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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44
votes
23answers
75k views

Best method to learn to play barre chords?

I've been trying to learn the F chord for a while now, and I am having a very hard time playing the barre chord. I've read that pulling back slightly with your finger and using the body of the guitar ...
45
votes
13answers
20k views

How do you identify a good acoustic guitar?

What do you look for when going for a guitar? I own an acoustic and am looking for a better one. What should I be looking for? Wood quality, brand, strings, etc.?
58
votes
19answers
19k views

How often should I replace the strings on my guitar?

When and why should you replace your guitar strings?
95
votes
11answers
14k views

Why is the guitar tuned like it is?

Why is there that funny tuning kink between the G and B string on a guitar in standard tuning? I.E. the gap (interval) between the rest of the adjoining strings is 5 frets (or a perfect fourth), but ...
12
votes
9answers
5k 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 ...
35
votes
10answers
68k views

Why learn scales? What are they for?

I tried Googling but it seems there is no answer for this one. So the internet assumes everyone knows what scales are for? Why should I learn them? Are they important to be a good guitarist?
16
votes
5answers
15k views

How do I choose my first guitar for self-learning?

Let's say I've never played the guitar, or I've only learned to pluck a string and play a chord but have forgotten most of it. Now, I've become interested and would like to try it out. I don't want to ...
18
votes
4answers
97k views

How does string gauge affect a guitar's sound and playability?

Guitar strings are available in a variety of gauges. What effect does my choice of string gauge have on the sound of my guitar? What effect does it have on playability?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How to make a song with chords and scales?

I play acoustic guitar and have been learning a bunch of chords and scales. I can play many progressions already, and I am starting to write music. I am wondering how you would bridge chord ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Learning to play guitar songs using on-line tabs - how to get strum patterns?

I am a relatively new guitarist and have been using online tabs such as this one: http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/b/beatles/let_it_be_crd.htm to learn how to play new songs. While those tabs ...
54
votes
22answers
3k views

Ways to get out of a scalar rut?

I'm a well versed and experienced guitarist. I have a decent sense for rhythm and melody, but I have a VERY hard time with soloing. I know you've heard it all before I'm one of those guys that got ...
10
votes
6answers
25k 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, ...
23
votes
9answers
24k views

What is intonation and how can I find out if my guitar has correct intonation?

What is intonation? What is the best way to check my intonation and fix it if necessary?
16
votes
9answers
6k views

How do I properly stretch my newly strung strings?

I came across this string stretcher device. It's called The Stretcha. It claims to properly and evenly stretch new strings and maintain tuning. I never really made a point to properly stretch ...
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?
5
votes
5answers
871 views

Need Help in Starting to Learn Guitars?

I am a beginning guitar player. I enjoyed playing in my childhood, but for some reason I was not able to learn. But now I want to learn guitar. I wasn't sure whether to buy an electric guitar or a ...
25
votes
2answers
7k views

Why is my guitar's saddle at an angle?

Most acoustic guitars I've seen, including my own, have an angled saddle (the white strip holding up the strings): This makes the bass strings longer than the treble strings. Why is this? ...
4
votes
5answers
9k views

Tips playing F barre chord

Any tips for a newbie in playing the F barre chord. I find it very hard to put my fingers in place. I've got a strat. I hear you can move it up and down the neck for other barre chords.
18
votes
5answers
44k views

What is the first scale one should learn on guitar

The title really sums it all up but I'll try expand it slightly. Lets say I'm learning guitar and would like to improve my guitar work. Which of the scales should I learn first and why?
13
votes
10answers
3k views

What are the various methods of tuning the guitar?

This is not a question as much as it is a discussion. I am curious to know what are the different techniques to tune the guitar (using standard tuning) given you know that one string is in tune. I ...
31
votes
15answers
82k views

Why shouldn't I put electric guitar strings on my acoustic guitar?

I've always found even the lightest acoustic (bronze) guitar strings to be a bit too heavy to play comfortably. Electric (nickel) guitar strings tend to be lighter. But nobody uses electric strings on ...
15
votes
8answers
25k views

How to bend and release without flicking the other strings?

I'm trying to bend up then back down on the G string (so it plays both notes, I'm not muting the bend back down to G) but I always catch my fingernail on the D string. So when I let the bend back ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

Which strings should I use for DADGAD tuning on my acoustic guitar?

I have recently switched to DADGAD tuning, before that I was using light tension strings ( 12 16 24 32 42 53 ). But because of DADGAD, to compensate for the lack of tension on the neck, I wanted to ...
26
votes
11answers
7k views

Coated Strings—Gimmick, or worth the money?

