Frequently Asked Questions and Answers2020-08-09T04:11:37+10:00

Faqs

Am I too old to learn to play the guitar?2020-08-09T01:59:23+10:00

You are never too old to play the guitar if you have the desire and determination. Remove any doubts from your mind and start playing. Learning to play the guitar or any musical instrument takes time and patience that applies to everyone regardless of age.

It may be easier for younger people to learn and absorb new information then it is for older people, however, age is not a barrier. It’s essential to keep our brains active as we age. Be sure to purchase a new or used guitar that is not too big, and is comfortable to play.

Research has shown that learning music at any age is a great way to stay mentally fit.

Do I need a guitar strap?2020-08-09T02:01:36+10:00

If you plan to play standing up, yes you do. A good quality strap will keep the guitar stable while you play. Ensure your strap isn’t to narrow. A wide strap with some padding is far more comfortable than a narrow one without padding.

Consider buying a strap lock for your guitar, acoustic or electric. A strap lock will prevent the strap departing from the guitar, often causing damage to the instrument.

Do I need a guitar tuner?2020-08-09T02:22:13+10:00

In short, a good quality chromatic tuner is an excellent idea. An electronic tuner helps you tune your guitar quickly and accurately. There are many good quality tuners to choose from, the right one is the one that best suits you, its personal preference.

Do I need a metronome?2020-08-09T01:51:27+10:00

Yes, a good quality metronome is one of the most valuable tools a guitarist at any level can have. It is an invaluable aid for staying in time when you practise the guitar.

Do I need to learn theory?2020-06-12T13:24:08+10:00

You do not need to learn theory to play the guitar, however, having some knowledge about musical theory will enlighten you about how music works.

How much you learn is a personal choice, you do not need to read volumes of text to at least get some understanding about the fundamentals of music.

It will make your musical journey with your guitar much more enjoyable.

How often should I change my strings, coated or uncoated?2020-08-09T02:09:24+10:00

The answer is it depends. Some professional guitar players change them for every gig. In general, for uncoated strings on average around every 1 to 2 months as a rough guide. For coated strings, players report wildly different time intervals between string changes, but certainly much more prolonged than uncoated strings.

You might be wondering why all guitarists don’t use coated strings. The answer is tone; some players detest coated strings because they dislike their sound. Others love them for their tone as well as there longer life.

Coated strings are more expensive but last longer. If you are one who hates replacing your guitars strings, coated might the best option for you? Particularly if you have a lot of guitars. It’s important to wipe your strings regularly as you play, especially if you’re playing in a hot environment and you have sweaty hands.

How should I practise?2020-05-09T08:39:18+10:00

The most important fundamental principle for guitar practice is something called “concentrated practise” It means to practise something with extreme concentration slowly and for short periods.

The opposite is playing something at full speed without any thought about what you are doing.

My fingers are too big!2020-08-09T02:17:06+10:00

If you are a beginner, just starting out learning to play the guitar, your fingertips are likely to be soft. When you fret a single note or a chord, the string will sink into the flesh of your fingers. When this happens, another part of the finger may be contacting another string.

As you develop calluses, this occurrence is much less likely as the calluses develop, the string will not sink into the flesh anywhere near as much. Another possibility is that the fingers are not appropriately angled as they contact the strings.

If they are leaning over rather than straight up and down, they will touch an adjacent string. If all else fails, you may need another guitar that offers a wider fretboard. This is not very common but may need to be considered.

Before taking such drastic action, consult a professional guitar teacher who will confirm if your fretting hand and fingers are correctly positioned.

My strings buzz when I strum at times?2020-08-09T02:13:38+10:00

If you are just starting out, then a little buzz is acceptable, in time as your technique improves, the buzz should disappear. Are you strumming really hard, does the buzzing diminish if you strum easier?

It may be your strumming too hard in which case you need to play less aggressively or have the action of the guitar checked by a luthier. Raising the action a little might help. Back to basics; confirm your fretting hand is in the correct position and that the fingers are contacting the strings at the right angle and just behind the fret.

Do not press too hard, sometimes pressing can cause uneven pressure on the strings. Have your guitars set up correctly; an experienced luthier will set up the action of the guitar to suit your playing style.

The truss rod will usually be adjusted as part of the setup. The guitars action and correct truss rod adjustment with the proper amount of relief can make an enormous difference to guitars playability.

Should I buy a used or new guitar?2020-06-12T13:30:33+10:00

The short answer is its a personal preference. Used guitars are fine as long as you have the knowledge required to determine if the used guitar is a bargain or anything less than a bargain. Used guitars can be a source of joy or disappointment for the unwary.

New guitars come with guarantees ensuring that the guitar is flawless in finish and construction for its respective price range.

Should I play an acoustic or electric guitar?2020-08-09T02:28:41+10:00

Much depends on what you intend to play. Both guitar types have their advantages and disadvantages. Some considerations to ponder for both electric and acoustics.

Acoustics | generally less initial investment required. Acoustic guitars can be harder to play than electrics. In general, they need more hand strength in the left hand and fingers to fret a chord. Acoustics usually required thicker strings than electrics. Thicker strings are harder to fret.

Electrics | an electric guitar requires an amplifier. Electric guitars are more comfortable to play than acoustics. Electrics are usually more comfortable to hold and play. Electrics often have slim necks that may suit someone with small hands.

What are Barre chords?2020-08-09T04:06:21+10:00

A barre chord is where the guitarist forms a bar across all 6 or 5 strings of the fretboard emulating the nut on the fretboard. It is effectively a movable open string chord) It allows the player to move an open chord up and down the neck. The technique opens up a whole world of tonal possibilities.

