Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 61

Thread: Guitar question

  1. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    18,445
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
    Yeah, I was just replying to your "Old strings can be hard to tune. I don't know the reason." OP's problem is intonation.

    Got it. One piece of advice for the OP--never get a Gretsch with a floating bridge. It will drive you crazy.

    Regarding tuning by ear--James McMurtry tunes by ear on stage, at full electric volume every song. I get the impression he likes to be annoying.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    221
    Last week I was like this doesnt sound right so I checked tuning. Baby e string was waaay out of tune. I was proud of myself for noticing.

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    18,445
    As long as we're talking about tuning--if the guitar is cold play it warm and then tune or plan to retune when it gets warm.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    221
    I love it. I can do F!

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    165
    Quote Originally Posted by Salvelinusconfluentus View Post
    I love it. I can do F!

    Nice! That's a major milestone. Congrats!

    Enjoy the ride. That's great that you have a teacher. The process can be frustrating at times (I mean, it can be annoying to see someone play an F chord when you are starting to learn and their guitar rings cleanly, while your fingers don't seem to be able to move that way and most notes are muffled), but it also brings joy, victories like being able to play a F chord, you'll meet some great people -- you'll also meet some weird people! But all in all, playing guitar is tons of fun!

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    221
    So my guitar went to the guitar dr, and for 67 dollars the action is adjusted and the strings are new and the low e is in tune on the 12th fret.

    Next question. My instructor suggested I put light strings on it to help make barre chords easier. Taylor recommends medium because its short scale.

    I can do e form and a form pretty well until I get towards the middle of the fretboard where the strings are higher and the frets are squashed.

    I kinda think that's pretty good after just over a month of working at it because when I tried to learn 20 years ago over a year and I couldn't do any Barre chord.

    What say you? Will light strings mess shit up? I kinda just want to work on it and get strong.

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    18,445
    Try it and see. You won't mess anything up. You shouldn't use heavier strings than the manufacturer specifies but no harm in using lighter. The worse that can happen is that the lighter strings buzz. The heavier strings will tend to have a fuller richer sound. You can switch back when your hand gets stronger.

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    221
    I'm afraid to switch them myself

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    18,445
    Quote Originally Posted by Salvelinusconfluentus View Post
    I'm afraid to switch them myself
    Well you could wear safety glasses. (I'm kidding but I'm sure sometime in the history of steel string guitars someone has gotten poked in the eye with the end of a string.)
    Has your teacher showed you how? Youtube videos are an acceptable way to learn. String winders are nice but certainly not essential. The main thing is to only change one string at a time and get that one in tune before you go on to the next. Expect to have to retune a lot at first. At first you'll probably leave too much string and have to wind it around the post too many times but that's way better than leaving too little. And for heaven's sake cut off the loose ends when you're done. Leaving loose strings ends flopping around is for loosers.

    And a year from now, when you're up on stage accepting your first Grammy please don't forget to thank me.

  10. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    221
    The internet says you might need another set up if you change from medium to light and also very mixed reviews on the gs mini with light strings.

    Once I learn to play I will be starting an all girl bluegrass band called the heinous wenches.

    I'll try to get you a liner note mention

  11. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    18,445
    Quote Originally Posted by Salvelinusconfluentus View Post
    The internet says you might need another set up if you change from medium to light and also very mixed reviews on the gs mini with light strings.

    Once I learn to play I will be starting an all girl bluegrass band called the heinous wenches.

    I'll try to get you a liner note mention
    Another set up--nah. Like I said, the strings might buzz because they'll be more slack and so more likely to hit frets as they vibrate. If you intended to keep it that way then yeah, you might want another set up, but you could just change back to medium strings. And a little buzzing is ok while you're gaining the strength to do barre chords. As far as the mixed reviews--by the time you've changed the strings and then changed them back again you'll be an expert at changing them.

    The guitar websites are a real rathole--best for a beginner to avoid them. People get hung up on the most trivial stuff. Wise of you to bring your questions here, where there's a good chance of getting an answer from someone who has never held a guitar. Better yet, just take your instructor's advice. They sound smart. And worry less about tuning and string gauge and just play. (What if there had been internet when Hendrix was learning to play a right handed guitar left handed and strung backwards--he would have been flamed so bad he would have quit.)

    Liner notes huh? So vinyl. Good.

    I looked at some pictures of bull trout. Those old guitar strings might make good leader. Those things get big.

  12. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    4,393
    Late to this thread.

    @old goat is right, that guitar videos can be a rabbit hole, but the videos below are all by well-known, minimum hype capable teachers. Plus ... they're approved by me

    Changing strings: this is not a service center task any more than filling the gas tank on your car is a reason to go to your mechanic. While there are many approaches to how you lock the strings on the tuning post, the videos put out by Martin and Taylor are certainly fine. Just do it. Like @old goat, I change one string at a time, but most luthiers change them all at once.

