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17

Consider switching to the ukulele. With only four strings, your left thumb is not needed to hold down strings, and you might find the lower tension and smaller neck of the uke easier to hold than a guitar. A pick is not needed with a uke, and many people strum with their index finger, so your right thumb is not necessary, either.


16

You could transition to lap steel, or dobro; using finger picks on your right hand and a slide on one of your left fingers shouldn't require use of your thumbs. Maybe autoharp? -- not quite a guitar but still a strummed stringed instrument. From what I can tell, it should be playable without using the thumbs too much.


10

To add to the answer that mentions lap steel, David Gilmour can be seen playing lap steel here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lap_steel_guitar. Jeff Healey (before his untimely death aged only 41) was a rock/blues/jazz guitarist who held his guitar like a lap steel guitar. Because he largely taught himself from the age of 3, and was blind, he wasn't ...


9

tl;dr: You can always guess what notes to play by ear and find what notes sound good, but at the end of the day you are playing in a scale and you should be aware of that. There are some guitarists that don't know scale (or music theory for that matter) and they tend to play by ear. They listen to the progression and try to play something over it and ...


7

Effects are usually a relatively personal topic among guitar players, so you will probably get a lot of variation among answers to this question. I can give my opinion on the matter but it's always best to experiment yourself and figure out what you like the sound of. Generally I use an overdrive/distortion, a fuzz pedal, and a delay pedal for my ...


7

The line between Blues, Rock and Metal can be "fuzz"ier than you'd think. Effects can be broken up into three classes: Gain, Modulation and Time (GMT), and roughly, they are placed in the chain in this order. (If you place things out of this order and like the sound, you are under no requirement to change.) In the Gain section, Distortion occurs when the ...


7

The other answers address the issue of choosing a capo position to fit the chords you want to play. When trying to match a recording, you also use clues from the sound of the recording. To determine the tuning, pay attention to any drones in the song. With an alternate tuning, the goal of the original choice of tuning is often to select these drones. ...


5

Assuming your guitar has a decent action, there's no need to squeeze the neck with your thumb to play.By holding the body with your other elbow/arm, your chords and single notes can be held by counteracting this tension pulling backwards with your fretting fingers. It will feel rather strange after all those years, but it does work. For single note stuff, ...


5

After getting over crippling tendonitis in both thumbs, I gave up guitar in favor of bass guitar. I can't explain the reason that bass is less painful, but it definitely is. I also had an injury to my right thumb that makes gripping a pick difficult. With bass, I can use my fingers, or I use a Herco pick with loop on it, similar to the thumb pick that a ...


5

I don't know if there is any specific name, but he is simply playing a natural harmonic on the 12th fret and then shaking the neck of the guitar to create a vibrato-like sound. It is pretty common and widely used. You can do it by simply playing any note and then moving the neck of the guitar up and down quickly (up meaning away from your body whereas down ...


5

Both methods are used. The first is useful for playing a long note that needs vibrato. Watch B.B.King's butterfly vibrato - except he usually uses the index finger on a fret, with no thumb behind the neck.Incidentally, as you are a beginner, I guess, the usual fingering at the bottom frets is as in the pic., index on 1, middle on 2, etc. However, you will ...


4

Assuming strings have been bedded in, and all are properly in tune to standard, then the whole guitar is in balance. That is, the strings exert a tension against the neck and the vibrato system, usually springs. When one string is changed, that balance is changed. Lowering a string pitch will loosen that string, so the opposing part of the balance becomes ...


4

Bending strings on a steel stringed acoustic guitar can be done to good effect. It works on a nylon stringed too, but is less common. You can try a lighter string gauge to make it easier. Especially steel stringed guitars are usually stringed with pretty brutal gauges. All major string manufacturers have lighter gauge acoustic strings. For nylon stringed ...


4

If both guitars buzz with light strings but not with heavier strings, then there are a couple of options. I'm assuming the buzz is happening when the string touches a fret somewhere near the middle of its vibrating length; if the buzz is at the nut or bridge or somewhere else, then this line of thinking does not apply. You could switch to a heavier gauge, ...


