The frequently asked questions while playing guitar

The-frequently-asked-questions-while-playing-guitar-featureIf you are a beginner, you should read this article. This is the summary of the questions frequently asked by beginners. It would be an extremely long article. Using the catalog if you are looking for answers to your questions immediately.

Q1. Do I need to have long nails if I play Guitar?

This topic can not find the exact answer. However, if you do not know which to choose, you should leave your nails a little longer than the fingertip, the guitar sound will both be hard and warm of the fingertip and finger nails. And during the exercises, each will create their own style to have their nails long or short.

For centuries, the issue of whether or not to have long nails when playing Guitar had been lively discussed by guitarists and it still seemed not to have the most accurate answer.

First, we have to confirm that these are the two schools in which there were the presences of the grand masters


  • When playing guitar is there any need to have long nails?
  • Can we play guitar if we do not have long nails?
  • If we have long nails when playing Guitar what the sound will be like?
  • If we do not have long nails when playing Guitar what the sound will be like?
  • Is it better to have nails or not have nails?
  • If so, what do we have to notice when having long nails while playing Guitar and are there any difficulties or restrictions?

…….These are questions that Solguitar receive regularly from the beginners friends, so this article we will seek answers to this problem.

There is no basis to assert that if we do not have long nails, we can not play guitar, and vice versa.

It is difficult to give precise answers to the problem of whether or not to have long nails, the fact is that to have long nails or not depends a lot on personal preference of each person. There is no basis to assert that if we do not have long nails, we can not play guitar, and vice versa.

Therefore the first thing that we want to send to you: You do not need to have long nails, you can still play Guitar whether it is Classic or Acoustic Guitar. A friend that has nickname DuckDonald on guitarpro shared:

These 2 years I did tremolo such as Italian Folk, Song of hope, etc. I never have long nails, and still play normally. I also saw many famous guitar artists do not have long nails. So it may be only a habit or hobby

You should not be too dependent on the nails while playing Guitar!

How do famous guitar artists have their nails when playing the guitar?


  • Fernando Sor and Mauro Giuliani did not have long nails while playing Guitar
  • Tarrega had long nails playing guitar but in the final years of his life, he did not have long nails when play guitar anymore.
  • Segovia – very famous and has become the “standard” for many people in the world when playing guitar. Segovia had nails while playing Guitar and urged people to follow. Segovia called those who do not follow his ways as “an idiot”.
  • In the world of finger style, Doyle Dykes, Pete Huttlinger, Clive Carroll – also had nails while playing Guitar. All of them are great!
  • Tommy Emmanuel, Joe Robinson, Michael Fix did not leave long nails when they play Guitar and they are also amazing Guitar players.
The interesting point here is: Virtuoso Pepe Romero encouraged anyone who were training classic guitar should not leave nails in at least the first year. Feeling directly by fingers on the strings will help you understand the basics to create a sound, or even if you choose to play with nails afterwards.

It can be said: This topic can not find the exact answer. However, if you do not know which to choose, you should leave your nails a little longer than the fingertip, the guitar sound will both be hard and warm. And during the exercises, each will create their own style to have their nails long or short of the fingertip and finger nails.

If you do not know which to choose, you should leave your nails a little longer than the fingertip, the guitar sound will both be hard and warm of the fingertip and finger nails.

Advantages and limitations of each selection

Before deciding to have long nails or not, Solguitar learn advantages – disadvantages of each choice: To have long nails or not, we have to compare the good and bad aspects between two ways. Then you can choose a way that suits you. First, we have to confirm that these are the two schools in which there were the presences of the grand masters.

No nails:

  • Advantages: easy to get full, clear guitar sound, and easier to play because you just put the strings in between the fingers and play and you will have a sound.
  • Limitations: difficult to play the sound which is known as Fortissimo (very hard), if you have no strong technique and experience, you just can change the timbre a little bit, which has been the strength of the guitar.

Have nails:

  • Advantages: strong guitar sound, rich timbre
  • Limitations: If you are not familiar with playing, you will find it harder because you have to let the strings touch your flesh on the fingertips before touching the nails to avoid the noise caused by the strings hit the nails directly, so it is more complicated. The biggest drawback is that you have to frequently care and preserve your nails to make the guitar sounds like you wanted.

