Questions tagged [electric-guitar]

For questions specifically about solid-body or semi-acoustic electric guitars. For acoustic and electro-acoustic guitars, or guitar playing in general, see the "guitar" tag.

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48
votes
24answers
12k views

Glossary of Guitar Effects

There are numerous effects options available to the guitarist, especially the electric guitarist. This question is intended to gather and cultivate a set of answers to questions in the form of: ...
48
votes
4answers
152k 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?
42
votes
7answers
5k views

Major scale of one note is the Minor scale of another note?

I am learning guitar at the moment and I learned the major scale. Then I checked the minor scale and the positions are the same! Not only that, the C major scale is the same as the A minor scale. So ...
37
votes
3answers
25k views

Why is the bridge pickup on a Stratocaster angled?

I've always wondered why the bridge pickup of a Stratocaster was angled. Is it cosmetic, or does it make a difference in the sound?
36
votes
15answers
108k views

How can I practice in an apartment without annoying the neighbours?

I live in an apartment and I find my current amp (a 15W solid-state) to be poorly suited to that. I can't turn it up without upsetting the neighbours, but at low volume it sounds horrible with any ...
35
votes
9answers
71k 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 ...
34
votes
5answers
6k views

How to play songs that contain one guitar when we have two or more guitarists?

I am playing drums in an alternative punk band we just started. I am wondering how to play songs that basically are from bands that contain one guitarist, as we have two guitarists. What can be the ...
33
votes
5answers
95k views

What are the benefits of guitars with fanned frets?

I've seen fanned frets on some extended-ranged classical and electric guitars. What are the benefits of guitars with fanned frets? Are there any drawbacks?
29
votes
3answers
57k views

What is the difference between Overdrive and Distortion?

What's the difference? They sound vaguely similar to me and I can't tell a distinct difference sound wise. What is the difference in tone, harmonics, etc.? Are they the same? Which one is better and ...
28
votes
11answers
80k views

How to play a long sustained note on an electric guitar?

I've seen such effects on Santana, Robert Fripp and Steve Hackett. They produce a clean sustained sound and I don't know how to create it.
28
votes
6answers
12k views

What to check when buying a new electric guitar?

I have been playing acoustic guitar for quite some time now. I'm not a beginner but neither am I pro. I'm now looking into buying an electric guitar. My questions are - What do I need to check/...
28
votes
13answers
140k views

Noise while not touching guitar strings or metal parts

I get a buzzing noise from my guitar when idle. However, when I touch the strings or touch any metal parts (strings, bridge or the metal portion near the output jack), the noise goes away completely. ...
27
votes
4answers
26k views

In phase, out of phase pickups

What is the purpose of having guitar pickups out of phase with each other?
26
votes
6answers
52k views

Difference between “hi” and “low” on amps?

What is the difference between "hi" and "low" input jacks on guitar / bass amps? Usually bigger amps have both of them (didn't see them on smaller ones really)..
26
votes
10answers
60k views

How to bend and release without flicking the other strings?

I'm trying to bend up then back down on the G string (so it plays both notes, I'm not muting the bend back down to G) but I always catch my fingernail on the D string. So when I let the bend back ...
26
votes
8answers
20k views

Cleaning the fretboard of an electric guitar

I have had my electric guitar for several years and I noticed that there is some "sweat dirt" on the fretboard of the guitar, so the inlay is less shiny. I'd like to clean that without taking the ...
24
votes
12answers
21k views

How can I keep learning new songs and not forget the previous ones?

I love learning new songs. A fairly easy, energetic rock piece is sometimes everything that I need to keep playing for hours. However, some pieces are harder, some solos require more patience and all ...
23
votes
12answers
25k views

Is “You shouldn't play all 6 strings together on an electric guitar” good teaching?

Someone I know who has been playing electric guitar for many years says this quite often, as a key difference between playing acoustic and electric guitar. He claims that even playing rhythm, you ...
23
votes
2answers
33k views

How should I tune a guitar with a Floyd Rose tremolo?

A number of my guitars have a Floyd Rose tremolo system with the locking nuts near the headstock. How can I effectively tune a guitar that has a Floyd Rose locking tremolo?
22
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I set up an electric guitar?

How do I set up the pickups, neck, etc. in an electric guitar? I'm not concerned with producing a particular sound as I am with keeping the neck from warping, prevent string buzz, improving ...
21
votes
8answers
33k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
29k views

How do guitarists switch on/off multiple effects via pedalboards?

An example would be a guitarists on stage with various sounds for his setlist, and he has around 10 pedals. For solo, he needs to turn on boost, change the channel, a bit of reverb, turn off chorus ...
20
votes
7answers
6k views

Why is a zero fret so uncommon on guitars in spite of all the advantages?

Given the many advantages of using a zero fret on a guitar (as cited in this excellent answer Advantages of a zero fret) and given that with a zero fret it is easier to play chords that call for ...
19
votes
6answers
62k views

Do I need to have my guitar re-set up if I change the string gauge

I'm a newbie transitioning to intermediate and I have a rather nice strat with 11 gauge strings. I'd like to try lighter strings but someone told me changing gauge will require the guitar to be re-set ...
18
votes
12answers
76k views

How to obtain a Clean yet Distorted guitar sound?

I'm kind of a guitar effects noob so sorry if this is an extremely stupid question. How do you obtain a clean and distorted tone using pedals and amp? An example of the kind of sound I'm looking for ...
18
votes
14answers
63k views

How much does an electric guitar's body physics affect the tone, playability, etc?

