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Interacting with different guitars

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  • Interacting with different guitars

    This may seem surface level - like "I play my Les Paul for rock and jazz, my Jackson for metal, my Strat for blues". But I'm hoping to get some deeper thoughts about how you all physically hold and interact with different guitars. I'll give examples.

    1) I did 20 years on a Fender Strat. Mostly held the neck in my palm. Attacked the strings pretty ferociously, and gripped the fretboard pretty hard. We fought each other and I played loose & free.
    2) On my PRS SE Custom, I also hold the in my palm, but my attack is much softer and my fretting hand is much softer. I can fight it, or caress it, and I easily get a lot of nuance out of it. It's a natural feeling after 20 years on a Strat, just more of the good stuff and less of the bad.
    3) On my Gibson SG, the neck is quite wide so I can't hold in my palm. I do thumb on the back instead. Picking is tight and precise, and the picking plus the thumb-on-back hand position plus the massive sound means I approach this guitar clinically, precisely, intentionally.

    This resonate with anybody? Or just another academic exercise in over-thinking about guitar technique?
    Originally posted by crusty philtrum
    Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
    http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

  • #2
    I generally start with my classical training for posture and hand position, but then adjust slightly for each individual guitar. It's not based on brand or model so much, but each individual guitar. For example, one Les Paul might be set up for hard rock/heavy metal and I'm just chugging at the bridge mostly. The other is setup for vintage pop, blues, cleans, and I move my hand positions around much much more and play more dynamically. So I sling them different and play them different.

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    • #3
      I've always been able to make the guitar work for me regardless of brand or sometimes even quality (that being said, I still have my prefs).

      Being lefty means you had to learn to adapt from the very beginning; as there are far less guitar choices (and quality ones) to pick from.

      Part of that adaptation also came from playing friends' righty guitars upside-down (if I wanted to try them out or strum for fun).

      Nowadays when laying down tracks etc... I pick a guitar for the tone, not the ergonomics.
      Last edited by LLL; 06-07-2021, 01:51 PM.
      LLL's Guitars & Amps Extravaganza

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      • #4
        In general I do find that Fenders tend to fight me a little more. Between the higher tension and cleaner, brighter sound (even with humbuckers) I always have to work a bit harder to get what I want from them. The upside of that is, articulation comes easier.

        Sure, we select a particular guitar for its sound. Most every Strat will sound like a Strat, and most every Les Paul will sound like an LP.
        Yet I have a bunch of Strats and a bunch of LPs and no two are alike. Every one really is an individual.
        They have personality. Over time you get a feel for how to get the best from each. It's a rapport.
        To me, it's more intuitive than calculated.


        .
        "My hovercraft is full of eels."

        .

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        • #5
          I played a strat for years as well
          then to an Ibanez RG2 with the Wizard II neck
          The thinner neck and neck humbucker made we want to play more and different types of music
          more metal an grungy

          Then i got the Epiphone Florentine
          And the combination of thin RG like neck
          and shorter scale made even the jazziest chord simple to play

          I have been chasing this the whole time

          Each guitar i have since then is trying to one up that
          Add some feature or other to the perfect mix

          This is such a sweet time for guitar players with the options available

          EHD
          Just here surfing Guitar Pron
          RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
          SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
          Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
          Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
          Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
          Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
          GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

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          • #6
            I typically use one guitar for everything. I own guitars based on how the neck feels. I can change pickups and stuff.

            I own around 10 guitars.

            My current guitar is a Parker P-38 which has a nice thin neck. I don’t like baseball bat necks, or necks that are too narrow.

            I refretted it with super jumbo frets and made new pickups for it, and my own custom wiring.