    Taylor's video is straight-forward, but many prefer to lock the strings more securely against slippage using the Martin or similar techniques:


    Justin shows you this same method, but treats the bridge pin side in a bit more detail. At 11:30, he covers how much slack to put in the string.


    Fruda shows the Martin technique. For you Strat players, he has the seminal videos on setting up Fender whammy bars (but you don't have a whammy bar on your acoustic ):


    This fellow uses the Taylor technique on the 3 fat strings, and the Martin locking method on the three skinny strings which are more prone to slippage. He also covers stretching them which most of the videos don't (there's a $12.00 product called "Stretcha" which is convenient. BTW, Martin seems to have "improved" their video by making it worse, so I didn't post that one:


    String gauge: changing string gauge to lighter ones may or may not have a subtle effect on the relief on your neck. Relief is the slight upward curve (bowing) of the neck when viewed from the bridge and siting up toward the nut. Lighter strings will exert less pull (tension) and the neck will "back bow" slightly (straighten out). You might have to tweak the truss rod (loosen) by 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn if you go to a lighter string. With modern guitars, this is another item you should eventually learn how to do. Guitars are living, breathing things, and seasonal changes (and humidity changes) will require an occasional tweak, even if you don't change string gauges. I've owned guitars that eventually found equilibrium after 8 or 9 years.

    Barre cords: too many teachers are rigid and don't adapt to the student. Learning how to play an "E" shape and "A" shape barre chord can be useful, but you don't necessarily have to play all 6 strings of the chord.

    Also, your index finger is really only responsible for two or three strings (the E,A and high-E for an E-barre, and A and high-E for the A-barre). If your teacher didn't show you this, then get a new teacher.

    Another trick is to rotate your forefinger slightly so the side of your first knuckle is fretting the high-E string (not the fleshy underside of your forefinger). Again, if your teacher didn't show you this, get a new teacher.

    I'm not saying don't learn them, but as my playing advances, I'm getting worse at them. Why ? because I'm learning how to play triads and other chord fragments. By all means, learn barres, but don't beat yourself up over perfecting them before moving on. Barre chords are a good entry point into the C-A-G-E-D system,. which in turn is a good entry point into ... (well ...you get it).

    Marty has a few tips. Note how he supports the index finger with his second finger on this Em shape. Obviously, this won't work if you need three fingers free (E-shape). With an A-barre, I use the double finger technique and then fret the D,G, B strings with my ring finger. I've seen a lot of guitarists do this with their pinky which is an incredible feat of strength.

    Rigid guitar teachers who don't watch you and tailor their lessons to you, can be even worse for your guitar playing than the internet is. Ask me how I know



    Intonation and Tuning: fixed interval instruments (all fretted instruments, pianos, etc.) have imperfect tuning. It's in the math. Google "tempered tuning". In addition to tuning and setting intonation (with new strings, please), the height your nut slots are cut at will affect how much you stretch the strings (sharp) and is much more apparent on the lower frets (near the nut). A luthier can help.

    One Size does NOT Fit All: a good luthier will watch you play, ask you questions, and set up your guitar appropriately. Someone who beats hard on his guitar will want higher action, a slightly higher nut, and possibly a different truss rod adjustment (relief) than someone who plays more softly. It's extremely unlikely that even a $7,000 guitar will come out of the factory playing perfectly for you. The reason? Again ... we're all different, and cutting a nut that's too low for the thrasher means that the luthier has to cut a brand new nut. It's much easier to deepen the nut slots on a "too high" nut then it is to add back material.

    ... Thom
    Last edited by galibier_numero_un; 09-26-2021 at 04:45 AM.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  13. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    221
    My guitar teacher did say not to worry about it too much right now if all the strings don't ring because there is usually 2 strings playing each note. I hate it when they all dont ring.

    It's em7 (am7 on the 7th fret) because the g string in the middle just won't ring.

    Hes not really forcing barre chords but I'm pretty stoked I can do them.

    I'm trying to do Gillian Welch Pass you by but I did not want to do drop d tuning because I'm trying really hard to learn every note im playing and understand how it all works together and changing the tuning makes my brain hurt.

    I'll think about the strings.

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    18,445
    I don't have a problem with guitar videos in general. It's the forums that can really drive you crazy.
    I don't think I'd be worrying about truss rods and neck relief right now. I have a 40 year old Martin and I've never touched the truss rod. (Maybe the luthier who reset the neck 10 years ago did, IDK.) But the guitar has always lived in the west, so no big humidity changes.

    Acoustic guitar players don't use barre chords nearly as much as electric players do because acoustic chords played lower on the neck and with at least some unfretted strings, as well as the partial chords galibier is talking about usually sound better. But you're reason to for wanting to use them--learning the fingerboard--is admirable.