4

A similar question to this was asked over the last couple of weeks. I guess the guitar has a vibrato. In this case, as the strings are loosened, it makes the springs in the vibrato relatively stronger, thus they pull the remaining strings tighter, and so, higher in pitch.This is a phenomenon associated with vibratos (trems), and is basically the nature of ...


4

Sound in tune to me. The second example is a semitone down on standard 440Hz pitch,but still in tune. It may be that Russian tuning is/was not the same as Western standard, but still in tune with itself. Spot the 7 string guitars? Standard low B strung when I bought mine in Leningrad, in 1964 !! So it's not such a modern idea. The videotapes must be 40-50 ...


4

You could learn to play a tap guitar. Though not exactly a new kind of guitar, the most common tap guitars are low-action electric guitars. Adam Fulara, for example, often plays a double-neck tap guitar. He does not play the instrument with his thumbs, but his thumbs still support the guitar while he bangs the guitar with his other fingers. Though Fulara ...


4

I think the most important thing you need is to learn how to dive in your guitar's neck without getting lost. Moving around past a certain speed and without watching where your fingers are requires tons of practice. That practice relies in repeating some pattern over and over and over. You can try 1 million solos, practice them, improve and master them and ...


4

Absolutely, you can add extra fingers on the string behind the fret. You probably don't want to use all your fingers all the time because that would severely impede your speed, but sometimes extra fingers can give you more control over a vibrato or a bend. With barre chords of course, you're pressing several of the strings down in more than one place. ... In ...


4

Tim's answer is pretty good, but there is one thing I can add to it: you should try to choose your fingering depending on which notes are to come next! For instance, if the G is followed by an F# and an F, it is indeed useful to have your index and middle finger on the first and second already, so that you can descend on the string smoothly. On the other ...


4

I think that starting with C and G chords is a throwback from other instruments, particularly the piano, so things could be learnt easily on the 'white keys'. There are none on a guitar, and initially sharps and flats don't need mentioning. Changing from C to G (and vice versa) involve a big change or finger/hand/arm movement with open chords. Not easy or ...


3

Best advise I can give is to think about which artist exemplifies any given genre in your mind and research his setup. An often overlooked item is a graphic equalizer placed after a run of the mill distortion box. By cutting or boosting certain frequencies post distortion you can traverse between many classic rock and metal sounds. As an aside, the term ...


3

Fingerings are about playing stuff in the most natural and easy way, but what is the most natural and easy way can be changed with practice. Playing with the pinky is an important asset so it makes sense to integrate it in your practice even though you might be able to work around it. The most important thing for pinky playing (not just on the guitar) is ...


3

Looks like a kind of Rasgueado to me.


3

Find an article or book about music theory. When you read about a new concept, put the book down and improvise with the new material you just learned. I'm doing this myself right now. I never actually learned many typical rock or traditional Western harmonies, preferring to use modal chords and exotic modes instead. A few days ago, I realized this was ...


3

The thumb can be used to mute, but there is absolutely no rule about what you 'should' do, unless you are trying to play strict classical. In your D/F# I probably wouldn't mute the A with my thumb, but I might if it made sense based on where my fingers had come from and where they were going next. For that A chord I wouldn't mute the E string at all - I ...


3

A look up of the guitar shows a few different prices. The highest priced seller was a vintage seller for an extremely high $57,900 for an original in mint condition. That however, does not match with what the guitars are going for on eBay which is from $2,995.00 to $3,499.00. This however includes mostly non originals and remakes of that modle guitar. ...


3

The strings sound quite thin - they have that twangy feel whihch you get if you string a steel acoustic with very light strings. Also some of the guitars look quite small meaning a short nect, whcih means th strings can be looser to get the same note. The looseness adds to the effect Tetsujin mentions : When you hit the string to get volume, for a moment ...


3

These are called Guitar Harmonics. Different areas on the strings of a guitar (and bass guitar) have overtones. Its the same places on each string too, including Halfway from the nut to the bridge, and the halfway points between the Nut and Halfway point, then the Halfway point and the Bridge. There are more points on there as well. These sounds are made ...


3

You seem to be mistaken in thinking that playing scales means you have to play the same scales as everyone else - you don't. In fact, even playing chords and/or arpeggios is a form of playing scales. A scale is, informally, nothing more than a system of dividing a range of frequencies into discrete steps. So saying you 'refuse' to learn scales is, in a ...



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