The Acoustic Guitar Forum

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #16  
Old 01-16-2020, 07:32 AM
swampyankee swampyankee is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 39
Default

Interesting discusion as I am now looking for what will probably be my forever Dread. I've been playing alot of electric the last several years - mostly Fenders - but I've given that up and returning to acoustic. I currently play a Martin 000C-16GTE that I bought years ago while in a church band, and an 80's Washburn D-18M, which is a lam-top guitar but good for "campfire" stuff.
I tend to play fingerstyle or a combo of flatpicking and finder picking. I'm finding at 63, my fingers don't fold up (think F and D mnor chords) as the used to.
The Martin has a nice slim neck and 11/16" nut. I've always liked the neck on the Wash, which is sort of a soft V. I played a J-45 and a D-18 the other day and I seemed to favor the J. Both were playable, but the slimmer J neck seemed to say "play me". The Martin was ok but it had an open-grained finish, sort of like a Gibson Faded Series I don't care for.
With all you guys talking about how neck shapes affect playing comfort as you age, it should be a consideration for me as I choose my "forever dread".
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-16-2020, 07:45 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: UK/EU
Posts: 15,896
Default

71 & 3/4" here. I have trouble with my hands all the time - can't remember how many cortisone jabs I 've had in my wrists and sometimes in the palm of my left hand.

Got trigger finger in my right hand middle finger last year resulting in surgery, and now I'm having similar problems on my left and much pain.

I play righty but I'm left handed so my left hand does more work than my right, and is noticeably larger.

My sister is nine years older than I and always complaining about her hands.

I have to wear "weightlifters" mittens in the gym, and avoid gripping weights etc. I also use them when driving.

Gardening - pulling, lifting, cutting etc., is becoming problematic too.

However I went for my monthly massage yesterday and asked her to concentrate on my left foot and left hand.

As I have come to expect, she started on my shoulder, and worked down to my hand working mostly on my forearm and wrist. Today feels better.
she tells me that the problem is mainly in the forearm - similar issues ar problems with my with my damaged left foot.
I left with instructions to massage inside of my forearms with my "spikey ball"

cue :
__________________
Silly Moustache,
Elderly singer, guitarist, dobrolist and mandolinist.

https://www.youtube.com/user/SillyMoustache/videos

Last edited by Silly Moustache; 01-16-2020 at 04:10 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-16-2020, 08:18 AM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 2,551
Default

I am also 68 with some arthritis. I like short scale and skinny necks don't do it for me. But I suspect we might all find different comfort levels when it comes to the thickness of the neck.

I'd find a store that doesn't care how long you audition guitars and see what works.
__________________
Keith
Martin 000-42 Marquis
Lowden S 50
Taylor Classical
Alvarez 12 String
Gibson ES345
Fender P-Bass
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-16-2020, 08:33 AM
ljguitar's Avatar
ljguitar ljguitar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: wyoming
Posts: 38,832
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyToonz View Post
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.
Hi Cody

I taught guitar locally (for $$$) until I retired a few years back. I've had many students (and friends who play) who as they age begin to have to retrain themselves because of changes in their bodies.

Some had back issues, others shoulders, or hand/arm/wrist problems.

Not one of them stopped playing because of the issues, but did learn to adapt with their posture, or the way they support the guitar while playing (straps or lifts).

For some who encountered hands changing because of age, injury or infirmity we worked patiently through familiar material (songs) as they retrained the fingers, hands etc. I don't recall any of them selling an instrument because of it, but they all needed to adapt or else they would have to give up some level of dexterity.

One of my friends who had a titanium implant in two different fingers of his picking hand (and is a great Chet Atkins picker) had to go to his specialist and have them 'bend' the titanium to a better shape for picking (that was a painful procedure). He only needed a ¼" of change in each, but the doctor managed to do this for each of the affected fingers without surgery. He was in the mid-70s (age-wise) at the time.

It sounds like your situation is a progressive one, so you may need to re-train your fretting hand several times as you hand changes.

With the use of a strap while you play (standing or sitting) if you elevate the headstock while playing to chin level, this shifts the headstock closer to the shoulder, and and brings back some finger dexterity (to everyone actually). Lifting the neck allows fingers to relax and compact a little bit.

When sitting I use a lift (called a NeckUP) which accomplishes the same thing. It lifts the headstock and rotates the body of the guitar so I still balance it on the right knee while keeping both feet flat on the ground (better for backs).

I hope this serves to give you hope there are things which can be done to keep you playing enjoyably for years to come.



__________________
Larry J

Baby #01
Baby #02
Baby #03
Baby #04
Full-size Full-Scale Baby #4

Larry's songs...

…Just because you've argued till a discussion turns silent doesn't mean you have convinced anyone…
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-16-2020, 08:53 AM
kiva238 kiva238 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 744
Default

I'm 67 with some new and very life threatening health issues that have recently been diagnosed. In addition, I've got the usual arthritis but also bilateral synovitis of my index and middle fingers. The pain can be excruciating.

