Common Chords Guitar - What Are Guitarists Playing The Most?

If you're looking to acquire skills and that are common to most guitarists like learning common guitar chords, you're thinking on the right track. With millions of songs out there, having a knowledge of the most common chords that guitarists use will open the door to the majority of those songs.

Deciding what the most common guitar chords used is kind of relative. I mean, you can't really take a poll or anything because new songs are being created every single day. So, here's a short list of what I personally think are the most common. Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion as well.

What are they? (in my opinion)

The Chords: 'C', 'D', 'A', 'Am', 'E', 'Em', 'G', and 'F'


Even you're not that proficient at forming chords just yet, you'll need to practice up. Even though these are common guitar chords, orienting and reorienting three or even four fingers is common.

What are some songs these are in?

These common guitar chords are used in tons of classic rock and acoustic guitar tunes. If you're trying to find them in metal or hardcore song, try again.

Just a few songs and bands that use common guitar chords:
  • Most songs by AC/DC including "Back in Black" and "Shook Me All Night Long"
  • Tom Petty songs including "Mary Jane's Last Dance"
  • Green Day's "Good Riddance"
  • Oasis's "Wonderwall" (chord variations are used)
  • Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love"
Again, these are just a few, but do some study and find what songs are easy to play with these chords and you might be able to get away with a small set without learning too many more.

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Learn Speed Guitar Techniques

As much as you might search for speed guitar techniques to increase your playing speed, it's actually kind of hard to find for free. I mean, there's a few little hints here and there about getting faster and getting more speed, but finding the proper technique without forking over some dough is tough.

That's why it's always fascinated me when I would view some of my close friends in my age group (20-25) who can shred like nobody's business. Their technique and speed on the guitar is absolutely amazing and they always say, "Um, yea... I taught myself."

I don't know about you, but I find that amazing.

It's rare when people actually have the drive within them to reach new levels with their skills and abilities, and learning new techniques to improve your speed on the guitar is the same way.

Here's an articles that I recently wrote about gaining more speed on the guitar:

Speed Guitar Techniques - Playing To A Faster Speed With Easy Tips

And I want you to know that a lot of what I've gathered in this article is from observation and being able to pry some information from fast guitarists that I know about their personal speed guitar techniques.

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How To Guitar Play - Important Tips For Beginning Guitarists
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Guitar Whip - Doing Guitar Swings The Right Way

If you've been to any sort of punk rock or post-hardcore show within the last 10 years, you've probably seen someone perform a guitar whip. There really isn't that much too it to be honest. Seriously, here are the steps:
  1. Take hold of your guitar.
  2. Throw it over your shoulder.
  3. Have it land in the starting position.
Now, when you read that guitar whip process, it might sound easy, but SO much can go wrong. haha I'll bet that you've seen a guitar whip completely bomb at one time or another as well. I know that I have.

That's because there are a few safety precautions and tips that you should follow if you're actually attempting this seriously dangerous action. (As you can tell, I'm kind of anti-guitar whip)

But here are some tips on attempting to complete a guitar whip safely:

* You need a locking guitar strap and a strap lock to install into your guitar.

I actually have a post on Locking Guitar Straps where I mention their use. But this allows you to keep your strap on the guitar when a lot of pressure is applied like the force of whipping the guitar over your shoulder.

* Start by practicing outside.

Really, you don't want to bang your guitar's neck off of your dresser or the couch, so just go where there's nothing to hit. Whip that thing around in the middle of your back yard where there's nothing to worry about but some soft grass.

Yea, you might look like a weirdo, but you won't damage your furniture.

* Stand up straight. Never slouch.

Leaning over by only a few inches can mean the difference between a safe guitar and broken one. You lean over 4 inches and you might see that guitar neck pile-driving right into the ground. My point = stand up as straight as you can when doing it.

* There are two ways to go.

Imagining that you're standing there with your guitar on the strap, on your shoulder (assuming you don't have a left-handed guitar) the most common way I've observed guitarists throwing their instrument is by pushing the bottom with their right hand across and up over the front of the body, behind the back, and back into the starting position.

This direction is OK for light instruments only! You'll know if you have a light guitar. Fender-style guitars that are easy to move around with are fine for that direction.

