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
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I split guitar string gauges?

I want to know if I can split guitar string gauges, ie. using 12s on the bottom and 10s on the top, both for standard and drop tunings.
11
votes
9answers
14k 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
2answers
137 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
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 ...
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: ...
10
votes
3answers
287 views

What indicators enable consumers to identify counterfeit guitars?

For consumers shopping for specific name-brand guitars, such as Gibson, how may one identify counterfeit knock-offs? Can we collectively develop a check-list of tip-offs confirmed by experienced ...
10
votes
7answers
3k views

Getting consistent tone from barre chords

Perhaps it's just that I have small hands (e.g. index finger is barely longer than the 12th fret), but I seem to have issues with barring; no matter what I do it seems there is a string that's right ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Restringing a 12-string guitar with heavier strings - is it possible?

I'm considering using a 12-string guitar I don't play all that much as a testbed: Is it possible to restring an acoustic guitar as a baritone guitar, or even just string it so I can tune it down a few ...
10
votes
1answer
167 views

Is there any way to improve the life of my capo?

I have a spring-action grip style capo that is designed for changing the position easily. It used to be great, however now I am finding that quite often it will not fret some of the strings properly, ...
10
votes
4answers
296 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?
10
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
488 views

What does a circle before/between notes mean?

I have a score for a guitar music here, which has these strange hollow circles between notes; also before the first note: They don't look like notes, and playing them makes the music ugly, so they ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Beginner replacing guitar strings

I am a beginner at playing the guitar, so I recently bought myself one and then managed to break a string whilst trying to tune it. After getting over the initial disappointment, I have ordered some ...
8
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I strengthen my fretting hand away from my guitar?

I don't get as much time with my guitar as I'd like, and I'd like to be "in shape" for the time of day when I can play. Are there exercises I can do while I don't have my guitar that can help improve ...
8
votes
8answers
619 views

Using alternative tunings

Guitars are tuned E-A-D-G-B-E by standard, but I prefer tuning it down to C (C-F-Bb-Eb-G-C) since it gives a meatier sound and is easier on my fingers. I know there are plenty of other tunings, but ...
8
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the dos and don'ts of positioning your thumb on a guitar?

What are the Dos and Don'ts of thumb position in guitar playing? Are there bad habits or just alternative techniques?
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Fingertip sensitivity/pain related to nail separation

I've been playing for decades. Every now and then I do something that causes a fingertip on my fretting hand to be extremely sensitive — to the point where the slightest pressure causes pain. ...
7
votes
0answers
294 views

How to properly store valuable guitars?

What are the general guidelines when storing a collectors, very nice guitar (special woods, etc.), or one you value greatly? You will find humidity control systems in place at stores with "acoustic ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 :)
7
votes
2answers
730 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
282 views

Does the type of wood on a solid body electric guitar affect its tone or sound?

I know that on an acoustic guitar the sound is produced by the strings vibrating the top or soundboard and that the type wood used on the soundboard and body of an acoustic guitar will be the ...
6
votes
1answer
472 views

What is B II, followed by a dashed line, and what does it mean?

In the guitar tab of Opus 35, No 22 in B minor of Fernando Sor that I get from classical clef, there is a notation BII as shown in the above picture. What does it mean?
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I develop mastery of polyrhythms in playing guitar?

(I am asking this question because someone just posted a question which misused the term "polyrhythm", and subsequently, on realizing the mistake, edited the question to reflect their real question -- ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

What does a preamplifier pedal do?

I've seen a lot of people using a preamplifier pedal. What does that pedal do? Do I need one on my pedalboard?
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the correct technique for strumming a guitar?

By correct I mean from a biomechanical perspective to minimize the risk of injury. I have seen some advice saying that strumming should be controlled by the big muscles such as the shoulder. My ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I learn timing from a guitar tab?

When playing guitar/bass from tabs, I find that I can learn the fingering easily, but the timing is often wrong when I play with a backing track. I'm fairly noobish to music notation/tablature, but I ...
6
votes
5answers
6k views

How do I maintain flamenco guitar fingernails?

Any flamenco guitarists out there? How do you keep the fingernails in such great shape? Is the difference that much better with the strumming hand's fingernails being longer?
6
votes
5answers
6k views

Is it possible to learn Flamenco guitar on a steel-string guitar? Will it sound right?

I have been learning guitar (using a pick) for 4 years, I play only a few chords and a minor scale. I have a metal string guitar, but I'd like to play Flamenco style. Is it possible for me learn ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Insane amounts of fret buzzing on my lower strings

This may have been addressed before, but I can't really find a thread that targets this problem. Whenever I play on my low B, E, or A string between open and fifth fret inclusive, it always buzzes ...
6
votes
4answers
76 views

Should I worry about this strap pin?

