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)

11
votes
6answers
3k 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?
11
votes
3answers
851 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
4answers
6k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
396 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
923 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
735 views

Altering the sound of a guitar to match a sitar

I'm interested in altering my guitar to give it a more sitar-like sound. I've stumbled upon this video below ...
11
votes
2answers
496 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
130 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 ...
10
votes
11answers
693 views

How do you tune your guitar?

I'd like to hear about the different techniques of tuning a guitar with standard tuning, and why you use them.
10
votes
6answers
13k views

What factors affect a guitar's ability to sustain a note?

There are effects and gadgets that can create a long sustained note, but what about the guitar itself? I have a squier standard strat which I can't help but feel could be letting notes ring longer, ...
10
votes
2answers
410 views

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

Do they mean how loud it will go without getting distortion?
10
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
15k 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
397 views

Are there any books or videos out there that teach you SLOWLY and do not focus on learning TABS?

Are there any books or videos courses that just teach you how to practice acoustic guitar and its not complicated either? I know that there are lots of video course, books, youtube videos out there ...
10
votes
2answers
4k 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
10answers
1k 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
8answers
4k views

What to do when we have back pain from playing guitar after a while?

What should I do when I start having back pain every 10min after playing? I sit down and change position but the pain continues. Every player has to support the weight of the guitar if playing ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

Importance of sight reading for non-professional jazz guitarists?

As a non-professional, intermediate-level guitarist interested in playing jazz, I wonder how important it is for me to be able to sight read music (and I mean standard music notation, not guitar ...
10
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
728 views

How should I practice before going into the recording studio?

I've heard that one of the best ways to save money in the studio is to spend a significant amount of time woodshedding before the actual studio date, which will help keep the amount of mistakes to a ...
10
votes
1answer
225 views

Carved fingerboard between frets on a guitar

I've played the electric guitar for about ten years. I've seen and tried out various kinds of necks, but today I stumbled upon a fingerboard that goes beyond my understanding. It looked like this: ...
10
votes
9answers
688 views

guitar scales: where to start

I am learning guitar for a month. I like to learn and practice scales a lot (as I hear they are the building blocks of lead guitar and I want to play lead eventually), but there being a million videos ...
10
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
6k views

How do I develop a good vibrato?

A crucial element for phrasing is vibrato, but while you can notate a great number of things, you can't really notate vibrato. I know it's important. I know B.B. King's butterfly vibrato is a big ...
10
votes
9answers
1k views

Is it possible to learn theory without sight reading?

I'm learning music theory by myself with online books and video lessons. I don't have much trouble understanding the basics of theory, such as intervals, basic scales and modes, but I have a huge ...
10
votes
3answers
410 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
8answers
14k views

How to bend and release without flicking the other strings?

I'm trying to bend up then back down on the G string (so it plays both notes, I'm not muting the bend back down to G) but I always catch my fingernail on the D string. So when I let the bend back ...
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
481 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
880 views

Electric fretless bass guitar intonation

Is there a specific way to check the intonation on a fretless bass, i.e. adjusting the string lengths at the bridge, or does it simply not matter, as we're keeping in tune by ear anyhow?
10
votes
3answers
2k 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. ...
10
votes
1answer
2k 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---------------- ...
10
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I use string gauge tables?

I have seen that string manufacturers publish tables of string gauges and tensions. For example, this one. How can I use these to choose a set of strings for my instrument?
10
votes
3answers
7k 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: ...
10
votes
2answers
448 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
301 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. ...
10
votes
2answers
200 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
1k 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
7answers
2k 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
820 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 ...
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
149 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
5answers
1k views

Playing Tricky Harmonics

A piece I'm working on learning requires some of the more difficult harmonics (namely, fourth- and third-fret harmonics). Are there any tricks for playing these tricky harmonics? For example, I know ...
10
votes
3answers
222 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
1answer
251 views

Stringing alternatives on classical guitar (headstock)

While looking at several images of classical guitar headstocks, I noticed that there seem to be several ways people wind their strings on the capstans. I have always used the variant where I wind the ...
9
votes
10answers
643 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
10k views

What kind of guitar for big hands?

For someone with big hands, what kind of guitar is suitable? What are the advantages and disadvantages of big hands for playing guitar?
9
votes
4answers
481 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
4answers
1k views

How to become a good musician at a later age?

I'm a soon-to-be psychology graduate, however my big passion is playing guitar, and I was wondering if I could turn my hobby into something more serious. I've been a bedroom guitarist for about 6-7 ...