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  1. #1

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    Hi all

    My first post here. So maybe a little introduction is appropriate.

    I'm 43, and I've played the guitar on and off for maybe 15 years. At first for 10 years as a teenager, and now I picked it up again a few years ago. I've mostly played different rock sub-genres in bands, but my real love is jazzy blues, not that I would be very good at playing it though... I've played through MMFG vol. 1 and started vol. 2 years ago, but I just recently dug out the book to maybe have a fresh start with it again.

    Anyways, on to my question I currently play a stratocaster, I bought it without too much thought, and I must say I'm not enjoying it that much. I'm a big guy, 187cm and almost 100kg's, and when I play the strat sitting down I'm hunched up because the guitar is so small, and my pick hits the strings between the neck pickup and the neck when I have my hand set where it naturally falls. I don't know if I'm making any sense, but I feel like a 10-20cm pillow on my leg to raise the guitar would get it at the about right height for me. So is what kind of guitar should I be looking at, if I would like to get a larger guitar to fit my proportions? It really takes the joy out of playing when you feel physically uncomfortable while playing

    Thanks!

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  3. #2

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    I'm a little taller and heavier than you. Start out by playing strapped. Raise the guitar to the proper playing position. Guitar in front of your torso, neck tilted up at an angle.

    How does that feel/work so far?

  4. #3

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    Do you want an archtop? Do you have a budget?

  5. #4

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    I play every electric guitar on a strap. Standing or sitting. Acoustic flat tops maybe I can get away without a strap, but not electrics.

  6. #5
    Ah yes, I should have mentioned that I have this pinched nerve in my lower neck, I used to be a crane operator at the harbour. That causes a heavy electric guitar with a strap to be painful after just 15 minutes of playing. I used to have an acoustic Martin that was light enough to not cause pain with a strap. So the best thing really would be a larger guitar. Or a lighter guitar.

    I can't afford a several thousand € semi-acoustic, but maybe I could find 1000€'s to spend. I was eyeing an Ibanez George Benson-model that was around that price range...

  7. #6

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    I see. You can get various types of guitar supports that raise the guitar up off the leg, however in my limited experience they tend to be for acoustic in a classical position. Maybe there is something that will work with a solidbody, but I can't say. Something like that, possibly in conjunction with a foot stool may do the trick.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crane View Post
    Ah yes, I should have mentioned that I have this pinched nerve in my lower neck, I used to be a crane operator at the harbour. That causes a heavy electric guitar with a strap to be painful after just 15 minutes of playing. I used to have an acoustic Martin that was light enough to not cause pain with a strap. So the best thing really would be a larger guitar. Or a lighter guitar.

    I can't afford a several thousand € semi-acoustic, but maybe I could find 1000€'s to spend. I was eyeing an Ibanez George Benson-model that was around that price range...
    The Ibanez GBs are pretty small too, so be careful. Try before you buy.

  9. #8

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    Welcome to the club. I'm 6'2" and weight 245 lbs I own and play a Fender Strat and Tele. I also play an Archtop that I can play while seated without the use of a strap, although a strap helps to position the guitar better. I have the Ibanez AFC-95 it's a 16" body and it's a newer model. It has 2 floating pickups and is fairly light compared to my Fenders. They cost $695 US without a case. I would recommend one. There's a couple other members here that own one too. I think a lot of members here would recommend one of the Ibanez Archtops to start. They cover every price point and for the most part are all excellent. The GB as mentioned is a small bodied guitar. One thing to be aware of is Archtop guitars come in many sizes. Bodies are usually 16,17, and 18 inches and widths between 2 to 3+ inches. You'll need to do the math conversions, but there's a size for everyone

    Remember it's never to late, and you've found a place with plenty of members ready to help.

    Have Fun

  10. #9

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    Sounds like knee pillows are in order. There are some threads on this site that should be helpful. i hope you can find a solution that works for you.
    Best regards, k

  11. #10

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    I am also about 6'2" and 245 - and all of it quality! (ahem).

