The Guitar Blog

This is a straight, unfiltered, chronological listing of every blog post ever written by me or by guest contributors. They are the same articles you’ll find in the other categories. If you’re looking for something specific, you might have better luck looking in one of these categories:

Guitar Care  |  Product Reviews  |  Advice & Insights  |  Guitar Lessons & Theory

When a guitar string won't intonate

Why That ONE Guitar String Just Won’t Intonate

“I’ve moved my saddle is as far forward/backward as it can possibly go, but the stupid string will not intonate!” If this is you, you’re in the right place. This article is for those of you who already know what intonation is and how to set it on your guitar, but you just can’t get […]

Lauren Passarelli

Interview: Lauren Passarelli Answers YOUR Guitar Questions

This week we’re joined by Lauren Passarelli, a guitar professor at the Berklee College of Music since 1984, JamPlay.com instructor, and author of two Kindle ebooks: Guitar Insights (minor tweaks, major results) and Guitar Insights, Myths and What Matters. Lauren is also a Beatles’ expert, performer, songwriter, recording engineer, record producer, and the list goes […]

Flying with a guitar (as checked baggage)

Flying With a Guitar as Checked Baggage

Greg Asks: “I was wondering if you had any suggestions for flying with my guitar if it is not allowed to be carried on the plane.” Hi Greg! Even though there’s a law that allows musical instruments on flights, it doesn’t mean air crew have to let you take your guitar into the cabin. Just […]

5 Reasons to Pick Up a Guitar

5 Reasons to Pick Up a Guitar

Many people wish they could play a musical instrument, but just never seem to get around to it. Some of you may even think you’re too old to start learning. Of all the instruments out there, the guitar has got to be one of the most accessible. It’s also relatively easy to get started with. It […]

Sharp Frets Suck

Reader Question: My Guitar Has Sharp Fret Ends. Should I File Them?

Bob Asks: “My electric guitar’s fretboard is very dry, so the fret-ends have started protruding and feel sharp. What should I do? Should I buy a fret file and file them down? Will oiling the fretboard with F-One oil fix the issue?” Hi Bob: First, when it comes to sharp frets, I never recommend immediately […]

What One Piece of Gear Would You Love to Have?

Community Discussion: What One Piece of Music Gear Would You Love to Have?

I’d like to do something a little different and fun this week: a community discussion topic. In the comments at the bottom of this page, I’d love for you to tell me/us: If money & circumstances were no object, what ONE piece of music gear would you love to have, and why? A few basic (but […]

9 More Mistakes Made by New Guitar Owners

9 More Common Mistakes Made by New Guitar Owners

Awhile back, I wrote an article titled 11 Common Mistakes Made by New Guitar Owners. Wouldn’t ya know it, as soon as I published that article a bunch of other “common mistakes” started coming to me–things I’d completely forgotten about. So, let’s dive in! These aren’t in any particular order… 1. When changing strings, taking all the […]

6 Ways Guitarists Can Reduce Hand and Finger Pain

6 Ways Guitarists Can Reduce Hand and Finger Pain

In my previous blog post I talked about switching to ultra-light guitar strings to help alleviate finger and hand pain. That sparked a number of emails from readers asking if I have any other hand-saving tips. In fact, yes, there’s a lot more that you can do to make playing guitar less painful. I’m not a […]

Got Sore Fingers From Playing Guitar? Don't Give Up. Lighten Up!

Fingers Sore From Playing Guitar? Don’t Give Up. Lighten Up!

Got sore fingers from playing guitar? You’re not alone. No one wants to feel pain when they play guitar. It sucks. But for new guitar players, sore fingertips can be pretty demotivating. In fact, I’ve met people who quit (guitar) after just a few months of trying, simply because the pain was too great. There’s […]

Guitar Neglect: If You're Not Gonna Play It...

Guitar Neglect: If You’re Not Gonna Play It…

Recently, we decided to escape the summer heat for awhile by heading north to Flagstaff, AZ with the dog for the weekend. It’s much cooler up there, and Flagstaff is also home to the Lowell Observatory, Northern Arizona University, and a few good microbreweries, restaurants, etc. Pair all that with the fresh mountain air and nature and, […]

How I Backpacked With a Guitar and Made Money

How I Backpacked With a Guitar and Made Money

I’ve always been a guitar lover, but until a year ago, I never would have thought I could travel around the world with my guitar and make money. For the past five years, I had been a corporate robot and decided that I wasn’t getting any younger. I wanted to see the world and have […]

Should you loosen guitar strings before shipping?

Reader Question: Should You Loosen Guitar Strings Before Shipping?

Markus asks: I just sold a guitar and need to ship it. Should I loosen the strings before I pack it up for shipping? Ever so often, this question comes to me–usually from someone who just sold a guitar online, and is about to pack ‘er up for shipping. There’s a lot of debate out there about […]

7 Simple Mistakes Self-Taught Guitarists Make - and How to Fix Them

7 Simple Mistakes That Self-Taught Guitarists Make – And How to Fix Them

Being a guitar instructor means I often get to witness novice players doing some pretty weird things. I don’t mean pig’s blood and a chicken foot type weird–I mean “where on earth did you get that” kind of weird. Many of these errors in a guitarist’s technique or conceptual understanding come about by a simple […]

The very basics of music theory for guitarists

The Very Basics of Music Theory for Guitarists

Learning music theory is less common with guitar than it is with other instruments. It’s absolutely possible for guitarists to reach extremely advanced technical ability levels while knowing next to nothing about music theory.  However, for a working musician it’s an essential skill. Transcribing your songs, using music software, teaching, professional composing, or directing the Philharmonic […]

8 Mistakes Guitar Players Make That Cause String Buzz

8 Mistakes Guitar Players Make That Cause String Buzz

“Why are my guitar strings buzzing!?” It’s one of the most common questions I’m asked by concerned guitar owners. People’s reaction to guitar string buzz varies widely. For some it’s not a concern at all or they simply don’t notice it. For others, however, it can be maddening–to the point that they can’t focus on just […]

Playing Guitar Despite Physical Limitations

Do It Different: Playing Guitar Despite Physical Limitations

I’m probably the least-qualified person to be writing this post. When I was born on April 23rd, I popped out with 2 arms, 2 legs, 10 fingers, 10 toes, etc. All the parts were there and that gray thing inside my skull seemed okay too (this part is still up for debate). So, it was no […]

Is lemon oil safe for guitar fretboards?

The Great Lemon Oil Debate. Is Lemon Oil Safe for Guitar Fretboards?

Search Google with a phrase like “is lemon oil safe for guitars” and then click on any of the search results that lead to a guitar discussion forum. Prepare yourself for some fireworks. The discussion usually looks something like this… Guitarist 1: “Hey guys. I’ve heard from some people that lemon oil is great for […]