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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5answers
3k views

Will hanging a guitar by its headstock damage it?

I like to leave my guitars out, otherwise I don't play them. I have a couple of wall hangings and stands all over the place too. Will hanging a guitar from the wall damage it at all? Warp the neck? ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

How to translate rock guitar style to keyboards?

The particular property of the guitar, at least to my ear, is that it can easily "fill the room", as it were, even when playing simple chords or patterns. The keyboard seems to want... more ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Valve (tube) amps and clean tone

Is there any difference in clean tone sound between a valve/tube amp and a solid state amp? i.e., does having a valve in an amp affect the clean channel, or only the distorted channel? Apologies for ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Do capos exist that can be disabled without removing them from the guitar?

There's a song I want to play (in C) where the verse sounds best played on regular 1st-fret chords and the chorus sounds great using chords around the 8th fret - I can't barre them all reliably enough ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

What determines how hard it is to press a guitar string?

When playing on different steel string acoustic guitars over the years, i noticed a huge difference in how hard it was to press down a string. This made me wonder why. There are two obvious factors ...
13
votes
10answers
4k views

Guitar tutoring software that listens to your playing?

I'm looking into learning classical guitar. I know most people will suggest getting lessons, and I'm looking into that. But I was also wondering if there are any software tutors out there that can ...
13
votes
3answers
635 views

Why do I get more tired when I play on stage?

When I practice guitar on my own at home or with my band, I can play for ~1.5 to 2 hours without getting really tired. When I am on a stage and we play a gig, I get really tired on the first half ...
13
votes
2answers
386 views

Maximizing Practice Time

I play both guitar and sing(I'm a much better guitarist than singer) and have been devoting around 4 hours a day to both instruments. I'm noticing that I'm having trouble covering all the things I ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Breaking out of pentatonic scales for guitar riffs

I've been playing guitar for about 9 years now. From a young age, my teachers focused a lot on pentatonic scales. So that's what I'm defaulting to when improvising, soloing, writing stuff, etc. ...
13
votes
7answers
19k views

Is there a preferred string gauge for different styles of music?

Generally speaking is there a preferred string gauge for different styles of music? E.g. Will the fingerpicking folk player choose one gauge and the rock lead guitarist another gauge, how about the ...
13
votes
7answers
6k views

How do you mic a guitar amp?

How do you go about mic'ing a guitar amp for live performance? Would you do anything different if you were mic'ing the amp for studio recording? Is there anything specific I should look for in a ...
13
votes
3answers
283 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
708 views

Playing guitar with webbed fingers

I've just got myself an acoustic guitar and I'm struggling with holding down chord shapes. I have webbed 2nd and 3rd fingers on my fretting (left) hand. This causes those fingers to follow each ...
13
votes
1answer
239 views

Help me understand this progression

A friend showed me this progression: G7, F#m7b5, B7, Em7, A7, Dm7, G7, CMaj7, Cm7, Bm7, Bdim7, Am7, Ab7, Bm7, Bb7, Am7, Ab7 For the most part, I understand that at its heart it is built on a I vi ii ...
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 ...
13
votes
1answer
998 views

Understanding a Chinese guitar tab

A Chinese friend of mine requested I learn her favourite guitar tune: http://www.yuesir.com/ipu/271.html However, I have big trouble undestanding the convention used is this tab. Could someone ...
13
votes
1answer
870 views

What kind of guitar exercise is “the caterpillar”?

What does it consist in and how do you practice it?
12
votes
5answers
6k views

What is “Phrasing” in the context of playing a Solo?

What is meant when a listener says"His phrasing was spot on"- specifically when talking about solo's but sometimes when referring to a pianist "comping". What does it mean when referring to a ...
12
votes
9answers
2k views

What are the various methods of tuning the guitar?

This is not a question as much as it is a discussion. I am curious to know what are the different techniques to tune the guitar (using standard tuning) given you know that one string is in tune. I ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

What can I build into my guitar and use the “tone pots” buttons to adjust?

The tone pots are fairly useless, for the most part, so I was wondering what else people have done to take advantage of having those two controls available. I would love some ideas of something I ...
12
votes
1answer
9k views

Basics of stage presence for guitarists

Where do I start to develop a good stage presence as a guitarist? While guitar-specific stunts (like the guitar spin, etc) are good to know, but I'm more interested in knowing general rules for ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

What's the difference between two notes played on strings of different thickness?

I'm working on this piece of music on a sequencer, and I'm trying to emulate the effect of playing the same note on different strings of a guitar, say, an E3 on the 5th fret of the B string and an ...
12
votes
4answers
209 views

How can I develop a regular rehearsal programme?

I've been learning scales and chords, and tried a few songs. It sounds nice and by practising, I'm becoming faster and more comfortable. I also use the things I learn to improvise and jam. But I get ...
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?
12
votes
9answers
791 views

Is there a technique to help you memorize the notes on the guitar?

