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Guitar Help for Common Issues (Page 5.8)

View our archives of member questions. Before our introduction of Live Courses, we would field questions from our members are record video responses from our pool of teachers. This is the result! Please be aware, some of the video quality in these questions is quite poor, but the knowledge is still valuable.

strings

Kenrahn says, "Hi, I'm a beginner so I would like to know what would be the best strings for this type of guitar. It's an Alvarez Model CY135. Thank You for your help. Ken Rahn"

Hell's Bells

Frisa asks, "Hi Dave enjoy your lessons im having problems with the second change of song going from the c chord to the the the slide to the the second fret i use my fourth finger because i cant stretch it like you can so if you have another technique im willing to learn a long song to remember im still going over lesson also i want to learn leads from the roots of the chords what would you suggest thanks for your time and hoping you can help i have been playing along time but never had great instructions like you and jamplay have"

expensive guitars..?

Teewii asks, "hi there! im a beginner guitarist, and i bought an electric guitar from a friend for about 220$(including amp, so it was kinda cheap) even i can see that its not the best guitar in the world, but i guess its more than great for a beginner. but anyway ive been looking around the net at sites where they sell guitars, and i see many that are sold for more than 2000$ (some even more expensive). i was thinking, as i get better, i will get a new guitar, and in that case i was wondering; is there a lot of difference between expensive and "cheaper" guitars? what is different? is it just the sound? and what makes a guitar worth paying 2000$ for? please explain what a good guitar is. hope somebody can answer me. btw, this site is so great =) thanks."

nylon string guitar

Hgnative asks, "hi another question im going to buy a accoustic guitar i love classical guitar sound and i do (try) to play if i was to buy a nylon string guitar can i still play other music on this with out sounding bad like country rock are is this guitar just for classical thank you jamplay PS every time i see classical guitar music being played its on a nylon string guitar"

David Mackenzie

Hcso asks, "I'm asking you this question because you seem to know ACDC very well. When I'm playing the beginning riff to highway to hell I'm getting a real bad buzzing or squealing noise when I transition from D to the rock G chord. It's in the beggining of the song, do I need to find a new chord to try to fit it in to the song. I've tried to palm mute and I can still hear it. Josh Alloway"

Guitar Theory

Brentald asks, "Hi Steve, I am greatly enjoying your lessons...have always wanted to learn, and am making progress. I have tried in the past on my own, but I found that all I was doing was learning by rote. Someone would show me exactly what to do, and I could do it... but that was the extent of it...I couldn't improvise or put anything together on my own. I was also a bit impatient and wanted to sound like Eric Clapton after about two weeks!! Well, I know that's not going to happen sooo...I am on lesson five with you and have made great progress, just strumming chords and enjoying moving them around to produce the simple songs we've strummed so far. However, I can't read music, and in the past when chord theory has been explained to me, or I have tried to read about it, I become utterly lost and confused. I really want to do this....I am 50 years old and don't want to get discouraged again by my inability to understand chord theory....I don't consider myself an idiot...(though some may disagree!!)....I make my living flying Captain on a corporate jet....My question is this....does your experience show that things will eventually begin to make sense as I progress? I am doing fine with the physical aspect of learning, however the theory right now is like trying to drink water from a fire hose. Any advice would really be appreciated. I just don't want to get discouraged as I have in the past. I am really enjoying your lessons, and you make learning the playing part of it easy. Thanks a bunch, Brent"

My Fingers Hurt

Fire Heart asks, "Hi Steve, Jim, Anthony and all Intructor ! I have played guitar for 3 months, and I have some problem with my finger. My finger-ends is very hurt. How about that ( dangerous or something ) ?."

Chord Songbook

Mogs asks, "Hi wonder if you can help please. I've only been playing guitar for a few months and still mastering the basic chords. Somtimes this gets a little boring so I try learn a popular song to add a little fun to my practice sessions. The problem I have is how to read chord songbooks. For example I have a Johnny Cash Song 'Ballad of A Teenage Queen' the intro is written in the book as: CAPO 1ST FRET [A] Dream on, Dream on, [D] teenage [A] queen [D] Prettiest [A] girl we've [E] ever [A] seen. I understand the capo part and have it set up correctly. My question is how many times do I strum the chords ? Looking at the above is it, (A) on 'dream' only or (A) on 'dream' and 'on'. I kind of get it if theres only one word after the chord but when theres two or three I'm not sure wether I strum on each word even though it doesnt show the chord before each word. Hope this is not a silly question, but would really appreciate your advice. Thanks Mogs PS. The site is fantastic, its given me so much motivation to keep on with the practice sessions."

