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 8.2)

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.

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"

Left Hand Problem

Rafldr asks: "Hello to everybody, The first thing I want to say is that I love the course. I consider it perfect for beginners like me Now, I'm having problems when I have to fret a string I touch the one next to it. Also, when I fret the lower strings I touch the higher ones. What should I do about it? Thanks Raf"

Tuning with Harmonics

Ginrose asks: "I'm not a rank beginner, but since it's been so many years since I've played the guitar, I started back from the beginning with beginner lesson 1. Steve demonstrated how to tune with the fifth fret method and an electric tuner. Fine and good. I already knew those methods. However, my teacher years ago taught me to tune using harmonics - The harmonic tone on the 6th string 5th fret is the same as the open 1st string. Long ago that was my preferred method but now I can't remember how to tune the rest of the strings. Can Steve or any of the other teachers help here?"

Harmonic Minor Scale

Zofoblues asks "Hi.This is for brad.I am loving the scales and modes lessons and I would like to know where the harmonc minor scale comes from or is that not really a scale?a friend told me about it and says Randy rhouds played in it a lot.brad your lesson set is awesome and you should be proud of yourself!! Thanks steve"

Bends

Jzcode asks "Brad, Could you give me a better idea of the best finger position to have when doing a bend. When I have practiced doing these, my fingers tips are at a bit of an angle as I push the string up and sometimes the strings seems to ride up under finger nails. That usually results in a un pleasant sound. Should your fingers be straight down on the string? Thanks, JZcode"

Left Hand Problem

Rafldr asks "Hello to everybody, The first thing I want to say is that I love the course. I consider it perfect for beginners like me Now, I'm having problems when I have to fret a string I touch the one next to it. Also, when I fret the lower strings I touch the higher ones. What should I do about it? Thanks Raf"

Vibrato

Robearle asks ": I'm not doing too badly with vibrato with the 2nd & 3rd finger because I can use the 1st as some sort of anchor point or brace. But I'm having real problems with the 1st finger. I've watched brad playing, and he does it perfectly, he makes it look real easy, but I just don't seem to able to get the hang of it. Any suggestions that might help? Cheers, Rob. "

Jane Says Song Help

Sphar1 says, "When I play the song and bar the A chord it sound funny to me. Maybe because I am also covering the E string. Should I be strumming that last string?"

Alternate Picking Strokes

Thomas1603 says, "Hey guys, I've been having a hard time with my alternate picking techniques, I know it's not completely NECESSARY but I would like to be able to improve it since I would like to play a little faster, It's just that I can't seem to coordinate my hand very well. Anything you guys can help me with?"

Online Backing Tracks

Plugy says ,"hi i am working my way through the lessons and on lesson 6 i think brad plays a blues solo in the blues scale over a very simple backing track. can i download a sample of the backing track to practice a blues solo myself as shown on the video"

Missing Tabs

Neve4b4me says, "Matt, There are several songs that you teach that I am anxious to learn but unfortunately there is no tab to go along with your video. For example your lesson on purple haze has no supplemental content to view or print. Is there anyway you can add tablature to follow along with your videos? Thanks Michael"

Slash Chords

Knoemee says, "Hi Steve, I was browsing the CHORD library, it seems quite limited. I couldn't find any slash chords. For example, C/E, E/G#, A/C# etc. Was quite disappointed. I just signed up as a member yesterday for 3 months. It's either what I see is what I from the Jamplay's Chord Library or did i missed out in any links in JAMplay website? Thanks! Dawn"

Relative Minor

Nattyjester asks, "Is the relative minor always the sixth note of the scale?"

Playing Guitar Fast

Metalman says ,"Hello i was wondering if you would teach me how to play faster,and by faster i mean to help me with more 'string skipping' meaning to go from one string to the other really fast and also a little help in alternate picking techniques i would greatly appreciate at least the first one-Thank You!!!!!!"

Black Sabbath Paranoid

Metalman says ,"Hello my name is David,i was wondering if you guys can teach me the song my favorite black sabbath song Paranoid. Thank You P.S.-you have truly sent me along way in my electric guitar learning experience and i Thank all of you very much.."

