Modern Country Guitar from Andy Wood

Andy Wood offers a crash course in telecaster abuse. Learn the tools to give your playing that deep fried sass that only comes from country. Check out the free previews and course details.

Guitar Help for Common Issues (Page 6.6)

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.

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."

Misfretting Chords

Kevinengle2000 asks, "i cant hit the cords right i hit 2 strings on the freat board every time i don't know what i am doing wrong"

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."

F#m7 Problems

JZcode says, "To any of the Rock Instructors, I'm trying to learn a David Gilmour song and having trouble with this chord. The way they show it in the tab book is #1 string open, #2&3 string fretted at 2nd fret, #4&5 string fretted at the 4th fret and thumb on the 6th string, 3rd fret. This chords alternate about 6 times between the Gmaj7, the 1 thru 4 string version starting on the 1st string 2nd fret. Could you give me some idea on how to do this or the best alternate to go with. I have looked at the F#m barre chord at the 2nd fret that is almost the same chord except the #1 string is barred not open. The other thing I have been working on is barring the #2 and 3 string leaving the #1 open. It's not easy and it leaves the #6 string open. Since most of us don't have Eric Clapton size hands, how would you guys approach this type of problem."

Help With Guitar Solos

3jennijarre asks, "hi i really like your site it has helped me a lot but me and some guys from school have a band everyone tells us we are pretty good but i have a lot of trouble coming up with guitar solos. i cant seem to get one that gos with the music it sounds more like it is coming from outer space. i cant think of one and i hav been trying for a long time. if it helps the major chords in one specific SONG are in this order d a g and e minor. you guys play so well and always make it look so easy that i thought i should ask you to give me a kickstart. thanks for taking the time to read through this letter it means a lot to me and the rest of the band. if u could try to help in some way like make a lesson on guitar solos and how to make them that would be great. thanks again for reading this letter, me and the rest of the guys are very thankful. ROCK ON JARRETT"

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."

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."

Sweep Picking

Matt11 asks, "In his lesson, Brad demonstrates sweep picking, but I'm confused about the use of it. When mastered, is it quicker than alternate picking? I also thought about the kind of a ,,continuous" sound/feel you get when you play in this technique, but the change is not so drastic. So? :-)"

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."

Chord Songbook

Mogs asked, "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."

Hand Cramps

Reverb75 asked, "Hi matt I have a two handed problem here, When playing rhythm with barr chords, Hand cramps up severely in the palm, to the point I can`t even finish the song. also with the right hand, if I am struming rhythm to say an upbeat tune, the right hand tires. this is very annoying. maybe rhythm playing is just not my bag lol, THANKS MATT."

Wah Wah Pedal

Todd asked, "My friend gave me this wah wah pedal and wandering if there is any lessons with them maybe a lesson of a voodoo child slight return by Hendrix would be sweet?"

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."

Strat tone Controles and Switches

ndjordjevic asked, "Hi, I got a Squire Strat electric guitar and and there are three knobs (volume and two tone) and a 5 position switcher. What are those, how and when should I use or adjust it."

David Mackenzie

Hsco askedm "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."

My Fingers Hurt

Fire Heart asked, "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 ) ?."

Playing Blues

csmbird Asked, "Hi Guys, Fantastic web this JamPlay, really very good for my learning. One question though: is there any chance of getting tuition for Clapton (EC) style blues, for example his rendition of "Driftin'"; I'd love to learn "walking" blues style playing! Just looking at tabs I still can't get that style and so was wondering whether this stuff is on your agenda? Regards Chris."

Rhythm Guitar Practice Songs.

Alexs Asks, "Hi, the lessons are going great at the moment, I thought I'd try to start learning some songs to get a feel at how well my chord progressions are coming along. Please could you let me know if there are any songs on the website that are taught with a focus on rhythm as opposed to melody, (ie sing the melody over the chords) Thanks Alex"

Malaguania

Mav67 asks, "Dear Jim, We have all purchased many guitars from the home shopping network. You know the guy in the hat that sits on the stool and plays Malaguania? Well, we are very disappointed to find out that even with his guitar, we can't play Malaguania. We were wondering, do you think maybe the secret has anything to do with the hat and the sunglasses? Thank you!"

Guitar Choices

Ric2play asks, "I am looking for a good quality low cost acoustic. Any suggestions?"

Guitar Theory

Breatald 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"

Mixed Chords or Slash Chords

Djhectichector asks, "I'm currently practicing on backing tracks I've bought and i have noticed on the corresponding chord sheet there are chords such as D/F# etc. How do i work out the notes in that chord? Sorry if this is a bit OTT for my level (Half way through modes) Typical song containing this chord by the way is (Wonderful tonight by Eric Clapton.) I tend to use a D major but it don't sound right. The solo I've got to the tea but D/F# Messes me up. Please Help!"

Strumming

Erk1024 asks, "Hi, After trying out several other teaching web site, this is by far my favorite! When you are strumming up and down, do you turn your hand a little bit on the up-strums? It seems like my down strums are OK, but when I up-strum the pick seems like it wants to catch a little bit. It seems to work better with a thinner pick. Do you roll your hand a bit so the pick is at an angle to the strings, or do you always keep it perpendicular? Thanks! Eric"

Guitar Choices

Ric2play asks, "I am looking for a good quality low cost acoustic. Any suggestions?"