Now, the other direction that is executed by placing both hands on the guitar neck. Put your right hand where the body of the guitar meets the neck and the left hand farther up on the fret board.

Actually bring the guitar up higher across your front so you can get some momentum, then push downwards to force the guitar underneath your right arm pit, up behind your back, over your left shoulder, and back to the starting position.

So why is this way so much better for heavier guitars?

Well actually, going across the front is fighting the weight balance of your guitar. By going behind your back instead of across the front first, you can use the weight of the guitar body to guide your whip in a smoother and faster motion.

Watch out though. I've seen more than one guy take a heavy guitar like a Les Paul, swing it behind his back only for it to come and nail him in the back of the head. Which brings us to our next tip...

* When whipping the guitar reversely under the arm pit, watch your head!

You might nail yourself pretty hard if you're not being mindful where the path of your guitar is headed. Either keep your head down or guide your swing into a broader path that is more likely to miss your noggin.

I've mentioned before that I really don't condone the guitar whip. I think that it's a great thrill to watch, but I just can't get myself to put my dear guitar into that sort of peril.

Maybe when the day comes that I can afford to trash anything I want knowing that I can replace it the next day, I might have a new opinion. Until then, I'll keep the guitar whips to the braver guys.

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Fast Electric Guitar

There usually comes a point when a guitarist tires of learning the same old boring chords and scales and just wants their electric guitar to I mean, learning to play fast electric guitar has its advantages of course.
  • Bands will recognize you as a marketable musician. (making you more valuable)
  • Improvement on your skills appears quicker.
  • You'll have more confidence learning new guitar tunes.
  • Depending on your band, you could potentially change the whole song creation process.
Seriously, I look at a good fast electric guitarist with awe and just think, "holy cow." It's a good goal to have, and all you need is some patience and a little bit of practice each day.

Check out this new article that I wrote on the subject of learning to play Fast Electric Guitar.

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How Palm Mute - Learning To Control The String Vibration

How to palm-mute strings on the guitar is a very standard skill that every beginning guitarist should know since it's so fundamental in its inclusion of most guitar tunes. As fundamental as it might appear however, how to use palm-muting efficiently and tastefully might be a little harder to grasp than the actual execution.

I don't think there are hardly any tunes created recently where palm-muting hasn't been used. It's a very popular skill to fit into any song, and lucky for you, palm-muting is not difficult learning how to do it.

What is guitar palm-muting?

Palm-muting is the idea of using your strumming hand to strike the strings on the guitar while preventing a full vibration at the same time. It's a very distinct sound how the strings create a short staccato-like hit when used with an electric guitar.

Most of the time, palm-muting the strings is easier to distinguish on electric guitars because of the amplification of the equipment, but acoustic guitar players that value a very percussive aspect of their performance figure ways how to fit palm-muting into their live shows to keep better time.

Where is palm-muting used?

It's almost impossible to think of how palm-muting isn't used actually. This technique is used in verses, choruses, mellow introductions, and even bridges and codas of almost any song that you listen to involving a guitar.

This goes for just about any genre as well. It's obviously prominent in rock and metal, but I've heard it used in jazz, blues, gospel, and even classical guitar tunes.

Now, there's no hard and fast rule about how palm-muting should be inserted into any created song, but using it tastefully is key. If an entire song contains palm-muted sections, the song lacks some luster and appeal by losing its surprise factor.

So, how do you do it?

How to palm mute is actually very easy.

Take your strumming hand and place it near the pickups, but resting on the strings that you intend to play for the moment. Then simply take the pick and sweep through the muted strings.

It's a pretty distinct sound when you execute it, but again... not difficult. There are a number of ways how palm-muting can be altered by increasing or decreasing the pressure on the muted strings, but that only really applies to electric guitar.

Learning how to palm-mute is a fast skill that you can pick up in seconds, but don't wear it out. If you're a songwriter, place it in your guitar tunes tastefully so as not to lose your song's appeal.

But, be excited that you've learned a new skill because this one is in about 99% of songs!

Yamaha Pacifica Review - A Good Start, But Don't Settle

Overall: 3.2/5

The Yamaha Pacifica was the first electric guitar that I owned and in review, it treated me very well. For a beginning guitar, the Yamaha Pacifica gave me more power and tone than I expected, but this review will tell you that keeping it as a permanent addition to your guitar collection may not be the best decision to make.