Amplifier Setup

Merlin says, "Hi David, I am just new to the site and I can tell you I am already reaping the benefits. Your lesson technique is invaluable to the likes of me. One area that I have been very frustrated with over the years is the setup of amplifiers the dos the don'ts. quite simply the how to... Is there any chance that a lesson could be developed purely on this topic? I have a peavey studio pro which I can create sound from but feel that I have far from mastered its capabilities. In anticipation Wayne Pearce"

Diagonal Scales

Merle says, "Hi Brad, Whats crackin? I have something to ask. how about a lesson or two on diagonal scales?you know I went and dug up some old lesson notes of mine from 1985 and I found these diagonal scales the teacher was having me learn. The note book paper is kind of yellow with coffee cup stains and little round burn holes like some one was smokin something.em. oh well, one thing says diagonal major pentatonic scale 6th string root and then, diagonal pentatonic minor scale 5th string root. see if you can come up with something on this Brad. ca's I think it would be really cool. well I've got to go work on cars now so see ya. If you ever have a question about your car let me know ,I 'll try to help you out.I do everything from brakes to check engine lights. see ya. Paul."

Johnny Cash

Merle says, "Hello Matt, whats crackin? I'm having fun with your lessons . how about a Johnny Cash lesson.you know like the intro to (one piece at at time ) stuff like that. young people love Johnny Cash.Luther Perkins was a good picker. someone ask him one time ,why do you only play on the first four frets and not down the neck like other players? he said well thier looking for it and I've already found it! ha ha .thats funny. oh well got to go to work now so see you Matt. Paul."

Teaching Children

Mav67 says, "My 6 year old son is dying to try playing the guitar. Probably because I do, (well at least try to). I am going out to buy him a guitar that actually is his size soon. What my question is: How should I go about getting him started? I want him to have fun and try and take the hard out of the work aspect of learning and let him have fun on it. Any suggestions or tips will be greatly appreciated."

Matt Brown's Stratocaster

Mathias76 asks, "What kind of pickups does Matt use on his Stratocaster? It sounds amazing. He is ridiculously good."

Faster Chord Progressions

Kylehumer asks, "How do i get better and faster at changing from chord to chord? just practice?"

Hotel California Chord Help

Kylehumer asks, "In hotel california for example you use 2 barre chords that are same name( F#) but different shapes n different sounds....how do you know from just the name which one to use and when? when do you know which string make the barre chords name? for example the bm root note and name of the barre chord is on a B, string 6 vs a F# has which is named from that root being on the 5th string"

Chords and Theory Augmented

Kylehumer says ,"I just got into jazz band @ school and i am seeing chords like bB augmented 11ths plus 13 .... that stuff and i have went though and memorized davids? chords major minor, in 7th n 9ths but how do i grasp knowledge of all chords just by the name? do i have to memorize 100s of shapes for every chord type? is their an easy way to learn all of this? i know like augmented is 1 3 #5 and diminished is 1 b3 b5 and i know a C chord has a c e g and a D chord has a d f# a and the rest....but what do i need to know to be able to play any chord by just the name? does jamplay have these lessons? if so which ones?....questions questions questions??? help me out guys! thanks"

Scales and Improvisation

KevinT says, "HI, I checked out Brads scales lesson and have a question. I always warm up with minor pentatonic 1st position so I know it blindfolded, I am working on the others. My question is that when I just start messing around with improv it always ends up still sounding like scales. How do I get away from that? Thanks"

Acoustic Guitar Strumming Patterns

John Oconnor59 says, "Hi i have just joined jamplay its fabulous lessons thank you i am doing them with steve eulberg he is a great teacher so laid back and makes it easy to understand now i must admit i have been playing for a year but i went back to the basics i enjoyed it i have done lesson 3 the strumming technique it was brilliant cos i have had problems with my strumming... he showed me the different patterns thank you so much to steve and all you folk a marvelous site indeed when Steve show the strumming patterns how it was made easy to me when you got the proper teacher to explain it to you i am from Ireland so i have taken 4 lessons so far as i want spend a bit a time on me strumming no point going next lesson till i get that one right..the question i want to ask hope its not a silly question when it says its best to master phase one before you move to phase 2..does that mean you have to master all the lessons from all the teachers before i move on ? also as i am not that great on my computer skills still learning that as well how do i post a reply so the teacher can see my reply and the other members too ? and if a friend sends me a message how do i reply to that sorry if i seem a bit silly with these questions its just i am learning this computer too kind regards johnny.."

Choosing an Online Instructor

Jgonzo6464 asks, "How can I pick an instructor?"