            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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            • #7
              I tend to go with the same thing for guitars- light, balanced, with ergonomic features that work for me. Any time I buy something outside those parameters, I find that outside of the 'ooohhh this guitar is neewwww' feeling, I don't end up playing them much, and I go back to the more comfortable ones.
              Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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              • #8
                Due to financials, I had to do most of my playing on my Iceman, Until 30 years ago I never had a lot of money. It was my main guitar in the Thrash days. I played the Iceman at many blues gigs. Even at Berklee I was using the guitar for Jazz because I was a broke-ass guy. Eventually, I added a few other guitars and now many of you would say I have too many. But truth be told I could play anything or any style on any of my 20+ guitars. I think much of that was playing the Iceman for years and adapting to styles and changes.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Securb View Post
                  Due to financials, I had to do most of my playing on my Iceman, Until 30 years ago I never had a lot of money. It was my main guitar in the Thrash days. I played the Iceman at many blues gigs. Even at Berklee I was using the guitar for Jazz because I was a broke-ass guy. Eventually, I added a few other guitars and now many of you would say I have too many. But truth be told I could play anything or any style on any of my 20+ guitars. I think much of that was playing the Iceman for years and adapting to styles and changes.
                  That's cool- I am not into the whole 'you need this guitar to play this style' thing that many players are into. I play whatever I want on the most comfortable guitar I have. It sounds good to me (and the audience) so I am fine with that. Only a guitar player would come up to me and ask why I am not playing any Fenders or Gibsons.
                  Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                  • #10
                    I can't play a box. I only play strats for the most part and mod them to get the sound I want.
                    The things that you wanted
                    I bought them for you

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                    • #11
                      I have four different guitars now. I have to adapt a bit my playing positions on each one because of the neck, body and bridge type. I can play any style on any of them. Only one guitar has a floyd and I can't play any Chuck Berry style licks, unison bends and akward bends on it. I can play those things on the other three. Some guitars sound better with some styles I'm playing.

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                      • #12
                        "I can make any guitar sound as crummy as the next." - Rick Nielsen

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                        • #13
                          The way you hold your guitar is a big mystery/conundrum for beginning guitar players. You've got rockers like Slash wearing a Les Paul around his ankles. And the jazz guys have it up high. So obviously there is an advantage to having it higher, but its not as cool right?

                          And when you are playing seated, if you play a strat, its just natural that it would be on your right leg, right? Unless you play a V in which case you are sort of forced to play in classical while seated, and what is cooler than a V?

                          Over the past 25 years, two things have happened. Somewhere along the way I stopped caring about what it looks like, with ergonomics being the most important thing. And two, I had a fretting arm injury which greatly reduced my range of motion, so I had to relearn mechanics and this involved how I hold the guitar.

                          What I learned... after this long journey... is to play in classical position while seated (with a strap) because the ergonomics are the best AND because the guitar is in the same position as when you are standing. So none of your technique is compromised if you are playing standing.

                          The "neck up" classical position, is in a more neutral position regarding the pronation/supination of your wrist. So if your range of motion is compromised, you will still be able to do vibrato without running into a brick wall.

                          ALSO, your body size plays a big part in this. I have broad shoulders and when the guitar is on my right leg seated, the upper fret access is not as good, the angle my fingers make with the board not as neutral because I have to reach across. Playing classical solved this.

                          Last but not least, when you play in a classical position, it will change your pick preference. Because the angle my pick crosses the string is more extreme, I have gravitated to thicker/sharper picks to keep the same attach. My picking technique has never been better.

                          Guitar was a thing hundreds of years before people got on stage with their electrics, there is a reason classical position was taught, which may not be apparent to a young player without any injuries, and who wants to look like a rock God on stage.












                          Last edited by Top-L; 06-09-2021, 09:03 AM.

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                          • #14
                            The classical position always tilted my neck towards the neck of the guitar while practicing, so I abandoned that pretty quickly when I was having neck and back pain from playing.
                            Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                            • #15
                              In terms of position, there's may be a right way for each of us.
                              But there isn't one way that's going to be right for everybody.
                              Just as there's no one guitar that's right for everybody.

                              That said, many develop habits that aren't always the ideal arrangement for them.
                              IMO it's worth trying out various options to see what works best for you personally.
                              .
                              "My hovercraft is full of eels."

                              .

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