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(@uav-is-online)
New Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

hi, ive been playing guitar for a little while now, and i have some concerns, but never had anyone to talk to about them. so im going to list them, and maybe i can get some help in at least one area.

1. my guitar strings buzz, im assuming its the guitar?

2. is picking with my hand floating above the strings better then resting it behind the bridge?

3. why can i play the fast beginning parts of master of puppets (metallica) at studio speed (economy picking of course, im not as good as james) but i can only play that fast for a small ammount of time before my hands hurt? how do i fix it?

4. i can do pinch harmonics easily (5% of the time i attempt them i mess up) but i cant play chords to save my life. i cant even play "a horse with no name" how can i learn chords the best way?

5. whats the best way to overcome these "blocks" i have in my playing speed? ive heard i should just run through exercises at a set speed, then increase each day by a few BPM?

6. i have a 180 dollar epiphone special 2, when should i get a better guitar?

7. my 12th fret isnt on note, ive tried adjusting the bridge, i failed.

thats all i can think of for now, if anyone can help with any of those questions thatd be really helpful. feel free to ask questions and criticise me if im doing something wrong.


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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

1. my guitar strings buzz, im assuming its the guitar?
It is probably one of two things. a) Yes, it could be that your guitar needs a set-up. b) You could be picking far too aggressively.
2. is picking with my hand floating above the strings better then resting it behind the bridge?
I'll let others give their opinions on this. I'm not a speed merchant and play mostly with a trem arm in my fingers, so my hand floats.
3. why can i play the fast beginning parts of master of puppets (metallica) at studio speed (economy picking of course, im not as good as james) but i can only play that fast for a small ammount of time before my hands hurt? how do i fix it?
It sounds like you are very tense. The solo is, perhaps, stretching your capabilities a little too far. I would slow down and learn the whole piece at a speed that I can comfortably manage. Only then would I try to get it up to "studio speed".
It's possible that your guitar is making life harder than it need be. If the action is poor (e.g. strings too high), it'll take more effort to play and be slower (the distance that your finger has to travel to fret a note is greater).
4. i can do pinch harmonics easily (5% of the time i attempt them i mess up) but i cant play chords to save my life. i cant even play "a horse with no name" how can i learn chords the best way?
The only way is to practice. Start by learning a few easy chords - E, Am, A, C, G.
Horse with no name only has 2 chords, both of which require 2 fingers. Try fingering the Em with your middle and ring fingers and the other chord with your index and little fingers. To change chords, it's a case of "drop 2, lift 2".
5. whats the best way to overcome these "blocks" i have in my playing speed? ive heard i should just run through exercises at a set speed, then increase each day by a few BPM?
Start slowly - learn to play it at a speed that is comfortable. When you can play the song all the way through, without errors, start to slowly increase speed - but only increase the speed when you can play the song comfortably at the current speed.
By going too quickly too fast, you'll start to tense up and we're back to point 3.
6. i have a 180 dollar epiphone special 2, when should i get a better guitar?
If your guitar is set-up properly and you always have relatively new strings, I would consider a new guitar when you feel that this one is holding you back.
7. my 12th fret isnt on note, ive tried adjusting the bridge, i failed.
That takes us back to point 1, I think. I suspect your guitar is in need of a proper set-up. Take it to a tech and get one done, I think it'll solve a couple of your problems. Another point, is that old strings will not intonate properly - do you change yours regularly?

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5367
 

2. is picking with my hand floating above the strings better then resting it behind the bridge?

Yes - you can't play with your hand behind the bridge because you can't reach the strings properly in front of it.

Yes - you have more control over what you're doing

Yes - the picking movement comes from the wrist so you hamper yourself by resting the hand anywhere

Yes - when you strum, the movement is from the elbow so you hamper yourself
3. why can i play the fast beginning parts of master of puppets (metallica) at studio speed (economy picking of course, im not as good as james) but i can only play that fast for a small ammount of time before my hands hurt? how do i fix it?

The problem comes from the fact that you've only been playing a little while and you're trying to run before you can walk. Hetfield's ability has been built up over years of playing large amounts of hours each day.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@uav-is-online)
New Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

haha, yes practice is good.

yes i change my strings about once a month


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(@philtho)
Active Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 10
 

If you haven't had your guitar "set up" yet, by all means take it to a local guitar shop and have them do it! Have them change out the strings, and they'll fix everything else up for you. Guitars usually come from the factory with really high strings and it's very painful and difficult to play, especially for someone new. I had my new guitar for a week before I took it in, and let me tell you, it's like a whole new guitar. It's so easy to pull off chords now, the strings ride super low and are easy to press without any buzz. They fixed it all up great. Night and day. It ran me $30+cost of new strings. It varies from shop to shop. I was expecting $50 or $70 because that is what I see most people say online.


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(@uav-is-online)
New Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

yea, a guy i know let me play he 5,000$ something les paul. it was crazy how easy it was to play. i just hope my guitar wont buzz if i go fix it, i read the reveiw on my guitar from guitar center.com and alot of people said they have buzz :(


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(@breanna)
New Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2
 

What do they do when you have your guitar set up? I was given a $200ish classical guitar... is this something I need to have done? Or is this just for electrical guitars? Is there a way I can check if I need to take my guitar into a shop?

Sorry if these are very noobish questions ... I've had my guitar for less than a month.


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

What do they do when you have your guitar set up? I was given a $200ish classical guitar... is this something I need to have done? Or is this just for electrical guitars? Is there a way I can check if I need to take my guitar into a shop?

Sorry if these are very noobish questions ... I've had my guitar for less than a month.
A guitar being set-up is basically making sure all the angles, heights and distances are correct. "Correct" meaning, of course, being resolved to some set of specs per manufacturer's suggestion or industtry standards in the absense of available specs. The set of things looked at for possible adjustment are:
#1: String height at the first fret (indicating if the nut needs to be filed or replaced or whatever)
#2: The slight bow in the guitar's neck is proper,
#3: String height down the neck (12th or 14th fret, depending on manufactures),
#4: and the intomation is good, meaning an un-fretted string strike is the same note as the same string fretted at the 12th fret.

As far as just for electrics or not, no. Accoustics can be adjusted as well. Electrics have more twisty oportunities than accoustics, but accoustics can be set. It just might be harder or require a professional more often.

Two very important rules. Measure twice and make very minor adjustments. Repeat as needed. Especially if attempting to file a nut down and you don't have the required nut replacement tools. I imagine that doing permanant damage to a nut really sucks.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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 Ande
(@ande)
Honorable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 659
 

I imagine that doing permanant damage to a nut really sucks.

I think in most cases, damage isn't "permanent." As in if you get it wrong with the nut, it's usually not damaged- it's destroyed. (On my first electric, a garage sale strat, I filed...3 nuts before I got it right. When you get it wrong, there's often no going back.)

I wouldn't necessarily think you need a set-up right away on a classical guitar, though, Breanna. They're quite a lot less adjustable than an electric, and generally also a lot more tolerant. (Meaning that minor differences in set-up matter less.)

Are your strings too high? Buzz a lot? Seem to sound funny, out of tune, when you play further up the neck? These are signs you need a setup- if it's playing fine, I wouldn't sweat a setup.

Best,
Ande


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