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 2.2)

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.

Steel or Nylon Strings

Capo asked "Hi, Jim. I am always (really coveting I think) wanting to buy a nylon stringed guitar to play alternating finger style guitar on. I don't know, of course, but I imagine this to be obviously easier on the fingernails but it must have a downside which I surmise is in the compromised sound or timbre of the notes and chords. And, others such as yourself, Jim, do not use the nylon string guitar and that makes me suspicious. Although I did see a vid of Buster Jones (is that his name) playing what appeared to be a nylon stringed acoustic electric and doing all right with it I might add. Another point I argue with my mind over is that I will never be a professional guitarist, this is not my goal, so I seem to justify my lame argument with that fact and my heart says well, therefore, go ahead and buy one (nylon stringed). Well, enough said. What do you think of these thoughts. You must have some opinions and I would love to hear them so I won't waste my money unnecessarily. All the best, Capo."

Playing Eruption

Deathxrocker asked "What is the easiest way to play Eruption by Eddie Van Halen."

Exercises that Sound like Metal

Deathxrocker asked "Hi guys i was wondering if there are any left hand exercises that sound like rock or metal riffs?"

Suitable Picking Pattern

Nick Johnston asked "Could you advise on a suitable picking pattern for this lovely song, i am playing basically in G G,Em,C,Am D, D7,C,G I am told it is in 3/4 time ,but i just can't settle on a fluent pick Any help welcome Regards Nick."

Pod XT Live with Marshall Amp

Fourwheeler asked "I watched Brad's video of effects and his Marshall,that was a great lesson,but I'm still confused about setting up my Marshall Mg 100 HDFX and my Pod XT Live.I want to use my Marshall's built-in effects(they are the perfect sound for me).I want to use my POD for the pedal,tuner,and maybe a handful of presets.When I plugged my POD in the front of the amp it was killing my Marshall's sound.Do you have any advise for me . Thanks, Fourwheeler."

A Minor Pentatonic Scale Positions

Hcso asked "My question is for Brad Henecke. I have memorized and have been practicing the 4 positions of the A minor pentatonic scale. I am trying to get to a point where I can go to any position and just play solos out of a box or position. I'm having a hard time with this. Does it matter if you start out on the 6 th string going up the position or should I start on the first string and work down the position trying to pick notes. I watch you and it looks like you do both and I imagine your suppose too. I find a pattern of my own that I like and then I'm stuck because I try to jump into another position and it don't sound right at all lol. Hope this makes sense. I really enjoyed the lessons, however haven't learned the 5th position yet. Josh."

Setting Neck Without a Truss Rod

Niandra asked "Hi guys...i'm not sure whether a question similar to this one has been already asked. I have a '51 Martin 0-15. All in all the guitar is in a nice condition but im not sure whether it would be the right time for a new neck setting. What is an indicator for that? As far as i am informed martins from this age didn't yet have theese/those TrussRods (or how it is spelled-sorry for my english it's beschissen ;-) so in case IF i have to bring it to a professional luthier. Actually i think the playing is very very nice and the spaces between fretboard and strings up to the 12th fret seem normal but im not sure and what do you think would be the "average" price? And bye the way--- can you tell what's up with mr . fishmann's lessons???? Thanks."

Soloing and Open Strings

Keithlasko asked "Whenever I am soloing and I hit an open string, the note seems to drag on and make the next few notes sound awful. what can I do about that?"

Drum Beats and BPM

Bryanwb4402 asked "Thanks to all of you guys....This site is so awesome and i tell all my friends about this site...Keep up the good work.... Question: I have a drum looper with a whole host of beats from country to metal and any BPM I need. I am having a tough time trying to figure out what drum beat and speed I should use for certain songs. One of them I learning to play right now is "Always with me Always with you by Satriani". What drum beat should I use to play with this song. Is there like a list that states "Use this BPM for this song" I hope this makes sense... thx so much."

Flats and Sharps

Dank asked "I have a hard time remember which way to go for flats and sharps, example b flat?"

