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".

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

14
votes
11answers
5k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
6k views

What exactly is the act of playing behind the beat?

I am a guitarist trying to improve my rhythmic feel and have been told to play a little more behind the beat. This is in a studio setting. How should I approach this to be more consistant in playing ...
14
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
474 views

How do you care for your guitar?

A guitar that is used regularly will sooner or later show signs of wear and tear. How do you best care for your guitar and make sure it stays as good as it is for as long as possible?
14
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
6k views

Right hand accuracy

I've realized, that I have a big problem with right hand accuracy, when using a pick, especially, when I play arpeggios and have to skip a string or a couple of stings. Sometimes, I hit the wrong ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I produce any melody on my guitar as effortlessly as I do with my voice?

When I improvise on the guitar, I rely too much in theory and muscle memory. However, I can do creative vocal improvisations. I want to be able to let my inner ear command my guitar playing as well. ...
14
votes
2answers
426 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
28k 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. ...
14
votes
3answers
848 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
10answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
594 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the (Practical) theory behind applying chords for a Song?

I love playing Guitar. I can play the lead for any song by listening to it. But often in our prayer meeting people sing different songs in different keys. I can track the major they sing, but I am ...
13
votes
1answer
12k views

Developing Stage Presence as 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 ...
13
votes
10answers
14k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
4k 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
2k 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
9k 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?
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
1answer
5k views

Is my Yamaha guitar counterfeit?

I bought a new Yamaha Guitar and When you look inside the guitar hole it looks like the model number is written by hand. Can you please tell me if this one is a fake one or not? The number written on ...
13
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
818 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
5answers
28k views

How to know which scale a song uses?

I have a song in my mind, and I want to play it on the guitar. I know how scales are made (full and half steps), and I can recognize whether the next note is higher or lower in a song (not ...
13
votes
6answers
3k 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
26k 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
8k 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
1answer
1k 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?
13
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the proper humidity range for an acoustic guitar?

What is the range of relative humidity, in percentage, that is optimal for storing a guitar, cello, violin or the like in its case? I live in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, which is a humid environment ...
13
votes
3answers
327 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
1answer
259 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
5k 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
1k 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
980 views

What kind of guitar exercise is “the caterpillar”?

What does it consist in and how do you practice it?
12
votes
10answers
2k views

Piano vs Guitar Strings? Tension vs length?

Why do pianos have different length strings, while guitars have the same length strings? According to the guitar, it would seem that the pitch of a string is determined based solely off of tension, ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it a good idea to leave my guitar tuned over night?

I have an acoustic guitar and I always leave it tuned over night until someone told me that it ruins the strings and the neck of the guitar. Is that true and should I leave it tuned overnight?
12
votes
16answers
23k 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? ...
12
votes
8answers
3k 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
6answers
4k 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
242 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
8k 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
922 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
2answers
972 views

What does “gliss 2x” mean here?

What does "gliss 2x" mean here?
12
votes
7answers
3k views

What's the reason for having a large number of guitars?

This question is motivated by Is it a good idea to leave my guitar tuned over night?. I leave all ten of my acoustic guitars tuned all the time I'm a cellist and I just can't imagine having ...
12
votes
3answers
10k 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
15k 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
17k 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
7answers
847 views

Power chord: Can the lower fifth be used?

Normally a C power chord is played by using C and the G in the same octave (that is, 3rd fret of 5th string and 5th fret of 4th string). But a friend says the C power chord can be played just by ...
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
2answers
1k 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 ...