Barre chords are often very challenging for anyone learning to play the guitar.

What do the symbols in guitar tabs mean2020-08-09T01:41:16+10:00

The symbols are actions the player needs to take while reading and playing the tablature. (see below) Tablature is a method of musical notation often favoured by guitarists.

Tabs Symbols:

() Optional note
/ Slide up
\ Slide down
h Hammer-on
p Pull-off
pm Palm Mute
v Vibrato
+ Harmonic
x Mute note
b Bend
br Bend release
pb Prebend
pbr Pre Bend release
|| Repeat Strum/Picking
R Repeat Section

 

What does drop D mean?2020-05-09T08:55:11+10:00

Drop D tuning means the 6th string or low E, (the thickest string) is tuned down from the standard E tuning one whole step down to D. It is a tuning commonly used in Country, The blues, rock and heavy metal.

What is a guitar’s action?2020-08-09T02:07:05+10:00

A guitar’s action refers to the height of the strings above the frets on the fretboard. A low action means the distance between the string and the fret in minimal. (A small gap) High action is the opposite of a low action where the distance between the string and the fret is great. (A larger gap). Experienced guitar players often make adjustments or even full setups themselves. Unless your sure you know what your doing, seek out a professional to sort it out for you. When a guitar’s action is correct it is easier to play, it makes playing chords, partially Barr chords easier to grab when playing.

What is a truss rod?2020-08-09T01:56:34+10:00

A truss rod is a metal bar that has been inserted into the neck of the guitar. It runs the full length of the guitar’s neck. Its purpose is to counteract the tension created by the strings of the guitar. A truss rod can be adjusted to compensate for movement within the guitar caused by seasonal changes and humidity levels.

What is the best way to learn the guitar?2020-06-12T13:00:59+10:00

Ideally, a private lesson with a professional guitar teacher heads the list. It might be the most costly initially, the cheapest method when you factor in the time saved because of the structured way a teacher would employ. Professional instructors will not allow you to develop bad habits which may prove hard to change once they become ingrained.

Another method is to join a learning group of people learning to play. The third method is you learn online, either privately or by buying an online course. The last option would be to learn from books, cheapest also the most challenging way to learn to play the guitar. Take the time to explore all the options available to you.

Which guitar is best for beginners?2020-08-09T01:44:37+10:00

The first thing you need to decide on is what kind of music you want to play.

Acoustics are very versatile and suit the majority of musical genres and styles. Rock, blues, fingerstyle, flat-picking. Electric guitars are similar in respect to what you can play, like the acoustic it suits the majority of musical genres and styles. Rock, blues, fingerstyle, flat-picking. Electrics are designed to be used with an amplifier.

Classical guitars use nylon strings (gut strings) and are designed to play classical music, a disciplined style of play. If you want to play classical, it is highly recommended to seek the advice of a professional before you buy.

Guitars, in general, have many differences, be aware that acoustics, in particular, come in various sizes. Consider if you would prefer a used guitar vs a new guitar. The most important thing is to choose a quality guitar which sounds nice and is easy to play. Nothing is worse than a crappy cheap and nasty guitar which does nothing to inspire the player. Such a guitar, particularly if you are learning to play, will turn you off playing the guitar.

The bottom line, seek the advice of a professional or a trusted guitarist who can help you choose a guitar that will suit your musical tastes and desired style of playing.

Why do my fingers hurt?2020-08-09T02:25:16+10:00

It’s not unusual to experience some form of discomfort when start playing the guitar as a beginner, especially your fingers. As you continue to play you will develop calluses on the fingers of your fretting hand which will lessen the discomfort considerably.

If for any reason you stop playing regularly for a time, it’s likely that you will lose those calluses.

Don’t be disheartened, your calluses will re-develop in no time. If you have any persisting pain, it would be advisable to have the setup of your guitar checked. Particularly the action of the guitar. (The height of the strings above the frets.) Of course, if you have any doubts about the cause of your pain, seek medical advice immediately.

Why is playing the guitar so popular?2020-11-13T11:34:40+10:00

1. It’s fun

Regardless of the player’s skill level, playing the guitar is fun. Play with family, friends, or perhaps in a band. Irrespective of where or how you play, it’s fun. Meet new people and expand upon your social network; other guitar players are everywhere.

2. It’s easy to play basic songs

The learning curve varies with the degree of playing skills the player chooses to learn. By learning three basic chords, you can play thousands of songs. For some, that is enough, for others seeking more complex playing skills, the possibilities are endless.

3. Portability

Pop your guitar into a case or gig bag, and you’re ready to go anywhere anytime. In the case of an electric guitar, an amplifier might also need to be considered.

4. Health benefits

Playing the guitar does increase one’s confidence and self-esteem. When you play for people, you are showing your creativity and creating joy and a real sense of pride. As it is with most learned skills, it is immensely satisfying to recreate or indeed create music!

People often describe the benefits of playing their guitars as calming, therapeutic, and fun. Research has determined that learning music is very good for one’s mental health. The benefits for one’s brain are many; Playing the guitar helps one’s motor skills, reduce stress, and enhance one’s memory. You are never too old to start learning the guitar.

5. Playing music is a great way to express yourself.

Playing your favorite songs is a very fulfilling way to hear them.

6. Guitars are priced to suit all manner of budgets and playing style.

There is no need to buy an expensive guitar as a beginner; budget guitars can sound amazing. Read our guitar buying guide and or seek out the help of an experienced player if you know someone or a professional who you can trust.

In conclusion

There are many more reasons why people love the guitar if you haven’t yet started playing, start your journey in life with a guitar today. Read our frequently asked questions and helpful guides. Join our community of fellow guitar players today!

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