Modern Country Guitar from Andy Wood

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Guitar Help for Common Issues (Page 7.4)

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.

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."

Bad Technique?

Seanman asked "I Like to mute the 6th string with my thumb on open chords like A and C because I often will hit the E string by mistake while strumming. Is this a bad habbit that I should move away from."

Are Scales Necessary?

Jodyd asks "Is it really necessary to learn scales as part of learning the guitar? Once I memorized some scales, how would apply these to my playing?"

Tremolo Picking

dllfiles asks "Just was curious on whats the easiest way to do tremolo picking. Im learning Knights of Cydonia right now, and some of the song is temolo picked. I have a hard time doing that or will I just get better by practicing more? I have a Fender thin pick so that seems to help. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!"

advanced rhythms and timing

Chall1001 asks "I asked this question in the forums but i started thinking that maybe it would be a good question for the videos because timinig is something you need to hear to understand. So i was wondering how to count advanced rhythms such as 32nd's , different groupings besides triplets,and when there are all sorts of different 16ths and 8th notes mixed together. After watching a video Matt Brown did i decided that i need to learn how to count the advanced rhythmic lead parts of a song i make up. If nothing else, just to be able to put it on paper so that i can play it again later."

Tuning guitar

ghanshyam asks "Hello, I am a complete beginner at this so go easy on me. I have an electric guitar, and electronic tunning tool (where you plug the 120mm jack from the guitar into the tuner). When I am tunning what frequency should I use? Do I use the default 440 frequency for all strings? Thank You"

Strumming

Zcarter wrote "Hey Steve, Is there any correct way to "strum" when using the guitar? I have been strumming a specific way for a long time and I think it works okay, however one of my friends said if I keep strumming this specific way, it will be more difficult to play songs in the long run. Does it really matter how I strum? Currently, I hold the pick in between my thumb and index finger, but I think it may be a different way than most people... Thanks! Zac"

Where to go and Genre Picking

Phi716 asks, "I have two questions. Once i have gone over the classes the instructors have, and really picked up on how to play the guitar, other then the obvious anwser of, keep practicing, where do you go from there? Do you just start learning songs, try different things, I don't know. I have learned a lot and I feel right now my guitar learning is at a slow down. I'm just wondering what to really do to get better. Or is the anwser, just keep practicing? My other question, when picking genre's. I am learning a lot from them, but would it be better to learn the finger picking and the speed and accuracy stuff first, then move to genres? Would it make it an easier transition being pretty good at those then learning the actual genres? Sorry for the two questions, love this website, it has helped me a lot. Thanks for all the help."

String Buzz

Rhoadsfreak10 asks, "I am having a problem with string buzz, especially when I'm picking something aggressively. It isn't due to fretting notes and chords in the wrong place because I don't have that problem when not being aggressive. I have raised the action on the guitar, to the point where they are almost more suited to playing slide but that hasn't helped. Any advice?"

Circle of 5ths

Sampaul asks, "Hey Folks! I was wondering if one of you guys could explain in a little more detail the circle of 5ths as it associated with the Major and Minor scales. I've watched Matt's 1st Scale video and I can't quite grasp what the heck he's talking about when referencing the diagram. I have looked at the diagram and for some reason I feel like I'm trying to read Japanese. LOL I must be an idiot! :-) Thanks!"

Strumming

Zcarter asks, "Is there any correct way to "strum" when using the guitar? I have been strumming a specific way for a long time and I think it works okay, however one of my friends said if I keep strumming this specific way, it will be more difficult to play songs in the long run. Does it really matter how I strum? Currently, I hold the pick in between my thumb and index finger, but I think it may be a different way than most people... Thanks! Zac"

C Major

Redhawk asks, "HELP! I AM STUCK WITH THE C MAJOR. I CANT SEEM TO MAKE IT RING TRUE NO MATTER HOW I GRIP THE NECK OR FINGER THE STRINGS. I HAVE SMALLISH HANDS TO BOOT. ANY SUGGESTIONS?"

Where to go and Genre Picking

Phi716 asks, "I have two questions. Once i have gone over the classes the instructors have, and really picked up on how to play the guitar, other then the obvious anwser of, keep practicing, where do you go from there? Do you just start learning songs, try different things, I don't know. I have learned a lot and I feel right now my guitar learning is at a slow down. I'm just wondering what to really do to get better. Or is the anwser, just keep practicing? My other question, when picking genre's. I am learning a lot from them, but would it be better to learn the finger picking and the speed and accuracy stuff first, then move to genres? Would it make it an easier transition being pretty good at those then learning the actual genres? Sorry for the two questions, love this website, it has helped me a lot. Thanks for all the help."