Features: 5/5

Most guitars these days are born (manufactured...whatever) with a volume and tone knob corresponding to how many pickups there are. The Yamaha Pacifica has one pick up and it works very well.

I don't like to give away all of the good stuff, but the Pacifica's body has a slot for a whammy bar. I'm not going to trash Yamaha's guitar in the features sections only because this set up is what I'm used to and I don't require anything else to play the darn thing.

Ease of Use: 3/5

The strings on the guitar are a little high for adequate playing action. The tailpiece has always looked to me like it's incapable of being adjusted (I'm sure I don't know what I'm talking about) so I've never had it looked at.

In other reviews on the Yamaha Pacifica you'll find similar claims how the strings are not easy to press down to the frets and that means more work to learn licks.

Tone: 3/5

Now, I'm not going to lie and say that the Pacifica by Yamaha has a completely terrible tone, but it's nothing to throw a party over either. Personally (just my opinion) I'm more convinced that most of the tone comes from your electric amplifier.

However, I can tell a definite difference between the Pacifica and my Epiphone Les Paul Custom. But, the Yamah's tone is decent enough for any beginner to appreciate.

Sustain: 2/5

The Yamaha Pacifica doesn't have the best sustain. I've noticed there to be gaps in between the neck and body that could substantially alter the length of sustain on the instrument.

Dependability: 4/5

I've had this guitar for seven years now and the only thing I've had to replace on the Yamaha Pacifica was the guitar input jack. I'm happy to announce that it's very dependable on and off stage otherwise.


The Yamaha Pacifica is a pretty nice thing to start with for awhile. It can really get you excited about playing and hearing an adequate tone from your amplifier that will motivate you to keep going.

However, the difficulty of pressing down on the strings and some minor craftsmanship issues coerces me to recommend this guitar for beginner use only. By the time you figure out all the subtitles of the guitar, you should recognize it's time to get another one anyway.

Tip Of The Week #8: Coffee Shop Guitar - Get Stage Practice At An Open Mike Night

Playing the guitar live in front of people is a completely different game than in your bedroom by yourself. There never comes a time where your pillow or clothes on the floor are going to laugh or say something negative at you while your strumming.

(Unless your home is possessed?...)

But, playing guitar in coffee shops and open mike nights is a great way to ease your mind on the idea of playing live.

For guitarists that have never been to an open mike night, you simply add your name to a list of performers, they call your name when it's your turn, and then you play for up to 20 minutes. It's a simple system, but it works.

The best part about playing at coffee shops and open mike nights are how generally supportive the people are.

You're not going to be booed off or pelted with raw vegetables, but you'll always receive a smile and a good amount of applause when you're done. Bring a friend out and the both of you can have some silly fun up on stage.

I mean, it's really great to be able to play the guitar, but sharing your talent with others is what turns your talent into a musical contribution to society. And you're not trying to be a free-loader are you? That's what I thought.

Fast Picking Guitar - Develop Some Better Technique And Start Picking Faster

Fast-picking guitarists have all sorts of little adjustments and things that they make to their technique in order to refine a very personalized way of picking on the guitar. Similarly, to achieve a picking speed of a professional, it's your job to be just as meticulous and to decide what's best for you.

After you've done experimentation with finger and hand placement, then you'll be ready to maximize your picking speed. Check out these simple tips to help develop some better picking strategies to ultimately go faster on the guitar.

1. Practice one hand at a time.

A good way to increase your learning speed of a difficult riff is to take it one hand at a time. Take your fret hand out of the equation and just hash out the fast picking section on the guitar first before you move on with both hands.

2. Decide between the open or closed grip on the guitar pick.

I actually don't know if these are real terms, and if not, I'm coining them right now. But to me, open grip is holding the pick with your thumb and index finger and letting your other fingers spread out as if you're giving the "OK" sign.

Closed grip would be holding your pick with the thumb and index again but with your fingers curled in almost into a fist-like position. Both of these grips have a different feel, but one might suit you better for faster picking on the guitar than the other.