Active vs Passive Guitars

Ellen asks, "Hi, what do I need to know about active and passive guitars? What makes one active and another passive? I have been shopping for a CD player and amp that I can run my guitar through at the same time. How can I tell if my guitar is active or passive?"

Playing With Backing Tracks

Garfield asks "This might be a dumb question but how does one learn to play along with the backing tracks? Thanks"

Pickup Replacement

Potownrob says, "I have a set of Mighty Mite single coil pickups I want to put in my Titan Strat Knockoff. I can't seem to find much that shows how to change them out; everything is either a black and white wiring diagram or instructions but no diagrams or photos. Could you please point me in the right direction? I'd prefer not to spend a lot of time and money leaving it with a music shop to change out, though I know this is usually the best thing to do. I have a soldering iron, solder and electrical tape. I have the typical sc/sc/sc setup. Thanks for any help you can give me!"

Rock-a-Billy

Thunderwunder1 says, "I love that early 56 - 58 raw 'dangerous' Rock-a-Billy guitar sound ...I especially like that 'double stop' and 'off key' type playing ala Cliff Gallup solos (Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps). What should I know how to play that would give me a good solid foundation in this kind of music. I'm looking for a list of 'must have's' (...and must learn and master) I've been playing for just over a year and have dabbled in different kinds of music BUT! Rock-a-Billy just blows the doors off for me and am aching for info on how to get REAL good at this stuff. Maybe there's some lessons here that I haven't discovered yet as I'm brand new here. What I've seen so far is great and extremely useful I'm sure ... I'm just not sure how to connect it to Rock-a-Billy tho' Would love to see a bunch of videos that spill the secrets of getting that crazy Rock-a-Billy sound. Trippin' on the back-beat!"

Palm Muting

Sisyphe says, "Hello ! I'm currently trying to play a song called "More than words" using a lot of palm muting. I was never really explained how to do it, and somehow, I can't manage to get the right sound ! How is it supposed to be done correctly ? Thanks!"

Active vs Passive Guitars

Ellen asks, "Hi, what do I need to know about active and passive guitars? What makes one active and another passive? I have been shopping for a CD player and amp that I can run my guitar through at the same time. How can I tell if my guitar is active or passive?"

Right Hand Injury

Prana32 says, "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"

Playing With Backing Tracks

Garfield asks, "This might be a dumb question but how does one learn to play along with the backing tracks? Thanks"

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Waps asks ,"Are there any other acoustic lessons besides those in Phase 2 (Genres) for Bluegrass and Finger Picking? In particular, I'd like to find some acoustic-rock lessons."

Strumming

Erk1024 says, "Hi, After trying out several other teaching web site, this is by far my favorite! When you are strumming up and down, do you turn your hand a little bit on the up-strums? It seems like my down strums are OK, but when I up-strum the pick seems like it wants to catch a little bit. It seems to work better with a thinner pick. Do you roll your hand a bit so the pick is at an angle to the strings, or do you always keep it perpendicular? Thanks! Eric"

Mixed Chords or Slash Chords

Djhectichector says, "I'm currently practicing on backing tracks I've bought and i have noticed on the corresponding chord sheet there are chords such as D/F# etc. How do i work out the notes in that chord? Sorry if this is a bit OTT for my level (Half way through modes) Typical song containing this chord by the way is (Wonderful tonight by Eric Clapton.) I tend to use a D major but it don't sound right. The solo I've got to the tea but D/F# Messes me up. Please Help!"

Guitar Picks

Hakkabuff says ,"Hi, my name is Guomundur and I'm from Iceland. My friends call me Gummi (but I know it's hard for non Icelanders to pronounce so I've been called Gummie in non Icelandic communities). Anyway my question is about guitar picks. I have a problem with my fingernails, they tend to be very brittle and break very easily and I remember seeing a guitarist use metal picks that strap onto the fingers. My question is this: Are those kind of picks custom made or can I buy them from a store, and if they're not custom made are there multiple brands out there? My local shops don't have any and they don't have any info on them. My fingernails can break even if I apply pressure on the pads of my fingers. (this condition affects me only in the winter time, genetics what a bore, eh?)"

Difficulties Learning Chords

Mplourde asks ,"Why is everything so hard? I can't even get past the stupid b minor chord!"

Metronome VS Drum machine

Papo says, "I was contemplating buying either a metronome or a drum machine. Don't they basically serve the same function? I was thinking I would get more use out of the drum machine. Should I buy them separately? Thanks for your advice."

Help With Barre Chords

LipstickManiact says, "I have problems with barre chords. Just can't find the right position of my 1st finger. For example...if i play D major barre (C shape) 3rd string doesn't play and I have a similar problem with other chords. I can't understand and find the right position. I didn't find answer in lessons, because teachers just say lay down your 1st finger below the fret. Please help..just show me what to do with 1st finger exactly."

Advanced Strumming Patterns

Bernarddude asks, "How about some advanced strumming patterns?"

Lead Progressions and Voicings

Gene Dutton says, "I am an advanced intermediate player. Presently I'm stuck at where I'm at. I need to receive more info on different styles of lead progressions and voicing. Hope you can help me advance. I'm a fast learner."

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