It makes sense to me based on having some knowledge of physics that on an acoustic guitar the body (and neck, bridge, etc) materials and design has a huge effect on what the guitar sounds like. But ...
18
votes
6answers
11k views

How to accurately intonate a 3 saddle telecaster?

I have a traditional 3 saddle telecaster bridge. With two strings on each saddle my intonation is always a slight compromise. This is OK on the first four strings, but the bass strings are noticeably ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

Alternate picking vs down picking

When I see professional musicians play their songs on guitar, I see them down picking certain parts where I would prefer to alternate pick. Follow the url below to a riff that I play first using ...
18
votes
4answers
17k views

Getting started with an electric guitar and Rocksmith as an absolute beginner

I am an extreme beginner to the guitar and music and just picked up Rocksmith and an electric guitar. Some reviews of the Rocksmith game suggest its a good learning aid for those who know a certain ...
18
votes
7answers
62k views

Is the sound of a semi-hollowbody guitar significantly different from that of an equivalent solid body?

I'm wondering if the sound of a semi-hollowbody electric guitar (i.e. one that looks hollow but in fact has a solid central block) really differs that much from an equivalent solid-body guitar with ...
17
votes
9answers
61k views

guitar cabinet: why not just use a PA speaker cabinet?

I've been thinking about building myself a rackmount rig to replace an old 12" combo amp, and was wondering if it really makes any difference to use a something that's marketed as a "guitar" speaker ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I improve my picking and fretting speed?

I've seen people like John Petrucci playing incredibly fast with their right and left hands, but I can't seem to get any faster than I am now (which is speedy, but not near as fast as John). Is there ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Why use odd time signatures?

I'm a beginner guitar player, and I'm trying to pick up some of the music theory behind the instrument, and one thing that I've sort of grasped is odd time signatures. I know what they are, and I can ...
16
votes
10answers
17k views

How can I stop my electric guitar strings from rusting so quickly?

I suffer from hyperhyrdosis which means my hands sweat quite a lot. The problem is that because of this my electric guitar strings seem to rust quite quickly because of this. Is there anything I can ...
15
votes
6answers
40k 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, ...
15
votes
5answers
8k views

What to look out for when buying a super-cheap used guitar

I found a red Yamaha Pacifica fat strat at a local pawn shop. Most of their guitars are $60 and up, but this one has a $25 sticker on it. I'm considering buying, cleaning, and restringing it but I'd ...
15
votes
5answers
85k views

What are the differences between an American and Mexican Fender Stratocaster?

Many Mexican Fenders have the same or similar price as the American-made versions. Some of the parts are also the same. Generally what's the difference?
14
votes
8answers
40k views

H-S-H vs H-H what can do one and can't another?

I'm seeking a guitar to elicit the rich fat heavy sound. So as I understand a guitar with the H humbucker (double coil) pickup is what I need for that. But there is a wide range of layouts for the ...
14
votes
6answers
19k views

Can one play acoustic/classical music with an electric guitar?

I've once got a very cheap acoustic guitar when I was very young, I later replaced it by an electrical guitar because I disliked it's quality and I don't know what I was doing when I was young. Can ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Techniques for “Dynamics” with Distortion on Electric Guitar

Recently I went to a workshop on electric guitar. Between several subjects, the presenter talked about dynamics with distortion. He said that you can use palm mute to create the effect of a "growing ...
14
votes
11answers
21k views

How can I avoid getting loud picking sounds on a distorted electric guitar?

Whenever I hear solos from professional guitar players, in songs, for example, I never hear a loud noise of pick hitting the strings, even when the guitar is heavily distorted. I just learned a solo ...
14
votes
6answers
59k views

How can I prevent the noise my guitar pick makes?

When I play the guitar (electric with steel strings), I can hear the noise of the pick clashing against the steel strings. When I play a chord, after my pick triggers one string it then falls against ...
14
votes
7answers
29k views

How does string gauge affect intonation?

I have a problem with intonation adjustment on my g-string on my Epiphone Les Paul. It's correct now but the bridge saddle cannot be adjusted any farther in range. I need to change strings but I don'...
14
votes
1answer
8k views

What changes in the amp when I adjust its presence?

The tone controls on a guitar amp are pretty obvious, but what does the presence knob affect? It's a subtle effect but can sure make or break a sound. It doesn't seem to be treble or midrange boost, ...
13
votes
9answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
10answers
30k views

What type of strings to use for easier bending in fast solos?

I'm getting better at playing that legendary Enter Sandman solo by Kirk Hammett, and I'm getting the speed part almost covered. What I'm struggling with is hitting the target note when bending that ...
13
votes
5answers
6k views

How to make swell effect on electric guitar?

The effect I'm thinking of is when you don't hear the pick attack as you play a note, but you hear the note afterwards as it seems to get louder before decaying. I suppose you can mimic this with a ...
13
votes
3answers
13k views

Why is the whammy bar sometimes called a “Tremolo” arm?

Who coined or mis-used the term Tremolo for the pitch-bending mechanism often found on electric guitars? Tremolo cannot actually be effected by using the 'whammy bar'.
13
votes
6answers
3k views

What does it mean that a Stratocaster is vintage?

Looking at the lineup of Fender and Squier I see that you can find standard and vintage guitars for about the same price. For example, Squier has both a Standard series and a Vintage Modified series. ...
13
votes
2answers
24k views

Guitar produces hum due to poor soldering

Is it possible that a guitar could produce a low hum after replacing a pickup? I own a guitar that I (poorly) replaced a pickup on when I first started playing, and I was wondering if there was some ...