Problems With the Crybaby Pedal

Jaron asked "Dear Dave, I'm thinking about getting a Dunlop Crybaby Wah. One day I went to Guitar center and I tried the pedal. It was difficult for me to move the footpad. It was very loose. Is it possible to adjust the foot pad to make it tighter so it could be easier for me to move the footpad. Could it also be possible if you can show me how to to adjust the footpad? Thanks.From, Jaron."

Full Guitar Setup

JZCode45 asked "Could one of the instructor with guitar setup experience do a lesson on this subject? I would like to see how to setup my Fender strat including neck adjustment, pickup adjustments, string heights settings and setting the intonation. Thanks JZcode45."

Strumming Patterns and Timing

Lucasholland asked "Hello, I'm following Steve's lessons and am practicing 2 chord progressions (G, Em, C, D7, and G, Em, Am, D7) using the 5 strumming patterns he teaches with my metronome. This works fine for all the strumming patterns except pattern D (d, d, u, pause, up, down, up / d, d, u, u, pause, u,d,u). The problem is (I think) that I only have beats per measure. So I start the first down-strum on the first beat. The up-strum should be before the second beat, right? So... what I think is confusing me is that I also have strum on the offbeat... Could you show me how to practice the 2 variations on the strumming pattern (variation 1: d, d, u, pause, up, down, up; variation 2: d, d, u, u, pause, u,d,u)) with a metronome (e.g. on which beat to strum etc.)? Thanks! Lucas."

Different types of pickups

Jaron asked "Hello everybody, I keep on seeing different types of pickups. Can you tell me the difference between Alnico, Ceramic, Active, Low Output, Hot output and active pickups? Do they sound different from each other? I can't really tell. I appreciate the help. From your favorite 14 year old, Jaron."

Notes and Strumming Chords

Thomas Hale asked "For Steve, I am looking at Leaning on the Everlasting Arms in my church hymnal. I can read the music. What is the easiest way to transpose the notes to strumming chords?"

Muting Strings Like the RHCP

Markok asked "Hi: I am trying to learn the RHCP song "Can't Stop". I have the main riff down ok picking the strings individually, but I would like to learn how to mute the other strings to get that nice percussive, chucking effect. Any guidance/tips you can provide are much appreciated! Thx in advance..."

Fingers and Picking

Dewayne asked "Jim will it hurt to use only the thumb and index finger and the finger next to it or should use all four fingers."

Changing Scale Boxes

Hendoe30 asked "Hey Brad and DMAC, love the site it has really helped me out. I watched the video Q&A from 7/10/08 from john873 regarding mode changes and I was wondering if you could clear this up for me. I am definitely a beginner and I am currently learning the minor pent. scale and I was wondering this. . . In A minor pent. scale when you change from first position to second position do you leave on the root note in first position and start the second position on the root note in order to stay in key, or can you start on any part of the second position. I posted this in the forums but after 77 views and no responses I thought I would give this a shot. I know you guys have lives and can't read all the forums but can you give me some insight. You guys rock!!!"

Slack Key Lessons

Coopercanuck asked "What an awesome style! I have just begun but find myself walking back to my room all day and picking up my guitar just to play it "one more time". Thanks for making this style available it is a really chilled out style and is a lot of fun. My question is: Can you post some more songs in Slack key for us to learn? And if not where can I find some! Thanks Jason."

AC/DC Song Questions

Roccafamilia23 asked "Hi, my question is about the acdc song lesson with Dave Mackenzie. Okay after the three chords are played and after the two notes and the string bend, I'm having trouble seeing what he's doing on the fret board. It looks like he's hitting the fifth string first fret and then the sixth string fourth fifth sixth and seventh sliding his fingers back to the fourth, but I can't tell for sure. Could you please explain in detail this third part of the song to me. Thank you so much. fellow guitarist, Daniel."

