The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-15-2020, 04:59 PM
CodyToonz CodyToonz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 113
Default Old hands--Neck shape

Old guy post. I just turned 68. Been playing since '60's garage bands. Over the last couple of years, certain chord fingerings have become harder to play. On a recent doctor visit, he said "Let me see your hands". "Looks like ulnar drift" It seems to be an arthritis related issue where the fingers bend towards the pinky finger. Big index finger knuckle.I'm not in any pain but it seems my playing geometry isn't the same.

That said, I'm experimenting. I have a variety of guitars with different scale lengths, nut widths, neck profiles and lengths (ie. 12 fret).

I know this is a multi generational forum and I'm wondering if others in my age bracket have had to make adjustments. I've seen posts regarding shoulder pain. I'm not in pain, things just don't always bend in the same direction. I've friends that have given up on their musical instruments. Not me--Cold dead hands and all that.
__________________
Taylor 712 1991
Taylor GC6
Taylor 812ce 12 Fret
Taylor GS Mini
Fender Acoustisonic Telecaster
Breedlove Discovery Parlor
Cheap Squier Electrics
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-15-2020, 05:09 PM
soma5 soma5 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 237
Default

I find that C-profile necks work better for me now that I'm starting to age. I used to be able to play any profile and actually liked/preferred V-profile necks but I can't play the deep ones any more because my left hand starts to hurt. What is really strange to me is that I ought to like the Taylor neck shape but my left hand starts to hurt after about 10 minutes. I guess I need a little more neck than that now. I haven't progressed to baseball bat necks yet, though. I also like something on the big side of 1-3/4" at the nut. I need more room to play clean, I guess.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-15-2020, 05:10 PM
Peepaw Peepaw is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 109
Default

Cody I'm the same age as you.
I'm starting to have a bit of arthritis myself. So far it's not that much of a problem for me as I don't play that long. Maybe a couple hours a day spaced out over about 8 hours.

I don't really have any advice for you other than hang in there.

I like the cold dead hands comment.

Good luck sir.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-15-2020, 05:15 PM
dhodgeh's Avatar
dhodgeh dhodgeh is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: FLA-USA
Posts: 648
Default

I've have arthritis developing in my basal joint (base of the thumb). I find that a big thick chunky C shaped neck gives my thumb added support.

There are still certain shapes that can cause discomfort. So, on those occasions, I try to find a different position to minimize the pain.

D
__________________
"There's a lot of music in songs"
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-15-2020, 05:18 PM
rmoretti49 rmoretti49 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Chicago
Posts: 624
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by soma5 View Post
I find that C-profile necks work better for me now that I'm starting to age. I used to be able to play any profile and actually liked/preferred V-profile necks but I can't play the deep ones any more because my left hand starts to hurt. What is really strange to me is that I ought to like the Taylor neck shape but my left hand starts to hurt after about 10 minutes. I guess I need a little more neck than that now. I haven't progressed to baseball bat necks yet, though. I also like something on the big side of 1-3/4" at the nut. I need more room to play clean, I guess.
My situation is similar. I will often enough start to get fretting hand wrist pain after playing my Taylors for a lengthy period. Tendonitis gets aggravated. But I can switch to a guitar with a very full neck profile (Recording King RP-06 or Guild 12 string) and play comfortably.

I used to think I wanted slim profile necks on all my guitars. Not any more.
__________________

RM
-----------------------------------------------------

Taylor 856, Taylor GC7, Guild D212, Larrivee OM3, Eastman E20 OM, Farida OT22w, Cordoba Fusion 12 Orchestra, Takamine F360S ('78), Pono 0-15 mango, Journey OF-660, Recording King RP-06, Yamaha FGX800C
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-15-2020, 05:31 PM
jpd jpd is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Sacramento Valley Border
Posts: 9,866
Thumbs up yup

Been going thru issues with my fret hand for many a moon,,,,like you, NEVER giving up!
__________________
"When the stars line up, magic happens"
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-15-2020, 05:33 PM
mcduffnw mcduffnw is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,780
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmoretti49 View Post
My situation is similar. I will often enough start to get fretting hand wrist pain after playing my Taylors for a lengthy period. Tendonitis gets aggravated. But I can switch to a guitar with a very full neck profile (Recording King RP-06 or Guild 12 string) and play comfortably.

