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-   -   Ease of play (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=507188)

coolarrow 04-15-2018 08:47 AM

Ease of play
 
For one that has arthritis, is there an electric that is more easy on the hands? Or are most electrics the same?

i am interested in an LP but also considering Strats. I do realize that the set up and string choice make a difference. Mainly asking about the fretboard and frets.

I bought a Gretsch 2420 hollow body 2 months ago and it is not as easy on the hands as I thought it would be.

After 30+ years of strict acoustic playing (strumming chords and finger picking chord shapes) I would like to delve into more lead type playing.

I do plan on trying both of them out later on this week.

Thank you in advance.

CA

paulp1960 04-15-2018 09:41 AM

I would have thought that your Gretch with 10 gauge strings, short scale and slim neck could be made quite easy on the hands and fingers.

Have you had the guitar setup since you bought it?

Steve DeRosa 04-15-2018 10:24 AM

Not surprised about your experience with the Gretsch 2420 - the 2400/2600 Series Electromatics are nothing more than another run-of-the-mill Chinese/Indonesian import, with a few Gretsch styling cues and QC commensurate with their origins. If you're really hooked on "That Great Gretsch Sound" (I've been a Gretsch owner/player since 1964, and a fan long before that) and don't want to spring the big bucks for either a vintage original or one of the Japanese-made Professional Series, check out the Korean 5400/5600 Series E-matics: QC/playability is head-shoulders-and-navel above anything in its price range (every bit the equal of the big-buck models, and often exceeding the Brooklyn instruments of the '50s-60s), they have the unmistakable Gretsch tone (something the lower-line E-matics lack), and at under $1K they're arguably the most guitar you'll get at a Working Joe/Jane's price...

While Strats and LP's are fine guitars in their own right - FYI I presently own examples of both - Paul makes a good point about the shorter scale length of the Gretsch (typically 24.5" - 24.6") being easier to handle. Although I'm not sure whether Gretsch adopted this spec for the 2400/2600 E-matics, suffice it to say that they don't handle like a traditional Gretsch electric - as an ex-Brooklyn boy with 55+ years experience under his now-ample belt I've played a good few hundred from the '50s to the 2K-teens - whereas the MIK models do; I A/B'd my '16 5622T-CB against the '64 Double Annie I bought brand-new in sixth grade and, other than the expected weight difference (the 5622 is a semi-hollow, and mine scales in over nine pounds - similar to some of the early-70's Gibson ES-345/355 models) the feel and playing characteristics are uncannily similar - and as perviously stated, far better than many of the older ones I've played. Personally, I wouldn't go all the way down to 10's on such a short scale - you're going to lose a fair bit of tone in the process (voice of experience here - tried that in the early-70's and went right back to 12's) - but a set of 11's with a wound G should be a good compromise, and flatwounds will not only be easier on the fingers but will allow you to set the action even lower (an old Bop-era jazz players' trick, BTW)...

Finally, if you're looking for minimum reach Fender has several Jaguar and Mustang-based instruments in their lineup, at a variety of price points - the slimmer neck (1.625" - 1.65") coupled with the short 24" scale should allow for easier fingering, and IME action on a Fender can be set lower than many set-neck guitars. There's also the ultra-short-scale (21") - and ultra-pricey - Rickenbacker 325 favored by both John Lennon and John Fogerty which, while not exactly a modern "lead guitar" sound, might be worth considering if you want to explore some different options and/or extend your playing days in the event conditions worsen...

Hope this helps... :)

MikeMcKee 04-15-2018 10:26 AM

Well, a lot to consider. Primarily scale length, nut width and neck shape. Typically an LP will be short scale and a beefier neck, while a Strat will be long scale and thinner neck profile. But, there are all types of variations. Probably something with a shorter scale and slim neck profile might be good to look at, but you'll never know until you get your hands on them. Another to consider might be a PRS. They would normally have a middle of the road 25" scale, and offer both regular and slim neck profiles, with a lot of tonal variety.