Upstroke Without a Pick

Domovoy asked "Hi guys! Question from a beginner about playing without a pick. I'm trying to figure out how to do down and upstrokes by hand (mostly for the chorus parts of songs / bridges where the usual strumming pattern gets boring). The downstrokes, where the nails of my fingers strike the strings, come pretty naturally. But on the way up, some of my fingers (pinky and ring finger mostly) get caught on the High-E and B strings. Are there any (1) hand positions/movements, and (2) exercises that you guys can recommend to fix the problem? Many thanks! -- Dmitry."

Drop Tuning

Castline1993 asked "Hi guys. I have a couple of questions about drop tuning that i hope you can help me with. I just recently started listening to some bands that use drop tuning in all of there songs. I want to learn to play these songs but I did not want to mess with my Floyd Rose on my strat so I bought an inexpensive Epiphone Les Pual. A friend told me that I should put heavier gauge strings if I am going to drop tune. He recommended .11 or .012. What do you think? Also, these bands drop tune anywhere from B-flat to D. Will I be able to go back and forth with different tunings without needing to re-set the action and intonation? If I set everything at, let's say, Drop C tuning, would that be a "happy medium" so that I could go back and forth with ease? Thanks for your help guys. Castline1993 is out."

Open Chords

Aquariarty asked "Hi Steve, I've noticed quite a few open chords where one or two of the strings are x'd out (not included) on the diagram of how to play the chord. My question is how do you play these chords ? Especially if you're strumming, it seems impossible to miss out strings other than the 1st or 6th ? Thanks."

Tuning Down a Half Step

Onebobstirling asked "When you tune down a half or hole step do you keep playing the same cord patterns or do the patterns change to make the cord harmonically correct? Example, if you are tuned down one hole step and play an "A" cord pattern the notes that are played are BGD, not ACE."

Question on Landslide

Clarky40 asked "Is there an advantage to playing Landslide with just your middle and index fingers, with your thumb playing the lower strings, as opposed to using your thumb for just the bass note and your index, middle and ring fingers doing the rest?"

Changing Strings

Felipe asked "I changed strings to my ephiphone sg g-400 electric guitar, originally this guitar came with light gauge (0.010 - 0.046), but I installed brite wires medium light (0.011 - 0.050), now, my guitar has an excellent sound with this change on the strings, but, this change would damage my guitar in any of its parts? Felipe."

Using the Metronome

Daveclamp asked "Hi all, I'm working my way through the phase 1 lessons and I've come across the dreaded metronome! I'm only in my first week so what I'm going to ask may be covered in later lessons? Would it be possible to demonstrate actually using a metronome for a couple of songs. Could this include showing how you work out how to set it up (i.e. how to work out the beat etc by listening to a song, a couple of demos would help). Also, could you demo the use of the Jamplay metronome, especially how to use the multiple beat emphasis option? Thanks for providing an excellent service...I'll send Steve Eulberg an apple! Regards, Dave."

Other Instruments

Curranni asked "would it be an eventual hope of jamplays to eventually start introducing other instruments to jamplay, i think its the logical and next big step for this site, even as it continues to improve and grow. i would love to see a jamplay drumming, bass rthym (sorry can never spell it) and so on.. i know music is endless but it would be cool. you could also introduce interviews with instructors, guitarists famous musicians, even small documentaries and so on, that members can watch exclusively on the site, i think that would be great in addition to the fantastic job that you are all already doing, i've been playing Irish music since i was 8 and i think, gosh if this was done for Irish trad it would reach so many people around the world, so i think that's what you are already doing, why not go further i say.. you may have to up the price though its getting too good haha..."

New Guitar and Tuning

Buddy7b89 asked "My guitar is in tune but it just doesnt sound anywhere as good as the instructors guitars ive played with my amp all i can do u think its just the guitar its a cheap yamaha eg 112c?"

Jeff Healy

Hcso asked "I just wanted to say something about the late great Jeff Healy. Anyone who likes blues and rock and roll who don't know the name look him up because he was the real deal. He was blind since the age of 1 and still managed to become a legend. Playing with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn. I was wondering if anyone has tried to play the guitar blind folded to get the same affect Healey had to over come, and would this be an awesome way to strengthen your senses around the guitar? I would think if you can play good blind you would be able to play great without. Me I'm not to good blind folded because I look at the guitar a lot but I'm working on it. Mainly would be good for beginners I think. I like the idea. Josh."

