#1
I've fell into a little problem that I think I understand but want to get some others input on the matter.
I'm really starting to focus on the blues and love those 4th and 5th strat pickup positions, and I've come across two guitars that I really like for different reasons.

First one has a very nice standard 9.5 rolled edges glossed maple neck. The action is very low, it plays super smooth and easy. The two things I don't like about it is that it's very glossy / sticky on the back (easily remedied if I bought it), and it has the 1 11/16ths nut width which I don't like (I prefer 1 5/8ths with my smaller hands).

2nd one has a very worn in 7.25" rolled edges satin maple neck with a soft V profile, and a 1 5/8ths nut, medium to higher action to compensate for the radius. This one feels amazing to hold but after playing on it for awhile my finger tips hurt even with some pretty good calluses that I have built up.
So that raises my questions here.

Is that because of the high action and having to press more on the strings?
Would stepping down a string gauge help? (both are currently strung with 10s)
Will my calluses adjust and that'll eventually go away?


Wish I could find a neck like the 2nd one that was exactly the same but just a 9.5" radius that I could lower action on. That would be the most perfect combination!
#2
Honestly sometimes there is a little pain when you play something completely different than what your hands are used to. I would say that if it is just minor then your hand/fingers should adjust and get used to it. If it really hurts, you should try messing with your playing position a bit to where your hand is comfortable on that neck. If you're playing sitting down try to sit in the classical position with your left foot (if your are right handed) elevated and the guitar neck out from your body a bit. This is a more ergonomic way of playing. When playing standing up try to keep the neck angle about the same as well for your hand.

Of course, take all this with a grain of salt. There are professional guitarists around the world that play just fine non-ergonomically. Like Nuno Bettencourt...or Slash, or Doug Aldrich, those guys literally play with the guitar so low on their bodies it's practically on the floor. Looks so bad ass but damn it's hard to play like that, their wrist is basically forming a constant U shape, most guitar teachers would say this is an absolute no-no - but of course, they aren't pro-guitarists like Nuno, Slash or Aldrich - so again, just use your own judgment more than anything here a bit is what I would say.

That's my 2 cents at least.

Cheers
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#3
Quote by JS_StarOcean
Honestly sometimes there is a little pain when you play something completely different than what your hands are used to. I would say that if it is just minor then your hand/fingers should adjust and get used to it. If it really hurts, you should try messing with your playing position a bit to where your hand is comfortable on that neck. If you're playing sitting down try to sit in the classical position with your left foot (if your are right handed) elevated and the guitar neck out from your body a bit. This is a more ergonomic way of playing. When playing standing up try to keep the neck angle about the same as well for your hand.


Thanks for the input. I've never actually played guitars with anything but real low action as I'm typically into metal and like the flatter boards which are usually wide. Playing the narrow 7.25 neck with the soft V was almost like a revelation to how comfortable it was for my hand. So I'm thinking it's just the action that I'm not used to and is causing the problem. It's not terrible but I definitely have to put it down after a half hour or so and give my tips a rest.

Just wondered if that's a normal effect of playing with high action, and does it get better or do I just get used to it and suck it up if I want to play a guitar that requires high action?
#4
I use 9's on most of my 25.5" scale guitars, and I deck the action and use a hard pick.
I'm also a fan of flatter radii fretboards rather than rounded and higher frets rather than "vintage" types. Don't care for 7.5" radius fretboards at all, but if you're only playing chords from frets 1-5, they're comfortable.

If you're playing with high action, you're doing two things, particularly on a narrow board: One, you're trying to press down further than you ordinarily do and Two, you're trying to avoid adjacent strings. That's gonna throw off your playing if you're used to a flatter board with lower action. And you're probably pressing harder than you ordinarily do to compensate.

I really don't see much difference between the 1 5/8" nut width guitars and the 1 11/16ths" nut width (it's a whole 1/16th", after all). On a lot of these guitars the string spacing is nearly identical. If you're playing with good form, it shouldn't be an issue. If you're trying to do a lot of thumb wrapping, then maybe it is.
#5
Quote by JS_StarOcean


Of course, take all this with a grain of salt. There are professional guitarists around the world that play just fine non-ergonomically. Like Nuno Bettencourt...or Slash, or Doug Aldrich, those guys literally play with the guitar so low on their bodies it's practically on the floor. Looks so bad ass but damn it's hard to play like that, their wrist is basically forming a constant U shape, most guitar teachers would say this is an absolute no-no - but of course, they aren't pro-guitarists like Nuno, Slash or Aldrich - so again, just use your own judgment more than anything here a bit is what I would say.


