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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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 ...
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votes
2answers
758 views

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

Do they mean how loud it will go without getting distortion?
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votes
4answers
1k views

Is doubling the root when converting guitar chords to piano wrong?

If you take guitar chords and put them into sheet music for piano, should you double the root (CEGC) or not (CEG)? And if you do is it wrong because you'd have parallel octaves? I mean I know ...
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votes
11answers
10k 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 ...
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votes
8answers
517 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 ...
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3answers
7k 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?
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votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
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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
4answers
10k 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
516 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: ...
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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 ...
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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
379 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?
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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
872 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 ...
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votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
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votes
3answers
740 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 ...
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votes
3answers
3k 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
544 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 non-...
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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 ...
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votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
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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 ...
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votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
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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?
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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. ...
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votes
1answer
7k 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---------------- -3--------3-----1---...
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votes
1answer
410 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. ...
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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.
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votes
2answers
307 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
250 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?
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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 (...
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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
545 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
396 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
646 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
3answers
8k views

What is a ghost note ?

What is a ghost note and how is it different than holding the previous note ?
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
231 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
239 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
562 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 ...
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
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
707 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
1k 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 ...