Never used them myself, but I had a friend who used to swear by the plastic-coated strings he bought for his electric to try and help keep them cleaner. While I realize this probably does do ...
12
votes
2answers
895 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
619 views

A machine for automatic tremolo picking

Yesterday I was at God is an Astronaut live performance and was close to the scene. One of the guitarists (Gazz Carr) performed tremolo picking. But I noticed that on a few songs he used a small ...
67
votes
8answers
2k views

Ten Minute Practice Techniques For Guitar?

Unfortunately I can't play everyday. However, I am trying to grab at least 5-10 minutes here and there. What are some good theory or scale techniques/practice methods I should have ready to pull out ...
33
votes
10answers
20k views

As a guitarist, how can I learn to sight-read music?

I'm learning guitar right now, mostly from Justin Sandercoe's free online lessons, starting from the beginner's course. He has a lot of good tips for how to practice and drill chords, and scales, but ...
15
votes
5answers
38k views

How to identify the guitar chords of a song

What's the best technique to identify the guitar chords of a song? I know the basic chords and also how to get into the rhythm of a song! But I'll always be spending huge amount of time to identify ...
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 ...
52
votes
20answers
31k views

Changing the strings: one by one, or by taking all strings off at one time?

The title says it all. Should I change strings one by one, or take them all at once? Does this matter at all? If I take all strings off, will it damage my neck in any way, because the pressure is ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a string skipping exercise?

What is a string skipping exercise? I've heard about this exercise a lot, including on this website. What is it? What skills does it develop? Can you give an example?
17
votes
5answers
2k views

When tuning a guitar, how should I strike the strings?

When tuning a guitar, what is the best way to strike a string to get it as close to pitch as possible? I'd like to get it as close to the right pitch as I possibly can. I've noticed with my tuner ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it possible to create the illusion of a sub-harmonic?

The way I understand it, a normal plucked tone consists of a great many overtones in addition to the base tone. A pinched harmonic, however, shifts the base tone higher into the overtone series by ...
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.
6
votes
3answers
15k views

Should I mute “unwanted” strings or not when playing power chords?

I've been playing guitar for a while but haven't yet actually learned to play any songs featuring hard power chords. Now I'm trying to learn some songs by Metallica and AC/DC, and I don't have to tell ...
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
7answers
26k 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 ...
2
votes
9answers
6k views

What is a perfect fifth?

I have gone through many documents, but don't understand what a perfect fifth is. Can somebody please explain with an example? (An example is important!) I have already found these explanations, but ...
19
votes
10answers
3k views

How to do “metal” harmonics (pinch etc)

I've always struggled with this, tried watching Youtube tutorials, but can't get it to work. Should you hold the pick in any particular way? I've always held my picks with three fingers, for ...
18
votes
7answers
9k views

How to hide a flat pick in the right hand when switching to finger picking, Warren Haynes style

Watch any Warren Haynes video on YouTube and you'll notice that he often likes to mix it up and play solos with a pick but mid-way switch to using his fingers. ...
13
votes
5answers
28k 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 ...
12
votes
16answers
22k views

Is it possible for a left hander to learn guitar right handed?

I am looking to get a guitar for my step son. He is largely left handed, but currently he plays the drums right handed without any difficulty. Would the same apply with learning guitar from scratch? ...
6
votes
2answers
897 views

How to determine the strumming pattern for a song

My son was trying to devise a strumming pattern for a song but gave up. How would someone go about developing a strumming pattern for song like Chiquitita by ABBA on an acoustic guitar?
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I transcribe chord charts into guitar tablature?

Is there any way to extract tabs from the chord charts? There are many songs available only as chords on the internet. I want to know how to go about creating tablature notation from the chords.
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 ...
9
votes
8answers
27k views

Effects of keeping a guitar in the car

I have a sales job, and am on the road most days. I often find myself with free time between appointments and would like to take advantage of that free time by practicing guitar. I have a 3/4 size ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does my guitar go out of tune after I play it a while?

This might be an obvious question, but it would be good to know what factors cause guitars to go out of tune.
6
votes
1answer
596 views

What is B II, followed by a dashed line, and what does it mean?

In the guitar tab of Opus 35, No 22 in B minor of Fernando Sor that I get from classical clef, there is a notation BII as shown in the above picture. What does it mean?
4
votes
2answers
4k views

How do Tape-Wound strings compare to metal Flatwounds?

I recently discovered that the nylon-coated Tape Flatwound strings, which have long been available for Bass, are available now in guitar sets (with plain b and e). How do these compare in tone, scrape ...