For questions about guitar playing in general. For questions specifically about solid-body electric guitars, see "electric-guitar". For questions specifically about acoustic guitars with or without pickup systems, see "acoustic-guitar".

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4
votes
3answers
390 views

Do left-handed guitarists view the same patterns as right-handed?

Do left-handed players see the same scale formations, chords, patterns as right-handed, or is it just as simple as seeing the mirror-opposite? What about the ones that play left-handed and string the ...
4
votes
3answers
134 views

How do I improve my lead technique

I can play a small amount of pentatonic-based lead guitar but being mostly self-taught, my technique is quite poor. As I take my finger off the fret, sometimes the open string will sound. How do I ...
9
votes
2answers
249 views

Wireless Guitar Systems

I'm looking to buy a wireless transmitting system for my guitar. But I'm seeing prices ranging from $80 - $500. What are the differences between an expensive piece of equipment and a cheaper one? ...
16
votes
7answers
6k views

What are the objective differences between the guitar and the piano?

The guitar and the piano are two of the most popular instruments which allow multiple notes to be played simultaneously. The acoustic quality of the two instruments are, of course, different, but ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

What is an “open tuning”?

I know that Keith Richards has been known to use open tunings on some songs, but what is an open tuning exactly and when/why would you use it?
27
votes
7answers
917 views

What tools should every guitarist have?

What tools should every guitarist have to do most small/medium projects for their guitars? (change strings, tuners, knobs, pickups)
15
votes
8answers
5k views

What are some techniques to control feedback in a musical setting?

I was always intrigued with the way Ted Nugent/Adrian Belew/Jeff Beck/Jimi Hendrix/SRV were able to control feedback and make it musical - are there guitar/amp settings and techniques that can make ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a Birdseye Maple Neck?

Where does it come from or how is it chosen over regular Maple Necks - is there a tonal difference?
23
votes
6answers
42k views

What is the Difference between Maple and Rosewood Fretboards

Is there a difference that's based on feel or sound - why are they the two most widely used choices?
5
votes
4answers
6k views

Why does my Stratocaster guitar sound worse with new strings?

My 4-month-old strings sounded much better than the new set that I just put on. I am using the same brand of strings that I used before. My guitar sounds like crap now. What's wrong? Should I stretch ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

Selling my guitar

I want to sell a guitar, but I would like to know: Where are good places to sell a guitar? Online? Guitar stores? What is a good way to work out the value of the guitar?
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Can you make your own Leslie Speakers?

I love the sound when employed with an Organ ( Jimmy Smith) and on Little Wing(SRV) - I vaguely remember seeing Kings X live once and I believe Ty Tabor had a pair of Leslie speakers that sounded ...
15
votes
4answers
804 views

Mental approach to improvisation

Improvisation for guitar is a fairly well-covered topic, with good resources to be found within multiple contexts (Web, traditional literature, etc). However, most of what I've read is basically ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Vertical wall mount / Holding a guitar by the neck

Is there potential danger of damage in storing your guitar in a vertical wall mount, like the ones that guitar shops use in their showrooms? It seems like an obvious question (after all, that's the ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Are there any benefits of using a Capo?

What is the benefit of using a Capo versus just playing in a different key without one?
5
votes
1answer
210 views

What are good oils to use on a neck that has been stripped of veneer?

I would like to strip the veneer off of the back side of a strat's neck - I'm guessing that, like furniture, I would need to lock in/out the moisture so that the neck won't warp. Any oils work better ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

How to play upstrokes with our hand when playing an acoustic guitar?

I have seen a lot of guitar videos and read a lot of guitar books but one thing they all have in common is that while teaching strumming they tell you to "loosen up", "keep going up and down" etc. Or ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the most popular types or styles of pickups, and what is the genre of music most associated with them?

I see humbuckers, single coil, active pickups, etc. I see P90's, PAFS, etc. Which are basically for jazz, blues, metal?
4
votes
2answers
563 views

Distortion pedals similar to Boss's DS-1

Does anyone know of any distortion pedals that have tone similar to the Boss DS-1? I love the smoothness, boost, and grind that this pedal offers, but I'm curious if there's a similar pedal that ...
4
votes
1answer
614 views

Where/When did the modern guitar originate?

I keep thinking of Greeks playing Lyres - there had to be a point where someone added strings and the modern shape...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there one or more “proper” finger picking styles/techniques?

Essentially, if there is some collection of proper techniques that have distinct rules or characteristics about them, that's what I'm looking for. There's not one particular artist or type of music I ...
7
votes
1answer
286 views

Should I replace unwound strings on my acoustic guitar as often as the wound ones?

The wound strings wear off quite fast, and start sounding dull even faster, so I replace them quite often. But whenever I do so, I replace the unwound strings as well, even though at that point, they ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What Phaser is used at the beginning of “Rooster” by Alice in Chains?

I built a CE2 chorus clone that sounds fantastic and should work for Rooster. But I believe the Alice in Chains guitarist (was it Cantrell or Layne playing?) is also using a phaser, which I don't yet ...
6
votes
2answers
940 views

Is a guitar body made out of mahogany generally lighter than a body made out of alder ?

