"The day when you pick up a guitar there's nothing coming through whatsoever. There's no new pieces or new ideas. And that's the sort of gift any creative person has. There's always that point when it might happen to you, when you're too old to pick the guitar up. And we're just trying to keep that day far, far away, and out of sight. " - Jimmy Page
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Hey, I've been playing guitar for a bit more than a year, n when I play anything, my thumb bone starts hurting like hell, n then sometimes it doesn't, is that normal?? Btw I'm in my teens
Anonymous

I guess it is kind of normal for not having really played for a long time. From what I read, and know, you’re probably applying too much pressure to your thumb on the neck (assuming we’re talking about your fretting hand). I used to have the same problem from what I can remember usually and especially during barre chords. Either way, I recommend warming up before you start practicing or playing. We tend to overlook warm ups, but it could help. If you’re hurting, try warming up, and applying less pressure to your thumb. If it has anything to do with barre chords, take a break from doing those every once in a while.
You know, what? I do remember having that problem and mine was because of the way I had my hand positioned (warming up the right way will help you eventually), but yeah it was from having to stretch because I was learning new things, and I’d have to stop playing for like a day or hours because my thumb for some reason hurt, but it went away after a while because my hands got used to the stretches and what have you. It could be that, so it goes away.

man I just cant get that f chord, or really any chord that requires any sort of bar, any advice for a beginner?

Aaaaah, barre chords. I still hate them :)

I remember I asked my friend the same thing a long time ago, and I shall pass his wisdom.
For a beginner, your entire hand has to get used to it as long as you’re doing it the right way (which is gonna hurt either way), and the right way is placement. Your thumb is gonna be your support and what you’re basically doing is squeezing your index and thumb between a neck (like you really gotta get your thumb into it). I think that getting that down is the most important because without that you just have a funny sounding chord without the index, or no chord at all if you don’t do it right. I think that’s the best advice I was given starting out with barre chords. Like working on getting your callouses, getting the pressure between your thumb on the neck and your index finger is just something you’re gonna have to work up to, and eventually, it’ll be like doing another chord. Just don’t throw your wrist out practicing it. If your wrist starts hurting, stop unless you don’t wanna play guitar for a couple of days. You can always work on them your next practice session. Barre chords always gonna hurt one way or another, you’re gonna dread them, but once you see all you can do with them, they’ll be worth it.

Hey it's ok to muck up even our favorite musicians mess up from time time, even though I'll admit I'm perfectionist when it comes to my music but it still frustrates everyone , beginner , rock stars , to even me . (This was suppose to make everyone feel better bout practicing issues I hope it helped ?)
Anonymous

Thank you. I’m a perfectionist too and it’s feels ridiculous when I don’t get something right away, but sometimes I remember that even Jimmy Page had to sit down and play things over and over until he got it (idk that could be a myth ;) But that’s a good reminder, thank you. Practice does make perfect. (why do guitarists like Jimmy Page even exist it’s not fair…)

Hey, I've got issues with strum patterns.. I mean so many people seem to just pick up the guitar and know the strum pattern but I don't really know. Do you just listen to the song and slowly depict which one is down and up stroke based on sound? How can so many guitarists know this so easily?
Anonymous

As a guitarist and music nerd, I can probably tell you that we’re all just using the same generic strum pattern if we’re just picking up a song for the first time at least because strum pattern is based on time signature (or at least I’d like to strongly believe). I’m gonna use 21 Guns by Green Day as an example since that was one song I personally had trouble working with the strum pattern. The song is in 4/4 so I used a generic strum pattern so I could get the chords down, but when I listened closer to the song I did have to pay attention to the sound of the stroke. I think 21 Guns is a good example because the acoustic guitar is pretty clear in the first verse where you can hear when he goes up. If you count the strokes you hear 1 2 & and on the & is when he goes up. If you listen to the first verse, and acoustic guitar, I think you’ll hear the difference, but to tell you the truth, as a guitarist, I only sat down and listened to the strum pattern to play it like Billie did. If I just wanted to play along, I would have gone with the generic strum pattern which I found a video (link) that shows you two basic strum patterns for 4/4 time.
Just another example is That Boy by the Beatles where John and George literally use the generic strum pattern for 3/4 time (which is the waltzy sort of feel). The strum pattern for that you can literally count! 1 2 & 3 & 4 5 6 going up on the & you can hear it in Lennon’s guitar because he’s playing rhythm.
I know this looks really long and intricate for lack of a better word, but it’ll come to you like second nature. You just gotta sit down and play with it for a bit, and you’ll get it and eventually not even have to use the generic stuff, you’ll be able to get it by your own ear, I promise.

I hope I was some sort of help, and if you have any other questions, the ask box is always open (even if it regards time signature because that’s probably just gibberish to you idk feel free to ask me about it if you need)

I've recently obtained an acoustic guitar. Many things are coming fairly simply to me, but I am having terrible problems learning how to upstroke. My learner's book tells me I'm only supposed to strum 2-3 strings, while other tutorials say to strum everything.. I am extremely confused! Could you please (simply) explain to me what upstroking is and how and when you do it? Thank you so much!
Anonymous

Well it really depends on the song, but I shall try to explain as simple and best to my abilities:)

What is up stroking- It’s when you strum from the bottom strings up to the top. We use it because it gives a brighter contrasting sound to down stroking

When do you do it- It really depends on the song. I’m gonna use The Beatles for examples since they’re the easiest I guess. If you’re playing rhythm guitar (just chords) like 95% of the time you’ll use all 6 strings or whatever your pick just happens to land on, you don’t have to pay attention to it as long as your pick is going from the bottom to top. Nothing to stress over, it should just come natural with the rhythm . A good example is Yellow Submarine (video) by the Beatles around like :20 he starts up stroking to the rhythm like it’s whatever your pick comes across. It’s just natural motion. NOW a song like Here Comes the Sun (video) is one where they’re being pretty picky on which strings to up stroke to get the brighter, higher sound, and the right note of course.

I really hope I was helpful, if you have anymore questions please feel free to ask, and I’ll try my besterst to help:)

Hey bud, I'm a luthier from Sherbrooke, Quebec. I wanted to see if my fellow followers of your blog (and of course, you) would like me to sent you some tips on basic repairs that'll save a lot of people a lot of money (things like intonation set up, trem stuff, maybe some heavier jobs like fret polishing). I could submit them to you if you choose to do the weekly guitar tips. Let me know! Rob Rambo

Yeah! That’d be amazingly great because heaven knows we could all use those. Let me tell you, when I first got my Les Paul I didn’t know how the Floyd Rose bridge worked so I actually took it into the shop and cost me like $5 to get a string fixed when I could’ve done it at home for free, so yeah, I think we can all agree that, that would be the greatest thing if you sent in tips :D Just wanna say thanks in advanced:)