    Anyway, you can play a 17" or 18' archtop with a classical footstool. I did that for years. My back didn't like it so much but the angle was fine and there was nothing hanging on my neck so there was more upper body freedom and comfort. I'm completely used to a strap now.

    BTW - Benedetto guitars are relatively light, and perhaps Campellone's are too?

  12. #11

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    I'm 6'1" and am comfortable with a tele and a LP. But I need a strap. Even with a Super 400. It makes all the difference to me.

    Some teachers are adamant about getting their students used to having a strap. I'm now an ex-teacher, but I was one of them. That makes for an easy transition from sitting to standing and let's you adjust for guitar size and shape, within limits.

    Having said all of that, there are many amazing guitarists who don't use straps while sitting.
    MG

  13. #12

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    What width of strap did you use? I use a 3” with my Les Paul that weighs over 10 pounds and that helps immensely. And my acoustics and archtops get a 2.5” wide strap.

    Just saying that a wider strap may alleviate the neck pinch problem.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by coryB View Post
    What width of strap did you use? I use a 3” with my Les Paul that weighs over 10 pounds and that helps immensely. And my acoustics and archtops get a 2.5” wide strap.

    Just saying that a wider strap may alleviate the neck pinch problem.
    I use a bass strap for heavy guitars and a 2.5 inch for others. The 3-3.5 inch straps do dig into my neck, but I understand that suffering is necessary for art.
    MG

  15. #14
    Wow, thanks for all the answers!

    I'll try to find a wider strap for starters, it would probably be the cheapest fix. And I'll head over to the local Ibanez-dealer to try out different semi-acoustic models.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass View Post
    I use a bass strap for heavy guitars and a 2.5 inch for others. The 3-3.5 inch straps do dig into my neck, but I understand that suffering is necessary for art.
    When I purchased my new archtop I added a 3" Levy's leather strap with padding, and like you said, it dose dig into my neck. I'm thinking I might purchase the same strap but as a 2 1/2" one. I use 2" with my solid bodies.

  17. #16

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    I had an almost 13 lb Heritage three pickup LP style guitar. I got a 4" bass strap. It helps and it hurts, literally.

    BTW, those who claim that you need heavy wood for sustain or tone, I don't think so.

    A guitar for a large player?-gallery_2472_317_286151_zps7b955761-jpg
    MG

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74 View Post
    Sounds like knee pillows are in order. There are some threads on this site that should be helpful. i hope you can find a solution that works for you.
    Something like this one:

    https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass View Post


    BTW, those who claim that you need heavy wood for sustain or tone, I don't think so.

    A guitar for a large player?-gallery_2472_317_286151_zps7b955761-jpg
    I agree, but I do think that you need to be wearing a silk smoking jacket to play that thing.

    A guitar for a large player?-hugh-hefner-portrayed-media-esquire-smoking-jacket-675x900-jpg

  20. #19

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    196 cm tall, 120 kgs here. No problem playing any guitars, except I cant play any serious things on them

    Just find the right position for yourself, any guitar is playable, use a strap, turn the axe to an angle which is comfortable to your hands, and back, hold the neck lower and up, try the put her on the right thigh, left thigh, as many as we are, there are so many solutions for this, you have to find it out for your body structure.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug B View Post

    I am 203 cm (6 ft 7) tall, 100 kg, so I feel I'm more qualified than you midgets.

    I have played a Tele for the last couple of years and I feel fine. I play mostly with the guitar on my right leg, with or without a strap. A strap doesn't give me the support I need for some things.

    Occasionally, I use a cushion similar to the one referred above. For me, it happens to have the perfect height. My duo partner, who - like most people - is much smaller than me, finds it too small for her!

    I have learned Classical guitar (but not studied at an academic level) so I'm quite comfortable with the classical position, as well as with classical-sized guitars. In fact, I have a large-bodied archtop that gets comparatively little play because for me it feels too large. I also opted for a OM instead of a dreadnought.

    So basically you can get used to anything, as long as your back doesn't hurt.

  22. #21

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    The OP might also look into thinline versions of full sized archtops, semi-hollows or guitars with at least a 16" lower bout. I'm 6'2" and feel most comfortable with these types of guitars.