I know that each piece of wood is different and two similar pieces of a same essence will have different weight. But in general, for the same body shape and size which wood essence will tend to give ...
15
votes
7answers
930 views

Where does picking speed come from? Forearm, hand, or bicep?

Where specifically on the arm/hand should rapid picking speed come from?
19
votes
7answers
5k views

What is the difference between upstrokes and downstrokes while strumming a guitar?

One of the most basic guitar skills are strumming up and down freely. And I have noticed in songs that there usually appears to be a difference in sounds between the two strokes. But when I'm ...
12
votes
5answers
7k views

How do I choose my first guitar for self-learning?

Let's say I've never played the guitar, or I've only learned to pluck a string and play a chord but have forgotten most of it. Now, I've become interested and would like to try it out. I don't want to ...
11
votes
3answers
782 views

The skinny on neck constructions. Is it all about tone?

I recently went from a Peavy bolt-on classic bass to Warwick Thumb NT. The tone difference is completely out of this world, and comparatively, so was the price. I want to understand the ...
4
votes
4answers
184 views

Putting guitar and song together

So, I'm still working on this. I started singing with my playing using hey ya as my first song. (In fact that was the first song I ever played) Ironically I always lose it at the verse that goes ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Tips for playing outdoors in cold weather?

A few years ago our church band had a gig playing early in the morning to a volunteer crew to get them pumped for the day ahead. It was about 7AM and in the 30s F. It's a good thing I was only playing ...
15
votes
5answers
28k views

What is the first scale one should learn on guitar

The title really sums it all up but I'll try expand it slightly. Lets say I'm learning guitar and would like to improve my guitar work. Which of the scales should I learn first and why?
8
votes
4answers
946 views

How do you prevent injuries from bad posture while playing classical guitar?

I'm tagging this as specific to classical guitar since that's what I am familiar with. The correct posture is very important which playing classical, including the footstool, the position of your ...
6
votes
2answers
610 views

Upgrade tuners or get a new guitar?

I have an Ibanez V70CE Acoustic-Electric guitar. While it was not expensive, I like the way it feels and it sounds just fine. The problem is it doesn't like to stay in tune. I always use high quality ...
13
votes
3answers
13k views

What's a good strategy for adjusting pole pieces?

One thing I fiddled with for a short bit once upon a time is adjusting the pole pieces on my Humbucker/P-90 equipped guitars. As a matter of fact, doing just that was the only way I could get my P-90 ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Factors in choosing a replacement saddle for an acoustic guitar.

I saw this in the comments section on the question "Do acoustic or classical guitars need to be set up?" The saddle material makes a difference in the sound of an acoustic too. I have a bit of a ...
23
votes
10answers
30k views

Why do some artists tune their guitars half a step or whole step down?

Is there a reason some guitarists tune down half or whole steps, other than preference or style? It bugs me sometimes when I would like to play along with a song only to find that it's played down ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Tips on playing with wah-wah for beginners

I love the sound of a guitar played through wah wah as much as the next guy, but I have some problems picking that skill up. I would love if anyone can either give me some tips on how to start using ...
16
votes
2answers
8k views

What is concert pitch?

I was watching a song video lesson earlier today and it mentioned that the guitar should be tuned to concert pitch. What does that mean? Is it different from the normal EADGBE tuning?
15
votes
3answers
10k views

Why is an amplifier's effects loop useful?

When should you plug gear into your amplifier's effects loop and not into the standard input?
7
votes
2answers
949 views

What are Tone Pots / Potentiometers?

Can someone please explain to me what tone pots are, and how they affect the sound of a guitar? Thanks very much :)
4
votes
3answers
595 views

Cheap alternative to a SG Standard

Is there a money friendly guitar similar to the SG Standard?
6
votes
3answers
142 views

Effective learning from videos

I've taken lessons and taught myself songs from books and tablature. I have also listened to a song repeatedly and attempted to learn it by playing along. One method I have not tried is learning from ...
13
votes
3answers
256 views

What to look for in an independent luthier?

I've long been considering looking for an independent luthier to build me a custom guitar. I have a pretty specific idea of what I want the guitar to be, but I don't know how to find the right ...
7
votes
1answer
134 views

Strings stick to pickup poles when the tremolo is depressed.

Sometimes, when I depress the tremolo quite far, the strings magnetically stick to the pickup poles... Is this normal? Is there a way I can prevent it, aside from not depressing the tremolo so far? ...
9
votes
4answers
462 views

Free exercise books

I've asked a question here: What is a string skipping exercise?. A follow up question: Are there some good free exercise books available on-line for the post-beginner stage? A link to a good ...
16
votes
6answers
4k views

How to hide a flat pick in the right hand when switching to finger picking, Warren Haynes style

Watch any Warren Haynes video on YouTube and you'll notice that he often likes to mix it up and play solos with a pick but mid-way switch to using his fingers. ...
22
votes
5answers
24k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

How To Improve My Sightreading?

I've been reading music since I was five years old, but I learned how on the piano, never on the guitar. I find that when I play guitar, I think of the notes as they relate to each other spatially: ...
16
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Kahler tremolo bridge problems - how to test and fix?

My Peavey Falcon -- a Strat clone -- has tuning problems. The instrument has a Kahler tremolo that I suspect is contributing to my tuning problems. (The roller nut and tuning machines are other ...