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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3answers
5k 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: ...
9
votes
1answer
112 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, ...
9
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
171 views

Is it better to practice a single lick / part exclusively until you master it, or to practice a number of things at once?

As the title states... I am currently working at least one hour a day (which is my total practice time) on a single lick, and am determined to continue doing this to the exclusion of all other ...
8
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11answers
423 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.
8
votes
6answers
7k 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?
8
votes
5answers
7k 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, ...
8
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How does The Talkbox work?

Beck started using this in the early 70's - they called it The Bag for a hot minute (as did Stevie Wonder) - Frampton's career came alive when he started using it - how does it work?
8
votes
3answers
206 views

Fingers and fretboard

I am glad to join this community :) I am a beginner in guitar and I have the following question: When I play a chord (for example G7) my fingers aren't vertically aligned with the fretboard, but they ...
8
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 ...
8
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
483 views

Hot guitar pickup

What does it mean when a guitar pickup is deemed "hot"?
8
votes
9answers
747 views

Does a guitarist need to know staff notation?

There is a notation called Tablature for guitar. Most of the keyboardists I have seen, use the staff notation. Is staff notation useful for guitarists? Will it help the guitarist in learning ...
8
votes
7answers
248 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
973 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
1answer
233 views

How do you play this tablature notation?

How do I play this on my guitar? A side question, is there a reference site for checking music and tablature notation?
8
votes
4answers
7k views

how does one use or apply lemon oil ?

I have bought a classic guitar for my nephew who is starting classes. The vendor gave me as a gift a little vial of "lemon oil" (translated from the french) saying just quickly something like "it ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What are all those extra controls on the Fender Jazzmaster?

The wikipedia article says a lot, but doesn't dissect the artifact.
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Whole finger callous - for barre chords?

Attempting to learn barre chords and am having trouble with the G-string. What is happening is while I have sufficient pressure (at least I believe so?) the middle third of my index finger is ...
8
votes
5answers
24k views

How to start learning FingerStyle guitar?

How do I start learning fingerstyle guitar? I am lookin for a good book with CD, or any video series that will help me to get started. Basically, I want have some direction about how to play like ...
8
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What can I do to minimize damage to my picking hand wrist as I practice guitar?

My right hand (picking hand) is showing signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, and is slowly, but surely, degrading. I continue to practice guitar, but it's beginning to be difficult to do so. What can I ...
8
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
451 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.
8
votes
5answers
387 views

How to go learn through a book

This is not your average "which book to learn from" question. I'll post my research and background in as much detail as possible (since this could potentially help others with similar question). I've ...
8
votes
3answers
294 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
5k views

How do you strum an upstroke without striking an unwanted string?

It could be a silly question. I started learning guitar 2 months ago but the progress are not going very well. Apart from the previous problem, which I haven't solved yet, I have a problem with the ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

How to learn guitar without physical lessons?

I have an acoustic guitar that I've tried to learn to play many times. I'd like to learn to play by ear... I'm an accomplished musician on several other instruments but those are all woodwinds and ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a Birdseye Maple Neck?

Where does it come from or how is it chosen over regular Maple Necks - is there a tonal difference?
8
votes
8answers
8k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
810 views

Guitar scales further up the fret board.

I'm hoping someone can help me, i've been playing guitar for a while and mostly kept myself confined to chords/rythm, but now I want to explore some lead styles to add to my skills. So I began with ...
8
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Can you make your own Leslie Speakers?

I love the sound when employed with an Organ ( Jimmy Smith) and on Little Wing(SRV) - I vaguely remember seeing Kings X live once and I believe Ty Tabor had a pair of Leslie speakers that sounded ...
8
votes
4answers
771 views

How do you prevent injuries from bad posture while playing classical guitar?

I'm tagging this as specific to classical guitar since that's what I am familiar with. The correct posture is very important which playing classical, including the footstool, the position of your ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Does using a whammy bar detune your guitar?

Will regular use of a whammy bar cause your guitar strings to come out of tune significantly faster than normal?
8
votes
4answers
522 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?
8
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
274 views

Is there diference between black and white nylon in guitar strings?

Is there difference between black and white nylon?
8
votes
5answers
212 views

How to make the most of practicing guitar

I have playing guitar for a while - I have done all of the rockschool grades and am currently in two bands - and I've recently realised that I am making far less progress than my friends. My question ...
8
votes
1answer
149 views

Why some measures are marked with a roman numeral and a dashed line?

Take a look at the first of Tarrega's studies, which I'm trying to learn. In this study measures 6 and 13 are marked with a roman numeral (V and I respectively), and a dashed line above a measure. ...
8
votes
6answers
438 views

Training muscle memory without focusing. Is it necessarily bad?

Many people claim that you must focus completely on what you are doing. If not, the end results will be far inferior to what you would achieve if you give it "everything". However, muscle memory and ...
8
votes
3answers
979 views

How to improve/train pinky dexterity for guitar playing (after long absence)

I played guitar from 12 to 23, but haven't really played for the last 5 years and would like to start again. However, when I used to play I rarely used the pinky finger because I have big hands (not ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Emulating the tone of a Rickenbacker

I am wondering whether anyone has any knowledge about getting the sound of a Rickenbacker… without actually owning one. Specifically on a Telecaster. I know that the two are completely different ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Vertical wall mount / Holding a guitar by the neck

Is there potential danger of damage in storing your guitar in a vertical wall mount, like the ones that guitar shops use in their showrooms? It seems like an obvious question (after all, that's the ...
7
votes
7answers
948 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Guitar Amplifier (Head versus Combo versus None)

I'm in the process of getting my first electric guitar and am trying to figure out amplifiers. I currently have a stereo amplifier and pre amplifier and a pair floor standing speakers. My living space ...
7
votes
4answers
816 views

How to decide whether my guitar is really bad

My teacher keeps telling me that my guitar is really bad. I am a pretty novice guitarist (started 3 months ago), and haven't played on any instrument other than mine, so it's impossible to decide ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Some acoustic guitars are easy to play but some aren't. What affects playability?

I was comparing a fender and an epiphone acoustic guitar and noticed that fender was easier for my left hand. Both guitars have the same dimensions and seemed to have same string gauge. I thought ...