Floyd Rose Buzz Problems

Mdpf asked "Well, a problem with buzzes has come up . It seems that every time I pick the Low E and the A string harder, it buzzes like hell. The problem goes away on the higher frets, where I can only hear a tiny buzz. Solutions? Thanks in advance."

Playing with Other Guitarists

Herronc33 asked "When playing with multiple guitars what are some tips, guidelines, or even examples of how you can make them compliment each other. I've noticed that it tends to sound muddy if you play the same thing. Thanks and God Bless, Chris."

Pedals and Multieffects

Ignacio12 asked "Hi JamPlay . Have a very good Christmas and New Year. I am having trouble deciding whether to buy some pedals because they say that it sounds better or to buy a cheaper with all the effects multi effects . Can you please help me out?"

Tuning a Half Step Down

Wcanderson asked "This question is for Mark Lincoln. I am on lesson 4 of your beginner set, and I noticed that your Martin is tuned 1/2 down. Do you prefer to play this way? What are the benefits, and is the key change weird when you play with others? Thanks."

Playing with Other Guitarists

Herronc33 asked "When playing with multiple guitars what are some tips, guidelines, or even examples of how you can make them compliment each other. I've noticed that it tends to sound muddy if you play the same thing. Thanks and God Bless, Chris."

Backing Track Recording

Toddz71 asked "I have notice when practicing with your backing tracks “jams” that they really sound high quality. I know your teaches writes these themselves, what type and brand of the equipment do they use it sounds so good! I looking for a good drum machine and recording unit. I currently have a Korg Tone works PXR4 and Digitech guitar effects. Can you recommend a particular setup; I didn’t want to spend more than a $1000-1300 if I can help it. Thanks."

Rock and the Blues

Domovoy asked "Hey guys, can you explain the Rock N' Roll - Blues connection in tangible terms? I keep reading online that "Rock N' Roll evolved from the Blues" and "Rock is based on the Blues," but nothing more specific than that. Sometimes the connection is pretty easy to hear (on a lot of Slash's stuff for example), but sometimes it isn't. It would be great if you if you could explain it in musical terms. Thanks a lot! -Dmitry."

Heavy Metal and Pedals

Jimenezr asked "A question that any of you head bangers can answer. What pedal and amp combination is better for heavy metal and rock. I have a big muff with a beginner amplifier but it doesn't quite sound the same as when Dennis plays the tunes."

Sound Frustration

Mowgli asked "I have a Lyon by Washburn Idol electric guitar, but i've been messing with teh dials forever and I just can't get it sound like David MacKenzie's it doesn't sound at all like the cool weeeeeorrrrr type sound that an electric guitar is supposed to sound like. It sounds almost like an acoustic. Am i doing something wrong or do i need to get a new amp? The amp i have came wiht the beginner starter kit thing?"

Pedals and Multieffects

Ignacio12 asked "Hi JamPlay . Have a very good Christmas and New Year. I am having trouble deciding whether to buy some pedals because they say that it sounds better or to buy a cheaper with all the effects multi effects . Can you please help me out?"

Eric Clapton Style

Gigantesco asked "I am wanna start playing the blues and i would like you to try explain some of Clapton style like his special licks or even strat with his unplugged album for the blues players and the acoustics guitar owners. Thank you."

