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  #31  
Old 11-25-2021, 02:33 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Also :

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Elderly singer, guitarist, dobrolist and mandolinist.
I'm here to help and advise only

By request, I offer one to one lessons/meetings/mentoring via Zoom! See: https://youtu.be/Pd5Lcd6MLSI

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  #32  
Old 11-25-2021, 12:27 PM
BarChord BarChord is offline
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Thank you for these videos! I watched them and another about selecting a guitar for your hands, rather than bling. All were excellent. I too have trigger finger issues and was able to alleviate much of it through the same stretches and exercises that you presented.

The nut width on the J-45 is 1.72" / 43.81mm. This is less than the 1 13/16" / 46mm that you like and prefer. The string spacing must be less as well. This may be why I am muting strings on open cords in the first three frets. Granted, I just started playing the J-45 and I sure I will improve with more practice.

I think overall, that I am guilty of choosing to buy the J-45 because of the "workhorse tag" that Gibson put on it. My thinking was that it was the one guitar that could do it all. Maybe it is for those with longer thinner fingers. I have a Teton dreadnaught that is easier for me to play. But, I will give it some time to see if I want to keep it.

I will watch more of your great videos!

Jay
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  #33  
Old 11-25-2021, 12:50 PM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarChord View Post
I think overall, that I am guilty of choosing to buy the J-45 because of the "workhorse tag" that Gibson put on it.
Welcome to the forum.

J-45 is a great guitar, but it may not be the right guitar for you, especially given the issues you're dealing with. Is the guitar still within the one-month free return period that some stores offer. If so, you might want to consider exchanging it for an 00-size guitar.

The older we get, the more that playability is important.
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  #34  
Old 11-25-2021, 10:22 PM
Mycroft Mycroft is offline
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What do they do in a setup? Is it specific to the J-45 or my playing style?
Not sure that anyone actually answered your question.

In a setup, the tech may adjust the string slot depth at the nut, curvature (relief) of the neck, height of the saddle, and if any of the frets are standing taller (proud) than the others. Might also touch up the frets.

Setup takes into account your playing style, how aggressive your attack on the strings is, what gauge of strings that you use. A guy who is an aggressive strummer or bluegrass flatpicker will probably like a very different setup from a light-touch fingerpicker.

Most new guitars, particularly production guitars, could use a setup. first because of individual preference, but also because the guitar's parts are setting into their new role of being a guitar, and second because the environment where the guitar is not living can effect setup. Gibson (and Martin) are known for shipping new guitars with slightly high action, under the theory that is is far easier t lower the action during a setup when needed than t is to raise it. Taylor is well known for easy playing action out of the box, but sometimes that means that the action winds up being to low. OMMV.

As a new guy, you are better off at this stage with an as easy to play guitar as you can get even if it means putting up with a touch of fret buzz. You can always have it readjusted later.

If you do look at smaller bodied guitars, and if you like the Gibson sound, you might also look at the LG2, which sort of is the J-45's smaller but equally badass little brother. Watch the nuts, which can range from 1.72" to 1.75," and the neck profiles.

Welcome to the monkeyhouse.
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  #35  
Old 11-26-2021, 10:41 AM
BarChord BarChord is offline
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Thank you for the great explanation of what goes into a proper setup. I will have it done next week and report back!
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  #36  
Old 11-27-2021, 08:37 PM
casualmusic casualmusic is offline
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Originally Posted by BarChord View Post
Week Two Update!


2. While standing, I positioned the guitar off to my right hip area, instead of centering.
3. Up angle of 30-45 degrees
4. Able to reach frets better, but thumb too high. Bad habit!

...

Yep, it's good to place the guitar alongside instead of across the belly.

It's also good to point the headstock forwards a bit; as shown by Lowrider's photo of Phil Ochs, and Silly Moustache's video with his fret hand over his knee. Reaching forwards (instead of sideways) "lengthens" the arm and allows more space for the belly and guitar to co-exist. If needed you can get even more space by sliding the guitar forwards.

Fretting hand forward instead of sideways is also easier on the shoulder (for thin folks too) because arm movement forwards and back is more comfortable then spread to the side. Test this by raising the arm forwards compared to sidewards.

For fretting comfort tilt the headstock around to find a position where the hand can curl around and fret with fingers vertical. I'd keep experimenting over a few weeks and not lock into a new posture too soon.

Cheers

.
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  #37  
Old 11-27-2021, 09:46 PM
casualmusic casualmusic is offline
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Originally Posted by BarChord View Post

I find myself wondering about my choice to buy the J-45. I didn't realize ahead of time that it was a 24.75" scale. Versus a normal scale of 25.5". Am thinking that the 25.5" may have been a better scale for my short fat fingers. Ant thoughts on scale length?

My short fingers (3" middle finger) prefer medium (~24.75") or shorter scale guitars because the spread between frets is shorter than long scale.

When playing with others I'm too absorbed to notice the 25.5" scale, but when learning and practising at home it's noticeable and a real distraction. I practise with my 23" Cargo which is shorter and smaller than ideal.

My experience is that good fret hand technique is important for tone and comfort. As a newish player I'm glad I took extra coaching from a classical guitar teacher. This makes it a snap to fret different instruments with different neck width and scale.

The three most memorable points were to keep the fretting fingers vertical, keep the hand relaxed, and not over clench. To get there I was taught to reach further give the hand more flexibility and allow the fingers to curl; to clench less and instead tug the neck backwards; and pinch with the thumb and active finger generally diagonally but with thumb more on the back thn edge of the neck. And allow myself 50 fuzzy attempts to achieve each success, and another 50 to nail it!

J-45 is a great guitar. I'd try to keep it!

Cheers.

.
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