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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21
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there any set of 2-6 notes that doesn't have a chord name?

Is there any combination of up to six notes in the chromatic scale that could not be classified and named as a chord? Can anyone give me an example and explanation if so?
21
votes
7answers
4k views

Why are guitars strung low-to-high?

Why not the high E at the top and the low E bottom? I haven't even heard of an alternate tuning that's similar. Is there a reason for this?
21
votes
7answers
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 ...
20
votes
8answers
7k views

Becoming a good guitar teacher

I am thinking of starting guitar teaching and, of course, I am aiming to become a good guitar teacher. I don't think it will happen in the near future, because I don't have enough skill level yet, but ...
20
votes
4answers
101k views

What is the difference between an amp and a head?

At the moment I currently only use a basic guitar amp, but a few of my friends have 'heads' on top of their amps. What is the purpose of these? What do they do that the amp doesn't do?
20
votes
8answers
3k views

Why is the 5th stronger than the 1st in guitar spectrum?

I was experimenting with spectrum analysis of guitar plucks and this is what i got on an open low E recording: As you can see the strongest peak is at about 247 Hz, which is a B3 while the peak at ...
20
votes
10answers
8k views

Why is the first inversion of a C Major Chord very rarely used on guitar even though it is easier to play?

The open C Major Chord is one of the first basic chords taught to beginning guitar students. It is also one of the most common chords I see in the music I listen to. The instruction books teaching ...
20
votes
8answers
42k views

What should a guitarist learn first: Rhythm or Lead?

It is a slightly subjective question, however, there is, I'm sure, a common consensus as to what lends itself better to a beginner so as not to get frustrated with the instrument. I'm curious as to ...
20
votes
5answers
11k views

Symbols “M”, “C”, “D”, and “P” in Guitar Tablature

I was reading a songbook by Richie Kotzen, and in the song "Shine" (which he played with Mr. Big), there's a rythm guitar part that goes like this: What do the symbols M, C, D and P mean? I'm pretty ...
20
votes
6answers
33k views

Will hanging a guitar by its headstock damage it?

I like to leave my guitars out, otherwise I don't play them. I have a couple of wall hangings and stands all over the place too. Will hanging a guitar from the wall damage it at all? Warp the neck? ...
20
votes
8answers
17k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

How to begin learning the CAGED Method [closed]

What is the best way of approaching the CAGED Method. What are some good resources for beginning to learn this method.
19
votes
8answers
11k views

How common are mistakes while playing guitar?

I playing guitar since a couple of years (but not regularly) and I always wondered if guitarist from known bands always play their songs/solos perfectly? Especially when the songs are fast paced, is ...
19
votes
7answers
7k views

Standing up acoustic guitar playing position for women

It goes without saying that women typically have different body types than men and this fact often never gets addressed when guitarists are speaking on how to position a guitar when standing up. It ...
19
votes
8answers
13k views

Are there any benefits of using a Capo?

What is the benefit of using a Capo versus just playing in a different key without one? In other words, why not just transpose the song and play it in the desired key without the capo?
19
votes
9answers
4k views

How can I practice guitar when I don't have my instrument?

Brass players can practice using just their mouthpieces, and drummers can practice with just sticks. What can a guitar (or similar instrument) player do to practice when they can't bring along their ...
19
votes
7answers
77k views

Is it normal for frequent guitar playing to be accompanied by wrist pain?

Is it normal for frequent guitar playing to be accompanied by wrist pain or is it something that is caused by poor posture/position and technique? I have been playing for several years now, and mostly ...
19
votes
7answers
10k views

Does capo quality make any difference?

I feel I was fooled by a music store. They made me buy a really expensive capo saying that it gives a better tone than normal cheap one. However, I recently bought a cheap wooden capo and I could not ...
19
votes
4answers
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?
19
votes
5answers
21k views

What exactly is the act of playing behind the beat?

I am a guitarist trying to improve my rhythmic feel and have been told to play a little more behind the beat. This is in a studio setting. How should I approach this to be more consistant in playing ...
19
votes
5answers
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
19
votes
11answers
11k views

Guitar tutoring software that listens to your playing?

I'm looking into learning classical guitar. I know most people will suggest getting lessons, and I'm looking into that. But I was also wondering if there are any software tutors out there that can ...
19
votes
8answers
15k views

What determines how hard it is to press a guitar string?

