the Tin Man
  • Member for 10 years, 7 months
  • Last seen more than a month ago
  • Arizona
What tools should every guitarist have?
Accepted answer
19 votes

A good multi-tool, like one by Leatherman, is a nice addition to your case. They include slot and phillips head screwdrivers, pliers, diagonal cutters (good for emergency wire stripping), a file (...

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What is concert pitch?
Accepted answer
16 votes

"Concert pitch" comes from how symphonies have learned to deal with tuning various instruments to a common pitch over the years. According to the ISO it's 440 Hertz, which is in the A above middle C ...

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What are some of the components of a good guitar solo?
15 votes

Many years ago, when Duane Allman was alive, the Allman Brother's "At the Fillmore East (Live)" album was referred to as one of the very best examples of developing solos ever. At the time I was ...

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What is "Phrasing" in the context of playing a Solo?
14 votes

Phrasing is how we take a series of notes or chords, and change them from mechanically repeating them into something that is alive and sounds fresh. As we learn to play we concentrate first on ...

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What changes in the amp when I adjust its presence?
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14 votes

Ahhh, I got it now. Guitar Amp Basics has a little note at the bottom of the "Tone Controls" section explaining that the presence knob actually reduces negative feedback on the tubes for the ...

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What's the difference between the "smooth" strings and the "rough" strings?
13 votes

The reason we have wound strings is due to the physics of the string's vibration. A heavier string vibrates more slowly, causing a lower pitch. The wound strings could be solid wires, and achieve ...

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What is the the Nashville Numbers system?
12 votes

It's based on music theory. For a simple example, let's say you're playing a song in "C major". Your root chord is "1", which is C. Your fourth, is "F", which is "4&...

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Why do tube-based guitar amplifiers sound so good?
12 votes

Building on what @gomad said, "Tube amplifiers also create more and / or more pleasing harmonics than do solid state ones." Tubes and solid-state generate harmonics when they can not output any more ...

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How to play chords like G/B
12 votes

You've pretty much got it figured out. If you read G/B as "G over B" it makes sense that your lowest note needs to be a B. There is nothing that says what string the B has to be played on, only that ...

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How do I develop a good vibrato?
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12 votes

When I first started working on lead guitar, I spent a lot of time just listening to famous players phrasing and vibrato. I knew that an important part of playing lead was developing a "voice" for my ...

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How to become a good musician at a later age?
11 votes

I'd recommend finding some peers to encourage and push you. For instance, look for a blues society/club in your area, and get involved jamming and learning. In particular, I mentioned the blues, ...

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Factors in choosing a replacement saddle for an acoustic guitar.
11 votes

Between bone and plastic saddles I much prefer bone saddles, both because of their hardness and its ability to transfer the vibrations. Plastic ones have to be treated very carefully when sanding ...

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Why is an amplifier's effects loop useful?
11 votes

In addition to @DRL's good answer, another use for the effect loop on an amp is to provide access to the power-amp in, avoiding the tone-messing-up circuitry, when you're using some modeling effects. ...

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Amp picking up radio stations
11 votes

Sounds like your amp's shielding isn't good, as radio interference shouldn't happen like that. You don't say what brand it is, but you really shouldn't hear interference/noise/radio from the amp, ...

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

Paul Reed Smith has videos available where he talks about the effect different woods have on the sound of his electric guitars. (starting about 2:47 into the video) ...

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Can guitar playing cause stiff fingers?
10 votes

Of course it can cause stiff fingers. Or sore wrists, arms, shoulders, backs, hips, necks. The causes are bad posture, too much guitar weight, or over-stressing muscles and joints from overuse. ...

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Tips for playing outdoors in cold weather?
9 votes

I had to do an hour set under those sort of conditions once. It was absolute misery: besides the guitar freaking out and needing to be tuned several times as it adjusted to the cold, I couldn't feel ...

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Does a covering on a humbucker pickup make a difference?
Accepted answer
9 votes

I used to pull off the covers on my old humbuckers, but, frankly, I couldn't hear a difference. I would hear a difference when I substituted new magnets. I think it's possible there is a very, very ...

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How do I know when it's time to change a tube on my amplifier?
8 votes

Two additional problems I've seen with some people's tube amps, related to tubes going bad, is their sloppy manner of treating the tubes. Some people don't hesitate to use their fingers to pull a ...

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Do phase inverter tubes affect the sound of my amp?
8 votes

It's much too long to quote, so I'll link to Myles Rose's paper about the Phase Inverter and quote this: Before you go to a pricy output set of tubes and a possible need to rebias the amp think ...

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What is a string skipping exercise?
8 votes

If you visualize your guitar's strings, from lowest to highest, you've got six strings (usually). Cross-picking or string skipping, means you're going to come up with patterns that jump over an ...

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Guitar Picking improvement... is forcing EVER good
7 votes

Playing faster isn't a sign of playing better. Some people, well respected players, can put a huge number of notes in a measure, yet they don't say anything with them. These are songs and players I'...

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My fingers ache after practice. What can I do about it?
7 votes

Have you made any changes to your guitar, the strap, how you stand or sit? Posture can make a big difference in your hands because of the angle of your hand on the neck. Playing with the guitar too ...

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Why is my neck pickup quieter when playing with both pickups?
7 votes

It's possible the pickup selector switch has a dirty contact for the front-pickup when in the middle position. I have an old Ibanez that does the same thing sometimes when I switch to the neck pickup. ...

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How to embrace the metronome after years of bad habits?
7 votes

Metronomes will help you keep a beat, but I find them booooring. Instead, I use Garageband and set up some different drum patterns. They're more interesting. Plus, you can set up other instruments if ...

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Which steel strings are more suitable for fingerpicking on acoustic guitar?
Accepted answer
7 votes

Steel strings are under higher tension than nylon, so, whether they are round-wound, flat-wound or taped, they will still require greater pressure to fret and pick. You can go to a lighter gauge, ...

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How does scale length affect my playing?
7 votes

In my experience, scale length translates to increased string tension for longer necks. This is a result of the physics of string vibration. Longer strings have to be at higher tension to have an ...

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How can I minimize going out of tune when using the whammy bar?
7 votes

The nut material can make a big difference, as can the width of the slots. Binding can occur because the slots are too tight. As @Bill said, you can use graphite. You can use powered teflon. I have ...

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Multi-Effects Pedal or Multiple Effects Pedals?
7 votes

The big problem with an all-in-one box is you have to like all the sounds. For instance, I use a Pod X3 for recording into my computer, and it has a so-so chorus. Comparing it to my TC-Electronic ...

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Wrist problems when using the first fret
6 votes

The question that immediately came to my mind is, how low do you have your guitar on your strap? If you're doing anything resembling a gun-slinger, you might want to raise it, because it directly ...

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