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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17
votes
7answers
12k 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
7answers
1k views

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

Where specifically on the arm/hand should rapid picking speed come from?
13
votes
6answers
11k views

What should a guitarist learn first: Rhythm or Lead?

It is a slightly subjective question, however, there is, I'm sure, a common consensus as to what lends itself better to a beginner so as not to get frustrated with the instrument. I'm curious as to ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

“slash” chords, e.g. B/F♯ - are these only for inversions, or can any note be the bass note?

I'm trying to work out whether it is technically correct to have a "slash" chord where the bass note is not one of the notes in the chord. I thought the main reason for slash chords is to show which ...
11
votes
2answers
6k 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?
10
votes
4answers
512 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
231 views

Should I learn the notes of all the scales

I'm playing guitar and therefore have learnt all the major,minor and harmonic minor patterns. But while improvising I usually forget the right notes of a scale(the problem comes when switching the ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

How to use diminished scale over I IV V changes in blues

I want to spice up my solos over a Blues progression. I already can play a variety of scales but the Diminished scale is something I would like to add because of the particular sounds it creates. In ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the best way to learn scales in order to improve improvisation/writing of lead guitar parts?

Where I'm at skill-wise Played guitar on-and-off for about 5 years Up until a year ago had only really learned by playing from tabs Have been undertaking bi-weekly guitar lessons for just over a ...
7
votes
5answers
342 views

Resources for learning the Blues

Can anyone recommend any good resources (books or online) for learning the Blues on the guitar? Scales and theory is what I am looking for.
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What are alternative “voicings” for Major/Minor/Dominant Chords if I can't play “Barre Chords”?

I would like some alternative Chord Voicings if I don't want to play the standard barre chords for major/minor/dominant voicings: Thanks!!
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the best way to start learning to play guitar by ear

I've been using TAB for a while but I want to transition to picking things up by ear. What is an effective way to do that? Please give answers about methods you have experience with and explain how ...
6
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
323 views

How the body vibration on a semi-hollowbody guitar affect the sound through the pickups?

Are this kind of pickups precisely "magnetic pickups"? If so, the pickups are supposed to be producing sound from the (metallic) string vibration, then how does the body vibration on a ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

How to record my guitar on my computer

So I want to make some guitar covers and need a way to record my playing. I've set my multi-effect board and amp up so that I have the sound I want coming from the amp, I just need a way to get it on ...
27
votes
10answers
5k views

“one finger per fret” - is it worth following this rule?

When I first got into guitar, I was given advice to follow a "one finger per fret" rule with the left hand. Basically, to fret notes with all four fingers, and to follow a pattern such that in any ...
23
votes
2answers
6k views

Does leaving a capo on “hurt” the strings?

On occasion I've accidentally left a capo on (overnight). Does this decrease the life of the strings, staying in tune time, hurt the neck, or anything else that's bad?
17
votes
16answers
5k views

X or Y guitarist doesn't know music theory - how true is this statement?

We've all heard a statement similar to the following: X didn't / doesn't know any music theory and is one of the all time greats replacing X with a famous guitarist. Being a novice, I am ...
17
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

How to begin learning the CAGED Method

What is the best way of approaching the CAGED Method. What are some good resources for beginning to learn this method.
16
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
546 views

Learn guitar chords?

I like to play guitar and I'm quite good playing tabs. However, I don't know the chords and I would like to learn them and to play them easily. Any tips on where to learn them on internet or tips to ...
10
votes
3answers
494 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What are some good slap guitar resources?

I'm fascinated by the technique of most of the guys on CandyRat records, specifically Andy Mckee. Are there any resources out there on slap guitar technique? How can I too become as epic as him at ...
8
votes
4answers
851 views

Everyday guitar routine

I'm learning how to play the guitar and it's been a year and a half I think. I play both acoustic and electric guitar. I would like to get my playing to the next level with an everyday guitar ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Do acoustic or classical guitars need to be set up?

Obviously acoustic and classical guitars don't have external pickups that need to be setup, but are there any other adjustments that need to be done on a regular basis? There doesn't seem to be a ...
7
votes
2answers
15k views

Some acoustic guitars are easy to play but some aren't. What affects playability?

I was comparing a fender and an epiphone acoustic guitar and noticed that fender was easier for my left hand. Both guitars have the same dimensions and seemed to have same string gauge. I thought ...
7
votes
2answers
247 views

How to keep from tensing up when I click the metronome faster?

