Ways to use one's instrument or voice precisely to produce a desired musical effect.

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17
votes
6answers
3k views

How to stop distortion from making minor chords muddy?

I have a Roland/Boss GT3, which I use to get various distortion sounds. I like the sound for the most part, but I find that distorted sounds seem very ... "muddy" I guess would be the best way to ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Up-down strumming when playing fingerstyle

I'm trying to learn never dying Nothing Else matters by Metallica and got to the part where I need to strum C, A and D chords: If I had a pick in my hands, it would go like nothing - ...
5
votes
4answers
441 views

Is it possible to strum (with a pick) separated strings?

There is a song I am trying to learn and the problem is that the guitarist plays the first and fourth strings together. I know this is easily possible if you are finger picking, but I am not really a ...
5
votes
4answers
488 views

Muting technique and exercises

I have been practicing muting for some days. However, I am not finding myself very comfortable with it. I use my right hand placed on the strings while the left had lightly placed over the fret. Is ...
4
votes
3answers
423 views

How do you play a barre chord (or a chord with 4+ strings)

I need to play a chord that goes: $1.5.$2.7.$3.7.$4.7.$5.5 I can play a barre chord with my index finger and hold down all the strings on the fifth fret, but I cant hold down the three sevens. Any ...
6
votes
2answers
704 views

Where can I learn more about tapping on an acoustic guitar?

I want to learn tapping on acoustic guitar; its basics, various techniques and so on. How should I start with it? Reference of some video lessons would be a great help.
9
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
93 views

Wrist problems when using the first fret

One perennial problem I've had for as long as I can remember is that any time I play a song that uses the first fret a lot (e.g. the verses for Metallica's "Jump in the Fire" come to mind) I end up ...
6
votes
7answers
755 views

The “right” way to use my pinky.

Ever since I've been playing, I've always fretted a B chord like this: Using my pinky to cover the D, G, & B string. However, while it works, it's never felt quite right. I've tried to use three ...
7
votes
2answers
197 views

Improving my descending tapping technique

I find that it's very easy for me to get a clean phrase when tapping in an ascending pattern like the following: $1 7h9h12 Reversing that pattern, however, becomes hard for me: $1 12p9p7 I ...
10
votes
2answers
757 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 ...
9
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 ...
8
votes
5answers
257 views

Bending a Harmonic

At about 2:11 of this video, Kotaro Oshio plays three harmonics - the fifth, fourth, and third fret. On the third-fret harmonic, he does, uh... something to make the pitch bend. How is this ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

What is econo-picking?

Is this simply a synonym for sweep picking or is it something else?
3
votes
2answers
558 views

Steve Gaines and Ed King… Love their playing, have a hard time emulating it…

Another question that's been puzzling me for a while. I love Steve Gaines playing but I find it impossible to improvise in his style, especially the style he plays in I Know A Little. I also love ...
9
votes
6answers
13k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
633 views

Is it possible to mute some of my strings?

I'm working on a part of a song where I need to strum the top two strings (B & E) together and very fast. I'm wondering if there is some sort of a damping capo that I can put over the other four ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is tremolo picking?

Are you just picking the same note a bunch of times or are you picking a lot in general and kind of hammering on to hit the notes? What does it have to do with an actual tremolo (whammy bar)?
4
votes
5answers
299 views

The intro to “Soul Man” - the verses in “It's Your Thing” (Isley Brothers) - What is that technique called?

Jeff Beck plays variations of this blues lick - 1:28 into "You Know What I Mean" - It's a basic blues riff (the beginning to Dust My Broom (Elmore James) played with variations up/down the fretboard ...
20
votes
7answers
588 views

What are some of the components of a good guitar solo?

Putting aside the emotional value of listening to a great guitar solo, what are some of the criteria that can be applied to make an educated judgement as to the quality of a solo within the context of ...
5
votes
5answers
661 views

How do I get pinch harmonics during solos?

Could someone tell me how to get the pinch harmonics sound during solos? Specifically on the "Wanted Dead or Alive" solo by Bon Jovi? Is it an amp setting? Is it something I do with my left or right ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the (Practical) theory behind applying chords for a Song?

I love playing Guitar. I can play the lead for any song by listening to it. But often in our prayer meeting people sing different songs in different keys. I can track the major they sing, but I am ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Right hand accuracy

I've realized, that I have a big problem with right hand accuracy, when using a pick, especially, when I play arpeggios and have to skip a string or a couple of stings. Sometimes, I hit the wrong ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

What is “Phrasing” in the context of playing a Solo?

What is meant when a listener says"His phrasing was spot on"- specifically when talking about solo's but sometimes when referring to a pianist "comping". What does it mean when referring to a ...
5
votes
2answers
583 views

What is the difference between “Solo” and “Improvisation”?

How would someone describe the differences that make up the two?
5
votes
2answers
196 views

Bach's Bourree BWV 996 timing issue

I'm currently learning Bach's Bourree, although I'm into second part of it, I have troubles getting the timing correct. Usually it follows a 3 bar flow (except few places, where it really speeds up), ...
10
votes
6answers
206 views

What are some of the things that influence a players “Tone”?