Plectrum or Fingers

Calumito asks, "Do I have to use a plectrum for electric as I am much more comfortable using my fingers which I've been doing for the last year? Will it be a limitation or does it make no difference? Thnks"

Plectrum or Fingers

Calumito asks, "Do I have to use a plectrum for electric as I am much more comfortable using my fingers which I've been doing for the last year? Will it be a limitation or does it make no difference? Thnks"

Music Theory

Aaron00lee asks, "I'm having trouble grasping a bit of this music theory thing, in Steve's lessons i think there is a lot of music theory and i just cant quite pull all the strings into a big web so i was wondering if you guys could just give me a quick little tidbit of the most important essential stuff, like that 1 3 5 thing...did not really grasp that. Thanks for your time!"

String Buzz

Rhoadsfreak10 asks, "I am having a problem with string buzz, especially when I'm picking something aggressively. It isn't due to fretting notes and chords in the wrong place because I don't have that problem when not being aggressive. I have raised the action on the guitar, to the point where they are almost more suited to playing slide but that hasn't helped. Any advice?"

Barre Chords

Louis Aves asks: "Hi Steve- What is the correct position of the thumb when making a barre chord ? I have tried putting my thumb in line with my first finger and also running my thumb along the neck pointing toward the nut but both cause a lot of pain around the base of my thumb when I move position.The only way I can kind of do it is by bending my thumb in almost a right angle shape and using the tip, not the pad,to press on the back of the neck but this makes for quite a lot of movement and time to get from open to barre chords and vice versa. Any suggestions? (Apart from sell my guitar ! ) Love the lessons Steve."

PRS guitars

Mathias76 asks "I have noticed that Brad and Matt play PRS. It's a very open question, but why did you choose them? I am in the market to buy a top quality guitar, and I keep flip-flopping between a PRS Custom 22/24 and a Les Paul Standard. I know the textbook answer is to "play both of them and see which one you like more," but I was wondering why YOU chose them. Thanks- Nathan"

Barre Chord Shapes

Kylehumer asks: "how do I know which notes I can play that sound good in lead over any given chords I choose?"

Logging On

JReeley Asks: "Can I log onto the site from other computers? The reason I'm asking is because I would like to access the lessons from my office as well."

Proper Posture

Wasp asks: "i asked this also in the forum. just starting out (never even touched a guitar before). i bought an electric (jackson dk2m). was wondering how i should be learning as far as sitting posture. chair? stool? also i should be using a strap always? how to adjust strap placement for learning? should guitar rest on my knee or hang just above it? i know these are stupid questions but want to get started the right and most comfortable way. ps: i read somewhere to adjust strap to where its in the same position sitting or standing? my prob is the only way i can do that is if it is way up there it seems like. (thats what i mean by sitting position, get a tall stool where my legs are kinda hangin down or a chair where legs are parallel to ground? lol srry for the long post but i really nit pick things alot and just want to get stated right. ty and i think this site is awesome and look forward to learning."

New Guitar

Mniswonger asks: "I was playing with an Epiphone dr100 and I hated it!!! It was just too big for me, and I remember in one of the instructionals the instructor said to be comfortable with your guitar. So tonight I went out and bought a new guitar...it was not the one I wanted (could not afford the one I wanted...Martin 000XE). I ended up buying a Martin LXM travel guitar. It's very small, but for some reason it feels much better when I play. My question is, will this hurt me in the long run playing a smaller size guitar? Lets say I save enough to buy a Martin X series in a regular size, will I have problems converting from the small LXM to the larger scale X series. Thank you for your help. Mark Niswonger"

b major

Gr1dave asks: "just started to learn and found your site to be very good, i am currently on phase one with david anthony doing the basic chords but the b major chord he shows is different to the diagram in the lesson set also on chordbook, the chord is completly different??????"

Botleneck

Vegarbakken asks: "Hi! I've just bought myself a botleneck (metal). Do you have any lessons or tips for me? I've bought it because I love to play rough blues, old style, on my acoustic guitar - so if you can post my some cool blues licks I would be glad. Take care - Vegar "

A Shaped Barre Chords

Mav67 asks: "I am facing a major obstacle whilst trying to get down these God forsaken A shaped barre chords. My ring finger will not bend at the top knuckle making it impossible to utilise conventional fingering that most other players use. The only way I can get it is to fret an A chord using fingers 2 3 and 4, then using the index finger for the barre. This is uncomfortable and difficult to move in and out of during chord movements. Can any of you please look into your vast vessels of knowledge and shed some guiding light to help me out? Thank you."

String Bends

Lobserve asks: "I'm having trouble with string bends. If I'm in 5th position and I want to play the 8th fret I use my fourth finger but if I want to bend at the 8th fret I think I should use my third finger. This gets confusing in a solo when I seem to need to switch between third and fourth finger for the 8th fret depending on what I want to do there. Is there a good strategy for this situation? Thanks in advance."