The title says it all. Is there no escaping memorizing the neck note by note, or is there a nice technique for this?
12
votes
10answers
11k views

Are there alternatives to developing calluses when learning guitar?

As a musician, I come from a mostly vocal and piano background, but I was gifted a decent acoustic guitar many years ago and haven't really gotten into learning it due to practicing being rather ...
12
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4answers
8k views

Playing Guitar Tabs on Piano?

I was wondering if anyone could possibly explain how I could somehow translate a guitar tab into notes on piano. Is there some sort of algorithm I can apply? ex: ...
12
votes
8answers
12k views

Does using a capo put you out of tune?

i just want to ask if using a capo affects the tuning of the strings. I bought my first capo and I played my guitar with the capo on all day long. When I removed the capo, I played another song and it ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

My guitar goes out of tune at a higher pitch rather than lower, is that normal?

It is my understanding that strings, over time, stretch and are unable to maintain their tension, so they go out of tune at a lower pitch. When I pick up my guitar and I tune it with my electronic ...
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
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
12k views

Causes of sharp pain in a fretting finger after playing guitar or bass?

I have been playing guitar and bass for about 20 years now and I have noticed that sometimes, particularly in the last five years, I will do something with my fretting hand that causes a sharp pain in ...
12
votes
2answers
803 views

What physical effects cause ageing/worn guitar strings to change their tone?

Guitar strings wear out over time and are prone to oxidation due to sweat. As a result, they change their tone usually sounding more "bright" when they are new and "dull" when aged. There's been a ...
12
votes
1answer
799 views

What is this device strapped around the nut of an electric guitar?

What is this device strapped around the nut of the guitar in this image?
12
votes
4answers
988 views

Are there guitar strings for very high tunings?

David Gilmour used a special tuning for the rhythm guitar in the song Comfortably Numb. It was a regular EADGBE, but the lowest two strings were two octaves higher, and the middle two were one octave ...
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
400 views

Planning for intensive guitar practice

Many musicians are known for having periods of intense practice (over 10 hours daily). I tried this method few times, probably got a lot better (assuming third person perspective), but I'm never ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the the Nashville Numbers system?

Recently, a couple of my bandmates were talking about a technique they use called Nashville Numbers. It's similar to writing out chords, but instead uses numbers. These numbers are a pattern that ...
12
votes
4answers
14k views

Noise while not touching guitar strings or metal parts

I get a buzzing noise from my guitar when idle. However, when I touch the strings or touch any metal parts (strings, bridge or the metal portion near the output jack), the noise goes away completely. ...
12
votes
7answers
25k 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 ...
11
votes
10answers
943 views

What is the secret of jazz phrases?

I'm diving into Jazz, both with guitar and trumpet, and I'm looking for that typical jazzy sound when traveling from lows to highs (and opposite). How were Miles and friends achieving it? What ...
11
votes
6answers
294 views

What are some of the things that influence a player's “tone”?

Listen to Larry Carlton, Jeff Beck,Steve Morse, Grant Green, Freddie/BB/ King, Hound Dog Taylor, Luther Allison, Dave Gregory ect.. - love'm or hate'm they all have very distinctive tones, Why? It's ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Slightly tone-deaf?

I'm incredibly depressed. I have always wanted to be a musician and for the last 5 years I have learned various scales, chords in each key in various positions up and down the neck of the guitar and ...
11
votes
9answers
15k views

Is it possible for a left hander to learn guitar right handed?

I am looking to get a guitar for my step son. He is largely left handed, but currently he plays the drums right handed without any difficulty. Would the same apply with learning guitar from scratch? ...
11
votes
3answers
14k views

Putting steel strings on a cheap nylon guitar

I was trying to get back into playing guitar. I only took lessons for a few years with a nylon string guitar that was fairly cheap. When I pulled the guitar out of the attic it needed new strings so I ...
11
votes
4answers
22k views

How to identify the guitar chords of a song

What's the best technique to identify the guitar chords of a song? I know the basic chords and also how to get into the rhythm of a song! But I'll always be spending huge amount of time to identify ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Preparing for my first jazz gig

My first jazz gig is coming up (in about 45 days) and rehearsals start tomorrow. We are a quartet consisting of Bass, Drums, Guitar and Saxophone. I am used to playing with the rhythm section - ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Which chords are recommended for checking guitar tuning?

Notwithstanding innate intonation issues, just versus equal temperament, and a variety of tuning methods, I would like to ask what other guitarists use as their "check chords". That is, what chords do ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How to notate two identical notes ringing together?

In a melody I am composing, there are 4 E notes in a row, like this: ----------------- ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ----------------- ----------------- ----------------- ----------------- (the length of the ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How to embrace the metronome after years of bad habits?

Background I have been dabbling in guitar for over 20 years. I have decent dexterity, technique, and musical theory. However, I don't count time and never use a metronome. I always sound like a weak ...