3. Remember that each string feels different.

As much as it sounds weird, but each string on the guitar is in a different place causing very minimal, but noticeable variations between how well they can be picked on the guitar. The low 'E' string might be easier for you to pick fast as opposed to the high 'b' string only because of where they are located and the strings adjacent to them.

That's why it's important to practice on each string evenly in order to balance your skill of fast picking guitar on all of the strings on the neck.

4. Adjust where your hand rests on the guitar body.

Where your picking hand is stationed in order to produce the most flexible motions is very important for getting faster movement on the guitar. Try a few different places on the guitar body and see where you can get the easiest amount of motion out of your hand without it feeling forced or awkward to do.

Experimentation is the name of the game when you're trying to develop a faster picking style. Practice and hard work are just as important, but be sure to explore all of your options as to HOW you set up your hands before you settle on a brutal practicing schedule.

Good Guitar Cheap - The Best Places To Find Cheap Guitars

If you're just starting on the guitar you probably want something good, a little cheap, but isn't the worst piece of junk that you've ever seen. This sort of find is a bit difficult, but the cheap guitars that are still good to play are usually right under your nose.

You can spend hours in a music store trying to talk the salesman down in price, but you're looking at maybe a 10% discount at the most. If you're a true bargain hunter and want the REAL deals, check out these places for good and cheap guitars.


This is the mother of online auctions and it sells literally anything and everything. Go into the musical instrument section and you can be searching for hours.

All you need to bid and make a purchase is a free account with Ebay and another free account with Paypal to pay for your new instrument. Just follow their tutorials section for any questions you might have.

* Flea Markets

You might not find the best brand names of cheap guitars, but they're usually still good to play. Look in your local newspaper or town announcement board to find out when the next flea market is coming around your area.

* Pawn Shops

Guitars are bound to be here, but there might also be some hard bargaining. You can find deals here, but watch out for being sold on merchandise that might not necessarily be worth it.

* Garage Sales

Garage sales usually have quite a melange of junk and odds and ends, but a guitar is bound to pop up somewhere. Make sure you ask plenty of questions about the instrument before you buy so that you're positive it wasn't just a toy for their toddler.

* Classified Ads

Every time that I look in my local newspaper, I find at least one used musical instrument that someone is trying to get rid of because playing them is "just too hard." Take advantage of those people and get those guitars for good and cheap. They usually don't know how much to resell them for anyway.

* Your friend's house

There may be a friend that you didn't realize that started up the guitar and quit after frustration. Ask around. You might get your new instrument from a friend of a friend of a friend... Maybe even for free :]

Guitars are usually very expensive pieces of equipment, but they're everywhere! Do some good snooping to find something cheap, but make sure you ask plenty of questions before you buy.

If something sounds fishy, IT USUALLY IS.

Tip Of The Week #7: Clean Hands Guitar - Keep Your Strings And Guitar In Better Condition Easily

There are tons of things that you can do to preserve the life of your guitar and its strings, but one of the EASIEST things you can do is wash your hands. Have clean hands when you put them on your guitar and a few good things will happen.

1. You might win a million dollars!

It's conceivable. It has absolutely nothing to do with washing your hands either....unless you're talking about going into a gas station bathroom and finding an unscratched lottery ticket on the floor with no one around to claim it and it just so happens to be the winner of $1,000,000. That's the best case scenario.

2. You can prevent greasy strings.

You don't want greasy strings because they tend to wear easier and let your pitches go out of tune more often. Keep your hands clean before you touch the guitar.

3. Prevent your frets from getting so dirty.

It won't be too gross to touch your guitar frets when they have less barbecue sauce and chicken grease on them. It might actually be fun to play guitar again with clean hands!

4. More people will want to shake your hands!

If you ever wondered why your friends that you bump into at Quaker Steak and Lube won't give you a friendly handshake when they see you... it might have something to do with the ranch sauce between your fingers.

5. Your strings will stay in tune longer.

This one is a biggy, because if you're a normal guitar player, you know that strings going out of tune should just bug the heckfire out of you. Clean your hands before you play and you won't have as many hand juices messing with your strings' pitches.

Oasis Wonderwall Chords

"Wonderwall" by the band Oasis is one of those guitar tunes that teachers encourage their students to learn early because it's popular and easy to play. So, here is the information to the famous Oasis "Wonderwall" chords.