New Guitar

Mniswonger asks: "I was playing with an Epiphone dr100 and I hated it!!! It was just too big for me, and I remember in one of the instructionals the instructor said to be comfortable with your guitar. So tonight I went out and bought a new guitar...it was not the one I wanted (could not afford the one I wanted...Martin 000XE). I ended up buying a Martin LXM travel guitar. It's very small, but for some reason it feels much better when I play. My question is, will this hurt me in the long run playing a smaller size guitar? Lets say I save enough to buy a Martin X series in a regular size, will I have problems converting from the small LXM to the larger scale X series. Thank you for your help. Mark Niswonger"

Tuning Issues

Bridgmanbomb asks: "Hi I am new to the guitar and I just got an Ibanez guitar with a tremolo. Recently ive been having trouble tuning it and I think its because of the tremolo. Its easy to tune one string but whenever I tune another string it messes up the tuning of the other strings. I also notice my tremolo keeps rising whenever i try tuning. Do you have any tips thanks- David"

Simple Tunes

Shorty9 asks: "Guys, Is there anything you can suggest, or put up the tabs to, as a simple little tune/riff/diddy whatever you want to call it. Sort of a, " Mary Had a Little Lamb" for guitar if you will. I practice the drills (phase one with Dave) but sure would like to have a little something to play to break up the routine of doing scales and chord progressions by actually playing a song. I'm 51 and just started this is a great way to learn and relax after work. Thanks Bucky Long"

Loop Station

Kc8tgq asks: "I just recently purchased a Jamman Loop station along with a Mixer, Drum Machine, ect... I was wandering If any of the instructors would be willing to teach a few songs incorporating a Loop station?"

5 in Chords

Garfield asks: "What does the 5 stand for in chords such as G5 & F#5. The same goes for the #7 on some chords. Thank you"

Power Chords

Shelby67 asks: "Are power shords always played with a downstroke?"

Barre Chords

Louis Aves asks: "Hi Steve- What is the correct position of the thumb when making a barre chord ? I have tried putting my thumb in line with my first finger and also running my thumb along the neck pointing toward the nut but both cause a lot of pain around the base of my thumb when I move position.The only way I can kind of do it is by bending my thumb in almost a right angle shape and using the tip, not the pad,to press on the back of the neck but this makes for quite a lot of movement and time to get from open to barre chords and vice versa. Any suggestions? (Apart from sell my guitar ! ) Love the lessons Steve."

Star Spangled Banner

Henry Krinkle asks: "Could you please tell me if version of the banner being taught is the entire piece because i an convinced that there is a section missing? but apart from that your site is exellent and keep up the great work."

A Shaped Barre Chords

Mav67 asks: "I am facing a major obstacle whilst trying to get down these God forsaken A shaped barre chords. My ring finger will not bend at the top knuckle making it impossible to utilise conventional fingering that most other players use. The only way I can get it is to fret an A chord using fingers 2 3 and 4, then using the index finger for the barre. This is uncomfortable and difficult to move in and out of during chord movements. Can any of you please look into your vast vessels of knowledge and shed some guiding light to help me out? Thank you."

Progress When to Move On

Kirwin asks: "Well, This is all nice but, Mr S. Eulberg says you have to practise how much, what is my reference point? When shall I know that I made significant progress so that I can continue with next lesson. Thank you"

A Shaped Barre Chords

Mav67 asks: "I am facing a major obstacle whilst trying to get down these God forsaken A shaped barre chords. My ring finger will not bend at the top knuckle making it impossible to utilise conventional fingering that most other players use. The only way I can get it is to fret an A chord using fingers 2 3 and 4, then using the index finger for the barre. This is uncomfortable and difficult to move in and out of during chord movements. Can any of you please look into your vast vessels of knowledge and shed some guiding light to help me out? Thank you."

Singing

Maddee asks: "I have been playing for about 5 years now and in all that time I have never been able to sing while playing. I seem to be concentrating on the rhythm, the strumming or what chord comes next. As soon as I open my mouth to sing I lose the rhythm. Do you have any simple exercises for a simple guy that can help in this area? Thanks in advance! Keep the great lessons coming! Maddee"

position of left pinky

MillaTK asks: "Hi, first of all, thank you for the great lessons. I'm practicing scales, and I have a problem with my left pinky: I have large hands (if I stretch my left hand, from thumb to pinky, tip to tip, I span a little more than 24cm, that is 9inches and a half), so I can stretch it quite easily to the right fret, even with the other fingers still on the frets. The problem is that the pinky will not stay parallel to the others, so if I fret let's say the 1st string on frets 1-4, the knuckles my first three fingers will be perpendicular to the fretboard or will be slightly bent towards the head, while the knuckle of the pinky will point the other way... there will be a large "V" between fingers 3 and 4. If I use my right hand I can position the pinky correctly, but if I lift it and fret the string again, I'll have the same problem. This makes it difficult to hammer on correctly, as the pinky will not go down from the tip but slightly from the side (though the finger is curled correctly). Is there any particular excercise I can do to correct this? [sorry for the length of the question, but I wanted to be as clear as possible!]"

D Minor 7 Help

Alpha asks: "being practising Steve Eulberg's lesson 5 but i'm having an hard time making the D Minor 7 Chord, can't get the high E string to sound good, any tips? thank you"

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