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Old 10-05-2012, 07:48 PM   #1
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Trouble playing from the 12th fret up

Ok, so I've been playing acoustic guitar on and off for a couple of years now, and I got all the basics down and can play beginner/some intermediate songs and whatever, but find it near impossible to keep a comfortable wrist position when playing from the 12th fret up, especially when trying to do chords.
I find myself having to put my elbow against my stomach (slightly to the side of the bellybutton area) and pushing the neck away from me and kinda bending my wrist a bit in order to play up there, is this bad technique/will it harm my wrist or is it ok to play like that?
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:54 PM   #2
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The short answer is, "buy an electric".

Even acoustics with cutaways are a bit cumbersome to play above the 12th fret, simply because of the body depth, which could be up to 4.5" at the neck joint. Plus, the neck heel extends almost to the 12th fret.

An electric is about 2" thick at the neck heel, and the neck joins at the 17th fret, (or thereabouts.

For all intents and purposes, there a certain amount of placebo effect taking place on acoustics with cutaways. It's there but it isn't as much use as one would hope.

Anytime I've seen people play at high registers, they've brought the forearm close to, or over top of the fret board, and pushed their hands, with fingers straightened, into the high frets. You won't be able to barre a G major chord at the 15th fret.

You're probably not going to be able to make high register bends either.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 10-05-2012 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:44 AM   #3
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Another thing is the sheer mechanics of how an acoustic is set up... The string height at the 12th fret and above is quite a bit different than it is down near the nut... So theres more effort involved in forming chords and also a tendency to "pull everything sharp" due to the distance to the fret.
I've had a couple of cutaway acoustics... Never found a way to play up there with any comfort.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Captaincranky
You won't be able to barre a G major chord at the 15th fret.

The depends on the guitar you're using. I just managed it fine on my Fender acoustic, but there's no chance of doing it on guitars with higher action.
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