    Learning the fingerboard--knowing what notes go with what chords and where each note is on every string up and down the neck--is great to learn right from the beginning if someone is going to be serious about the guitar--ie professional or semiprofessional. I wish I had. So is reading music rather than learning by tabs. I learned to read music in elementary school playing clarinet and it's how I learned guitar, but that skill is long gone. But that stuff isn't necessary for the more casual player.

    There's a great scene in the TV "Genius" biopic about Aretha where she overcomes the condescension of a bunch of older, white, southern Muscle Shoals session musicians by explaining the music theory behind a complicated piano chord she plays.

  15. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    18,445
    I did once see a very fine bluegrass instrumental duo where the guitar player could only solo in G (the people's key as Steve Earle calls it) and capoed every song that was in another key.

  16. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    the ham
    Posts
    10,400
    Assuming you're just going from 13s to 12s, don't overthink it. The intonation will be fine, and if you don't like it, you can always switch back. Worst case, you're out $15 and an hour of your time.

    edit to add: don't use one of those powered string winders. just wind them by hand until you're really comfortable with the whole process. back when I worked in a shop, we saw a lot of bent tuners.

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    907
    Posts
    13,405
    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    I did once see a very fine bluegrass instrumental duo where the guitar player could only solo in G (the people's key as Steve Earle calls it) and capoed every song that was in another key.
    You mean like these poseurs?


  18. #43
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    221
    Honestly the barre chord thing is mostly just kinda amazement that I can do it plus the gillian welch song, but its going to be a while before I can switch them fast enough to actually play the song. I can switch g,c,d,e,a and lots of their variations fast enough to actually strum a song as long as its not super fast. Next week will be a new regular chord song and I will keep practicing the progression for pass you by and eventually get it.

    Its really interesting how I've changed in 20 years. When I tried to learn before I couldn't do anything if I couldn't do it.

    This guitar teacher says two rules to the metronome. Its always right and don't stop.

    It makes a big difference to just keep trying rather than stop all the time.

  19. #44
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    165
    That's really important, to not get into the bad habit of stopping when you mess up.

    A friend of mine does this. He knows a lot of theory and has good technique, but when we are jamming, if he misses something, he wants to stop and start over, and this happens too often. If you're practicing something, sure, but if you're playing with friends or in a gig, just keep playing.

    Congratulations on the progress! That's the cool thing about guitar, it gives you little triumphs along the way.

  20. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    165
    I forgot to say this, which was the main reason I replied!

    I like to take all the strings off when changing them, because it's also when I give the guitar a deeper cleaning.

    The fretboard can get gunky over time. I like Gorgomyte to clean it up. It's fabric with a paste that cleans and nourishes wood and also polishes frets. It's like $10 for a pack and it lasts years and your guitar looks great after using it on the fretboard.

    For the body I only use a microfiber cloth. If it's very dirty maybe first a damp one and then a dry one.

  21. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    18,445
    Quote Originally Posted by Fofo View Post
    I forgot to say this, which was the main reason I replied!

    I like to take all the strings off when changing them, because it's also when I give the guitar a deeper cleaning.

    The fretboard can get gunky over time. I like Gorgomyte to clean it up. It's fabric with a paste that cleans and nourishes wood and also polishes frets. It's like $10 for a pack and it lasts years and your guitar looks great after using it on the fretboard.

    For the body I only use a microfiber cloth. If it's very dirty maybe first a damp one and then a dry one.
    Sounds like you're not changing your strings often enough or not washing your hands or both.

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    4,393
    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    I did once see a very fine bluegrass instrumental duo where the guitar player could only solo in G (the people's key as Steve Earle calls it) and capoed every song that was in another key.
    Quote Originally Posted by highangle View Post
    You mean like these poseurs?

    You beat me to it. Open G-string runs are de-rigeur in bluegrass. I used to thumb my nose at it, until I recognized it as one common element of the style - as much as playing E blues and the pentatonic scale is
    .
    Watch Billy go wild up higher on the neck on this electrifying performance of Little Maggie.

    Molly Tuttle's expression when he pulls some of this stuff off later on in the jam is priceless. Right at about 4:50 to 5:30, I crack up every time I watch this. Molly ain't no slouch either ;-)



    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    907
    Posts
    13,405
    "G runs", you say?


  24. #49
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    221
    This one hits the feels


  25. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    165
    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    Sounds like you're not changing your strings often enough or not washing your hands or both.
    Heh, I should have phrased it like "unattended fretboards tend to get gunky over time" or something like that.

    To me, guitars are not case queens, they're tools, but I do take good care of my tools and I keep them clean, that's why I like to remove all strings when I change them, at a minimum of twice a year, more if I'm playing gigs.

    The last guitar I bought was a floor model at Guitar Center, suuuuper manky, but it was a PRS with a huge discount and no major damage. The fretboard alone took me about a full hour to clean up, but it was worth it. Gorgomyte to the rescue!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •