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GuitaroJam Learning Centre > Guitar Basics


       Guitar Basics

Buying A Guitar

You will find the articles below chock full of information, tips and advice on what to look out for and what to avoid when buying a guitar.

  • Choosing A Guitar That Suits You Best
    When it comes to choosing the right guitar for you, the most important point to keep in mind is - what sort of music are you looking at playing? Valuable tips on choosing the right guitar from Chris Elmore at Guitar Tips Online.

  • Which Guitar To Learn On?
    f you don't know which type of guitar you want to play on, ask yourself, 'what kind of music do I want to play?  This very helpful article from Ben Edwards at Jamorama.
  • Buying A Guitar - Do You Know What To Look For?
    Buying a guitar is an important decision that Kathy Unruh's guitar students have often asked her about. This comprehensive article covers seven important questions to ask yourself about your guitar playing and the guitar you are about to purchase.

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Guitar Care

Once you own a guitar, one of the most important things you'll need to know is how to take care of it properly.  The articles below provide great information about caring for your guitar, including the importance of a carry case, cleaning, and the effect of humidity & temperature.

  • Guitar Care
    An informative article from Andrew Koblick at Amazing Guitar providing 10 great suggestions and tips for taking care of your guitar. 
  • Pack Up My Old Guitar
    Expert tips and advice about guitar care and maintenance from luthier Frank Ford at  This article emphasises strategies for coping with the dreaded "airline baggage holders" when travelling with yoiur guitar.  Includes great photographs.
  • Clean Up Your Axe
    Another excellent article about cleaning your guitar from Frank Ford at Includes a lot of detail and large photographs.

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Tuning Your Guitar

Instructions and articles from the experts to help you master the art of tuning your guitar.

  • How To Tune A Guitar
    Tuning your guitar is something you get better at with practice. It takes time to develop your ears to the point that you are able to fine-tune your instrument.  This informative article from our friends at Guitar Alliance will help you master the art of guitar tuning. 
  • Being In Tune: It Can Make You Or Break Your Guitar Playing.
    This Guitar Alliance article discusses the distinction between relative and absolute tuning, as well as the impact that being in tune (or not!) can have on the standard of your guitar playing and your improvement and development as a guitarist.
  • Drop D Tuning For Guitar
    Instruction on Drop D tuning which has become popular of late.  In drop D tuning the low E string is tuned down one whole step to D. This enables the guitarist to play power chords with a single finger. This article from Guitar Alliance explains how to achieve it.

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Changing Guitar Strings

Instructions and articles from the experts to help you easily re-string your own guitar.

  • A Beginners Look At Strings
    Excellent article from the wonderful Frank Ford at  Includes photographs and extra tips from this expert luthier.
  • How To Change Guitar Strings
    There are thousands of types of guitars and many of them need different methods of changing strings. Use this very good guide from Guitar Alliance for instructions on changing your guitar strings.
  • Stringing and Cleaning Your Guitar
    Comprehensive instructions for stringing and cleaning your guitar from Frank Ford at  Large detailed photographs and many other tips included in these Guitar Owner Manuals.

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Guitar Troubleshooting and Repair

The instructions and advice below will help identify structural problems with your guitar, as well as adjustments to set-up and playability.  These articles are from the wonderful Frank Ford at, who stresses that he is a luthier, not a web designer!  The pages include large photographs which may take a while to load, but you'll find the wait well worth while.

  • Identifying Cracks
    Guitarists are aware that cracks in your guitar are never a good thing, and that most of the time they should be repaired and/or reinforced. But the first question is, "Do you think it goes all the way through?" The presumption is that if the crack is only in the finish of the guitar, then it never needs to be repaired to maintain structural integrity.

  • Buzz Diagnosis - The Big Buzz List
    long list of thirty or so causes for the various buzzing noises on your guitar.  Also includes adjustments and solutions for returning your guitar to "no-buzz" status.
  • Fixing Stripped Wood Screws
    Almost all guitar tuners, truss rod covers and lots of guitar parts are fastened with really teeny screws.  In this article, Frank Ford illustrates how to fill and correct the small screw holes that have become stripped by over tightening.
  • Checking Neck Angle
    With time and the relentless pull of the strings, a flattop guitar is bound to undergo some changes. Slowly, the body changes shape. Not unlike some of us old guitar pickers, the instrument begins to show its age. The belly starts to protrude a little, the shoulders bend, and the neck pulls forward a bit. Are you relating to Frank's analogy already!?!
  • Tune Up Your Gears
    If it moves, OIL it. Not a bad recommendation for all open geared guitar tuners. Frank Ford says he sees more damage done to open guitar tuners by lack of lubrication than all other causes combined.
  • Troubleshooting and Repair Index
    Check out the entire Troubleshooting and Repair Index at Acoustic Guitar Owners' Manual.  Covering an enormous range of topics, you are sure to find the answer to your guitar repair issues here.

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Luthiers' Resources

Resources and links for luthiers from Frank Ford at

  • Luthier Technical Q & A
    Specifically for luthiers and the technically minded guitarist, this comprehensive list of topics includes frequently asked questions and specific problem solving.  Responses by master luthier Frank Ford and a panel of five expert luthiers.
  • Luthier Resources
    Tips, advice, links and information about parts, materials, repairs, structural issues, finishing, woods, etc. As well as the guitar, covers resources for the banjo, ukulele, harp and mandolin.

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