Tuning Half Step Down

Jefrank says, "Hello! I was looking at chords for a song on Fretplay.com, and the instruction is 'Tune guitar a half step down.' Does that mean tune every string down half a step? Thanks, and I love your site."

Ghost Notes

James8 asks, "I have Tabs which include the following notations (starting from low E): xxxx or 2xx4. I searched in the books I have and think that I found out that those notes are called ghost notes. 1. Are these ghost notes? 2. How do I play them? Do you have a lesson showing that? Many thanks for your response."

Numbed and Sore Fingers

Brandon says, "I was wondering if there was any way to cut down on the amount of numbness i get in my left hand after practicing on my guitar? I only recently started playing and have found the numbness on my fingertips to be a nuisance at my job. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated :)"

Chord Theory

noamde41 writes "'m stuck at lesson 7, scene 2 of steve's lesson. I'm trying to figure out what makes a basic chord (minor or Major), but I seem to be missing something. I get how he builds the maj7, 7th, and 6th from the basic chord. But I can make sence of a basic chord itself?! Can you give me a little extra material on what makes a basic chord or another website that would explain the basic theory. Thanks for your help and really enjoy your lessons, Steeve."

Playing Chords Beginner

Subwolley writes "Hello Jamplay, I am a beginner guitar player. I have a quick question about learning/playing chords. My question is: When playing a chord, does every finger needed to play a chord need to be placed exactly behind the fret? It seems to me, that for most of the chords I'm learning, it's impossible to get the needed fingers close to the fret. I know when you play a single note on a string, you need to place a finger exactly behind the fret to get a clear sound, but is this true with chords? Sometimes it's hard to tell from watching the videos where exactly the fingers are. Can you explain a little bit more about finger positioning when learning chords? Thank you, Amber."

Tunings of a Song

Element1290 writes "Is there any special way that one can tell the tuning of a song?"

Sweeping Arpeggios

Billy asks "I have been trying these for about a year now and I just can't seem to nail them. Are their any exercises for both hands that will make it more easier. It seems that my left hand has the most problems."

Power barre chords

Jerry Asks "One more question on power chords. In the end of Stev's 9th lesson he goes through power chords useing the barre e shape. It is a little fast for an old fart like myself so I'd appreciate it if you would go through the form Steve goes through when playing these chords. Thanx Jerry."

How to Play C Major Chord

Samiam010203 asks "I'm finding it hard to form the c major chord. is there any thing i can do to help with the stretch of the fingers to help me fix my problems with this cord. thanks in advance, samiam010203."

Bending Strings

ChipC asks "Really like your lessons, I have a question on bending. I watched your lesson, are you rotating your wrist and keeping your fingers locked in to bend the string or are you pushing the string up with your fingers, when you were doing the 7th fret, 3rd string bends...I think I read somewhere that you were suppose to twist the wrist somehow or use the wrist to create the bend...but I'm not sure and wanted to get the word from you."

Strumming with a Flat Pick

JeFrank asks "I'm finding strumming with a flat pick more difficult than meets the eye. I can strum down fine, but I find that when I strum up, I catch the strings in a very jagged way. Any tips about that? Also, how much of the pick should emerge from your fingers? Does your hand angle at all as it goes up and down? Thanks!"

Hotel California Chord Help

Kylehumber asks "how do you know which barre shapes to use when just reading the name F#....in the vid i understand the use a c and a e shape."

Strumming with a Flat Pick

Jefrank asks "I'm finding strumming with a flat pick more difficult than meets the eye. I can strum down fine, but I find that when I strum up, I catch the strings in a very jagged way. Any tips about that? Also, how much of the pick should emerge from your fingers? Does your hand angle at all as it goes up and down? Thanks!"

Bending Strings

Chipc asks "Brad, Really like your lessons, I have a question on bending. I watched your lesson, are you rotating your wrist and keeping your fingers locked in to bend the string or are you pushing the string up with your fingers, when you were doing the 7th fret, 3rd string bends...I think I read somewhere that you were suppose to twist the wrist somehow or use the wrist to create the bend...but I'm not sure and wanted to get the word from you. Sincerely, Chip Carter."

Numbed and Sore Fingers

Brandon asks "I was wondering if there was any way to cut down on the amount of numbness i get in my left hand after practicing on my guitar? I only recently started playing and have found the numbness on my fingertips to be a nuisance at my job. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated."

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