I've found that even small differences in neck contour and size can make all the difference. The worst culprits for me are the C shape or Taylor type, flatter necks. Many V shapes are acceptable, but not all.

Because of the problem, I have been forced to sell off some of my favorite guitars this past year, and sell off isn't done. Even though I have had each instrument professionally set up to perfection, it's the neck shape that does me in.

Come the Spring thaw, it looks like my old 1951 000-28 as well as possibly my best sounding guitar, a nearly new Froggy Bottom M, will hit the block. This is very sad but not being able to play them and staring at them every day is sadder still. . . .
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 01-16-2020, 10:28 AM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,092
Default

I still prefer the same acoustic neck carves I have had since my 1960s garage band days. It is one of the reasons I continue to feel comfortable with Harmonys. But I have found that my aging hands have caused me to change the way I approach the guitar. I tend to us less fingers on my right hand than I once did. Oddly, I rely mainly on my thumb and middle finger with a sparing use of my first finger. All I know is it works for me. I also take comfort from knowing Rev. Gary Davis played using only two fingers.
__________________
"You start off playing guitars to get girls & end up talking with middle-aged men about your fingernails" - Ed Gerhard
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 01-17-2020, 09:26 AM
Golffishny Golffishny is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 520
Default

I'm 67 now. I had problems a few years ago and needed Ulner nerve surgery to recover use of my left hand. Before the problem started I played everything. Since then I found thin necks made my hand cramp after 15 minutes. Sold my Taylors. A deep neck or V tired my hand after 15-30 minutes. I found I can play the Martin MLO easily and the MLO-PT for as long as I want. That works for me. You may differ depending on the size and shape of your hand and fingers. I find if I get past 30 minutes without any sense of discomfort, I'm ok. You just have to try more guitars. Spend and afternoon in your favorite shop. Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 01-17-2020, 01:07 PM
Doug MacPherson Doug MacPherson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Hot Springs Village, AR
Posts: 136
Default

Getting older is not for sissies, as they say. I've gone to a nylon string short scale smaller body guitar, with smaller than the 2 inch standard width classical guitar nut. The neck is thicker than my GS min, nylon strings are easier, we do what we have to do to keep playing. Finger arthritis and bad shoulder does have "work arounds". Story of me life these days.
__________________
Catapaw
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 01-17-2020, 02:51 PM
PatrickMadsen PatrickMadsen is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Blaine, Washington
Posts: 39
Default

Almost 72 playing guitar since I was 11 and a paraplegic for 46 years. Shoulders are shot from wheeling all those years and ulnar nerve on both arms starting to go.

I found a gentleman in Bellingham Washington who makes ergonomic guitars, George thomas. I have a contra baritone uke and a parlor guitar from him with a 00 being made now. I currently play lead in a bluegrass group and a couple uke groups.

He carves about any shape a person wants but specializes in an ergonomic asymmetrical shape to the neck. The centerline is shaped towards the treble side of the neck so as one moves up the fretboard, he doesn't have to change wrist angles. Really has kept me playing the last few years.

I owned an old 1893 Bay State parlor with a v neck. Really liked it so on the new 00 build, he is carving an asymmetrical v shaped neck. Should really be nice.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 01-17-2020, 02:55 PM
Tony Burns Tony Burns is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: middle of no where
Posts: 7,208
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenL View Post
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.
I was just thinking about the Goodall neck - Mines kinda chunky, but for some reason its easy on the old hands.
__________________
wood things with strings on them !
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 01-17-2020, 03:07 PM
vindibona1's Avatar
vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Chicago- North Burbs, via Mexico City
Posts: 5,006
Default

Like many, I'm older. Now 68 as well. I started developing arthritis in my hands at 60. Fortunately it hasn't progressed too much. But it became difficult to close my hands without warming them up, literally and figuratively. I have always seemed to prefer soft V necks and just put up with my Taylors' C necks because I like the guitars.

But unrelated to guitar necks... 13 months ago I was physically a wreck. 5'9" at 227 pounds. Blood sugar at 121. A1C at 5.6. Cholesterol up there in spite of taking Crestor for years. My daughter somehow got me started on this "Keto" diet and also suggested "intermittent fasting". I had tried the Keto thing earlier last year and it was a bust, but I didn't take it seriously. I was in such bad physical shape at the end of 2018 that there were only two ways I could go.

So I started the Keto thing with intermittent fasting in earnest. I started on December 29, 2018 and by June 1st I had lost 50 pounds! My blood sugar went down to 106, A1C to 5.3 my cholesterol dropped 40 points, blood pressure 105/60. I went from almost size 40 pants to 33. But the most curious thing... MY ARTHRITIS SYMPTOMS SUBSIDED BY AT LEAST 50%! My hands are still a bit stiffer than when I was young, but I can now easily make a fist with both my hands. I can play guitar longer. I no longer take anti-inflammatory drugs on a regular basis. WHAT I DISCOVERED IS THAT SUGARS CAUSE INFLAMMATION!

