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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36
votes
12answers
9k views

How do you identify a good 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.?
48
votes
18answers
6k views

How often should I replace the strings on my guitar?

When and why should you replace your guitar strings?
32
votes
19answers
35k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
57k 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?
73
votes
7answers
6k 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 (musical) gap between the rest of the adjoining strings is 5 frets (or a perfect fourth), but ...
48
votes
17answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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?
4
votes
5answers
526 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
4k 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? ...
18
votes
9answers
12k 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?
15
votes
5answers
28k 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?
10
votes
6answers
11k 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, ...
6
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
452 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
4k views

What's the best way to begin learning lead guitar? [closed]

I can play rhythm guitar half-decently, but my friend would like me to play lead for his band. How should I start learning? (we'll probably be playing worship music)
30
votes
11answers
10k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
4k views

Memorizing notes on guitar fretboard

I have 2 questions, which are somehow interrelated. Learning which-note-corresponds-to-which-fret-position was told to me as an extremely important task for any guitarist who want to get better at ...
10
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
1k 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?
29
votes
14answers
43k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
3k 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
7answers
14k 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 ...
18
votes
10answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
2k 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.
4
votes
6answers
6k 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.
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
58
votes
7answers
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 ...
35
votes
7answers
829 views

Guitar practice: more often but less time or once in a few days but for a few hours?

As many people, who have lots of every day responsibilities, like going to work, family and etc. I find myself struggling for the time to practice. Some days I just feel to tired to pick up a guitar ...
27
votes
7answers
911 views

What tools should every guitarist have?

What tools should every guitarist have to do most small/medium projects for their guitars? (change strings, tuners, knobs, pickups)
43
votes
8answers
3k views

Will learning to play another instrument help me to become a better guitarist?

I am a programmer and I do this for living. As a programmer, I've noticed how much difference it makes to learn another language - the quality of your work improves greatly, just because you know how ...
43
votes
16answers
15k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
893 views

Is it acceptable to move hand position while practicing scales on guitar?

I was reading through the answers posted here, and I liked the idea of playing with the "finger per fret" method, but it's not always applicable. For instance I was practicing the Fmaj scale last ...
12
votes
10answers
4k views

Guitar tutoring software that listens to your playing?

I'm looking into learning classical guitar. I know most people will suggest getting lessons, and I'm looking into that. But I was also wondering if there are any software tutors out there that can ...
6
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
3k views

Why do tube-based guitar amplifiers sound so good?

Is it just a cultural thing ("they've always sounded that way") or is there some basis in music theory for this?
17
votes
10answers
49k views

How not to touch neighbouring strings?

When playing guitar, my fingers often touch other strings on the guitar. I found that my fingertips are too broad for the strings. When I press one string by my middle finger, the meat of the ...
9
votes
4answers
284 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. ...
8
votes
11answers
583 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.
22
votes
5answers
24k views

How does scale length affect my playing?

This one's a bit rudimentary, but scale length is a bit of a mystery to me. I understand what it is, but I don't understand what it does. I own guitars with different scale lengths (Telecaster vs ...
16
votes
6answers
4k 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
6answers
319 views

How do you care for your guitar?

A guitar that is used regularly will sooner or later show signs of wear and tear. How do you best care for your guitar and make sure it stays as good as it is for as long as possible?
11
votes
3answers
949 views

What is the the Nashville Numbers system?

Recently, a couple of my bandmates were talking about a technique they use called Nashville Numbers. It's similar to writing out chords, but instead uses numbers. These numbers are a pattern that ...
9
votes
5answers
922 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
9k 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?
8
votes
3answers
4k views

What is a ghost note ?

What is a ghost note and how is it different than holding the previous note ?