Solguitar has met many cases where classical Guitar artists had to cancel the performing contracts due to a broken nail. This is an unexpected problem but if you do encounter this case, it seems that you are too dependent on the nail while playing Guitar.

Not confident enough to play guitar when you have no long nails. This should not happen and you should train to play when you have no long nails to be able to easily manage if something goes wrong. Hope you have a reasonable choice!

Q2. Learning Guitar: Short fingers can not play chords?

Going around the self-learning forum Guitar, singing along club, Guitar club, etc Solguitar often see the questions such as:

Hi everyone, can people with short fingers can play Guitar or not?
I wonder if my fingers were short it is extremely difficult for me to play chord, I want to give up


I am too bad so I want to give up the passion, I see my hands are unlike other people’s hands, the fingers are fat, short, soft and can not stretch out
I am getting old, I train forever but the little finger is inflexible, do not know if it Is because of my little finger is too short?

  • So short fingers are to reason that you can not press Gam?
  • Short and fat fingers are the cause for my non-standard Guitar skill?
  • Are short fingers are the reason that I am unable to get from this board to the other board?
  • Are short fingers the reason why my hands are not flexible and versatile?
  • …………………………

In fact, if you learn a little about the guitar in the clip you will see: Short fingers Short have never been the reason for your difficulty to press Gam, move chords slowly or not flexible. Do not “blame” that your fingers are short, so I can not play guitar. If short, fat fingers are really the reasons, you will never see many 3-6 year-old children play guitar so skillful.

The main cause for the inability to press chords, move chords slowly, and not flexible … is because you have not practiced the right method or you may not spend a lot of time to practice stretching and splitting fingers. A nickname called “nhantranda” share:

my hands are very short. In the past, pressing chords discourage me a lot. But gradually you just practice. As I played for almost 3 months and then can move chord well (of course I play singing along guitar for fun only) Many little kids were playing guitar, so I think that it is not because of short fingers. Furthermore I recommend you to attend one basic Guitar course. I am also following a basic course that I can learn many things too.

The best way to end this situation is training hard to not be “sticky fingers”, with special attention to the warm up exercises. The purpose of this is to relax arm muscle, knuckles, to limit injury and fingers to be independent of each other. Here are a few small exercises to help promote this process faster, you can view and practice any time you want (especially before playing Guitar).

Q3. Should we buy cheap guitar for beginners?

One of the first challenges when you decide to learn guitar is pick yourself a guitar accordingly. In addition to thinking about what you like, like how to play the guitar, acoustic, classic, electric guitar… How much you should spend is also not an easy question. In this article, Solguitar will discuss with you about whether to choose cheap guitar for beginners or not.

All the content we share with you below are the personal views of the writer, hoping it will help you somewhat in finding your first Guitar.

This is a hot topic and there are so many different opinions about the guitar price. Some people think: Beginners should use the cheapest guitar, it will be a good choice, especially for young children because we do not know whether they continue to practice or not, cheap Guitar will help you avoid waste and prevent unnecessary spending. But is this really a wise and logical choice?

To answer this question you try to put yourself in this case: You are teaching the child to memorize the alphabet and have 2 options.

One is to buy the normal alphabet type, no texture, no color, no picture, no sound …

Two is buying alphabet puzzle types, with colors, eye-catching, fun and more pictures and it can read aloud when they choose the right word. Definitely different price, but what do you think they will prefer which one of the alphabet? Which alphabet board will help kids to earn knowledge more receptive? They will learn by playing with which alphabet board longer? …

If you have finished answering questions on the situation that we made above, make sure that you will understand why we believe you should not buy cheap guitar for beginners. Instead of thinking about guitar price, think of the harmonious, interesting, charismatic sound and experiences that players will get together with a Guitar later.

Most of the cheap guitars can cause many problems for you during practicing.

Why is cheap guitar not a right choice for a beginner?

1. Difficult to play, easy to mistakenly buy guitar with errors.

First and foremost is that most cheap guitars can cause many problems for you during practicing. The most common error is the action Guitar or the distance between the strings and the fret board is too high. If you buy the guitar under $ 50, it is very easy to have the above error.

