#1
Hey guys, so the title is a little misleading. The guitar is in one piece, it plays, but playing it just kinda hurts. It was my first guitar, a Yamaha FG700s i think (its not with me right now), and I hated it since I got it. Its very very stiff, and it feels very dry. It's hard to explain, it just doesn't feel good to play. The strings aren't super far from the neck, it seems to be aligned decently, it just feels like shit to play. My friend said the same thing after he tried it. I've seen people rave about this guitar, I wanna love it, the sound is great, it just feels like playing sandpaper.
I was planning on ordering strings and a new pick guard for it, would lemon oil help? Or a certain string type? Maybe a new nut/saddle?
#3
Quote by Tony Done
Have you had it set up properly? - Relief, action height, nut slot height? That makes a major difference, and might solve most, if not all your problems. Fretboard oil might help a bit, but I doubt if it will make a big contribution..

I don't think I have, I always assumed since the action wasn't too high it didn't need to be setup... truth be told i don't even know what they do in a set up lmao
#4
There are lots of online tutorials on how to set up an acoustic guitar if you just look them up on google. I'd suggest starting there first and from them, determine what adjustments the guitar may need.

If you were happy with the way the guitar played and the playability got worse over time, then the truss rod might need to be adjusted. Measure the neck relief first before determining if it does first.

Place a capo on the first fret of any string (the lowest string is the easiest to measure with) and with your picking hand, fret that same string on the fret where the neck joins to the body. Then inspect the gap between the fretted string to the 7th fret. A setup that's suitable for the way most people play is about 0.5mm (≈ 0,02 in). (Some people play with less than this, you have to determine what's the most suitable amount for how you play the guitar.) You can measure this accurately by sliding a feeler gauge the appropriate thickness between the string and the fret. Too little gap or no gap whatsoever means that the truss rod is too tight. More than 0.5mm indicates that the truss rod may need to be tightened

Another likely cause of the problem is that your guitar needs to be humidified as the wood has dried out, causing the action to drift higher and higher from bridge deflection.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#5
if the guitar is an FG700 and playing it is stiff, that means one of three things, most likely.

1) it needs a setup. this is likely as every guitar and bass i've ever owned - and i've owned many - needed a setup out of the box as i prefer my action very low. just because the strings look close to you don't mean they are. after all, not everyone has the same needs and preferences, so chances are small that any guitar at any price will be set up the way you like it. or you could have too much neck relief, which could also be resolved by a setup.

2) your stings are too heavy. i use extra lights, most guitars come with lights. try extra light strings with round cores if the strings seem stiff. lower action (from a setup) will also probably help.

3) your hand, fingers and wrist aren't strong enough yet - you need to keep playing to strengthen your hand and wrist

4) your playing position is putting undue stress on your hand and/or wrist, which is making them work harder. this could also cause damage to your hand or wrist.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#6
Quote by patticake
if the guitar is an FG700 and playing it is stiff, that means one of three things, most likely.

1) it needs a setup. this is likely as every guitar and bass i've ever owned - and i've owned many - needed a setup out of the box as i prefer my action very low. just because the strings look close to you don't mean they are. after all, not everyone has the same needs and preferences, so chances are small that any guitar at any price will be set up the way you like it. or you could have too much neck relief, which could also be resolved by a setup.

2) your stings are too heavy. i use extra lights, most guitars come with lights. try extra light strings with round cores if the strings seem stiff. lower action (from a setup) will also probably help.

3) your hand, fingers and wrist aren't strong enough yet - you need to keep playing to strengthen your hand and wrist

4) your playing position is putting undue stress on your hand and/or wrist, which is making them work harder. this could also cause damage to your hand or wrist.