Listen to Larry Carlton, Jeff Beck,Steve Morse, Grant Green, Freddie/BB/ King, Hound Dog Taylor, Luther Allison, Dave Gregory ect.. - love'm or hate'm they all have very distinctive tones, Why? It's ...
6
votes
4answers
851 views

Is this an acceptable fingering of a G Chord?

I'm trying out the CAGED method, and whenever I use the G Form, either my pinky can't keep enough pressure on the High E string, or my ring finger lies so flat that it mutes the A string. By curling ...
13
votes
6answers
7k views

What should a guitarist learn first: Rhythm or Lead?

It is a slightly subjective question, however, there is, I'm sure, a common consensus as to what lends itself better to a beginner so as not to get frustrated with the instrument. I'm curious as to ...
7
votes
5answers
165 views

Why is the guitar traditionally held by a strap, and not in the lap?

Ya know, like the late Jeff Healy used to play. Are there technical reasons for holding the guitar in front of you, and reaching up and around to fret the strings? Has anyone any experience with ...
4
votes
3answers
340 views

Do left-handed guitarists view the same patterns as right-handed?

Do left-handed players see the same scale formations, chords, patterns as right-handed, or is it just as simple as seeing the mirror-opposite? What about the ones that play left-handed and string the ...
4
votes
3answers
133 views

How do I improve my lead technique

I can play a small amount of pentatonic-based lead guitar but being mostly self-taught, my technique is quite poor. As I take my finger off the fret, sometimes the open string will sound. How do I ...
8
votes
3answers
740 views

What sweeping (for bass guitar) techniques are out there?

I've recently started looking at the sweep technique on guitar. How would one go about replicating that on bass? Please keep in mind that I do not use a plectrum, and wouldn't want to sacrifice ...
16
votes
7answers
5k views

What are the objective differences between the guitar and the piano?

The guitar and the piano are two of the most popular instruments which allow multiple notes to be played simultaneously. The acoustic quality of the two instruments are, of course, different, but ...
15
votes
8answers
4k views

What are some techniques to control feedback in a musical setting?

I was always intrigued with the way Ted Nugent/Adrian Belew/Jeff Beck/Jimi Hendrix/SRV were able to control feedback and make it musical - are there guitar/amp settings and techniques that can make ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

How to play upstrokes with our hand when playing an acoustic guitar?

I have seen a lot of guitar videos and read a lot of guitar books but one thing they all have in common is that while teaching strumming they tell you to "loosen up", "keep going up and down" etc. Or ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the technique Adrian Belew utilizes through-out : “Elephant Talk” by King Crimson?

Adrian Belew has some incredible sounds coming out of his Strat - one of them is the quasi-Elephant sound on Elephant Talk - King Crimson - "Discipline". I've watched him do it live but apart from ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there one or more “proper” finger picking styles/techniques?

Essentially, if there is some collection of proper techniques that have distinct rules or characteristics about them, that's what I'm looking for. There's not one particular artist or type of music I ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What Phaser is used at the beginning of “Rooster” by Alice in Chains?

I built a CE2 chorus clone that sounds fantastic and should work for Rooster. But I believe the Alice in Chains guitarist (was it Cantrell or Layne playing?) is also using a phaser, which I don't yet ...
19
votes
7answers
4k views

What is the difference between upstrokes and downstrokes while strumming a guitar?

One of the most basic guitar skills are strumming up and down freely. And I have noticed in songs that there usually appears to be a difference in sounds between the two strokes. But when I'm ...
6
votes
3answers
140 views

Effective learning from videos

I've taken lessons and taught myself songs from books and tablature. I have also listened to a song repeatedly and attempted to learn it by playing along. One method I have not tried is learning from ...
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. ...
16
votes
6answers
8k views

How can I minimize going out of tune when using the whammy bar?

Perhaps my selection of musicians is biased, but usually when I see a whammy bar used, it's usually with a locking tremolo bridge like a Floyd Rose. Everybody else seems to take the whammy bar out and ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Mark Knopfler picking finger patterns — Sultans of Swing intro

I know Mark Knopfler plays fingerstyle, but What combination of finger/thumb picking patterns does he use when playing lead? Here is an example from the Sultans of Swing intro (from here): ...
25
votes
9answers
3k views

“one finger per fret” - is it worth following this rule?

When I first got into guitar, I was given advice to follow a "one finger per fret" rule with the left hand. Basically, to fret notes with all four fingers, and to follow a pattern such that in any ...
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?
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I 'clean' up my bass fretting?

I find if I'm playing faster riffs - say Hysteria by Muse - I sometimes find that I hear a clunking, metallic sound as I fret. That is, the string hitting the fret. So if I fret at the 7th and then ...
12
votes
3answers
387 views

Beginning Slap Bass

Back when I was taking lessons, I had an instructor who did a great job teaching me how to work tapping into my bass lines, but when we tried to expand it into developing slap bass I ended up getting ...
57
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Playing clean arpeggios on a lapsteel guitar

Please check out this live performance of "Your Latest Trick", by Dire Straits, as it is a perfect example of the question theme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKiVttFnqkY&t=4m12s Notice the ...