Shifting Chords

Dsrinath_123 asks, "Hi Steve, this is srinath here, enjoying your basic lessons. I have started learning guitar a few months back before joining jamplay, i learned a few chords and while i was doing a chord shifting i used to hit all open strings in the last beat, this is how I learned (I dont want to mention from where i learned). To explain a bit more, let me put this way, I am strumming a 4/4 eight note strum( D U D U D U D U) and two chords Dmajor and Gmajor and when I am going to shift from Dmajor to Gmajor or vice versa, I would hit all open strings at the last note(U) , but in your lesson it seems that we have to shift after the last note, i want to know whether what i am doing now is correct or not, if not please provide me some exercise to correct it. I would be very glad if my question is answered by Steve Eulberg."

Playing Lead and Scales

Larryjfr asks, "I'm just curious to see if I really heard what I thought I heard Steve say? My comment arose because I thought I was understanding the Diatonic Major Scale and Pattern, and the Two Octave Pattern and the Two Octave Pattern on the 5th string. As I was watching Steve's explanation on Scene 5 (Two Octave Pattern) and especially Scene 6 (Two Octave Pattern on 5th String) There were a couple of times Steve was talking about playing the scale on the 5th "fret" and the 6th "fret", yet, I think he meant to say, that he was starting to play the scales on either the 5th string or the 6th string. Because at the time I was watching him, he was playing the scales on 3rd fret, 5th fret and 8th frets also showing us how to always look for the beginning of the scale plus look for what is situated next to it. Also he was explaining how this Two Octave Pattern scale pattern begins on the 5th string, not the sixth string. Yet, he kept saying "playing it on the 5th fret and the 6th fret". I was a little confused ... yet ... I kept expecting him to correct himself ... and ... when he didn't ... I started questioning myself, did I misunderstand him... or ... did I miss something? Steve, thanks for the JamPlay lessons ... I've learned a lot from you is these 14 lessons! Larry F."

nylon string guitar

Hgnative asks, "hi another question im going to buy a accoustic guitar i love classical guitar sound and i do (try) to play if i was to buy a nylon string guitar can i still play other music on this with out sounding bad like country rock are is this guitar just for classical thank you jamplay PS every time i see classical guitar music being played its on a nylon string guitar"

Mustang vs. Jaguar

Laurenb asks, "Hi, I am about to buy a short-scale guitar and have played both the Fender Mustang and Jaguar in the shop and liked both. If any of the instructors have played or know about these guitars could you please tell me if you think one is better than the other in regards to tone, body shape, maintenance and overall quality? Are there any problems with either guitar in your opinion? I don't want to have to spend extra on upgrades and constant maintenance. Any advice would be much appreciated. Oh, I live in Japan so both guitars are Japan-made re-issues. Thanks, Lauren"

expensive guitars..?

Teewii asks, "hi there! im a beginner guitarist, and i bought an electric guitar from a friend for about 220$(including amp, so it was kinda cheap) even i can see that its not the best guitar in the world, but i guess its more than great for a beginner. but anyway ive been looking around the net at sites where they sell guitars, and i see many that are sold for more than 2000$ (some even more expensive). i was thinking, as i get better, i will get a new guitar, and in that case i was wondering; is there a lot of difference between expensive and "cheaper" guitars? what is different? is it just the sound? and what makes a guitar worth paying 2000$ for? please explain what a good guitar is. hope somebody can answer me. btw, this site is so great =) thanks."

Guitar Theory

Brentald asks, "Hi Steve, I am greatly enjoying your lessons...have always wanted to learn, and am making progress. I have tried in the past on my own, but I found that all I was doing was learning by rote. Someone would show me exactly what to do, and I could do it... but that was the extent of it...I couldn't improvise or put anything together on my own. I was also a bit impatient and wanted to sound like Eric Clapton after about two weeks!! Well, I know that's not going to happen sooo...I am on lesson five with you and have made great progress, just strumming chords and enjoying moving them around to produce the simple songs we've strummed so far. However, I can't read music, and in the past when chord theory has been explained to me, or I have tried to read about it, I become utterly lost and confused. I really want to do this....I am 50 years old and don't want to get discouraged again by my inability to understand chord theory....I don't consider myself an idiot...(though some may disagree!!)....I make my living flying Captain on a corporate jet....My question is this....does your experience show that things will eventually begin to make sense as I progress? I am doing fine with the physical aspect of learning, however the theory right now is like trying to drink water from a fire hose. Any advice would really be appreciated. I just don't want to get discouraged as I have in the past. I am really enjoying your lessons, and you make learning the playing part of it easy. Thanks a bunch, Brent"

No Tone

Customs123 asks, "Hello gents, I recently purchased a new guitar and can't seem to get any tone after the tenth fret. It sounds as though I'm hitting a snare drum. I'm going to take it to the local guitar tech and see what he says, but also looking for your advice. Thanks, barry Mac"

