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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10
votes
2answers
208 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
7answers
3k 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
882 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
2k 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
162 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
1k 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
136 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
256 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
1answer
315 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
12k 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?
9
votes
2answers
680 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
522 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
7answers
1k 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
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
6answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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?
9
votes
3answers
503 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
8answers
4k 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
6answers
826 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 ...
9
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
292 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?
9
votes
4answers
6k 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?
9
votes
2answers
695 views

What does the circle around a note mean in a guitar chord diagram?

I'm trying to play E/G#. I found this, but what is that symbol on the 4th string?
9
votes
2answers
137 views

Musically Interesting Guitar Exercises

I'm bored to tears of the usual exercises - scales, chords, finger independence, arpeggios, etc. Most of my boredom stems from these exercises being musically boring and uninspiring. Any suggestions ...
9
votes
5answers
572 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
538 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Fingertip care for guitarists

I have built up calluses enough to avoid most fingertip pain from playing guitar and bass, but I have rough and slightly cracked fingertips. My fretting hand isn’t bad, but my right hand is very rough ...
9
votes
1answer
468 views

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

Is there difference between black and white nylon?
9
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.
9
votes
2answers
265 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? ...
9
votes
1answer
289 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. ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do classical guitarists recommend putting the left thumb between the index and middle finger?

In most of the literature that I have seen, the recommendation is for the left thumb to be roughly in line with the index finger, running parallel to the frets. I find that, especially toward the ...
9
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

What is a ghost note ?

What is a ghost note and how is it different than holding the previous note ?
9
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
197 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
875 views

Can I build an EBow myself?

It's possible to get some crazy sounds using an EBow on the guitar. I know that it works by creating an electromagnetic field to move the strings. Has anybody tried to build one? Are any schematics ...
8
votes
10answers
549 views

Is it ever too late to learn guitar?

I feel that I'm already past the 'critical point' for learning guitar. My friend started playing guitar when he was ten - and I felt like the nerves in his left hand were much more developed. My left ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Do power chords have some kind of function/meaning?

Every guitar player runs into these at least once (and probably way more often, too): power chords. This is a general term for chords consisting of the root note, the fifth, and an octave. In most ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Understanding a digital tuner

I've the exact same tuner from this video only the brand name changes. I am new to guitars, I am trying to tune(standard tuning) an ESP M-50 with it(can I?). I plug the guitar cable to the tuner input ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
822 views

How to determine the name of a chord from knowing the notes I am playing?

I understand basic chord construction. But I am looking at the reverse of this process, which is confusing me. Let's say I place my fingers randomly on the fretboard. Say I make this chord: --- -7- ...
8
votes
3answers
236 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
2k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
643 views

Hot guitar pickup

What does it mean when a guitar pickup is deemed "hot"?
8
votes
4answers
5k 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
3answers
4k 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
1answer
257 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?