The main reason why cheap guitar is prone to make errors because the material is not processed well or the specifications and design of the guitar is not true. This is why we recommend that you do not buy cheap or too cheap guitar. Poor play also means it is harder to play the chords – especially with new people. Such as when you play barre chords (6 strings should be pressed down at the same time):

  • If you play the guitar well, with no fault, then pressing the chords or moving chords will very easy.
  • If you play on a cheap guitar, it is likely to be hard to press the chord. Sores on fingers, wrist and forearm will be more frequent, those will be what you will experience when playing on a poor quality guitar.

You need to know: A person is only beginning to become familiar with the guitar, it is important that the instrument should bring the interesting and attractive experience for them, it will be more challenging and difficult with the cheaper guitar.

Note: Not all cheap guitars are not good because of low quality because it depends on what extent, what markets and what the class of brand.

2. Poor sound quality, easy to affect other devices

Cheap Guitars are like cheap electronic devices, the common point here is the sound quality is not good. If you play on a cheap guitar that has bad quality, when you plug into a sound system such as an amplifier or PA system => the output audio can not be good. This means: If you are playing in a band at school, church or any other places and you want to go further, you should pay special attention to the sound quality of the guitar rather than the price.

3. Your ability to feel the sound will hardly develop if you play on a disqualified guitar.

The next thing that could be harmful of using substandard guitar that is undermining your ability to sense sound from the beginning. Awful sound of the guitar will influence you, as if you are just beginning to learn a language (namely English pronunciation, if you mispronounced words from the start and it will be remembered deeply in your brain, later your hearing ability will be affected and you can not understand the way native speakers talk because your brain does not find a word like that).

The sound will be the same, you will not likely to feel the sound well if the original sound you have encountered is non-standard audio, the ability to feel in the future will be more difficult to correct.

Because of the disqualification of sound and technical, therefore cheap guitars make beginners do feel that why they play right but the sound is not right at all. From there, you thought that you did not have the talent to play the guitar but in fact the problem is not located in you but in the guitar you are using.

Q4. If a girl want to play guitar, would her hands will be rough or not?

Question: “Hi Solguitar. I am in grade 11 and would love to play the guitar but in my school, you can not find any girls play guitar at all, only the boys play. Some guys in the class told me that if the girl plays Guitar, she will have very bad hands, has a rough and a hand full of calluses. Girls should only play violin, organ or piano. Please ad, can you help me answer the questions should I practice guitar? Girls who play Guitar get rough hands or not? I’m afraid practicing Guitar long enough, my boyfriend did not dare to hold my hands.”


Taylor Swift – The princess of country music and is also one of the Ultimate Guitar player.

Answer: Hello, thank you for your trust.

During the consultation process, Solguitar received a lot of questions: “Girls should play guitar or not,” but till today that I have time to write a new post about your answer. This question is similar to:

  • “Girls Should learn material arts or not?”
  • “Girls Should practice Hiphop dancing or not?”
  • “Girls should take contest in the police force or not?”
  • or “Girls should play drums or not?” …

To answer such questions just to ask you doctor “Google”: “A girl who play Guitar well” or “Good female police” or “The Ultimate girl Hiphop dancer” … you can see a series of articles and videos for your reference.

Next, you ask yourself whether you want to become the good girl like that and do you have a passion for musical instruments like that? We can not give advice exactly like, you should study this subject or should play this instrument because Solguitar is not you and only you know that you have passion for it or not.

Solguitar can only recommend:

Just choose, and pursue what you like, make the right decision so that every time you touch the instrument you are always in the mood of cheerful and comfortable. Do not go for the common things or try to please everyone.

Guitar is not for girls, girls should play Violin and Piano to be more feminine?

The first thing Solguitar want to tell you is: Art is not divided into male or female. Whether piano or guitar, the rate of participation depends on the passion and conditions of the players, regardless of the gender. You can find a lot of good guys playing guitar – it does not mean guitar only for boys and vice versa. Guitar as well as all the other instruments do not discriminated any players’ gender or ages.