Understanding Notes

Rodwhitney49 asks, "Steve, I have been taking your lessons, and I think they are great, but I am worried that I am missing something. When you start naming off string names and notes that each finger is playing, I am lost instantly. Do i need to understand what you are doing to advance? If so, how do you recommend that I learn what it is you are talking about. I am on your fifth lesson and i am doing alright at playing what you say to play but I am not sure about my level of understanding. What do I do? Thank You For Your Help, rodwhitney49"

Arpeggios

Sauly asks, "I am an acoustic guitar player & singer in a band, there is only 3 of us & im keen to move on to electric thats more the direction i want to take my music. So i want to be able to cover rhythm and lead. Could someone put up some more information on arpeggio's ? I practice all the time but i just cant seem to get to the next level of soloing or fills around chords. Is arpeggio's the right direction?"

Fretless Guitar

Potownrob asks, "While fretless bassists are not rare, it seems there are very few fretless guitarists who play regular six-string guitars without frets. I was wondering if any of the instructors or other staff had any experience playing fretless guitar and what it was like."

tube amps

Hgnative asks, "im still new at guitar and dont understand it all (yet) my question is whats the diffrence between a tube amp and what i guess you can call a regular amp just found out about the tube amp in a magazine checked it out on the net a little the only thing they explain is the price what can be $$wow$$ i am completley iggnorent to it can anyone explain the diffrence thanks."

Rhythm Help

Fireheart asks, "Hi all Instructors ! I love music, but I can't know rhythm of songs. ( maybe Disco, balad, Fox, Rock, Surt, ... ) Can you teach me that ? How to practice it (practice my ear to listen it) ? Thanks and sorry about my bad English ! Fire Heart."

Palm Muting

Nmound asks, "Can someone give me a quick lesson on palm muting. I am working my way through various lessons (including beginner) and find much of the music i like involves this technique. Just a quick show and tell would be perfect. Thank you...Keep up the good work!!!"

Walking Bass Line

Toolfan88 asks, "what is a walking bass line? how can it be applied to guitar players?"

Chord Families

Jzcode asks, "Brad, I would like to know what chords and chord family's should I know to be considered a good Rock Rhythm guitarist? What other chords farther up the fret board should I learn that are usually not covered in beginning lessons? An example, Dmaj7 on the 9th fret. Thanks..."

Finger Positioning

Fairchildj asks, "I have just recently began with Phase I of training. One issue that I am having is that I find placing my fingers in the right frets extremely difficult for my middle two fingers. My fingers curl on each other a bit 3rd finger overlapping the 4th finger...so when I place them on the frets, the 3rd finger wants to poing back towards the 2nd fret instead of where it should be on the 3rd fret. By sliding my hand a bit, I can overcome this but I don't want to pick up a bad habit that will limit my advancement in the future...any recommendations?"

Chords Structure

Scopexs asks, "I have found chords in my chord book that can be identically fingered...C6 and the Am7. Both chords give the option of playing it with the D string fingered at the 2nd fret and the B string fingered at the 1st fret while the other strings are played open. What is confusing is why are the two chord structures the same and can be fingered the same yet are called by two different names. This is confusing when learning chords. Is there an easy explanation as to why two chord structures would be called by two different names. Thanks"

Practice Materials

Bmachiran asks, "Are there any beginning materials (books) that offer good drills that might help me structure my practice time and improve my hand strength, chord progressions and scale familiarization? Thanks, Brian"

Solo Creation

Ragdoll asks, "Hello. Long story short, I have a really big problem with coming up with solos even after seeing your response to 3jennijarre's question. Please give me tips. thank you. "

Strumming With First Finger

Caz_sk8chick asks, "I find it easier to strum with my 1st finger......i dont use my thumb and 1st finger, or a pick. Does that matter??"

Drop Tuning

Hsco asked, "What does it mean to drop tune a note? For example some tabs with say in a part of a song to drop tune D half or full step."

Tuning 6th String

Jeremybrown5150 asked, "Wow do i tune my guitar? My top string should read 6e on the tuner right? then what? my tuner keeps jumping numbers and letters."

Country and Gospel

Raymond Jorder asked, "Where are the country & gospel songs?"

Strumming 12 String Guitars

Hgnative says, "I've been playing guitar for about two months electric guitar and it seems to be coming pretty easy but i watched a lesson on jam play and seen a 12 string guitar and now i want to play it is this guitar to much for a beginner thanks."

Newbie

Devyo asked, "I just obtained an acoustic Yamaha left handed guitar. Will I be able to follow the instructions for learning the guitar without much difficulty? I'm so interested in learning to play guitar and want to do the best I can. I want to make this a hobby that will be part of my daily activities as much as possible."

