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Old 08-04-2021, 04:10 PM
Pdubs76 Pdubs76 is offline
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Default Not sure if my guitars are right for me.

Do you ever feel like you keep finding guitars that arenít really the right fit for your hands/fingers and playing style? Maybe the neck is all wrong, or the nut, or string spacing, body shape, tone-woods, etc etcÖ. If so, was there that ah ha moment when you stumbled upon that guitar that made you realize that maybe youíre a much better player than youíd thought? IDK, maybe I just suck and want to blame it on my guitars. I guess a big part of this journey is the challenge of figuring out whatís right for you. Iím just not that patient. What are your thoughts?
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Old 08-04-2021, 04:31 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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I don't know... I never thought about finding a guitar that was ideal for me physically. I have always purchased guitars that I liked the sound of and then I adapted to the guitar. My guitars are all over the place -- different necks, different fretboard radii, scales, nut widths, string spacing...

I know I am more comfortable on some of them than others, but when I want the sound of that particular guitar, I just get used to the guitar. It might take me a few minutes and then the guitar feels fine to me, and I quickly forget about the adjustment I just had to make.

If I had to go find a guitar that was ideal for me, I suppose I would choose something like my 1967 Martin D-35, but I suspect that I would choose that neck and nut width and scale length because that's the one I played for five decades. For me, I think, it's a familiarity thing. That old D-35 is sort of my home base.

I know some guitar players are very particular about neck shape and nut width. It's probably more about personality than anything. I tend to feel that it's my job to adapt to things, be it software, automobiles, guitars, cameras, hiking shoes, whatever... I know others want things exactly the way they want it. Trouble with that approach is that you have to know what is best for you. I was never sure that I knew what was best for me except for choosing a wife. I was pretty careful there.

- Glenn
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Old 08-04-2021, 04:44 PM
Pdubs76 Pdubs76 is offline
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Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
I don't know... I never thought about finding a guitar that was ideal for me physically. I have always purchased guitars that I liked the sound of and then I adapted to the guitar. My guitars are all over the place -- different necks, different fretboard radii, scales, nut widths, string spacing...

I know I am more comfortable on some of them than others, but when I want the sound of that particular guitar, I just get used to the guitar. It might take me a few minutes and then the guitar feels fine to me, and I quickly forget about the adjustment I just had to make.

If I had to go find a guitar that was ideal for me, I suppose I would choose something like my 1967 Martin D-35, but I suspect that I would choose that neck and nut width and scale length because that's the one I played for five decades. For me, I think, it's a familiarity thing. That old D-35 is sort of my home base.

I know some guitar players are very particular about neck shape and nut width. It's probably more about personality than anything. I tend to feel that it's my job to adapt to things, be it software, automobiles, guitars, cameras, hiking shoes, whatever... I know others want things exactly the way they want it. Trouble with that approach is that you have to know what is best for you. I was never sure that I knew what was best for me except for choosing a wife. I was pretty careful there.

- Glenn
You raise a great point. I have multiple guitars and I keep switching from one to the next, which could be the reason why Iím getting frustrated. Different types of strings on each can be another factor that I never considered. Thanks for your input!
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:19 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Iím like Glenn in that I adapt. Iíve learned that a 1 7/8Ē nut is wider than I like, and a big V-shaped neck is more than I want to wrassle with, but Iíve owned 12 fret Double Oís that had those specs and dealt with them all right.

It was later, when I got my Martin Custom Shop dream version of the 00-21 that I got all the details the way I wanted them, modern neck, 1 3/4Ē nut width, solid headstock and all.

But Iíve proven that Iím adaptable when need be. Itís just nicer not to have to adapt, thatís all.


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Old 08-04-2021, 05:25 PM
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I've found that I'm not as adaptable as I used to be. I've been experimenting with different sizes of guitars, body sizes, nut width, etc and have been slowly figuring out what works best. I didn't really have an aha moment. Been more of a slow walk. Maybe that's where you're at? If so, find a size, neck etc that is the least problematic () and work with that.
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pdubs76 View Post
Do you ever feel like you keep finding guitars that arenít really the right fit for your hands/fingers and playing style?
Hi Pdubs

Nope. I have bought guitars and learned to play them.