Such that on the forums that discuss about the girls play guitar, Solguitar had read a lot of comments like this one of “Trung Le”: “What I like most is to look at girls playing guitar.” or the one have the nickname “wildwind242” share “Hoang Anh found it okay to see girls play guitar, not only cute, but also good at playing guitars, every boy will love”. Therefore, you girls should be comfortable. Because in the eyes of boys, the girls who play Guitar are very cute and endearing.

Is it difficult for girls to learn guitar?

No subject is difficult if you persevere, love and can find the right method. Guitar is like that too; we could not confirm that Guitar is easy or difficult to learn because everyone has different learning purposes.

The first important issue for learning guitar is passion and patience. Other musical instruments are the same; if you learn from other people arrangements grudgingly, you will never get results. Only when you really love to play, then you should be able to breath with musical instruments. The second thing is that you must be very patient. Learning guitar, learning piano or any musical instruments in general, the first step will be difficult, just patiently passed the first stage, you will find that you can do everything.

Be confident to express yourself when you hold the Guitar, girls. Guitar is not too hard to pick a master, just love “it” a little as she will be with you only.

Girls who learn guitar will not be gentle and feminine?

If you think girls who learn Guitar can not be gentle and feminine, then read a comment of a man nicknamed “rasg_alz_tre”: “I do not care much, but a girl who plays the piano is looking elegant, but if she plays Guitar, she will look glamorous as Teomax – I loved her right from the first guitar sounds”.

That’s it! Who said that the girls who learn Guitar would not be gentle, feminine? Anyway, it is depending on the style of each person. If you choose your personality style to be in a pair of jeans and a pullover, it will attract more gazes from boys. If you choose to be in style as a lady with a dress besides a Guitar, I am sure the boys will forget their way. 🙂

The girls who Guitar will have very rough and not pretty hands.

There is a small part of girls who fear: “Learning guitar makes your hands look very rough” and do not dare or hesitate to buy the guitar and enroll in a class. But in fact there will never have something like a girl with beautiful hands, and her hands will be ugly after learning guitar. Actually, there are only tiny calluses on the fingers that all guitar players had (if you exercise correctly and have become a good guitar player). Remember that there will only be a small portion of calluses where the fingers contact with the strings, not all the hands’.

So, girls

Get rid of the obsession with “Play Guitar will have bad hand” or “Play Guitar will not bring you feminine or charm” out of your head now. Play what you like and like what you play so that each moment passes will bring many interesting things.

Q5. Tips to handle calluses on hands of guitar beginners

In the process of advice for guitar students, Solguitar ran into very common questions on the issue when the new students have calluses on their hands. The most common question is: “How to release painful feeling by calluses on hands” and “How to make calluses form fastest on hands?“.

Some of you have not practiced guitar ever also wonder: “I watch movies and saw some good guitar players often do not have calluses on hands at all” or “How to not forming calluses on fingers while playing Guitar? ” … This is probably the “obsession” with the majority of those who had ever intended to play Guitar. This article Solguitar will tell you some tips for handling calluses on hands while playing guitar.

The first thing we want to share with you is this:

Pain and calluses on hands are two problems you must go through during training. Whoever you are, no matter what age you are, whether you play guitar, you can not prevent these 2 issues. So you need to face and overcome it as perhaps it can help you play the guitar better.

Second thing:

There is no way for you to not have calluses when playing Guitar. If you do have to ask how to no longer have calluses, there is just 1 way, which is to stop playing Guitar.

The effects of hand calluses when you play Guitar

Surely most of you are aware of motorcyclists, right? During ride training (especially manual bike) your hands will form painful calluses on them. But if you learn to ride regularly, the pain will be no more, and calluses will also be harder and your skill will be better. Playing guitar is the same, calluses on fingers help you play longer and better.

In fact calluses on hands of Guitar playing is a formation of scar tissue in a position where your skin is friction, when forces repeated strongly. Calluses thicken in response to the forces of friction of this press. Calluses are formed gradually, over a certain period of time and may be painful if you train regularly.

It works to increase efficiency and speed while playing guitar, allowing you to play longer and better. We can say calluses on fingers are your battle scars, it demonstrates efforts as well as technical training of an artist playing Guitar.


