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Old 02-09-2019, 03:37 PM
gdbird gdbird is offline
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Default Taylor owners: Trouble playing barre chords?

I have a very nice 414ce Custom rosewood/sitka I recently purchased. I have not had a professional setup but have adjusted the truss rod to eliminate some minor bowing. I keep the guitar in a humidified case.

Although I play a lot of fingerstyle, I have great difficulty playing barre chords cleanly. It seems to me that the Taylor neck is, for me, too "thin". It seems like the profile prohibits me from getting enough pressure with my thumb/forefinger to form the bar.

Anyone else experience this issue?

Thanks - David
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:45 PM
B. Adams B. Adams is offline
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I have a 914 with thin neck. Barre chords aren't a problem for me on that guitar. Actually, the action on that guitar is amazing, it's probably my easiest playing guitar.

I have a 614 that had a high nut. It wasn't a huge problem, but it played harder than it should have. I got the nut worked on, and it's so much better now.

Check the action on your guitar. It's possible that it has a high nut, saddle, or both. A good setup could work wonders.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:48 PM
Blunote Blunote is offline
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I'm assuming you have other guitars that barre more easily, right?

Regardless,it's probably worth a trip to a luthier. He can look the guitar over to make sure the neck is straight, the frets level, and the relief is properly adjusted. It could be something as simple as having him do a set up, or require more significant work.

My Gibson L4a never seemed easy to barre compared to my other guitars. I finally got an authorization to send it back to Montana for warranty. It was a much easier guitar to play after that. I think they replaced a fret or two.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdbird View Post
Taylor owners: Trouble playing barre chords?
....
I have great difficulty playing barre chords cleanly. It seems to me that the Taylor neck is, for me, too "thin". It seems like the profile prohibits me from getting enough pressure with my thumb/forefinger to form the bar.

Anyone else experience this issue?...
No.

It might simply be that your individual body geometry is not matched up well with that neck profile.

Taylor's ease-of-play is legendary and what they built their reputation upon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdbird View Post
...but have adjusted the truss rod to eliminate some minor bowing.....
Truss rods aren't for eliminating bowing. They are to increase/decrease the relief. Perhaps this is what you mean, but if you are trying to remove bowing (as your end result) without considering the relief to the strings then you are adjusting it incorrectly.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:54 PM
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TBman TBman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdbird View Post
I have a very nice 414ce Custom rosewood/sitka I recently purchased. I have not had a professional setup but have adjusted the truss rod to eliminate some minor bowing. I keep the guitar in a humidified case.

Although I play a lot of fingerstyle, I have great difficulty playing barre chords cleanly. It seems to me that the Taylor neck is, for me, too "thin". It seems like the profile prohibits me from getting enough pressure with my thumb/forefinger to form the bar.

Anyone else experience this issue?

Thanks - David
Something doesn't sound right. Although I don't currently have a Taylor I'm always test driving a few at the local stores. I've never played one wasn't easy to play. Take it in to get looked at, but how often do you do barre chord drills?
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:56 PM
Ludere Ludere is offline
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Best solution would be to hie thee to a luthier and have him check it out ... then you'll know for sure ...

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Old 02-09-2019, 04:00 PM
gdbird gdbird is offline
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Thanks for all the replies. I have another 414 that bars nicely. It seems like the frets are almost too low to properly "break" the strings. Perhaps the action is too low? Sounds like a trip to a pro is in order.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:05 PM
LikeASir_ LikeASir_ is offline
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I have some trouble barring the first fret at times but in general, barre chords are no trouble for me.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:39 PM
darfaz darfaz is offline
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My fretting hand gets fatigued much quicker on my Taylor 414ce than my Martin with a modV neck. I do not have large hands, so I like the grip or the angle that the V shape provides.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:47 PM
Bear Davis Bear Davis is offline
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It could be that you are destined for fatter necks... but without seeing you play it could be a posture issue. I don't hold and grip every guitar the same way. The neck carve, nut, body shape, depth, and scale length all play a part in how I hold an instrument.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:47 PM
ii Cybershot ii ii Cybershot ii is offline
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Personally I find both Martin modified low oval and performing artist necks easier to play than any of my Taylors. However the Taylors still play great. I highly suggest having your guitar set up to play by a local luthier before you make any judgments!
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2019, 04:59 PM
gdbird gdbird is offline
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I was in a guitar store recently. I picked up an inexpensive Fender acoustic to test out some picks. The Fender had a thick neck and I could play barre chords effortlessly.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:53 PM
Pitar Pitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdbird View Post
I have a very nice 414ce Custom rosewood/sitka I recently purchased. I have not had a professional setup but have adjusted the truss rod to eliminate some minor bowing. I keep the guitar in a humidified case.

Although I play a lot of fingerstyle, I have great difficulty playing barre chords cleanly. It seems to me that the Taylor neck is, for me, too "thin". It seems like the profile prohibits me from getting enough pressure with my thumb/forefinger to form the bar.

Anyone else experience this issue?

Thanks - David
Valid point, IMO. The 414CE is one of the Taylor guitars I think is a very fine instrument but the neck is not present enough in my hand for me to effectively fret it. I have large hands and a narrow, thin neck is lost in my fretting hand. Minimally, the depth of the neck from the top of the board to the back of the carve needs to be deeper than the 414CE neck is to be in my hand's power zone, if you will.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:18 PM
pjroberts pjroberts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B. Adams View Post
I have a 914 with thin neck. Barre chords aren't a problem for me on that guitar. Actually, the action on that guitar is amazing, it's probably my easiest playing guitar.

I have a 614 that had a high nut. It wasn't a huge problem, but it played harder than it should have. I got the nut worked on, and it's so much better now.

Check the action on your guitar. It's possible that it has a high nut, saddle, or both. A good setup could work wonders.
Despite all the hoopla about off the shelf playability (which I mostly agree with), Taylor nut slots in my esperience come from the factory high. Not surprising because the buyer should be able to personalize that set up without buying a new nut. But I am amazed Taylor doesnít optimize this better at the factory. Once the nut is right, my Taylor typically plays better than all my other guitars, and Iím talking post set up. itís subjective, and probably due to the neck + me. But if Iím working on something challenging, I usually pick up my Taylor. If I need a different tone, Iíll switch later or adjust the playing obviously.

Now, to the OPís original Q: I know a few people a prefer barrel necks and canít play a Taylor or similar. So there is that.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:26 PM
zmf zmf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdbird View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I have another 414 that bars nicely. It seems like the frets are almost too low to properly "break" the strings. Perhaps the action is too low? Sounds like a trip to a pro is in order.
That's strange if you have another of the same guitar, but don't have the same problem. Probably best to take both guitars to a luthier to let him compare the setups on the two guitars.
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