I'm not trying to sell anyone anything. I'm just sharing what I experienced for those who may be suffering and want to try something different other than drugs and medical treatments. No clubs, subscriptions... no nothing.. All it takes is some personal commitment and a little knowledge.
__________________
Assuming is not knowing. Knowing is NOT Understanding. There is a difference between compassion and wisdom. Compassion cannot supplant wisdom. Wisdom cannot occur without understanding. FACTS DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS. Feelings alone often make for terrible decisions TIME DEFINES ALL THINGS.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 01-18-2020, 06:03 AM
Kh1967's Avatar
Kh1967 Kh1967 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Illinois - Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 3,324
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
Like many, I'm older. Now 68 as well. I started developing arthritis in my hands at 60. Fortunately it hasn't progressed too much. But it became difficult to close my hands without warming them up, literally and figuratively. I have always seemed to prefer soft V necks and just put up with my Taylors' C necks because I like the guitars.

But unrelated to guitar necks... 13 months ago I was physically a wreck. 5'9" at 227 pounds. Blood sugar at 121. A1C at 5.6. Cholesterol up there in spite of taking Crestor for years. My daughter somehow got me started on this "Keto" diet and also suggested "intermittent fasting". I had tried the Keto thing earlier last year and it was a bust, but I didn't take it seriously. I was in such bad physical shape at the end of 2018 that there were only two ways I could go.

So I started the Keto thing with intermittent fasting in earnest. I started on December 29, 2018 and by June 1st I had lost 50 pounds! My blood sugar went down to 106, A1C to 5.3 my cholesterol dropped 40 points, blood pressure 105/60. I went from almost size 40 pants to 33. But the most curious thing... MY ARTHRITIS SYMPTOMS SUBSIDED BY AT LEAST 50%! My hands are still a bit stiffer than when I was young, but I can now easily make a fist with both my hands. I can play guitar longer. I no longer take anti-inflammatory drugs on a regular basis. WHAT I DISCOVERED IS THAT SUGARS CAUSE INFLAMMATION!

I'm not trying to sell anyone anything. I'm just sharing what I experienced for those who may be suffering and want to try something different other than drugs and medical treatments. No clubs, subscriptions... no nothing.. All it takes is some personal commitment and a little knowledge.
Really good points on diet and overall impact on what it can do to the body in terms of pain and inflammation.

I have also experienced some good relief when tweaking what I put into my body and how often. We are all different in terms of how we respond, but these things can certainly be worth trying.
__________________
Hope. Love. Music.
Collings | Bourgeois | Martin
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 01-18-2020, 06:33 AM
turbotom1052 turbotom1052 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 69
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhodgeh View Post
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
Me too. 61 here with arthritis. A big neck allows for better leverage and support during most chord shapes. Also 12 frets bring the 1st position chords closer to the body allowing better movement of these aging joints.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 01-18-2020, 10:09 PM
Malcolm Kindnes Malcolm Kindnes is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ireland
Posts: 916
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Burns View Post
I was just thinking about the Goodall neck - Mines kinda chunky, but for some reason its easy on the old hands.
I agree, Goodall necks are very comfortable.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 01-18-2020, 10:15 PM
Malcolm Kindnes Malcolm Kindnes is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ireland
Posts: 916
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
Like many, I'm older. Now 68 as well. I started developing arthritis in my hands at 60. Fortunately it hasn't progressed too much. But it became difficult to close my hands without warming them up, literally and figuratively. I have always seemed to prefer soft V necks and just put up with my Taylors' C necks because I like the guitars.

But unrelated to guitar necks... 13 months ago I was physically a wreck. 5'9" at 227 pounds. Blood sugar at 121. A1C at 5.6. Cholesterol up there in spite of taking Crestor for years. My daughter somehow got me started on this "Keto" diet and also suggested "intermittent fasting". I had tried the Keto thing earlier last year and it was a bust, but I didn't take it seriously. I was in such bad physical shape at the end of 2018 that there were only two ways I could go.

So I started the Keto thing with intermittent fasting in earnest. I started on December 29, 2018 and by June 1st I had lost 50 pounds! My blood sugar went down to 106, A1C to 5.3 my cholesterol dropped 40 points, blood pressure 105/60. I went from almost size 40 pants to 33. But the most curious thing... MY ARTHRITIS SYMPTOMS SUBSIDED BY AT LEAST 50%! My hands are still a bit stiffer than when I was young, but I can now easily make a fist with both my hands. I can play guitar longer. I no longer take anti-inflammatory drugs on a regular basis. WHAT I DISCOVERED IS THAT SUGARS CAUSE INFLAMMATION!

I'm not trying to sell anyone anything. I'm just sharing what I experienced for those who may be suffering and want to try something different other than drugs and medical treatments. No clubs, subscriptions... no nothing.. All it takes is some personal commitment and a little knowledge.
Intermittent fasting is definitely a good thing for the body, it is natural for us to have periods of less food.
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 11:26 PM.


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=