Top Ten Things Guitarists Whine About
10. Pedal Boxes
“My band mates keep asking me to buy pedal boxes!”
Pickups on electric guitars convert the vibration of strings into an electric current.
Pedal boxes are electronic setups that process the electric current before it reaches the amp. Rock guitarists use them to produce the different sounds that have made them rock legends.
You really don’t need these pedal boxes to play guitar. However, if you’re interested in laying down some face-melting solos, you’d best read up on guitar effects.
9. Guitar Action
“The action on my guitar is too high! It slows down my chops!”
Action is important to guitar playing because it affects how hard a guitarist has to press for a crisp sound. Strings on a high action guitar have more space to resonate. These guitars have great sustain. Still, high action guitars are harder to play. You have to press harder to produce a good sound.
Low action guitars, on the other hand, are easier to play. A guitarist can just glide over the fretboard. However, there is less space for the guitar strings to vibrate. If the action is too low, the strings won’t resonate at all. All you’d hear is a thump instead of a note.
”Why does my guitar always sound out of tune?”
In a sense, playing guitar is learning how to control this tension. Guitarists press on frets because these change the length of the string that vibrates. The shorter the length, the higher the pitch.
Frets serve as markers to where the change in distance creates a discernible shift in pitch. If these frets are misaligned or worn down, then the guitar will sound out of tune. Likewise, if the neck or bridge somehow shifts in position, the guitar will also sound out of tune.
7. String Breakage
“My strings keep breaking!”
There’s no real way of eliminating string breakage. Guitar strings come into constant contact with various parts of the guitar. All these points of contact exert friction on the string when played, inevitably wearing out the string.
The best thing any guitarist can do is to mitigate the frequency of breakage. Check out whether the tuning pegs, the nut, or any of the bridge saddles have sharp edges on them. Such edges could be sharp enough to cut through the string altogether.
Likewise, constant string breakage could also be due to the amount of tension your string is carrying. Here, the bow of your truss rod and the positioning of your bridge saddle play an important role.
6. Volume Issues
“I don’t hear myself. I want to hear myself play!”
Cranking up the volume knob to full doesn’t always mean that you’re going to be the loudest on stage.
Some sound waves interact with each other in such a way that they cancel each other out. Possibly, the sounds coming from your amp are overpowered by other sound waves (say from the bass amp). The trick here is to find the frequencies that won’t be overpowered by those that come from the amplifiers of your band mates.
In this way, graphic equalizers become your best friend. In your next gig, fiddle around with the bass, mid and treble controls of your amplifier. You might find or, rather, hear the sound you’ve been pining for.
5. Guitar Brands
“Too many guitars! I don’t know which to buy!”
Keep in mind that there is no such a thing as the perfect guitar. The wide array of brands only means that different guitarists are looking for different things in their guitars. Some like fat and heavy necks. Others like theirs thin and light. Some prefer fixed bridge setups, while others like having a tremolo bar to play with.
Guitars are made of so many parts, all having some impact on sound and playability. The number of variations is pretty enormous. All you really have to do is try to play as many guitars as possible before you consider buying Famous Guitars that Guitar Gods played. That’s the only way of really knowing whether a certain brand is meant for you or not.
4. Music Theory
“There are too many things about music theory to learn!”
There is no doubt that there is a lot to learn about guitars.
Look at it this way – the myriads of books on playing the guitar are just records of other guitarists’ experiences of playing. They’re not the only ways of approaching guitar playing.
However, new guitarists would do well to read about the experiences of others. After all, the fact that these musicians were able to write an entire book about playing guitar shows just how much guitar playing they’ve done.
3. Solo Time
“My band doesn’t give me enough room to solo!”
- Good guitar solos are underpinned by a mastery of the guitar. Be sure you have garnered enough guitar skill points before attempting to steal the limelight. After all, you wouldn’t want to embarrass yourself.
- Guitar solos are all about context. If a particular piece of music is arranged in a way that a solo is merited, then by all means, take the stage and steal the limelight. This implies, however, that not every song will become a hit if they all segued into your screeching guitar solo.
2. Pansy Hands
“My hands hurt! My fingers hurt! My wrists hurt!”
Almost all beginner guitarists complain about how continuous playing hurts. Whether they begin with an acoustic guitar or jump ahead to holding an electric one, the whining is sure to come at the very beginning. After all, their hands are still getting used to wielding the guitar.
All this takes some time to get used to. Calluses have to be formed. Wrists have to be strengthened.
Remember, human hands are not meant to rock out. However, with enough time and tenacity, they can be conditioned to become true digits of rock!
1. Guitar God Envy
“Why can’t I sound like my guitar god?!"
Every guitar player has his or her own guitar hero. For sure, a few guitarists have made such an
More avid fans do everything they can to emulate their guitar heroes. They practice their hero’s every song and exercise. They memorize every move their hero makes on stage. They might even buy the same model of guitar.
The truth is, every guitar player has his or her own playing style. No matter how tenacious the effort, nobody will ever sound exactly like Eddie Van Halen or Slash or Joe Satriani. The magic literally lies in their hands.
The run-up to becoming a guitar god, then, shouldn’t be about emulating the chops of guitar gods. It’s about defining your own style and character. That way, you will leave an impression on the one or two fans you have.
It’s not only guitarists that need to improve their craft in order to get noticed. Their band mates such as the drummer has to Play Like A Pro in turn and vocalists should know how to strut their stuff confidently On Stage.