6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is a guitar body made out of mahogany generally lighter than a body made out of alder ?

I know that each piece of wood is different and two similar pieces of a same essence will have different weight. But in general, for the same body shape and size which wood essence will tend to give ...
16
votes
7answers
1k views

Where does picking speed come from? Forearm, hand, or bicep?

Where specifically on the arm/hand should rapid picking speed come from?
21
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
957 views

The skinny on neck constructions. Is it all about tone?

I recently went from a Peavy bolt-on classic bass to Warwick Thumb NT. The tone difference is completely out of this world, and comparatively, so was the price. I want to understand the ...
4
votes
4answers
198 views

Putting guitar and song together

So, I'm still working on this. I started singing with my playing using hey ya as my first song. (In fact that was the first song I ever played) Ironically I always lose it at the verse that goes ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Tips for playing outdoors in cold weather?

A few years ago our church band had a gig playing early in the morning to a volunteer crew to get them pumped for the day ahead. It was about 7AM and in the 30s F. It's a good thing I was only playing ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the difference between the “smooth” strings and the “rough” strings?

On my acoustic, the first 4 strings are "rough" - that is they are covered in a type of metal corkscrew. The last 2 strings though are completely smooth, and don't have a corkscrew finish. Why are ...
12
votes
9answers
458 views

Should I worry about painful fingertips?

I just started to learn playing the (electric only for now) guitar, and I love it! I've read on a few pages that it was normal for my fingertips (those that I use on the fret board) to hurt in the ...
8
votes
3answers
380 views

What to do? Programming, bass playing and RSI

I am a full time programmer, part time bass player and have recently started suffering from serious repetitive stress injury in my left wrist. I've adjusted the ergonomics at my work place (and use ...
16
votes
5answers
34k 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?
8
votes
4answers
1k views

How do you prevent injuries from bad posture while playing classical guitar?

I'm tagging this as specific to classical guitar since that's what I am familiar with. The correct posture is very important which playing classical, including the footstool, the position of your ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

What are good beginner books to follow for classical guitar (self study or otherwise) ?

I've come across a lot of different series and 'methodologies' (Aaron Shearer, Mel Bay etc) books - and it's very confusing for the beginner when there's no teacher to guide him or her.
34
votes
4answers
70k views

What Does a Compressor Pedal Do?

Quite often, when I see a pedalboard of guitarists I admire, there is a compressor pedal in the chain. How exactly does this pedal affect the sound?
5
votes
5answers
456 views

Where can I find music notes for classical guitar and lute online? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sites with a good selection of sheet music Occasionally, I search for music notes online, e.g. for pieces by Sor, Dowland, Bach and others. Are there some good resources ...
7
votes
2answers
732 views

Upgrade tuners or get a new guitar?

I have an Ibanez V70CE Acoustic-Electric guitar. While it was not expensive, I like the way it feels and it sounds just fine. The problem is it doesn't like to stay in tune. I always use high quality ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Acoustic guitar - how to wind strings on the tuning posts

While writing an answer to this question, I did a little web searching and found that the way I was taught 29 years ago to wind the strings isn't necessarily the best. On an acoustic guitar, I tend ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Silicon vs Germanium Fuzz

Hopefully without starting a holy war I would like to discuss the differences, electronically and sonically, of silicon and Germanium fuzz. This is inspired by my recent birthday present (my precious ...
8
votes
4answers
817 views

Singing notes while playing scales

I've heard, that singing or humming notes while playing scales or arpeggios is good for you. Is that so? In what way? If I am not a singer, why should I be singing the notes?
16
votes
3answers
15k views

What's a good strategy for adjusting pole pieces?

One thing I fiddled with for a short bit once upon a time is adjusting the pole pieces on my Humbucker/P-90 equipped guitars. As a matter of fact, doing just that was the only way I could get my P-90 ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Factors in choosing a replacement saddle for an acoustic guitar.

I saw this in the comments section on the question "Do acoustic or classical guitars need to be set up?" The saddle material makes a difference in the sound of an acoustic too. I have a bit of a ...
23
votes
10answers
41k views

Why do some artists tune their guitars half a step or whole step down?