I recently bought a Fender Stratocaster that came stock with Schaller straplocks. This is great, because I pretty much always play standing. In shows, I jump around and do all the tricks in the book. ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

When shipping a guitar, what is the best way to package it?

What is the best way to package a guitar to ensure if will arrive in its destination without any harm? Lots of bubble wrap? A box within a box? Loosen the strings? Should acoustic and electric guitars ...
6
votes
5answers
823 views

Is it possible to mute some of my strings?

I'm working on a part of a song where I need to strum the top two strings (B & E) together and very fast. I'm wondering if there is some sort of a damping capo that I can put over the other four ...
5
votes
1answer
379 views

Strap button repair

One of the strap buttons on my bass is stripped. I’ve seen several methods for repairing this, all of which involved filling the hole with some bits of wood. Insert matchsticks, toothpicks, or a ...
5
votes
3answers
851 views

what kind of equalization is done for different music genres for your guitar tone?

I have articles which say that if you are into classic rock and metal then you should have more of MIDS etc can some one please provide information that for different kind of genres what kind of EQ is ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

I don't understand scale positions

I know the Maj/Min pentatonic scale positions. I need a clear explanation of why Position#1 for minor pentatonic for A starts on the fifth fret; it has something to do with octaves. How do you go ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I use strings for bridge pins on a non-bridge pin guitar? [duplicate]

Very new to the guitar. I borrowed an Oscar Schmidt OC11 nylon-string classical guitar, without an E-6th string and I bought a heap load of different weighted strings so I could try different types. ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the correct mechanics for a guitar F barre chord

I have been having trouble with the F barre chord and have a question about mechanics. As an experiment I've tried moving the body very far to the right so that my eyes are somewhere over the seventh ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Capo that won't detune my guitar?

I use a Kyser style capo. I don't know any better, but are there better capos? I'm looking for a durable capo that wont drastically put my guitar out of tune when I use it. What kind of capos won't ...
5
votes
3answers
107 views

Stripped strap pin screw

You may have seen my question a while back about how to handle a faulty strap pin. I found another pair in my 'accessory kit' that are of much better quality. The dilemma now is removing the strap pin ...
4
votes
5answers
349 views

Difficulty tuning in Drop D

I went to a guitar shop yesterday to buy a new set of strings and had them replace my old ones. The guitar sounds fine like the usual eadgbe sound but when I tried tuning it to drop D using a guitar ...
4
votes
2answers
228 views

Pentatonic Scales Question

I'm learning the notes on the fret board and I just wanted to ask something about the pentatonic scales you see, A minor pentatonic is A C D E G on the 5th fret, but when I play it on the 2nd fret its ...
4
votes
6answers
9k views

Playing a song in a different key

I trying to teach myself guitar and one song I want to perform for a friend (soon) is Akon's "Don't Matter." I can't read sheet music (but i want to learn) but i found the chord progression of the ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

How to keep guitar strings from breaking so quickly?

I have a takamine g350 acoustic-electric guitar (not that it really matters for this quesiton), and my strings tend to break every two or three weeks. I do like to experiment with different tunings, ...
4
votes
1answer
407 views

How can I prevent loss of tuning when changing strings set from 0.11 to 0.12?

I have an Epiphone Les Paul Custom and it's tuned in standard C and my playing style is mostly Desert Rock. I'm using a set of 0.12 strings and considering changing to a 0.11 set to have less tension ...
4
votes
3answers
456 views

How to read stacked chords?

I'm trying to learn Laugh and a half by DAD. Everything is clear except for second line of verse 1 where there are chords on top of each other (G on top of D). How do I play them? Em D ...
4
votes
3answers
344 views

What do I need to learn before I can alternate tune my guitar?

What do I need to learn before I can alternate tune my guitar? See, I was taught by my friend how to tune my guitar in standard(EADBGE), and it goes like this: "How To Tune The Guitar To Standard" ...
4
votes
4answers
417 views

Do you count mental practice when counting total practice time for the day?

My guitar instructor insists that, as part of my training, I set a fixed minimum amount of time each day for practice and make sure that I practice at least that much, with a fixed upper limit of 4x45 ...
3
votes
2answers
108 views

What are the levels of scale mastery (or, how do I know if I've mastered a scale)?

I am trying to re-learn many scales I kind of knew, but want to get better at. The question is, at which point do you know you mastered the scale (at least in terms of knowing enough to move on to ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

Low E buzz troubleshooting

I've got low E string buzz on both my acoustic guitars (Washburn and small bodied Hohner). I'm using light gauge strings mostly in standard but occasionally open tunings. The buzz is mostly ...