Questions tagged [guitar]

For questions about guitar playing in general. For questions specifically about electric guitars, see "electric-guitar". For questions specifically about acoustic guitars with or without pickup systems, see "acoustic-guitar".

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43 votes
17 answers
87k views

How to minimize the pain for a beginning guitar student so they won’t give up before they develop calluses?

This is a common problem and solving it will ultimately lead to a much higher success rate for beginning guitar students. So I wanted to share the information here on Music and Theory. Many of my ...
17 votes
2 answers
390k views

On a guitar, what keys correspond to different capo positions?

I've long had this question. I know some music theory, but I can only get a vague idea as to the progression of keys when moving the capo down a guitar's neck. I'm fairly certain that the guitar is in ...
  • 173
155 votes
12 answers
48k views

Why is the guitar tuned like it is?

Why is there that funny tuning kink between the G and B string on a guitar in standard tuning? I.E. the gap (interval) between the rest of the adjoining strings is 5 frets (or a perfect fourth), but ...
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68 votes
24 answers
239k views

Best method to learn to play barre chords?

I've been trying to learn the F chord for a while now, and I am having a very hard time playing the barre chord. I've read that pulling back slightly with your finger and using the body of the guitar ...
user avatar
54 votes
13 answers
54k views

How do you identify a good acoustic guitar?

What do you look for when going for a guitar? I own an acoustic and am looking for a better one. What should I be looking for? Wood quality, brand, strings, etc.?
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70 votes
21 answers
49k views

How often should I replace the strings on my guitar?

When and why should you replace your guitar strings?
  • 1,905
40 votes
13 answers
251k 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. ...
32 votes
10 answers
64k views

What is intonation and how can I find out if my guitar has correct intonation?

What is intonation? What is the best way to check my intonation and fix it if necessary?
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0 votes
3 answers
19k views

How to play a G-chord?

Does anybody have tips on how to play a G-chord on the guitar? My band director taught us, but for some reason I just find it very difficult. Help!
25 votes
4 answers
180k views

How does string gauge affect a guitar's sound and playability?

Guitar strings are available in a variety of gauges. What effect does my choice of string gauge have on the sound of my guitar? What effect does it have on playability?
  • 35.8k
22 votes
12 answers
23k views

How do I properly stretch my newly strung strings?

I came across this string stretcher device. It's called The Stretcha. It claims to properly and evenly stretch new strings and maintain tuning. I never really made a point to properly stretch ...
  • 361
24 votes
2 answers
115k views

What do the terms E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 actually mean?

I am attempting to learn guitar, and I keep coming across this notation in various apps that I've downloaded. I know that E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 are something to do with tuning, but I'm not exactly sure ...
19 votes
5 answers
22k 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 ...
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6 votes
7 answers
5k views

Choosing a guitar: left handed or right handed

When I was a kid and took a guitar for the first time my first instinct was to hold it in a left handed manner. I still feel, that it's my natural way to play. But today I watched the video "How to ...
  • 473
67 votes
22 answers
6k views

Ways to get out of a scalar rut?

I'm a well versed and experienced guitarist. I have a decent sense for rhythm and melody, but I have a VERY hard time with soloing. I know you've heard it all before I'm one of those guys that got ...
46 votes
10 answers
137k views

Why learn scales? What are they for?

I tried Googling but it seems there is no answer for this one. So the internet assumes everyone knows what scales are for? Why should I learn them? Are they important to be a good guitarist?
  • 787
23 votes
5 answers
9k views

When tuning a guitar, how should I strike the strings?

When tuning a guitar, what is the best way to strike a string to get it as close to pitch as possible? I'd like to get it as close to the right pitch as I possibly can. I've noticed with my tuner (it'...
  • 333
21 votes
10 answers
4k views

Is it possible to create the illusion of a sub-harmonic?

The way I understand it, a normal plucked tone consists of a great many overtones in addition to the base tone. A pinched harmonic, however, shifts the base tone higher into the overtone series by ...
  • 14.9k
17 votes
6 answers
47k 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, ...
16 votes
4 answers
64k views

Putting steel strings on a cheap nylon guitar

I was trying to get back into playing guitar. I only took lessons for a few years with a nylon string guitar that was fairly cheap. When I pulled the guitar out of the attic it needed new strings so I ...
  • 161
14 votes
16 answers
104k views

Is it possible for a left hander to learn guitar right handed?

I am looking to get a guitar for my step son. He is largely left handed, but currently he plays the drums right handed without any difficulty. Would the same apply with learning guitar from scratch? ...
9 votes
11 answers
11k views

How do you tune your guitar?

I'd like to hear about the different techniques of tuning a guitar with standard tuning, and why you use them.
  • 1,905
9 votes
3 answers
10k views

Learning to play guitar songs using on-line tabs - how to get strum patterns?

I am a relatively new guitarist and have been using online tabs such as this one: http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/b/beatles/let_it_be_crd.htm to learn how to play new songs. While those tabs ...
  • 193
7 votes
3 answers
13k views

How to make a song with chords and scales?

I play acoustic guitar and have been learning a bunch of chords and scales. I can play many progressions already, and I am starting to write music. I am wondering how you would bridge chord ...
40 votes
4 answers
35k views

Why is my guitar's saddle at an angle?

Most acoustic guitars I've seen, including my own, have an angled saddle (the white strip holding up the strings): This makes the bass strings longer than the treble strings. Why is this? ...
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39 votes
15 answers
173k views

Why shouldn't I put electric guitar strings on my acoustic guitar?