Most of those guys are finding, as they get older, that they have some issues with wrist pain and arthritis, and they'll often tell you that if you're one on one with them. Listen to your guitar teacher. And some of those teachers ARE pro guitarists; just not in bands that are as popular. Notice, too, that a lot of the folks who are playing low-slung are hiking one foot up on a monitor and tilting the neck of the guitar up when it comes time for a solo *or* they're doing solos that involve their keeping their hands in one spot on the neck.
#6
Quote by dspellman
Most of those guys are finding, as they get older, that they have some issues with wrist pain and arthritis, and they'll often tell you that if you're one on one with them. Listen to your guitar teacher. And some of those teachers ARE pro guitarists; just not in bands that are as popular. Notice, too, that a lot of the folks who are playing low-slung are hiking one foot up on a monitor and tilting the neck of the guitar up when it comes time for a solo *or* they're doing solos that involve their keeping their hands in one spot on the neck.


I would still err on the salt principal, just like weight lifting, everyone's bodies are different, you really need to listen to your own body and see what it's telling you. I am not saying don't listen to your guitar teacher, I am saying, what they say is not always the best advise for you, just consider it a VERY GOOD suggestion. You also have to keep in mind, wrist pain/arthritis can develop from other things, it may not necessarily be their guitar playing. Again, it's just best to listen to your body, your doctor, and by-pass anything anecdotal.
-Signature Stratocaster 'Super Galaxy'
-2015 Ibanez RG655 Prestige
-1990 Jackson Fusion Pro (MIJ), Customized w/ JB, Vintage Rails & Little '59. Kill-switch mod replacing the mid-sweep.

*****
Orange OR15
Orange PPC2x12
Effects: Vox Satchurator, Fullton Fatboost FB3, Dunlop Zakk Wylde Wah, Boss Waza Craft DM-2w Delay, Boss Super Chorus CH-1, Boss GE-7 Equalizer
#7
Quote by dspellman

I really don't see much difference between the 1 5/8" nut width guitars and the 1 11/16ths" nut width (it's a whole 1/16th", after all). On a lot of these guitars the string spacing is nearly identical. If you're playing with good form, it shouldn't be an issue. If you're trying to do a lot of thumb wrapping, then maybe it is.


You basically nailed here..I have been using my thumb to mute the 5th and 6th strings which with 1 5/8's I can still chord correctly but that 1/16th up is just enough for my small hands to give me trouble while still trying to use my thumb for muting.
I have A/B'd both necks a ton and it is a lot easier for me with the narrower neck. Now whether it's psychological or just a matter of technique and practice, that's sorta the other problem I'm trying to figure out.
#9
Quote by JS_StarOcean
Again, it's just best to listen to your body, your doctor, and by-pass anything anecdotal.


Generally good advice, with one caveat.

Your body won't tell you what's going to build up over time and cripple you .
Listening to really loud music, or riding really loud motorcycles without ear protection can be fun at the time and seem perfectly fine until you develop tinnitus.
Ditto smoking, drinking sodas, recovering from concussions, etc.
Liver damage due to steady alcohol use is easy to identify from the point of view of hepatitis, cirrhosis and organ failure a few years down the road, but snorking down a few shots (or more than a few) on a regular basis seems like good fun at the time.

Long term effects of what seem like relatively harm-free activities are difficult to forecast, but pretty easy to identify in hindsight.
Last edited by dspellman at Sep 7, 2016,
#10
Find guitars you like & stick with them. I found loads of guitars would give me cramp in my forearm when playing, but others wouldn't. Never really arrowed it down till I bought a Gibson with the fatter 50s profile neck - the problem went away completely & I've never looked back since.

Check the specs of the guitars which don't give you a problem and use that as a guide when looking at other guitars.
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#11
i always feel that 1 5/8" nut widths hurt my fingers more than 1 11/16". I dunno why, but the strings feel harder to bend.

to answer your questions:

Is that because of the high action and having to press more on the strings? probably, assuming it has a high action.

Would stepping down a string gauge help? (both are currently strung with 10s)? yep, though whether it'll entirely eliminate the problem or just mitigate it a bit is the thing.

Will my calluses adjust and that'll eventually go away? maybe. i can play a lot better on 1 5/8" than I used to be able to, but still, given the free choice, I find 1 11/16" easier on the fingers.
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#12
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