Hot answers tagged

44

What should I be looking for? Don't look, listen and touch. Too many poor guitar purchases are made when you shop with your eyes and not ears and your hands. Here is my general advice for buying a guitar, stands for acoustic or electric: Set your budget before you leave the house. This is going to help you filter out stuff at the store. Play stuff ...


37

I use this kind of "A-shape" barre chord all the time, although I must admit I rarely teach it to students. I actually find it easier than using fingers 2, 3 and 4 to play the three fret 3 notes. All you have to do is bend your third L.H. finger backwards, so that the joint nearest the knuckle moves forwards and away from string 1. Here's a picture of me ...


33

Not everybody can do this but the trick is your finger forms a 2nd, partial barre at the 3rd fret, but bends so it raises above the highest string. Some people play A like this as standard however I believe it partly comes down to luck how long your fingers are, how practical this technique will be. Check out this awful drawing:


24

I leave all ten of my acoustic guitars tuned all the time. In most cases it is not a problem to leave your guitar under the full tension of standard tuning for days or even weeks at a time. However, if you know you will be storing a guitar for an extended period of time (months) without playing it or changing the strings, it is probably a good idea to ...


23

I'm going to post the dissenting answer here in that I feel like you don't want to look for a different kind of guitar or a perfect strap height. Most of my time in bands has been with at least one female guitarist or guitarist/bassist in the band, and in one band that I was in for a few years I was the only man. I also am a big fan of several bands feature ...


22

As others have noted, the properties of the signal from the microphone and from the piezo pickup will be different. The microphone picks up the same kind of air vibrations your ear does. The piezo pickup picks up the vibration of the saddle. The pickup has the advantage of being less susceptible to (but not immune to) feedback, and it moves with the guitar. ...


21

Yup, probably. A few reasons I say this: In my experience, the biggest strength of Yamaha musical instruments is consistency -- to see something that looks handwritten is a pretty big red flag. You haven't mentioned a serial number at all. I assume that if there was one, you would include it. One aspect of that consistency is that every single genuine ...


20

The name for the noise you're hearing is "string noise". It is caused by the fingertips scraping across the round-wound strings of the instrument when the hand changes from one position to another.


20

When you're dead. Seriously, though. Pick up that guitar. You're already better than the guy who didn't.


18

You say in your update this happens despite using a pick - in which case I would say the most appropriate solution is a slight change of technique. Using a pick, my nails never come into contact with the strings, despite using a fairly short amount of pick beyond my thumb/fingers. For songs where I want to use my thumb to create pinch harmonics I pull the ...


17

By taking somebody that plays for a few years with you to a music shop. To know, which guitar is good, and which is bad, you need to have an experience playing both of those types: only this way you can differ one from another. There are too many factors that are too hard to notice, if you don't know what exactly to look for. Many of them are feeling-based ...


16

First, I agree with the question, when talking about nylon-stringed guitars - in nearly a half-century of playing classical and flamenco instruments, I find that the D string, the poor thing, breaking more frequently than any the others (other answers and comments are probably based on steel-stringed experience). I've asked luthiers, and even one of the ...


16

Imagine what chaos there would be in a guitar shop close to closing time every day! And even worse at opening time! Just smile sweetly at your friend, and let him carry on wrecking his guitar and wasting his time, but realise that actually you know far better and leave your guitar in tune for the next day. I've done it with about 20+ guitars for 50+ years, ...


15

There's absolutely nothing wrong with using a PA speaker cabinet, especially if you plan to play amplified acoustic instruments through the rig. It might even produce a better overall sound with these. Guitar cabinets are designed for a very specific purpose - electric guitar amplification and thus have their construction optimised for this purpose. They ...


14

IMO frequently broken strings indicate a mechanical problem. I never break strings and I haven'tt broken one for maybe 30 years. Causes include: Too-sharp edge on nut or saddle. burr or sharp edge on a tuning post, or the hole though same. Nut slots cut too wide (or maybe you installed lighter strings) allowing the string too much side-to-side movement. ...


14

Just to be clear, what you have are ball-end nylon strings, right? Because if you're planning on putting steel strings on a classical guitar, I'll have to advise you against moving forward. The instrument is not built for steel string tension. If they are nylon strings, on a standard classical guitar, Frets.com has a tutorial on the right way to restring ...


14

Neck width - and hence the distance between strings Neck thickness - affects the distance from thumb to fretting finger Fret height - affects how far past the fret you need to press in order to touch the fingerboard. Although note that actually touching the fingerboard is not necessary. Action - the distance from the string to the fingerboard. Action can be ...


14

Not knowing what the action is like on your guitar, it's difficult. You need to make the action - the distance between the strings and the fretboard - as low as possible, so the strings don't need pressing far.But not so close that they buzz. Also, you may well be pressing TOO hard, it shouldn't be necessary to squeeze too much, just enough to stop fret ...


13

The reason we have wound strings is due to the physics of the string's vibration. A heavier string vibrates more slowly, causing a lower pitch. The wound strings could be solid wires, and achieve the pitch we need, however getting it to bend correctly across the bridge and nut, be easily fretted, AND be tunable, would be difficult. Imagine trying to do a ...


13

The first thing you want to work is the independence between your thumb and fingers. There is a video of Tommy Emmanuel on Youtube explaining how to do this, and it's actually what got me started. Back ago, I wrote some sort of thumbpicking tutorial, in Portuguese (with examples in a SoundCloud set), which tells you to do more or less the same things that ...


13

You should not use a pop filter when recording instruments, unless the instrument is air-powered and your mic is in the line of fire (and if that's the case, there may be better mic placement options). The pop filter is meant to be as aurally transparent as possible, but it is indeed an obstruction that you are introducing between the instrument and the mic ...


13

Such guitars are called Silent Guitars. Try the pointers in the Wikipedia article or search for the term "silent guitar" with quotes around it in a web search engine. They are quite different from electric guitars, and you cannot sensibly practice fingerpicking on an electric guitar since it is going to shred your fingernails.


12

I pretty much agree with everything in that video, except not everyone is as lucky to have an automated winder :) So here is what I do (on an acoustic guitar, anyway): After removing the old string and fitting the new string: I slide the end of the string through the post, until it is taut, and then pull it back so that it has 1-2 inches of slack. I then ...


12

There is a balance between the strings and the top. If you put too much tension, it'll sound awesome until the top snaps or the bridge comes flying off. If you don't put enough tension, you don't get the top moving and it doesn't sound good. Nylon strings are for classical guitars and vice versa. There are silk-and-steel strings from string makers like ...


12

There are many, many scenarios here, but I will cover a couple of basic ones to get you started. When recording an acoustic guitar, you in essence three options. I'll enumerate those, and then go through some basic questions to hopefully get you moving. Use an Acoustic/Electric guitar and plug it into a recording interface of some kind. Mike an Acoustic ...


12

Look at the edges of the soundhole. If the top is laminate, the soundhole will look like a sandwich. If the top is solid, the grain pattern will continue. More at this link. http://sixstrings.com.my/the-3-acoustic-guitars/


12

You should use whatever is more effective, comfortable, economical, etc. Some traditional methods of guitar will insist on using certain fingers for certain strings or related ideas like hitting repeated notes on one string by rotating through index-middle-ring, etc. There is often a good reason for this, but none of these work in all situations — ...


11

Exapanding Daryl Answer - here goes fretboard diagram with octave shapes: Circle marks all "e" notes in standard tunning. Of Course You can move whole shape up and down the neck for other notes. This how to practice it: Locate note Follow arrows to locate next position and so on ... You can focus on note names on 6th and 5th string at start, and the ...



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