I've always found even the lightest acoustic (bronze) guitar strings to be a bit too heavy to play comfortably. Electric (nickel) guitar strings tend to be lighter. But nobody uses electric strings on ...
  • 493
17 votes
11 answers
89k views

Effects of keeping a guitar in the car

I have a sales job, and am on the road most days. I often find myself with free time between appointments and would like to take advantage of that free time by practicing guitar. I have a 3/4 size ...
  • 401
13 votes
1 answer
8k views

How do I use string gauge tables?

I have seen that string manufacturers publish tables of string gauges and tensions. For example, this one. How can I use these to choose a set of strings for my instrument?
  • 35.8k
7 votes
5 answers
12k views

Tips playing F barre chord

Any tips for a newbie in playing the F barre chord. I find it very hard to put my fingers in place. I've got a strat. I hear you can move it up and down the neck for other barre chords.
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6 votes
4 answers
2k views

How do you sing and strum guitar chords simultaneously?

In my experience with the guitar, I think I do best with strumming. But it's always difficult for me when I have try to keep singing while strumming. How can I learn to do both?
  • 171
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is there a method to know which string and fret to play on guitar when reading sheet music without tabs?

Is there a way to find out which fret position would be optimal? Or is it a matter of personal choice? (When no additional info is given in the sheet music)
5 votes
2 answers
614 views

Identifying "Drop chords" from a given voicing

I'm new to this concept of "drop chords" for guitar, and apparently other instruments as well. Well, I know about chord voicings in general, but not necessarily how the drop-n voicing system works. ...
  • 12.3k
33 votes
7 answers
38k views

How is this B flat guitar chord physically possible?

This chord diagram is from the GarageBand chord trainer (I'm a beginner). How is it possible to put a barre down on the third fret without also muting the top E string?
31 votes
10 answers
91k 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 ...
  • 411
27 votes
3 answers
22k 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?
  • 2,242
26 votes
14 answers
12k views

Can one be too old to learn an instrument?

I own a guitar. I've owned it since I was about 13, but never really got into it because I was a spiteful teen who wanted to play the drums, and went out of my way to play the drums instead (to the ...
  • 363
22 votes
7 answers
3k views

"slash" chords, e.g. B/F♯ - are these only for inversions, or can any note be the bass note?

I'm trying to work out whether it is technically correct to have a "slash" chord where the bass note is not one of the notes in the chord. I thought the main reason for slash chords is to show which ...
  • 2,764
19 votes
4 answers
4k views

What is the the Nashville Numbers system?

Recently, a couple of my bandmates were talking about a technique they use called Nashville Numbers. It's similar to writing out chords, but instead uses numbers. These numbers are a pattern that ...
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17 votes
4 answers
3k views

How can a perfect fourth interval be considered either consonant or dissonant?

I've been reading Ralph Denyer's book, The Guitar Handbook, and in the section on intervals he states that the perfect fourth can be either consonant or dissonant but it's not explained as how or why. ...
17 votes
10 answers
6k views

What are the various methods of tuning the guitar?

This is not a question as much as it is a discussion. I am curious to know what are the different techniques to tune the guitar (using standard tuning) given you know that one string is in tune. I ...
16 votes
3 answers
49k views

What is a ghost note ?

What is a ghost note and how is it different than holding the previous note ?
  • 1,436
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can I easily manage different tunings?

This is probably appropriate for a range of instruments, and I have seen mentioned in other questions that professional musicians can cope easily with transpositions, different instruments that play ...
  • 36.5k
7 votes
3 answers
7k views

Why tune the guitar other than standard?

I have a question. How does tuning come into play in guitar songs? See, I can find the tab of a song in the guitar by ear and I was taught that in tuning standard the fifth fret of the low e string is ...
  • 787
7 votes
3 answers
16k views

What are the benefits of practicing standing up (guitar)?

I can see how practicing standing up would be better for performing guitarists, but I am wondering if there are any other advantages to practicing standing up vs. sitting down for any guitarist?
  • 993
7 votes
3 answers
19k views

Which strings should I use for DADGAD tuning on my acoustic guitar?

I have recently switched to DADGAD tuning, before that I was using light tension strings ( 12 16 24 32 42 53 ). But because of DADGAD, to compensate for the lack of tension on the neck, I wanted to ...
  • 180
5 votes
5 answers
1k views

Need Help in Starting to Learn Guitars?

I am a beginning guitar player. I enjoyed playing in my childhood, but for some reason I was not able to learn. But now I want to learn guitar. I wasn't sure whether to buy an electric guitar or a ...
83 votes
8 answers
5k views

Ten Minute Practice Techniques For Guitar?

Unfortunately, I can't play every day. However, I am trying to practice at least 5-10 minutes here and there. What are some good theory or scale techniques/practice methods I should have ready to ...
  • 1,235
68 votes
21 answers
98k views

Changing the strings: one by one, or by taking all strings off at one time?

The title says it all. Should I change strings one by one, or take them all at once? Does this matter at all? If I take all strings off, will it damage my neck in any way, because the pressure is ...
  • 8,032
41 votes
13 answers
256k views

How not to touch neighbouring strings?

When playing guitar, my fingers often touch other strings on the guitar. I found that my fingertips are too broad for the strings. When I press one string by my middle finger, the meat of the ...
31 votes
15 answers
20k views

Coated Strings—Gimmick, or worth the money?

Never used them myself, but I had a friend who used to swear by the plastic-coated strings he bought for his electric to try and help keep them cleaner. While I realize this probably does do ...
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