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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12
votes
4answers
18k 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
868 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
10answers
732 views

How can I learn to play the chords by listening to the song (like I do with notes)?

I have started learning to play piano (I am from a poor family and can't afford a teacher). So,I've learned some popular songs and the notes from the internet. From there I started listening to songs ...
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
939 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
11k views

How to check an acoustic guitar is solid top or not?

How do i check that a guitar is solid top or laminated top? Are there any huge differences in the sound and appearance so that i can differentiate between them? I want to buy a solid top guitar and i ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Are there guitar strings for very high tunings?

David Gilmour used a special tuning for the rhythm guitar in the song Comfortably Numb. It was a regular EADGBE, but the lowest two strings were two octaves higher, and the middle two were one octave ...
12
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
468 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
38k 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 ...
11
votes
10answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
388 views

What are some of the things that influence a player's “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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Slightly tone-deaf?

I'm incredibly depressed. I have always wanted to be a musician and for the last 5 years I have learned various scales, chords in each key in various positions up and down the neck of the guitar and ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do guitarists re-fret their guitars?

I heard that my friend is gonna cut some tracks, and they said they want to re-fret their guitars first. Well I know that a re-fret is replacing the frets with new one. What will change if we re-fret? ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What are some interesting ways notes and chords are spelled in cultures outside of the U.S.?

I've heard that German musicians spell the seventh note of the C major scale with an "H" where an American musician would use a "B". And, for the fourth note of the F major scale, where an American ...
11
votes
4answers
23k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Preparing for my first jazz gig

My first jazz gig is coming up (in about 45 days) and rehearsals start tomorrow. We are a quartet consisting of Bass, Drums, Guitar and Saxophone. I am used to playing with the rhythm section - ...
11
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
27k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
50k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
1k 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 (dead YouTube clip removed). I've been practicing that for a couple of weeks now, and I'm at the point where I can ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How to notate two identical notes ringing together?

In a melody I am composing, there are 4 E notes in a row, like this: ----------------- ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ----------------- ----------------- ----------------- ----------------- (the length of the ...
11
votes
4answers
3k 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
5k views

Should the picking hand little finger be resting on the guitar?

I notice I tend to rest the little finger of my picking hand on the body of my guitar, typically on the edge of the sound-hole, for greater accuracy and steadiness of the picking hand. After extended ...
11
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

How to work out a strum pattern? [duplicate]

Annoyingly most guitar players seem to 'just play' a rhythm/strum pattern and it sounds like a song. What advice can the community here give someone who is trying to go beyond playing 4 downs to ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it okay to sit on guitar combo amplifier?

I just bought a 1x10" Marshall combo guitar amp, and I've read in articles that many guitarists sit on their amps. Is it okay to sit on it? Is there any chance of breaking it as a result?
11
votes
6answers
5k views

How can I practice rhythm awareness when singing and playing at the same time?

I play guitar for fun, and I've both played accompanying rhythm, as well as melody. I've also played rhythm for singers. Now, when I try to accompany myself on guitar for the rhythm, and then sing a ...
11
votes
3answers
11k views

What are the actual notes of each natural harmonic?

So I know that if you play a natural harmonic at the 12th fret, this is just the same note as fretting the 12th is. Also, when I play my electric guitar and listen to lots of metal music in particular,...
11
votes
5answers
949 views

Is there a reason instructors teach chords before arpeggios?

Some friends of mine have started picking up my spare guitars and practicing while I play bass. They don't play guitar and have been asking me for tips. Like me, they struggle with chords because ...
11
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
3k 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
3answers
332 views

How to keep from tensing up when I click the metronome faster?

I've been trying to build up speed with my tremolo exercises, and the demon I keep fighting is a sort of negative feedback loop fed by worrying about deviations from the tempo, increasing attention on ...
11
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
3k 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
6answers
4k 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
1k 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
536 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
4answers
22k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
16k views

Pinky And Ring Finger Independence And Dexterity

I recently discovered that my ring finger and pinky seem to have the least amount of independence with respect to the rest of my fingers when fretting the guitar, and exceptionally so. I experience ...
11
votes
2answers
175 views

What is this technique called? Holding finger on string above 12th fret

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 called?...
11
votes
5answers
7k views

What is the best way to learn scales in order to improve improvisation/writing of lead guitar parts?

Where I'm at skill-wise Played guitar on-and-off for about 5 years Up until a year ago had only really learned by playing from tabs Have been undertaking bi-weekly guitar lessons for just over a ...
11
votes
1answer
644 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 ...
10
votes
11answers
3k views

Tablature vs. standard music notation? (guitar)

Under what circumstances should I write down "TAB" (tablature) or just regular music notation or both? I know how to read and write both of them, but I'm not sure which I should use for my songs when ...
10
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
10
votes
14answers
26k views

How can a guitarist treat and avoid lateral epicondylitis in the fretting arm?

I've been playing guitar (both electric and acoustic) pretty seriously for about a year, 2-3 hours a day most days. I couple months ago I developed tendonitis in my fretting arm, which my doctor ...
10
votes
6answers
27k 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, ...