#1
I've been playing guitar most of my life. I've played amazing guitars, shitty guitars and lots in between. However in most $1000 dollar + guitars out there I'd say they're almost all pretty solid. A question I always hear people ask is "does it play well?"

But what exactly are we talking about when we ask that question. It always felt like this intangible x factor about the instrument which I've never been able to quite put my finger on.

So what kind of things are people looking at specifically when you decide if something "Plays well"
#2
For me, when I say it plays well, I mean the guitar plays without any issues. Comfy neck, no sharp or dead frets, good action, intonated right and easy to bend/chord etc...
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#4
A combination of things. Level frets, smooth fret edges, set up to the player's tastes, neck profile fretboard radius etc. to the player's taste.

Can you tell that a lot of this is subject to the player's tastes?
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#6
It's what Squier players say about guitars they can afford.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#7
For the most part, completely subjective topic But hey, it works to have some form of a criteria. I second what DeepBlue and Roc say

-Sharky
#8
Quote by JustRooster
It's what Squier players say about guitars they can afford.


well they do play really well.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#9
On a completely unrelated note...what does it mean to be discharged on the site or forums? Is it just a warning? I know this won't have anything to do with the topic, but I wish to know
#10
"Plays well" is *really* subjective.
I picked up a guitar that a friend of mine (playing about 2 years) thought "played really well." The action was WAY off the board. He tried one of mine and said, "Oh my god, this is amazing. I didn't know guitars could play this way!" He'd tried to lower his action and encountered some high frets and buzzing. I swapped guitars for a while and had his done (it took someone other than me doing it) and handed his back a week later, set up like mine, frets level and glued.

His opinion of what plays well is still subjective, but it's now a whole different opinion.
#11
Quote by gregs1020
well they do play really well.


I know, I was giving shit
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#12
I would simplify it by saying the guitar has little resistance to anything. Bending is frictionless, my hand moves easily up and down the neck, fretting itself feels smooth, notes don't rattle on upper frets, ect.
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#13
Quote by Tony Done
I think it also includes tone/response. I find a guitar (plus amp) whose sound/response I like is a whole lot easier to play than one whose sound I don't like.


Not sure on that. You could have a guitar that plays well but sounds awful and vice versa.
I think you may be describing a guitar that is voiced well.
#14
I think the only (possibly) objective values you could judge a guitar's playability on would be the frets. As long as the frets are dressed cleanly and level, everything else could be personal preference.

Some people actually prefer a high action to make it easier to grab hold of the strings for bends. Players have different preferences on neck relief, string tension, neck profile, fretboard material and so on.

I've gotten to the point where I prefer my neck finish to have a little "tackiness" to it, where my thumb or palm can really anchor into the finish. Some people can't stand that, and want a satin finish that lets you glide all over the place.
#15
I've found, from personal experience, that due to my wonky way of playing, I need guitars that have a cut in on the body (like Gibson does with SG) or else I feel really really limited. My first acoustic is an exception, but I never do lead guitar work on that.

As for the neck, I don't bend much on it to begin with, fingerbend a lot more, so I could do well with a sturdy or non-bending neck. Smoothness isn't really a factor. But to each their own

-Sharky
#16
It means it is a Wednesday guitar!
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#17
Quote by SpiderM
Not sure on that. You could have a guitar that plays well but sounds awful and vice versa.
I think you may be describing a guitar that is voiced well.


My take on this is that a guitar that plays well is one to which you have adapted to some extent; I think you are more likely to adapt to a guitar whose sound you like. A sort of positive feedback loop.
#18
I know that a guitar plays well when the bottleneck is my own talent and limitations, haha.
#19
Simple, when you chose that particular guitar over it's brother and sisters - after all, you are a guitar player and you will never have just one now will you??? That's the one you don't want to put down and if anyone was to nick it you would think capital punishment was a bit too lenient for such a crime!
#20
Quote by Tony Done
My take on this is that a guitar that plays well is one to which you have adapted to some extent; I think you are more likely to adapt to a guitar whose sound you like. A sort of positive feedback loop.


I agree that if a guitar sounds better you'll like it more.
But for a guitar that plays well, I don't think adapting comes into it, it should be a guitar that most people can pick up and agree that it is nice to play. If you have 'adapted' to your guitar that does not necessarily mean it 'plays well' for others.
#22
Quote by JustRooster
I know, I was giving shit

no jake, you were right! i was just following the queue.
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#23
For me it's the feel of the guitar. The neck shape, the string height and all of that. Really how comfortable and easy it is to play. How nice it feels.

That doesn't have to do with sound really for me, except if the intonation is off, or there is buzzing, or it's not loud, and I have to compensate for some shortcoming in how I play, then that would count.

But that wouldn't really be the case for a guitar more expensive than a G.
#24
Quote by JustRooster
It's what Squier players say about guitars they can afford.



lmfao
#25
I played a Martin acoustic from the 1940s, right after it had been repaired and set up by a guy who was (from what I was told) one of the handful of most qualified people in the U.S. to do repairs and set-up on that guitar.

I was still struggling to play power-chords at that time, but I gave it a few strums anyways and it blew my mind. It seemed as if even my mistakes sounded good.
It had lower action, but it also buzzed less than just about any other guitar I've tried. It was easy to fret. It sounded in tune everywhere on the fretboard. It even changed my idea of what it means to be in tune.

I gave up on a lot of ideas about the shape of the neck, and string tension and fretboard width after I played that. It made me feel that a perfectly set up guitar of any configuration will always be better than any particular style or weight, if the second guitar isn't set up to the same standard.