
6answers
7k views

Useful tuning for 7 or 8 string guitars

So, I'm looking to add an Ibanez 7 or 8 string to my guitar zoo, but although I have looked into various standard tunings I am trying to figure out practical tunings so I can rapidly add the new ...
8
votes
3answers
295 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
757 views

What is the technique Adrian Belew utilizes through-out : “Elephant Talk” by King Crimson?

Adrian Belew has some incredible sounds coming out of his Strat - one of them is the quasi-Elephant sound on Elephant Talk - King Crimson - "Discipline". I've watched him do it live but apart from ...
8
votes
8answers
8k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
598 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?
7
votes
3answers
420 views

Understanding a digital tuner

I've the exact same tuner from this video only the brand name changes. I am new to guitars, I am trying to tune(standard tuning) an ESP M-50 with it(can I?). I plug the guitar cable to the tuner input ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

humbucker vs two single-coils

I have a Squire Strat that I've been fiddling with off and on for a while. My coil selector has two positions of particular interest: neck+middle, middle+bridge. Now, if I use any one of the three ...
7
votes
2answers
344 views

Am/C guitar chord help

On this site http://jguitar.com/chordsearch?chordsearch=Am%2FC is said Am/C to be played like this: X O ------ ||||O| ||OO|| |O|||| |||||| but in another tutorial site I saw this X X O ------ ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the whammy bar sometimes called a “Tremolo” arm?

Who coined or mis-used the term Tremolo for the pitch-bending mechanism often found on electric guitars? Tremolo cannot actually be effected by using the 'whammy bar'.
7
votes
3answers
7k views

Should a Floyd Rose bridge be parallel to the body of the guitar?

I've read before that a Floyd Rose bridge should be parallel to the body of the guitar. This is an image of the bridge on my guitar: You can see that the left side of the appears to be a little ...
7
votes
2answers
185 views

What do you use to train your sense of rhythm?

I am a keyboard player and recently decided to study bass guitar playing. I cannot spend much time for practicing - approximately 40 min a day, so the most of that time I am doing "spider exercise". ...
7
votes
2answers
137 views

Difference between pre and post gain

I've noticed that some amps instead of just having gain have pre and post gain. I know that gain affect the distortion of the amp, but I don't know the difference between pre and post gain. What is ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to tell if my epiphone les paul is standard or standard plus?

Is there a way to tell if my epiphone les paul is a standard or standard plus?