I've been trying to build up speed with my tremolo exercises, and the demon I keep fighting is a sort of negative feedback loop fed by worrying about deviations from the tempo, increasing attention on ...
6
votes
1answer
390 views

Scalpel technique in Guitar

What is Scalpel technique in Guitar ? I searched on internet but does not show proper results.It says "Scalpel - move only your thumb and forefinger" Can you please guide me through videos,images ...
6
votes
10answers
22k views

How can I build my finger strength when I am not practicing?

I am a beginner for guitar. And I am having a hard time playing the F barre chord. It is said that only through practice can one make a difference. But I have limited time playing guitar. Are there ...
6
votes
4answers
204 views

What are some harmonic options for layering guitar lines while recording?

I would like to layer multiple guitar lines for a section of a song that I'm working on - what are some harmonic variations that I would be able to use?
5
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I mute the guitar in a song so I can play with the backing track?

I am tired of Karaoke style backing tracks and want to replace the guitar in a song that I already have. Can I do this with software?
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Why tune the guitar other than standard?

I have a question. How does tuning come into play in guitar songs? See, I can find the tab of a song in the guitar by ear and I was taught that in tuning standard the fifth fret of the low e string is ...
5
votes
5answers
7k views

Choosing a guitar cabinet

I have settled on the amplifier head to buy for my guitar, but I am not sure of the cabinet yet. I know that there are open-back vs closed-back options, and I assume that the quality of the speaker ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I find a good reverb pedal for a huge, soul-filling sound?

I'm looking to experiment with some post-rock sort of stuff, and my guitar sound is just far too empty right now. I've got an echo park that I've been messing around with, but given that it's ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Flatpicking: how can I make my floating-pick-hand less bouncy?

Can anyone suggest how I might improve my "floating fist" style flatpicking? I'm trying to clean up my pick technique for the sake of accuracy, feel, speed, and general ease-of-playing. I use the ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

Can I connect my semi-acoustic guitar to my computer and get output from its speakers?

I know the proper thing to do is to buy an amplifier for this purpose. But can I connect to my computer and get the output from the speakers? Works fine with recording, but not direct output. Is there ...
4
votes
1answer
126 views

How to layout left hand fingers correctly?

I practice Flamenco guitar. Basically all music sheets that I read indicates the left hand fingers (1, 2, 3 and 4). This is amazingly helpful because you can complicate a lot of things if you are ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

What is a good resource to learn how to build chords from scales?

I would like to understand how chords are made (like G/F# or Bb etc.) so I can figure out what a chord is by remembering the scale. Is there a good resource for learning this? If I want to learn how ...
3
votes
1answer
197 views

How do you play barre chords which are at an angle?

I read about the concept of an angled/oblique barre chord, where you use your index finger to play 2 different frets across different strings like so: -4- 3rd -2- 1st -3- 1st -4- 2nd --- -4- 4th (I ...
3
votes
4answers
434 views

Guitar practice - general techniques

I was delighted to come across this site. I'm a self-taught guitarist (largely electric guitar) and am continually looking to improve my playing and practice techniques. The change of running my ...
1
vote
3answers
171 views

Learning Guitar Licks [closed]

I would like to be able to learn how to play chord filler licks or maybe do some solo playing when someone else is playing a chord progression. Where can I start to actually learn how to do this??? ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does the C7 chord on guitar omit the G note (5th) in open position?

0 C7 C7 ( 1-3-5-flat7) is suppose to contain a G as its 5th right? So how does a guitar get away with this in open position?
21
votes
16answers
26k views

Why is dropped D tuning used so often?

Many metal/rock songs use dropped D tuning. What reasons are there for it?
18
votes
7answers
7k views

Pick weight - functional difference, or just personal preference?

I'm at the very beginning of learning to play guitar, and I recently needed to buy some more picks. This was more complex than I was expecting, since there are apparently many different weights of ...
17
votes
8answers
5k views

Should I look at the fretboard while I play guitar?

Is it a bad thing to constantly look at the frets while playing? Sometimes I find myself curved over a body of the guitar so much that my neck starts to hurt. It seems that some experienced players ...
16
votes
4answers
7k views

How to play chords like G/B

I heard that if there is a chord written like x/y then that means an x chord with y in the bass. This can be played by playing x normally, but then playing the y note on the 6th string, correct? Then ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Pentatonic scale with a sharpened 2nd note, any name?

I was messing with the A minor pentatonic scale and discovered that if I sharpen the 2nd note of the scale, it sounds very interesting to my ears, even more than the original scale. Does this already ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What does it mean to play in an 'arpeggiated' style on the guitar?

I sometimes hear a guitar player described as having an 'arpeggiated' style, such as Peter Buck of R.E.M. I know that an arpeggio is the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 8th of a scale, but exactly what does it ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

What is true bypass?

What is true bypass on a pedal? What are it's advantages? What are it's disadvantages?