I assume it'll just need a setup, I've been playing for years on different instruments, 2 3 and 4 don't seem to be the issue. I was hoping for a cheap fix I can do myself, the only guy who does setups around here is an asscrack (the nearest guitar center is about an hour away). Oh well, I guess I'm just gonna sit on it for a bit longer
#8
The FG series (I have one) all seem to have weak necks so be careful not to tune too high or use heavy strings. These necks will bend then you're in big trouble. Remove fretboard, plane or sand the neck flat, re-attatch the fretboard. Whenever I have to do that I always put in a dual action truss rod.
OTOH hand their body construction is very robust and the woods are very good.
My FG plays like a dream.
#9
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
There are lots of online tutorials on how to set up an acoustic guitar if you just look them up on google. I'd suggest starting there first and from them, determine what adjustments the guitar may need.

If you were happy with the way the guitar played and the playability got worse over time, then the truss rod might need to be adjusted. Measure the neck relief first before determining if it does first.

Place a capo on the first fret of any string (the lowest string is the easiest to measure with) and with your picking hand, fret that same string on the fret where the neck joins to the body. Then inspect the gap between the fretted string to the 7th fret. A setup that's suitable for the way most people play is about 0.5mm (≈ 0,02 in). (Some people play with less than this, you have to determine what's the most suitable amount for how you play the guitar.) You can measure this accurately by sliding a feeler gauge the appropriate thickness between the string and the fret. Too little gap or no gap whatsoever means that the truss rod is too tight. More than 0.5mm indicates that the truss rod may need to be tightened

Another likely cause of the problem is that your guitar needs to be humidified as the wood has dried out, causing the action to drift higher and higher from bridge deflection.


I just sat down to measure the action (i've been busy lol, and I don't use the guitar a lot), I put a capo on the first fret, and one on the 12th fret. From the top of the fretboard to the top of the Low E is 4mm at the 7th fret, and no frets buzz or anything. Unless I measured wrong this should be set right. However I'll be honest, playing it hurts, which is something I haven't felt since I started playing. It has medium gauge 80/20s on it, which shouldn't be too much for me (I use medium phosphor bronze on my other one, and .11s on my electric). I have no idea whats wrong with it, it just doesn't play nice
#10
4mm?! That amount of relief suggests that the neck is about to snap in half, or that you're not measuring the relief correctly.

Are you sure you're measuring the relief like this video is showing? You need to measure the relief with a feeler gauge. Nothing else is going to be accurate enough.

Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#11
4mm is 3mm too much. Truss adjustment could help some even if the neck is bent.
#13
why medium string? i could be mistaken, but i believe it comes with lights, as do most acoustics/
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#14
Quote by patticake
why medium string? i could be mistaken, but i believe it comes with lights, as do most acoustics/
Because, Tony can't seem to help himself from suggesting mediums. I've been working on him for a couple of years now, to no avail.

Quote by skido13
The FG series (I have one) all seem to have weak necks so be careful not to tune too high or use heavy strings. These necks will bend then you're in big trouble. Remove fretboard, plane or sand the neck flat, re-attatch the fretboard. Whenever I have to do that I always put in a dual action truss rod.
OTOH hand their body construction is very robust and the woods are very good.
My FG plays like a dream.
Why don't we relax for a spell, and measure some stuff, like how high is the action in reality, before we start recommending heavy duty stuff like ripping off the fret board.
Quote by teleobrien
I just sat down to measure the action (i've been busy lol, and I don't use the guitar a lot), I put a capo on the first fret, and one on the 12th fret. From the top of the fretboard to the top of the Low E is 4mm at the 7th fret, and no frets buzz or anything. Unless I measured wrong this should be set right. However I'll be honest, playing it hurts, which is something I haven't felt since I started playing. It has medium gauge 80/20s on it, which shouldn't be too much for me (I use medium phosphor bronze on my other one, and .11s on my electric). I have no idea whats wrong with it, it just doesn't play nice
Well, that's nice but, you're supposed to be measuring from the BOTTOM of the low E to the TOP of the 6th or 7th fret. The measurement you took is useless. Your guitar does have too much relief, but not anywhere near what you think it has.

In case the posted video doesn't do it for you, try Mr. Becker's setup guide: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 25, 2017,
#15
Captaincranky

I'm being unfairly persecuted here. While it's true that I like mediums on big flattop guitars, I didn't advocate them in this thread, I just mentioned it in passing.