The Pinky Anchor

Bgremel asked "A comment and a question. I played a lot in college (late 60's), and picked my guitar up again a year ago. Never had a lesson and hacked along quite nicely - strumming and fingerstyle. Found Jamplay by accident and decided to learn how to play, as opposed to hack. The first lessons were old news to me, but I still learned some good things. Looking forward to improving my playing. So far I've already gotten my money's worth and I'm only to lesson 4! I find the advertising before each lesson an irritating waste of my time - I've already signed up. How can I skip these things? Secondly, how can I skip through lesson segments to view the part(s) of a lesson I want to review? For example if I want to review something in the 3rd video segment of a lesson, how do I skip the first 2? Finally, in the videos your right hand fingers never touch the face of the guitar. For strumming this is fine, but I always anchored my 4th finger on the face of the guitar. This provided a positive reference for the location of the strings for my other fingers. Bad technique, or OK? Thanks Bob"

Hand Cramps While Playing

Scallywag asked "First off I want to thank you guys and gals at Jam-play for the wonderful opportunity you give everyone to learn to play so many different styles, but most importantly we can communicate with you directly and get answers to those nagging questions.... My question pertains to PAIN! No, I’m not talking about fingertip pain, that’s expected. What I’m talking about is pain on my right hand about 1 inch directly below my pinky over the crease of the palm. (I’m left handed so the pain is on my right hand….) Is the problem due to tendons or muscles or both and what is the best way to recover? Note: I’m a newbie and practiced the chromatic cords for 2-1/2 hours in a single session."

Fingerpicking and Classical

Anton30 asked "If I'm using a traditional fingerpicking style, what are some of the benefits of learning the classical method of guitar playing also?"

Finger Exercises

Lucasholland asked "Hello, in lesson 2 of his Phase 1 lesson set, Steve Eulberg teaches a chromatic scale finger exercise. I'm using that exercise as part of my practice routine to improve my finger strength and accuracy and also to warm up. When I play the exercise on the low E string, is it okay for the palm of my hand or the part where my first finger connects to the palm of my hand to touch the bottom of the neck of the guitar (often muting the high E string)? When I consciously try to avoid muting the high E or my hand touching the neck at the bottom of the neck I have to flex my wrist more (by moving my thumb down) which makes me feel tension in my wrist. When I play chords or finger pick stuff (e.g. normal, day-to-day song playing) my hand doesn't touch the neck down there so the high E string does not get muted. Thanks and keep up the good work. Lucas"

Song Writing

Aseee asked "Ok I've looked all around the web and asked questions on many forums and had very few good answers. I want to know how to write a song? Preferably, do i create the music first or the lyrics."

Walking Up and Down

Anton30 asked "Could you explain walking up and down between chords? I know a few exercises to do this but I'm not really sure why the chords are called what they are and what makes this work. Thanks."

The Pinky Anchor

Bgremel asked "A comment and a question. I played a lot in college (late 60's), and picked my guitar up again a year ago. Never had a lesson and hacked along quite nicely - strumming and fingerstyle. Found Jamplay by accident and decided to learn how to play, as opposed to hack. The first lessons were old news to me, but I still learned some good things. Looking forward to improving my playing. So far I've already gotten my money's worth and I'm only to lesson 4! I find the advertising before each lesson an irritating waste of my time - I've already signed up. How can I skip these things? Secondly, how can I skip through lesson segments to view the part(s) of a lesson I want to review? For example if I want to review something in the 3rd video segment of a lesson, how do I skip the first 2? Finally, in the videos your right hand fingers never touch the face of the guitar. For strumming this is fine, but I always anchored my 4th finger on the face of the guitar. This provided a positive reference for the location of the strings for my other fingers. Bad technique, or OK? Thanks Bob"

Hand Cramps While Playing

Scallywag asked "First off I want to thank you guys and gals at Jam-play for the wonderful opportunity you give everyone to learn to play so many different styles, but most importantly we can communicate with you directly and get answers to those nagging questions.... My question pertains to PAIN! No, I’m not talking about fingertip pain, that’s expected. What I’m talking about is pain on my right hand about 1 inch directly below my pinky over the crease of the palm. (I’m left handed so the pain is on my right hand….) Is the problem due to tendons or muscles or both and what is the best way to recover? Note: I’m a newbie and practiced the chromatic cords for 2-1/2 hours in a single session."

Fingerpicking and Classical

Anton30 asked "If I'm using a traditional fingerpicking style, what are some of the benefits of learning the classical method of guitar playing also?"

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