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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.
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?"
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."
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."
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."
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 ) ?."
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."
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"
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!"
Ric2play asks, "I am looking for a good quality low cost acoustic. Any suggestions?"
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"
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!"
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"
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?"
Garfield asks "This might be a dumb question but how does one learn to play along with the backing tracks? Thanks"
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!"
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!"
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!"
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"
Garfield asks, "This might be a dumb question but how does one learn to play along with the backing tracks? Thanks"
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."
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"
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!"
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?)"
Mplourde asks ,"Why is everything so hard? I can't even get past the stupid b minor chord!"
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."
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."
Bernarddude asks, "How about some advanced strumming patterns?"
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."
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."
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?"
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!"
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."
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"
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"
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."
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?"
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!"
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"
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?"
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"
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!"
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."
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"
Kylehumer asks: "how do I know which notes I can play that sound good in lead over any given chords I choose?"
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."
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