When playing on different steel string acoustic guitars over the years, I noticed a huge difference in how hard it was to press down a string. This made me wonder why. There are two obvious factors ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Basic Punk Rhythm Guitar--Snare Feels Like Down Beat

I'm a pretty good guitarist, and I can play some tricky rhythms (weird time signatures, syncopation, some of the easier djent stuff) but I've always had trouble when my drummer starts to play anything ...
19
votes
5answers
13k views

How do Pre War Martin Guitars Differ From Modern Ones?

Pre-war Martin guitars are revered because of their sound. What differences are there between the construction of pre-war Martin guitars, and Martin guitars made now. And are there any companies ...
18
votes
11answers
70k views

How can I toughen up my fingertips?

Recently I played my acoustic guitar after a couple months of only playing my classical guitar. My fingers have softened considerably compared to when I was playing the acoustic regularly, and it was ...
18
votes
7answers
48k views

Guitar chords high on the neck

Apologies, this is an incredibly vague question, but any help would be appreciated. When watching skilled acoustic guitar players, I regularly see them playing chords high on the guitar neck (ie ...
18
votes
13answers
32k views

Are there alternatives to developing calluses when learning guitar?

As a musician, I come from a mostly vocal and piano background, but I was gifted a decent acoustic guitar many years ago and haven't really gotten into learning it due to practicing being rather ...
18
votes
3answers
900 views

How can I move beyond learning songs?

I can competently learn and play chord progressions and simple runs on the guitar but I do not feel like I understand the instrument. My playing progresses by memorizing songs. However, I know that ...
18
votes
6answers
26k views

Right hand accuracy

I've realized, that I have a big problem with right hand accuracy, when using a pick, especially, when I play arpeggios and have to skip a string or a couple of stings. Sometimes, I hit the wrong ...
18
votes
6answers
3k views

Selling my guitar

I want to sell a guitar, but I would like to know: Where are good places to sell a guitar? Online? Guitar stores? What is a good way to work out the value of the guitar?
18
votes
6answers
751 views

How do you care for your guitar?

A guitar that is used regularly will sooner or later show signs of wear and tear. How do you best care for your guitar and make sure it stays as good as it is for as long as possible?
18
votes
5answers
39k views

How can I effectively secure guitar strings to the tuning pegs?

One of the bigger problems I face when restringing my guitars is properly securing the strings to the pegs. How should I wind the strings around the pegs before tightening them to prevent the string ...
18
votes
7answers
70k 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
7answers
7k views

Why is a violin so loud compared to a guitar?

The violin is comparatively louder than a guitar. This is a surprising fact, given that: the violin instrument is generally smaller than, say, a typical classical or folk guitar, both use strings. ...
17
votes
10answers
5k views

Importance of using all fingers while playing guitar

I have been playing guitar for about 8 months now. I would say I'm progressing decently well, but my guitar teacher has one complaint against me: I don't use all my fingers of my fretting hand. The ...
17
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it necessary to learn the names of fret notes?

I know the names of the notes up to about the fifth fret on each string. I play from sheet music occasionally, but mostly from tabs - so is it necessary to learn the names of the notes for each fret ...
17
votes
10answers
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 ...
17
votes
10answers
11k views

Fighting against the F Chord

Ok, first off, let me introduce myself: my name is Diego and I've been practising guitar(acoustic with metal strings) for about a month and a half, like five hours the day. Well, to the point: ...
17
votes
6answers
45k 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, ...
17
votes
10answers
11k views

'A' Chord on Guitar

Just recently started playing acoustic guitar. I'm having some difficulty mastering the 'A' chord. My fingers seem to be squished together which makes me struggle to hold the strings in place and as ...
17
votes
4answers
2k 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
2answers
372k 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 ...
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 ...
17
votes
2answers
22k views

What is an “open tuning”?

I know that Keith Richards has been known to use open tunings on some songs, but what is an open tuning exactly and when/why would you use it?
17
votes
9answers
30k views

Does using a capo put you out of tune?

i just want to ask if using a capo affects the tuning of the strings. I bought my first capo and I played my guitar with the capo on all day long. When I removed the capo, I played another song and it ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does the chord progression Dmaj -> Emaj -> Bmaj sound good?

I looked up the chord progressions for all major and minor scale keys, but this combination doesn't match any of them. Why does it work well?
17
votes
1answer
6k views

What does it mean to play in an 'arpeggiated' style on the guitar?

I sometimes hear a guitar player described as having an 'arpeggiated' style, such as Peter Buck of R.E.M. I know that an arpeggio is the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 8th of a scale, but exactly what does it ...
17
votes
5answers
38k views

How to check if an acoustic guitar is solid top or not?

How do I check whether a guitar is solid top or laminated top? Are there any huge differences in the sound and appearance so that I can differentiate between them? I want to buy a solid top guitar ...

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