Shorter nails will help calluses formed faster

Hand calluses formation – not simple

The most effective way for the quick formation of calluses on hands is practicing. However, continuous training is not a good solution. Under 3hour/ day would be the ideal time to review for Guitar beginners. If you try to play continuously for many hours / days, calluses will not form but instead are the blisters or cuts on the fingers. These are two factors that make you unable to keep playing Guitar and slow down the process of forming the calluses on hands, so do not play too much.

What you need to do is play the guitar in a short period, many times a day and many times a week. You will feel burning or peeling fingertips at first, but you will go through fast if you know how to split training time. When the fingers are sore, you should rest a bit but should maintain Guitar practice daily, even just a few minutes. As long as you continue to play in a technically correct way, the calluses will harden faster and you will never have to worry about sore fingers again.


Practice to press strings more frequently will increase your hands’ flexibility and make the calluses to form faster.

Tips to reduce pain and calluses formed faster on hands

Here are a few other tips, hoping to help your fingers to form scar tissues faster. Remember that even though these methods may be useful to develop a quick calluses formation that less painful but nothing beats regular exercise.

  • Do manicure as standard way to play Guitar: It will be much simpler if your finger nails is cut shorter. Long nails not only make it difficult to form calluses, it also can directly affect the guitar sound.
  • Choose the right strings for your Guitar: Guitar strings are products available with lots of different sizes. The thinner and lighter strings are the easier to play than the average and heavy strings. You can select the type of light strings to practice slowly, or choose the heavy to practice faster. The decision depends on you.
  • Check Action of the guitar: Action on a Guitar is the distance of space between keys and strings. The strings on a guitar with a higher action will stretch more and are more difficult to press than the other guitars. Please adjust if you feel uncomfortable and check carefully before buying guitar at retail stores.
  • Should practice on steel strings Guitar instead of Electric Guitar. Some of you believe that playing steel strings Guitar is easier than electric guitar, but the truth is the opposite. Electric guitars are generally the easiest type to play: the thinner strings, the “action” is low so that they are easier to press down. But if you play steel string Acoustic Guitar, it would be more difficult and more painful for the fingers.
  • Practice pressing as much as possible. Beginners often feel difficult to press and run the gamut. Relax your fingers and press down hard enough just to make sure the strings touch the keys. Ascending forces press and practice the exercises to increase flexibility of the fingers. Should press just enough, do not press too hard, because sufficient press will help you get a clean sound, not too loud or too small. Pressing too hard will not help you speed up playing and did not really sound good. The most dangerous thing is an inflammation of hand muscles, tendinitis when you play Guitar overwhelming. This inflammation can force you to stop playing guitar until you fully recover (probably 1 weeks or 1 months). Such a long time that the calluses will be lost and then you have to start again from scratch.


Do not practice guitar when hands are wet

  • Do not play guitar when your hands are wet or still just wash your hands: the calluses will soften on your hands when it expose to water, such as washing dishes, swimming, bathing, or as soon as you apply hand lotion. Playing guitar when hands are wet will cause the calluses to disappear quickly. Therefore, you should wait until your hands are dry and calluses are hard enough then you can play Guitar. With girls who play Guitar, use rubber gloves when washing dishes so as not to lose the calluses.
  • Do not shave your hard calluses when they start to form. This is a mistake that many beginners have. The majority of calluses that you usually soak in water to soften hands and pry out or peel away the calluses on hands. This will cause burning and you will lose more time for fingers to not feeling hurt to be able to play Guitar.
  • Release fingers from pain while practicing Guitar: Numbness, pain, burning, sensation … are things you have to face. Some material may help reduce pain as apple cider vinegar – this is a measure to redress the painful sunburn, and sore throat. Just soak your hands in apple cider vinegar for 30 seconds before and after playing is enough. Certainly it will help you ease your pain very much. The products containing the local anesthetic benzocaine creams – curing toothache can also be applied before and after playing.
  • Use of alcohol (wine): A small tip that Eric Clapton shared is that rub your 2 hands 2-3 times / day with alcohol (maintain them in a week or two) it will definitely make calluses form faster – especially for beginners or any one who did not play guitar for a while. Alcohol will dry out the skin and make faster formation of calluses. It is best to wipe your hands with a cotton cloth soaked in alcohol, or use alcohol wipes, which medical care providers use to clean your skin. These products are available in most drugstores.

To be continued…

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