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)

10
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

Why does pedal order matter?

Why does the order in which I put my guitar/bass pedals matter? For example, why does the compressor needs to be the first one in the order?
10
votes
1answer
482 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
2k 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 does one use or apply lemon oil to a classical guitar?

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 ...
10
votes
4answers
363 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
9answers
2k 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
5answers
824 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
10k 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
3answers
703 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
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
543 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
5answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How can one categorize himself as a Beginner or Intermediate Guitarist?

I'm a self taught guitarist(if you don't count Rocksmith 2014) who plays rhythm guitar only as a hobby. I always get tongue tied when someone asks me "are you a beginner?" because I don't know the ...
10
votes
4answers
3k 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
4answers
21k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
1k 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
2answers
949 views

Can I easily defret a normal guitar to play it as a fretless guitar, or do I need to alter it further?

After enjoying this wonderful video of a Vigier fretless guitar with a metal neck I have decided to defret one of my cheaper Les Paul copies to see what it feels like, but I have a couple of queries, ...
10
votes
3answers
3k 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
6k 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
1answer
398 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. ...
10
votes
5answers
4k 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
2k views

Flat-wound vs round-wound strings

What difference can you expect when playing with flat-wound vs round-wound strings on an electric bass/guitar? I know that they feel different - I am asking explicitly in terms of sound.
10
votes
2answers
306 views

Wireless Guitar Systems

I'm looking to buy a wireless transmitting system for my guitar. But I'm seeing prices ranging from $80 - $500. What are the differences between an expensive piece of equipment and a cheaper one? ...
10
votes
2answers
249 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
1answer
3k 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
7answers
4k views

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

I played guitar since age of 12, 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
11k views

Guitar chords for samba

I'd like to learn some standard samba chords for guitar. I understand this usually involves jazz chords like 9, 11, 13 and a few others. I can construct these chords myself, but: It's tedious. Most ...
10
votes
7answers
5k 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
537 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
388 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
3answers
581 views

Is playing blindfold a good practice method?

Is playing without being able to look at what you're doing a useful practice technique for instruments like guitar and piano? Learning to play without needing to look at your instrument is good of ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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
3k 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
228 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
2k 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
2answers
233 views

What is the meaning of “4/2 ₵ II?”

I'm trying to learn a classical guitar piece, Valse by Napoleon Coste, and the score specifies that I am to play a partial capo at the beginning of the piece. I'm unsure what the 4/2 means in front of ...
10
votes
3answers
521 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
5answers
6k 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 ...
9
votes
11answers
2k 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.
9
votes
12answers
23k 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

Which advanced chords can I use for a song composition in scale of G?

I am making a song composition in a scale of G. I have already used major chords G, C and D and in some places I have used Am, Em and Bm. I would like to make this composition richer with some ...
9
votes
4answers
683 views

How do you quickly form this C7 shape on guitar?

There is a somewhat difficult chord near the beginning of Isaac Albeniz's Asturias: %8/1.10/3.8/1.9/2.8/1.12/4[C7] The chord is difficult to form in time with the tempo. Here is what I am already ...
9
votes
2answers
984 views

Is there a name for the screeching sound made when changing chords on a guitar?

When listing to the song "The Only Exception" by Paramore (see YouTube), there's a screeching sound when changing chords, which I find quite unpleasant. Question: Is there a name for the ...
9
votes
4answers
699 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
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
261 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...