Right Hand Injury

Prana32 asked, "Hi there, I am right handed, and do not use a finger pick, and I have been experiencing pretty bad pain in the right thumb and also on the pinky finger and below it where it becomes the outer part of the palm. I am quite convinced that this injury is linked to my incorrect technique of fingerpicking...perhaps tensing the wrist too much, or something of this sort. My question is, what are some good tips on keeping the right hand safe from injury while still having accurate fingerpicking technique? Thanks a bunch, Alex."

Steps to Enter Another Chord

William D Brown asked, "I know the basic chords and can go to these cords, but my question is: for instance, what are the simple 2 0r 3 notes, or steps that would sound right to step into the [c] from [g] or the [g] to [d] and so on? And by the way, I think your teaching is great. I'v been watching Steve mostly. Thank you."

Best Amp Setup

Jacksin says, "Brad i want to know what is the best way to set my amp for lead and blues you know really make it sing out i have a behringer gm108 practice amp and a schecter diamond series c-1+.do i need to get anything on the side."

Modeling Guitar Processor

Ngnative says, "Hi another question this ones about a modeling guitar processor a RP70 any ideas on how these work what they do like (chorus fx) noise gate (reverb) all that stuff what i need to do to figure out all of my favorite bands sounds any help would really help thanks again."

Strumming 12 String Guitars

Hgnative says, "I've been playing guitar for about two months electric guitar and it seems to be coming pretty easy but i watched a lesson on jam play and seen a 12 string guitar and now i want to play it is this guitar to much for a beginner thanks."

Guitar Hero 3 Help Guitar Playing

Hgnative says, "hi my question is about the game guitar hero 3 playing this game will it hurt are help in my quest to be a good guitar player thanks."

Background Tracks

Mtindall asks, "Is there percussion and rhythm software available and if so which would you recommend?"

Quick Question

JimmyCrowder says, "Quick question... Do I need to learn to read Notation as a guitarist? I am new to guitar and I am practicing to play in a praise and worship band at church. They play mostly pop and rock songs. They just use a sheet of paper with the chords on top of the verses... Also, could you please recommend a good practice routine? I can play about 1 hour a day"

Pentatonic Scale Help

Rsherman1980 says, "Hey Brad, Great videos! Is the a minor pentatonic scale the only 5 position scale? Can you play minor pentatonic in different keys? If so do they follow the same pattern?"

Patience Strum Pattern

Culom asks, "Matt, could you show me the strum pattern for Patience. I can't really see exactly what you are doing on the lesson. Thanks again. Allen"

Callouses on Fingers

Cbalowski asks, "I find that my hand strength is OK but my my fingertips are too soft (I'm a computer professional). Is there a way to create callouses while I am not playing my guitar?"

Quick Question

Jimmycrowder asks, "Quick question... Do I need to learn to read Notation as a guitarist? I am new to guitar and I am praticing to play in a praise and worship band at church. They play mostly pop and rock songs. They just use a sheet of paper with the chords on top of the verses... Also, could you please recommend a good practice routine? I can play about 1 hour a day "

strumming

Mountainfun asks, "I am having a lot of difficulty figuring out strumming patterns for songs...is there a simple way of learning and hearing an upstroke from a downstroke? I can pretty well figure out when it changes chords....usually? Is there a lesson for this?"

Frett Buzz

Vulg4r asks, "I purchased an Acoustic guitar on November 5th 2007. For the first few months, I had no problems. Now lately the 12th fret, every string buzzes, very noticeably. I've tried changing the strings, and adjusting the truss rod. Is there any other advice you can give me before I bring it to my local, overpriced guitar shop?"

Guitar Hero 3 Help Guitar Playing

Hgnative asks, "hi my question is about the game guitar hero 3 playing this game will it hurt are help in my quest to be a good guitar player thanks."

D Major Chord

Brianm579 asks, "It is easier for me to play the D Major chord with my 1 finger on the first string (second fret), my 2 finger on the third string (second fret), and my 3 finger on the second string (third fret). The instruction and chord charts show it slightly different, with the 1 and 2 fingers switched from how I do it. Is there any problem with playing it the way I do? I have found it makes it easier with some chord changes. I am concerned that down the road it could cause problems as I learn more."

Square Perpendicular Fingers

Dannychoo asks, "i had asked this question on the message forum and got a response, but kinda difficult to visualize it so i thought i'd ask here again. my problem is that i have a difficult time keeping my fingers square to the fret. i've seen videos of people playing scales and their fingers are very square to the fret. mine are always kinda leaning towards one side. i'm also having problems with fingers "flailing" around... as in when my pinky is down my index finger would be like 2 inches off the fret. help please! thanks."

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