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
7answers
32k 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
1k 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
345 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
1k 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
5answers
1k views

Which would benefit my band the most, learning covers or writing originals?

I've been playing guitar for nearly four years and I think I'm getting better at it.My brother plays the drums and our two cousins play guitar well. When we had all met last time, we wanted to do ...
11
votes
4answers
1k 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
20k 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
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
4k 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
5k 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
4k 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
4answers
977 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 ...
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
5answers
25k 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 ...
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
1answer
5k views

Is my Yamaha guitar counterfeit?

I bought a new Yamaha Guitar and When you look inside the guitar hole it looks like the model number is written by hand. Can you please tell me if this one is a fake one or not? The number written 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
3answers
321 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
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
4answers
12k 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
497 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
13k 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
3answers
2k 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 and am wondering how dangerous this would be to my ...
11
votes
2answers
151 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
1answer
509 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
6answers
16k 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?
10
votes
6answers
23k 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
16answers
2k views

How to tune a guitar/bass without a tuner?

When I'm trying to tune my guitar/bass without a tuner, if a single string is in tune, I can tune the rest of the strings based on the tuned one, using the harmonics over the 5th and 7th frets. But ...
10
votes
7answers
12k views

Is it normal for frequent guitar playing to be accompanied by wrist pain?

Is it normal for frequent guitar playing to be accompanied by wrist pain or is it something that is caused by poor posture/position and technique? I have been playing for several years now, and mostly ...
10
votes
2answers
625 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
11answers
8k 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
8answers
485 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
3answers
6k 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?
10
votes
7answers
24k 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
3answers
46k 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
3k views

How to minimize the pain for a beginning guitar student so they won’t give up before they develop callouses?

This is a common problem and solving it will ultimately lead to a much higher success rate for beginning guitar students. So I wanted to share the information here on Music and Theory. Many of my ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Difference between recording with a microphone in front of the amp vs. using an amp simulator?

I am going to record music with the guitar and bass guitar. However, I am still undecided between using an amp with microphone, and an amp simulator. Which of the two would be a better choice when ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Recommendations for beginner chord practice

I am a beginner (learning with acoustic guitar). Started learning major chords now and this is the sequence I am planning on practicing it; A, A-A#, A-B.... A#, A#-A, A#-B.... i.e I also want to ...
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
3answers
10k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
434 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
1k 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
352 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?