Is there a reason some guitarists tune down half or whole steps, other than preference or style? It bugs me sometimes when I would like to play along with a song only to find that it's played down ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Tips on playing with wah-wah for beginners

I love the sound of a guitar played through wah wah as much as the next guy, but I have some problems picking that skill up. I would love if anyone can either give me some tips on how to start using ...
16
votes
2answers
10k views

What is concert pitch?

I was watching a song video lesson earlier today and it mentioned that the guitar should be tuned to concert pitch. What does that mean? Is it different from the normal EADGBE tuning?
20
votes
3answers
14k views

Why is an amplifier's effects loop useful?

When should you plug gear into your amplifier's effects loop and not into the standard input?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What are Tone Pots / Potentiometers?

Can someone please explain to me what tone pots are, and how they affect the sound of a guitar? Thanks very much :)
4
votes
3answers
789 views

Cheap alternative to a SG Standard

Is there a money friendly guitar similar to the SG Standard?
7
votes
3answers
158 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
561 views

Balanced triodes. Gimmick, or worth the money?

When purchasing tubes from some reputable dealers, I have noticed that you are given the option for balanced triodes--sometimes at a much higher price. How does a tube with balanced a triode effect ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

When should I be concerned about calibrating the bias of vacuum tubes in an amplifier?

I think it would be useful to discuss the concept of bias as it pertains to guitar amplifiers. I have read some articles saying that you should always rebias your amplifier when you change the power ...
13
votes
3answers
277 views

What to look for in an independent luthier?

I've long been considering looking for an independent luthier to build me a custom guitar. I have a pretty specific idea of what I want the guitar to be, but I don't know how to find the right ...
7
votes
1answer
155 views

Strings stick to pickup poles when the tremolo is depressed.

Sometimes, when I depress the tremolo quite far, the strings magnetically stick to the pickup poles... Is this normal? Is there a way I can prevent it, aside from not depressing the tremolo so far? ...
10
votes
4answers
507 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
5k 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. ...
26
votes
6answers
31k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

How To Improve My Sightreading?

I've been reading music since I was five years old, but I learned how on the piano, never on the guitar. I find that when I play guitar, I think of the notes as they relate to each other spatially: ...
17
votes
7answers
11k 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
2answers
1k views

Kahler tremolo bridge problems - how to test and fix?

My Peavey Falcon -- a Strat clone -- has tuning problems. The instrument has a Kahler tremolo that I suspect is contributing to my tuning problems. (The roller nut and tuning machines are other ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

String buzz on bass guitar

The A string on my Peavey T-40 bass buzzes quite loudly. I've found that duct tape on the string above the nut will quiet this, but only if it's pulled taut against a neighboring string. It doesn't ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Emulating the tone of a Rickenbacker

I am wondering whether anyone has any knowledge about getting the sound of a Rickenbacker… without actually owning one. Specifically on a Telecaster. I know that the two are completely different ...
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): ...
27
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
14
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?
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Does a covering on a humbucker pickup make a difference?

I have seen a number of different pickup designs, like the ones in the image: Notice how some humbuckers have a covering, and what look like screw heads. Is this just style or do these different ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

What is meant by “Top-End” and “Bottom-End”?

When guitarists describe the sound of their guitars, a lot of terms are used. What does a guitarist mean when they talk about top and bottom end?
3
votes
2answers
783 views

Visual Sound 1 Spot Power Supply Hum

I am using a Visual Sound 1 Spot power supply to power my pedal board. Every time I plug in my BOSS RC-2 to the power supply I get a hum. If I power the RC-2 with a battery the hum goes away. I have ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

What is true bypass?

What is true bypass on a pedal? What are it's advantages? What are it's disadvantages?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does my guitar sound more natural when plugged directly into a tube amp vs through a pedal board?

Why does my guitar sound better when plugged straight in to my amplifier as opposed to running it through a pedalboard without a true bypass strip?
11
votes
2answers
3k views

What do the different tubes in an amplifier do?

Preamp vs Phase Inverter vs Reverb vs Power vs Rectifier. Many people get really, really confused when they try to understand anything about tubes. I spent a very long time myself trying to ...
23
votes
5answers
34k views

How do I know when it's time to change a tube on my amplifier?

I think this would be a wonderfully instructive question to people who are new to tube amplifiers. In short, how do I know that it's time to change a tube, and what's a good strategy for figuring out ...

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