Let's start with the intro chords.

We have Em7, G, Dsus4, and A7sus4. Don't be intimidated by the chord names. The more you see included in a chord name merely means you're probably going to need to use all four fingers to make it.






The song is a standard 4/4 time signature so as you count to four, you should be strumming a different chord on every two counts or beats.

If you listen to the real strumming pattern, the chords are mixed up in between each count to create variation. So, once you begin to catch on with your Oasis Wonderwall chords, you can use your own discretion to create variety in the strumming patterns.

Small Section.

The next part is just a couple measures right after the singer says "I don't believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now."

The chords here are Cadd9, Dsus4, A7sus4 and the strumming pattern changes slightly. The first two chords get 2 counts each and the third one gets 4 full counts.




Then it switches back to the intro chords for the second verse.


This is where the vocals say "And all the roads we have to walk are winding..." The chords at this section are C, D, and Em7 with that same strumming pattern mentioned in the section above.






The end of this section is a bit tricky with a different chord on each count. They are played on the bolded lyrics in this statement, "There are many things that I would LIKE to SAY to YOU, but I DON'T know HOW."

I'm sure you could figure out some way to fudge this section and still get through the song, but the actual chords are G, D, Em7, G, and A7sus4.

e---3-----3-----3-----3-----3----- b---3-----2-----3-----3-----3----- g---0-----3-----0-----0-----0----- D---0-----0-----2-----0-----2----- A---2-----------2-----2-----0----- E---3-----------0-----3-----------


The last part of the Oasis Wonderwall chords is of course the famous chorus where the singer says, "Just maybe you're gonna be the one that saves me... blah blah blah... wonderwall."

The chords for this section are Cadd9, Em7, G, and then repeat Em7 as part of the progression.






And that's all there is to it!

You can figure out the order of the sections by simply listening to the song and you'll be ready for the next campfire with your Oasis Wonderwall chords.

Guitar In Garage Band - Control The Band As A Guitarist

If you are the one that steps forward to announce that you will play guitar in a garage band while your friends arm themselves with drums and bass, congratulations! You've picked a fine instrument to possess the crowds with.

Now, the guitar is a very key player in the garage band for a few reasons, but just as these reasons can be positive, they can be potential responsibility issues on your part. This is actually the main problem with the person who plays the guitar in a garage band.

They don't realize that playing guitar is only HALF of the process. The other half is working together with the other members to coalesce a powerful sound. Check out these responsibility points that the guitar player in a garage band has the most leverage over.

* You are the source of most written material.

If you think logically, the guitar is the instrument in the garage band that can create music with the furthest dimension in comprehension to begin. If you start a song with a bassist or drummer, the understanding of the rest of the band is very minimal.

But when a guitarist begins a tune, the rest of the band should already recognize the direction and stylistic features of what is to be created. So if you want to be the guitarist for a garage band that writes original material, you better be a good songwriter...because you'll be doing most of it.

* The genre is yours to decide.

Just as it us up to you to provide most of the written material for a tune, the genre is yours to decide as well. The best approach is to get a feel for what the rest of the band would enjoy playing and sculpt your tunes accordingly.

However, you could just play the dictator card and create whatever you want. The chances the band stays together and continues to follow you is much less though.

* Back-up equipment is a must.

As the player of the guitar in a garage band, you must be prepared for every gig with the necessary back-up equipment. This might be another guitar, extra strings, extra chords, and maybe even extra tubes for your amplifier for the ONE night that EVERYTHING goes wrong.

* Organize the problem areas.

You're the only person in the band that really knows where the music is going and it's up to you to let the band know. If they think you're a pop rock kind guy and you are trying to create metal, let them know.

They might have been frustrated with your poppy antics all along.

* Be a role model

This is the most important tip I can give here. No one in a garage band will want to follow you if you don't provide some sort respectful approach of conducting business in the band.

Talk to the guys about splitting up the money earned, about what musical direction they want to go, and that it's OK if someone wants to leave the band for any reason.

If you play the guitar in a garage band, you actually have a lot on your shoulders. Don't worry though. The most important thing is to just enjoy writing and being a guitarist. Otherwise, there's no reason to have a band in the first place.