DissonantTimbre 04-15-2018 10:51 AM

Gibsons or anything with a 24.75" scale length are going to be easier to play with 10s than a Fender with a 25.5" scale length will be with 10s. Although you can make a 25.5" easier by going down a gauge in strings. I tend to select the gauge depending of how much bending I want to be doing. Don't be afraid to try out 9s or even 8s.

coolarrow 04-15-2018 11:04 AM

I have not had it set up. It seemed easy enough to play when I tried it in the store. I guess most anything would have felt easier coming from playing mainly acoustics. That will be my next step.

Johnny K 04-15-2018 02:59 PM

I have a recently acquired G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy (Tele style guitar). It is one of the easiest playing electric guitars i've played. However, this may be true of any Telecaster though. I'm a 55 year old blues dood and find that my hands never tire from all the bending that that entails while playing the G&L.

Try a Tele style guitar.

Scotso 04-15-2018 03:03 PM

Everyone has their favorites. You need to find yours- fat neck, skinny neck, wide thin, d shape, c shape, v shaped, etc...all kinds as you can see. You need to narrow your choice. I am pretty neck insensitive. But I have found one shape that bothers my hand after a while. For you it might be perfect. Spend some time with a lot of guitars. You will be happier in the long run.

Dru Edwards 04-15-2018 05:48 PM

There are various Gibson SGs and Les Pauls out there, some with necks thinner than others so you can pick what you prefer (thicker or thinner). In addition, you can also top wrap the strings which reduces the tension even more.

Steel and wood 04-15-2018 06:58 PM

Like acoustics, electrics guitar necks come in various widths and shapes and transitioning across from acoustic is not difficult. (Just play a few examples and find a guitar that you like and feels comfortable to play and not too dissimilar to your acoustic).

The other thing to consider is having the guitar professionally set up and your choice of string gage which may make a difference to your ease of playing.

Good luck.

Paleolith54 04-15-2018 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coolarrow (Post 5701487)
For one that has arthritis, is there an electric that is more easy on the hands? Or are most electrics the same?

i am interested in an LP but also considering Strats. I do realize that the set up and string choice make a difference. Mainly asking about the fretboard and frets.

I bought a Gretsch 2420 hollow body 2 months ago and it is not as easy on the hands as I thought it would be.

After 30+ years of strict acoustic playing (strumming chords and finger picking chord shapes) I would like to delve into more lead type playing.

I do plan on trying both of them out later on this week.

Thank you in advance.

CA

I think the short answer is that it doesn't matter much. A shorter scale (like the 24.75 on an LP); lighter strings (really pretty much as far down as you want to go, but I'd suggest .010-.046 or lighter); and a thicker (not thinner) neck profile seem to be the three things most likely to make a difference, if anything will.

Telejonz 04-16-2018 07:55 PM

I have arthritis at the base of my left hand thumb. I searched and searched for a neck profile that minimized the discomfort I feel playing. The best thing yet is the compound radius neck on the Fender Elite Tele and Strats. I sold a few guitars to pick up one of each. May not work for you, but they are very comfortable for me.

For me, the thinner neck is a plus. The mild V on the Clapton Strats is pretty good too.

Davis Webb 04-16-2018 09:24 PM

This is easy.

First, only play 8's or 9s. Not 10s. Period. Ever again. Ignore what you hear about tone. Its just fine to play 7s even, though its not necessary.

Second, the shorter the scale length the easier the action. Les Paul wins.

Next....

Jerry D 04-16-2018 10:15 PM

My '69 Thinline Tele is the easiest playing guitar I've ever played of any - mine, other people's, in stores, electric or acoustic. Period. :)

DissonantTimbre 04-17-2018 01:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Davis Webb (Post 5703230)
This is easy.

First, only play 8's or 9s. Not 10s. Period. Ever again. Ignore what you hear about tone. Its just fine to play 7s even, though its not necessary.

Second, the shorter the scale length the easier the action. Les Paul wins.

Next....

Billy Gibbons, Jeff Beck, Page, Iommi, Malmsteen, BB King use(ed) 8s. Hendrix, EVH, James Hetfield, Satriani, Vai, Brian May, Smith/Murray use(d) 9s. If your style is bend heavy there is no need to torture yourself. I can get a good 60s surf sound with 8s. The string gauge effects tone thing is an excuse if you ask me.


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