I used to think I wanted slim profile necks on all my guitars. Not any more.
I am 59 and I am also developing arthritis/tendinitis in my hands. I have found that for me, a big, fat, strong V or strong D shape neck feels the best, as it gives my left "fretting" hand, especially the area between my thumb and first finger...that U shape area of muscle and tissue...lots of "meat" to fill that area of my hand and thus, lots of support. When I try to play a thin, low profile neck, that area of my left hand begins to hurt and cramp up after just 10 or 15 minutes.

But give me a big thick old vintage Gibson baseball bat strong V or super full C to D shape style neck...or old vintage late 60 early 70's Yamaha acoustic neck...also big and thick with a strong D shape...and I can play in very good comfort for an hour or two no problem.

I also find that even though I have smaller hands/fingers, a 1 3/4 or...even better...larger nut helps a lot, as it gives my fingers more room to relax and move in, and not feel cramped up for space. Yes...it does make some chord shapes, especially trying to wrap the thumb over on the low E super hard to do...but I would rather deal with that, than deal with the pain, and cramping, and then the pain and stiffness afterwords.


duff
Be A Player...Not A Polisher
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-15-2020, 05:39 PM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,754
Default

I was getting hand pain for a while, but moving to lighter strings helped a lot. As a pleasant surprise, the guitars didn't lose much, if anything, even in terms of volume.

Better to switch to extra lights than to have to lose that lovely collection of Taylors the OP has put together.
__________________
1 dreadnought, 1 auditorium, 1 concert, and 2 travel guitars.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-15-2020, 06:16 PM
gibpicker gibpicker is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: SoCal
Posts: 200
Default

GHS thin core's play like butter and sound very good. Like the "dead hands" thing also, but N. might not. Ha!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-15-2020, 06:30 PM
wguitar wguitar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 382
Default

Cody,

I discovered the Martin 00-28 not so many months ago and love the smaller body and neck feel (not to mention the great tone & resonance). I'm just a few years younger and wanted something with less strain on my neck and hands. Definitely worth a look IMHO ! Good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-15-2020, 06:48 PM
CodyToonz CodyToonz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 113
Default

Thanks for the replies so far---Good ideas. Its all about the journey. Comparing guitars. As I said, its a bit of a geometry thing. A 5th fret barred A, no problem. 1st fret F and my index finger wants to go from the 1st fret to the nut at an angle. 4 fret chords are pretty much history. I've also been playing a classical guitar. Wide, chunky neck, 12 fretter, soft strings. I'm beginning to think the distance from the nut to the guitar's waist on my knee is going to be a factor.
__________________
Taylor 712 1991
Taylor GC6
Taylor 812ce 12 Fret
Taylor GS Mini
Fender Acoustisonic Telecaster
Breedlove Discovery Parlor
Cheap Squier Electrics
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-15-2020, 06:49 PM
spock spock is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 540
Default

I am 66 and have found that short scale with thin C shape neck profile to afford me the greatest ease of playability. All of my guitars fit this profile now save for a couple of 90's Taylors that are standard scale but have such thin electric guitar like neck profiles that I can handle them as well. My reach, while never extensive, is even less now but the above adaptations have allowed me to continue playing with continued joy, if not expertise.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-15-2020, 07:09 PM
Cameleye Cameleye is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 946
Default

74 and arthritis in the thumb and 1st fingers of both hands. Flatpicking use hurts so more fingerstyle from now on.
Also, been moving to smaller bodied guitars, short scale, wider fingerboards, thicker necks, lighter gauge strings and also using my nylon stringers more often.
Lastly, all guitars are set up for low action.
On another note, if your right hand's ok for picking, this might be a good time to consider taking up a dobro or other slide guitar.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-16-2020, 03:33 AM
Malcolm Kindnes Malcolm Kindnes is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ireland
Posts: 913
Default

I turned 70 this year and I have found that as I have aged I can only comfortably and cleanly play guitars with wide nuts and chunky necks. 12 fretters are good too, luckily because they often have wide nuts and chunky necks. Funny enough I don't like short scale guitars, I find the strings too floppy.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-16-2020, 06:48 AM
KenL KenL is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: High Rockies
Posts: 1,641
Default

The older I get, the more "meat on the bone" I need. I've got a touch of arthritis at the base of my thumbs, the spot where osteoarthritis frequently first appears.

No Taylors for me, or the Martin MLO neck. My hands ache after just a short while.

However, give me a Martin with a Mod V neck, or the nice chunkiness of my Goodall, and any pain/stiffness actually goes away after playing a bit.
__________________
KenL


1981 Guild D-46
2000 Goodall MhS Standard
2014 Martin Custom Shop CEO-7 00-14
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=