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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.
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"
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"
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."
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"
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"
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"
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?"
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."
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."
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."
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!!!"
Toolfan88 asks, "what is a walking bass line? how can it be applied to guitar players?"
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..."
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?"
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"
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"
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. "
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??"
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."
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."
Raymond Jorder asked, "Where are the country & gospel songs?"
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
Mtindall asks, "Is there percussion and rhythm software available and if so which would you recommend?"
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"
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?"
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"
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?"
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 "
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?"
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?"
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."
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."
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."
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"
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."
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"
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."
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? :-)"
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."
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."
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