I put a new set of 12-53 on my old L-00 today. It reminded me that the biggest single improvement you can make to the tone of any acoustic is a new set of strings.

And you've as much chance of persuading me to use light strings as the sun rising in the west. I've pretty much retained the (playing) habits of my youth.
#16
Quote by Tony Done
Captaincranky

I'm being unfairly persecuted here.
Oh, don't feel like you're being singled out. I just haven't gotten around to persecuting the others......yet

Quote by Tony Done
While it's true that I like mediums on big flattop guitars, I didn't advocate them in this thread, I just mentioned it in passing.
Perhaps. But it's been often said, "a wink's as good as a nudge". FWIW, Gibson ships most of its J-200's with lights, (.012 to .053), and I'd be hard pressed tyo call that anything but a "big flat top guitar".

Quote by Tony Done
I put a new set of 12-53 on my old L-00 today. It reminded me that the biggest single improvement you can make to the tone of any acoustic is a new set of strings.
Please explain that to skido23. He thinks they're good for 5 years. I usually go through the windings on the G-3 of a 12 string in about 6 months. Which reminds me...................

Quote by Tony Done
And you've as much chance of persuading me to use light strings as the sun rising in the west. I've pretty much retained the (playing) habits of my youth.
For the life of me, I can't ever recall asking YOU to use lights. Well except when you're complaining about neck resets and such. Still, at least as many guitars ship with lights as mediums. It sometimes doesn't make a whole heck of a lot of sense to even, "mention mediums in passing", to a novice acoustic player, having trouble with "stiff to play, and I can't do barre chords, guitars".

As far as, "the playing hands of youth", I have retained much of my dexterity. However, I prefer to save some of that exuberance for keeping time with the music which erotic art creates in my mind.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 25, 2017,
#17
Captaincranky

From what I have seen, most guitars do indeed ship with 12s, though I think one big name, maybe Taylor, does ship some models with 13s. I agree entirely that 13s increase the risk of long term mechanical damage compared to lights, but OTOH, there are very many occasions where I have picked up a big guitar in a store and thought 1) I don't like Elixirs and 2) This would sound better with 13s. You pays your money and takes your choice. In my case I put sound above mechanical risks, but it is the main reason I'm a fan of Taylors, and my Bourgeois, with their bolt-on necks.

I'm reasonably convinced about 12s for beginners, but anything less than that makes me think they are missing the point in most cases. - Not always I hasten to add, because Bert Jansch, one of my heroes used 11s - but even then, from what I have tried, those Yamahas he favoured are very responsive.

Anyone who sees a set of strings as a long term investment might want to try Ernie Ball Aluminium Bronze. I really like the sound, hard and bright, and they are supposed to last a long time.
#18
Quote by Captaincranky
Why don't we relax for a spell, and measure some stuff, like how high is the action in reality, before we start recommending heavy duty stuff like ripping off the fret board.
That made my morning, I don't know why. You are right though.

Anyways, OP I would recommend getting lights, and checking your truss rod. Get you action where it is not buzz but low enough it comfortable to play. If you have you action high it can be pain. I understand. Second work on finger strength. I use to do this with and still do but playing this:
e ------------------------------------------------------ 1 2 3 4
b ------------------------------------------- 1 2 3 4
g ----------------------------------1 2 3 4
d ---------------------- 1 2 3 4
a ----------- 1 2 3 4
E 1 2 3 4
Then work your way back up then start it on second fret and keep going. Also another way to adjust your action is to sand down your saddle a little. Truss Rod and Saddle adjustments need to be done carefully so you dont damage the guitar or sand down to much. There are few good videos on youtube. Cheers mate!
"Music became a healer for me. And I learned to listen with all my being. I found that it could wipe away all the emotions of fear and confusion relating to my family." Eric Clapton
Last edited by Blackwaterson89 at Jan 29, 2017,