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
86k 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 ...
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153 votes
12 answers
47k 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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17 votes
2 answers
384k 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 ...
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  • 173
68 votes
24 answers
234k 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 ...
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54 votes
13 answers
53k 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?
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  • 1,905
38 votes
13 answers
240k 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. ...
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32 votes
10 answers
63k 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!
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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?
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  • 35.7k
22 votes
12 answers
22k 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 ...
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  • 361
23 votes
2 answers
107k 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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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45 votes
10 answers
136k 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?
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  • 777
17 votes
6 answers
46k 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, ...
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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'...
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  • 333
21 votes
10 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 14.9k
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.
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  • 1,905
16 votes
4 answers
63k 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 ...
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  • 161
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 ...
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  • 193
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 ...
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  • 463
39 votes
15 answers
172k 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 ...
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  • 493
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?
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  • 35.7k
16 votes
10 answers
87k 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 ...
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  • 391
14 votes
16 answers
102k 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? ...
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40 votes
4 answers
33k 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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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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5 votes
2 answers
580 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. ...
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  • 12.1k
5 votes
3 answers
813 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)
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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 ...
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33 votes
7 answers
37k 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?
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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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30 votes
10 answers
88k 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 ...
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  • 401
21 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 ...
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  • 2,754
7 votes
3 answers
18k 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 ...
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  • 180
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?
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  • 983
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 ...
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  • 777
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?
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  • 171
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 ...
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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?
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  • 2,232
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 ...
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  • 36.3k
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 ...
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  • 1,235
25 votes
6 answers
74k 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?
67 votes
21 answers
95k 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 ...
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  • 8,022
19 votes
4 answers
4k 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?
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  • 8,022
41 votes
13 answers
248k 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 ...
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28 votes
6 answers
46k views

How do I stop muting nearby strings or will my fingers reshape after some practice?

I recently started learning to play guitar. I cut my nails completely, so I can press the strings. Often I need to endlessly re-arrange my fingers because I'm muting nearby strings. I correct one ...
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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 ...
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  • 363

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