And I've bought other guitars and learned to play them too.

I have bought three guitars which I've owned for decades because the tone, resonance, projection, sustain, and action please me greatly.




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Old 08-04-2021, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Pdubs76 View Post
If so, was there that ah ha moment when you stumbled upon that guitar that made you realize that maybe youíre a much better player than youíd thought? IDK, maybe I just suck and want to blame it on my guitars.
I'm sure you don't suck at playing guitars, but if none of them feel right, one possibility is that you are the common denominator, and it's time to accept that you have to adjust to guitars.

Personally, I've never acquired a guitar that made me -- all of a sudden -- a better player. However, I have moved to guitars that were more responsive and a joy to play, and, more importantly, had a great tone that I hadn't experienced before. It's wanting to bring out that great tone more effectively that's made me want to improve my playing.

All of which is to say you still have to invest the time and energy.
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:49 PM
Pdubs76 Pdubs76 is offline
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I'm sure you don't suck at playing guitars, but if none of them feel right, one possibility is that you are the common denominator, and it's time to accept that you have to adjust to guitars.

Personally, I've never acquired a guitar that made me -- all of a sudden -- a better player. However, I have moved to guitars that were more responsive and a joy to play, and, more importantly, had a great tone that I hadn't experienced before. It's wanting to bring out that great tone more effectively that's made me want to improve my playing.

All of which is to say you still have to invest the time and energy.
Another great point! Likely itís the tone that inspires us more than playability. Not sure Iíve found it yet. Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:53 PM
JAMKC JAMKC is offline
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Default Not sure if my guitars are right for me.

My journey did have me trying all kinds of shapes and spacing and I have finally settled on smaller body, and 2&1/4Ē or more at the bridge. Youíre not crazy just working through it like many of us. Iím lucky that I can really play any neck and switch back and forth pretty easy.
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:55 PM
gfspencer gfspencer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
I don't know... I never thought about finding a guitar that was ideal for me physically. I have always purchased guitars that I liked the sound of and then I adapted to the guitar. My guitars are all over the place -- different necks, different fretboard radii, scales, nut widths, string spacing...

- Glenn
Same here. I have a number of guitars. They are pretty much all different. I just play them.
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:55 PM
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What I've discovered over time is that while there are things I prefer, I can generally acclimate to almost anything. And the only reason I continued on so long looking for something 'just right' was because it was a whole lot of fun!
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Old 08-04-2021, 06:19 PM
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There's no such thing as a guitar that's "just right for me" and I like it that way. Variety is the spice of life! Although my HD-28 and strat are home base to a limited extent, I thoroughly enjoy trying out the weirdest guitars I can find.
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Old 08-04-2021, 06:27 PM
Benjo Benjo is offline
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The more I've owned the better I have gotten at.figuring at what works and what doesn't....some guitars if they aren't a good fit won't ever be be ones you learn to adapt to. Its best to sell those after you've given them a fair chance. Worst case scenario the older you get the higher your chance of injuring yourself if you're playing guitars where the body shape or neck shape isn't a good fit.
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Old 08-04-2021, 06:40 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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No, I have never felt my guitars (or any instrument) "wasn't the right fit". As an insensitive caveman multi-instrumentalist, I've never found a great sounding instrument that I couldn't adapt to.

This is a frequently discussed subject, and there seem to be two camps of about equal number here - those that have very specific dimensional requirements regarding neck profile, nut width, string spacing at the bridge, scale length, fretboard radius, fret size, etc. - and those who don't.

It would be interesting to find what other factors individuals in the two separate camps may share such as age, experience level, muscle/skeletal features, gender, medical issues, playing style, etc.

I've asked this question on other musical fora and have so far found this need for specific dimensional requirements to be mostly an AGF thing.
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:43 PM
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I'm in the camp that adapts to the instrument. I feel it's my responsibility to help the instrument "say" whatever it wants to say.

The neck/body widths of my D-41 are vastly different from the Kenny Hill nylon stringed guitar. It only takes me a few minutes to adapt to one or the other.

JaG
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