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You can absolutely look at the strings and frets until you build up the muscle memory and then learn to play without looking. I can't imagine trying to learn guitar without looking ever. Professional guitarists look. It's good to learn to play without looking, but it's not something that should be 100% avoided from day one.


16

As luthier Chris Larkin explains for this 9 string bass monster - To get suitable tension on the huge variation of string sizes it required different scale lengths for each string and so needed fan frets. I managed to find a 7-string fanned fret guitar I really liked (The Ormsby HypeGTR), so I thought I'd buy it and experiment to see exactly what the ...


15

Maybe lost to history, the dots are references for the Fibonacci series, which when harmonics are considered, give a pure major chord with octave and perfect fifth redundancies. The dot at the 9th fret marks 2/5ths of the string length. The harmonic there is of the 5th partial (the major third) -- this is the one that throws you off. This is my observation,...


15

On a guitar with the usual bone or plastic nut, an open string can sound different than a fretted string. This is due to the difference in how the string reacts to metal vs. bone or plastic. A zero fret gives open strings the same tone as fretted strings. A zero fret may also be easier/cheaper to manufacture than a traditional nut. With a traditional nut,...


15

Check the intonation. The bridge/saddles may need moving, so that the 12th fret harmonic is exactly the same note as the fretted 12th. As an extra check, capo on 1st fret, and hear the 13th fret harmonic is the same as the fretted 13th.


13

If you have a string or strings that go out of tune more and more as you go up the fretboard, you don't have a string issue. You have an intonation issue. We have a wide range of questions here on intonation, but basically the length of the string from nut to bridge is the problem. The quick check you can do is to play this string while fretting the 12th ...


13

Yes, this is absolutely possible. I think Tolgahan Çoğulu is probably the outstanding practitioner of this (although Steve Vai has done some work in this area) Tolgahan uses variable fret positions for microtonal reasons and for playing with differing intonations and temperament. See this video for an example. As you can ...


13

It is more difficult to play chords on fretless stringed instruments, largely because it is difficult to get accurate intonation when fingering more than two pitches on a fretless fingerboard. Bassists, violinists, and other strings players usually restrict their chordal offerings to double-stops. But just because single note lines are easier to play than ...


12

The lower the fret action, the more buzz you will get. Your ideal height will be based on what you need. Unamplified, many of the really fast guitarists have fret buzz all over the neck. Personally, I use a reasonably high action on most of my guitars (about 3mm at 12th fret) because I dislike buzz and have quite a hard picking action. I do have two guitars ...


11

Welcome to the wonderful world of non-standard intonation. You will like it here. I have answered here on instruments where you have to dictate the intonation: slide and steel guitar and theremin. I haven't mentioned violin/fiddle, because by the time you're good enough for it to be worthwhile to ask questions in this sort of forum, you've already learned ...


11

To make it safe against buzz, the string has to run across the zero fret with a bit of pressure. This makes the strings move across the fret with some stickiness so they follow the tuning machine more hesitatingly. In effect, you get some of the downsides from most tremolo bars with regard to tuning stability. In addition, frets get indentations from ...


11

Look at the nut. The string should make contact with the edge of the nut towards the fretboard. Here is a picture of what it should look like. You can fix it yourself or get it repaired at a luthier/guitar store.


10

"lower" strings are lower in pitch, the thick ones... Upper is higher. Lower frets are towards the nut, upper to the bridge. However, (and apparently in contradiction) we normally use "up" for say, bends where the strings are pushed towards the upper edge of the fretboard, and down for the opposite direction.. But only rarely is there a directional ...


10

Welcome to the wonderful world of guitar. The guitar is a very versatile and portable instrument that you can enjoy anywhere you like. As you have discovered, fretted (or non fretted) stringed instruments such as guitar, ukulele. mandolin, or even violin, are very different from a keyboard instrument. With a piano, there is only one specific key per ...


10

The lower card shows the chords that go with the tones in each key. The chords built on tones of a scale are often referred to by roman numerals, for example, the root tone is the I, the next tone in the scale is II (or ii, if the chord is minor), the fifth is V etc. Often, chord progressions are referred to by these numerals, like the Blues progression: I-...


9

Firstly, your assumption of 7 notes refers to E scale, not E chord. In the chord, there are 3 notes, E G# and B. They're shared between the 6 strings. Each string will play one of those notes, and it becomes apparent which one of each is easiest to reach, while occupying every string. That E chord is known as the 'open E', as it contains open strings as well ...


8

It happens all the time, irrespective of whether the strings are new. The 'dirt' is highly likely to be metal oxides rubbing off onto your fingers from the strings. Phosphor-bronze does it; Nickel and chromium content in strings does it. The rare earth metal content in the strings reacts to certain body chemistry (acidity in sweat) or even humid air which ...


8

If you can learn to play without fret markers, you will have a tremendous advantage over those who have learned to rely on the fret markers. When I first began learning to play guitar I relied on the fret markers to help me find my place on the fretboard. But when I started playing for audiences on dark stages, I recognized the limitations of not being ...


8

Bradd has mentioned the two places where the string is most likely to be auidibly hitting the strings. Another couple of suggestions I have for reducing the direct 'left hand' noise made by the string where it's fretted - Work on having your left hand 'think ahead', so that you're not rushing to fret the note just before you play it; instead, the relevant ...


8

In a sentence, mix it up and steer away from where you're comfortable. Mix it up To start with find some methods and exercises to work with. Some examples: Always say (or sing if possible) the notes as you're playing exercises like this or scales or whatever. Saying the note name or whatever you're learning helps connect your muscle memory, your mind (the ...


8

Actually music notes are not discrete. The guitar, like the piano, is designed to have equal tempered tuning rather than just tuning. In that tuning system notes are discrete, half step = 12th root of 2. Even in just tuning we only have 7 notes in the diatonic scale but we are free to make slight deviations and some cultures do use quarter steps (a half ...


7

I'm pretty sure you have to tune your bass to standard tuning. EADG so in order to play the notes in tune you'd have to put your finger on your left hand at the fret bar. If you wanted to play the notes at the center of the fret you would have to tune your bass accordingly, not a good idea IMO. On a standard bass even though you put your finger in between ...


7

Think of the reason you're giving names to notes: communication. So, it depends who you're communicating with, their expectations of you, and your expectations of them. When I play soprano ukulele, I think in terms of the guitar fretboard - the intervals between strings are the same as the top four strings of a guitar. So in my head, I play a guitar "D" ...


7

Your guitar has an intonation problem. Intonation is the name for the relative tuning adjustment between different notes played on a string. The adjustment is necessary because the frets are positioned based on an ideal calculation which relates string length and pitch. However, when a note is fretted, the string subject to a small bend which raises the ...


7

I have used a number of roll your own versions to create a fretboard and then draw by hand or with other tools to make patterns for scales and arpeggios. The most relevant things are set the guitar string size to progress from large to small, left to right, put the standard fretboard makers in the right place. However, the fastest thing I found was to ...


7

If it's an exceedingly low-quality product, it could just be that the fretboard is badly designed enough that the notes are just not in the right place, but realistically, all guitars exhibit tuning issues with fretted notes. Equal temperament is a compromise to begin with, and the guitar itself even more so. Assuming it's not actually a manufacturing ...


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