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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11
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5answers
943 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. ...
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: ...
11
votes
3answers
663 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
415 views

Basic Punk Rhythm Guitar--Snare Feels Like Down Beat

I'm a pretty good guitarist, and I can play some tricky rhythms (weird time signatures, syncopation, some of the easier djent stuff) but I've always had trouble when my drummer starts to play anything ...
11
votes
1answer
247 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?
11
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
292 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
655 views

What kind of guitar exercise is “the caterpillar”?

What does it consist in and how do you practice it?
11
votes
2answers
106 views

What is this technique called?

In this video, scroll to around 1:24. Andy McKee puts his right hand on 12th fret (Not sure) and pulls out his left hand from 3rd or 4th fret producing a peculiar sound. What is this technique ...
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
6answers
2k views

Looking at the frets VS not looking at the frets

Is it a bad thing, if constantly look at the frets while playing? Some times I find by self curved over a body of the guitar so much, that my neck starts to hurt. Seems, that some experienced players ...
10
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
153 views

What are some of the things that influence a players “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 ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Guitar chords high on the neck

Apologies, this is an incredibly vague question, but any help would be appreciated. When watching skilled acoustic guitar players, I regularly see them playing chords high on the guitar neck (ie ...
10
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
10
votes
10answers
755 views

What are good warm-up exercises for guitarists?

I do not generally warm up, but then I don't really stretch my playing as much as my ear when I practice. But I know I should. What are some good exercises to do before I start getting into the ...
10
votes
4answers
311 views

When using strict alternate picking, is it OK to play a downstroke twice in order to start a new phrase on a downstroke?

There are a lot of advocates of absolutely strict alternate picking, like Chris Thile. I've been practicing that for a couple of weeks now, and I'm at the point where I can play just about anything ...
10
votes
7answers
381 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
649 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

My fingers ache after practice. What can I do about it?

I have played the guitar since 2006 and I had no trouble all that time. Recently I noticed that my fingers ache after practice. What can I do with that?
10
votes
2answers
351 views

How can I easily manage different tunings?

This is probably appropriate for a range of instruments, and I have seen mentioned in other questions that professional musicians can cope easily with transpositions, different instruments that play ...
10
votes
3answers
329 views

How to overcome the frustration while you are developing demanding techniques?

I'm practicing Flamenco guitar and I'm concentrating a LOT on the technique. Flamenco is so demanding on the right hand, techniques like tremolo, rasgueados, alzapua ... It is hard to play flamenco ...
10
votes
2answers
173 views

Nailcare for guitarists?

I know that having your nails too long or short is bad, particularly for classical/fingerstyle guitarists, but what constitutes to having 'good' nails? Bonus points for pictures/external articles ...
10
votes
3answers
672 views

What guitar tunings allow many chords without fretting between “live” strings

When playing the guitar, I find it difficult to fret a string without touching the string on either side and ruining the sound. Open tunings make it very easy to play one type of chord by barring ...
10
votes
2answers
621 views

What makes african blues so distinctive?

When you listen to the music by Ali Farka Toure, Rokia Traore, Afel Bocoum and other african blues artists you can recognize it in a second. What is it what makes the african blues so distinctive? Is ...
9
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
327 views

Why does tab have CGCGCE instead of normal EADGBE?

I'm pretty new to learning guitar music. I've heard some great songs that I would like to learn on my own, and mostly I've been able to read the tabs. I just came upon a tab that looks like this: ...
9
votes
2answers
303 views

What do they mean by 'This amp has a lot of headroom'?

Do they mean how loud it will go without getting distortion?
9
votes
5answers
858 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
10k views

Fingers Too Short for Barre Chords?

My wife is learning the guitar and is getting pretty good. She gets frustrated though because she can't play barre chords. She claims that her fingers are literally too short to ever be able to play ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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?
9
votes
4answers
227 views

What is a guitar truss rod?

What is the "truss rod" on a guitar? Do truss rods vary for an acoustic, electric, or classical guitar?
9
votes
2answers
473 views

What does the circle around a note mean in a guitar chord diagram?

I'm trying to play E/G#. I found this, but what is that symbol on the 4th string?
9
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
401 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
7k views

What's causing this buzzing sound on the high e string?

My Takamine acoustic has a tendency to buzz when I play the high e string fretted around frets 2 and 3. I figure it's something to do with the neck and tension rod. Are there any other parts of a ...
9
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I effectively secure guitar strings to the tuning pegs?

One of the bigger problems I face when restringing my guitars is properly securing the strings to the pegs. How should I wind the strings around the pegs before tightening them to prevent the string ...
9
votes
2answers
4k 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. ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Flat-wound vs round-wound strings

What difference can you expect when playing with flat-wound vs round-wound strings on an electric bass/guitar? I know that they feel different - I am asking explicitly in terms of sound.
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What can be done about a buzzy sitar-like fret?

I have an acoustic-electric guitar, which I took home new about 10 years ago. Lately I've noticed that the G on the high E string (third fret, play it all the time) has started to sound like a sitar. ...
9
votes
1answer
919 views

“х” on tablature - how do I play it?

I'm learning "Last Christmas" arrangement for the acoustic guitar, and have encountered lots of notes marked as "x" in tablature. --------------------------------0---------------- ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Logical way to learn movable scales on guitar?

After learning the CAGED 'open string' scales, what scales to do next? In what order or what way? When I learn a new scale, it seems to have the effect of displacing my ability to play other scales ...
9
votes
2answers
208 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? ...
9
votes
4answers
251 views

Recommended arm and hand position for neck side

I was wondering if there are some really clear sites, videos or texts explaining the best practices regarding the way to hold your guitar, both to be efficient and to avoid straining your fingers/arm. ...
9
votes
2answers
396 views

Dealing with sharp fret ends

Continuing on my quest to subjugate this cheap bass I picked up in to the realm of "actually useful instrument" I've got a question about taming sharp fret ends. This bass, it has a lot of them. After ...
9
votes
3answers
679 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
553 views

Why do classical guitarists recommend putting the left thumb between the index and middle finger?

In most of the literature that I have seen, the recommendation is for the left thumb to be roughly in line with the index finger, running parallel to the frets. I find that, especially toward the ...
9
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Guitar chords for samba

I'd like to learn some standard samba chords for guitar. I understand the usual involves jazzy chords like 9/11/13 and few others. Now, I can construct these chords myself, but problem number one: ...