Tip Of The Week #6: Guitar Strap Adjust - Make Your Intricate Licks Easier To Play Instantly

One thing that always seems to vary from one guitarist to the next is the adjusted height on the guitar strap. Everyone likes to have their guitar's strap adjusted to their own personal level maybe for convenience, comfort, or just for looks.

However, adjusting your guitar strap is actually a very important part of guitar-playing development early in the learning stages. Where you decide to have your guitar stationed in reference to a section on your body can alter how well you play.

* Adjust your guitar strap to hang lower around your waist.

This can actually make lead riffs and intricate single-note patterns more difficult to play. Your fingers can't comfortably reach underneath the neck when the rest of your hand can't make it either.

I guess the real appeal of wearing your guitar low is just for looks. It's been that typical "grunge" and I'm a B.A. kind of look. I just see it as "I don't know how to adjust a guitar strap" kind of look.

*Adjust your guitar strap to hang higher near your chest.

By raising your guitar higher, you can reach underneath the guitar neck and play fast licks and chords more comfortably. It's much less strain on your fingers and wrist too.

Of course, I've seen some guitarists go a little nuts and have their guitars up near their necks. I mean... geez nerd. Just kidding. haha

But you should understand that having your guitar strap adjusted so that your guitar hangs TOO low on your body can actually be detrimental to your playing. If you're having trouble playing, try raising it up!

How Clean Guitar - 10 Fast Tips On Keeping Your Guitar Clean

How to clean your guitar is a fundamental skill that every guitarist must eventually learn unfortunately. You may never understand just how your guitar got to be so dirty and disgusting, but cleaning it is the answer.

Learning how to clean your guitar isn't really rocket science, and it doesn't take that much time to perform some basic up-keep. Here are 10 tips that can get your guitar cleaner in a short period of time.

1. Household cleaners can work for the guitar body.

If you have some Windex or any other kind of glass-cleaner laying around the house, those are very good for the guitar body. Just use a few squirts and you can remove all those finger prints and smudges.

2. Did your pick guard come with a plastic film?

This is more of a preventative measure on how to clean a guitar, but a good idea when you purchase a guitar and it has a thin plastic film on the pick guard is not to remove it. You can save yourself some scratches and smudges by leaving that on until it eventually just starts peeling off.

3. Keep your hands clean.

If you want less oil and grease getting on the fret board and on your strings, just remember to wash your hands each time before you play. It's a relatively quick idea and you'll save yourself in the number of times you need to change your strings.

4. Clean between restringing sessions.

The best way how to schedule a cleaning for your fret board is to wait until your guitar needs restringing and wipe it down when the time comes. Otherwise you might put it off until the thing just feels disgusting and looks even worse.

5. The hardware needs a good buffing or cleaning once in a blue moon.

Cleaning the hardware on the guitar can be a real pain, and most of the time it gets neglected. Get some small utensils and brushes to really get in those grooves and give your hardware a once-over.

6. Get the dust off that thing.

If you have a guitar that you normally keep on a guitar stand, chances are that's it's collecting a small amount of dust. Clean that guitar how you would a dresser with some pledge and a dust rag.

7. You have a guitar case for a reason.

Keeping your guitar on a stand is good if it's being used very often or for shows, but any other time, you have a guitar case. Prevent your guitar from getting dusty and effected from damage and lock it up in its case.

8. Dry hands mean less oil on the strings.

When your hands are wet, the oils and grease from your hands and fingers are a little more liberal on where they stay. Dry your hands better and you can keep more smudges and spots off of your clean guitar.

9. Avoid scratches by buckling your belt on your hip.

Scratches and marks can be common on the back of a guitar's body and most of the time it's do to belt buckle friction when you move around. Another way how to keep a guitar clean without scratches is to buckle your belt on the side of your waist.

10. Practice space is to trashed as guitar is to...?

I don' t know if you've noticed, but when one thing starts becoming messy, it begins to show in other aspects of your life (...*cough cough* guitar cleanliness...). If you're the type that doesn't take care of your practice space, it may show on your guitar. My advice is to start sprucing up one or the other.

These are some fast tips on how to clean your guitar that aren't very hard to do either. Seriously, the worst thing to find out from a music store when you're getting a guitar repaired is that your instrument died because of poor up-keeping.