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  1. #51

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    I don't quite get the relevance of this discussion. I mean, it's not terribly relevant for me what other people think of what I should or should not be comfortable with. I may have some anatomic peculiarity, I may have a special and ideosyncratic way of holding the guitar, I may have arthitis in my right shoulder etc. So what is relevant is whether I - not others - can get on friendly terms with a particular guitar in question. Only I can answer that.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Yes, I was being humorous.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone



    How insensitive. I've met Jim several times and he's only 4 feet tall. It's not something we mention to his face, least of all on a public forum. Little people have feelings, despite what Randy Newman has to say on the subject.
    Only 4' tall?? Wow! I'd imagine he'd be lost in . . . . "that black chair". Especially if he was plaing the beautiful Super Eagle you wouldn't sell to me.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers
    really? that seems odd. you must only play standing, or are under 5'10" I'm guessing.
    I used to be 5' 10" but I'm definitely shrinking. I think I'm about 5' 8.5" now. Definitely one of the downsides of getting older. And with archtops I actually only play sitting down with a foot rest and no strap but my playing position is a bit unusual. My entire right fore arm is suspended over the body and I find that a large body puts my arm at a very uncomfortable angle and causes a lot of fatigue very quickly.

  6. #55

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    I like 17" archtops, and I'm not very large - 5'9". I was 6'5" when I first got married, but that was 29 years ago.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    I used to be 5' 10" but I'm definitely shrinking. I think I'm about 5' 8.5" now. Definitely one of the downsides of getting older. And with archtops I actually only play sitting down with a foot rest and no strap but my playing position is a bit unusual. My entire right fore arm is suspended over the body and I find that a large body puts my arm at a very uncomfortable angle and causes a lot of fatigue very quickly.

    i see. that is an unusual arm position. a fat (deep) guitar would indeed be noticeable.

  8. #57

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    Jim that arm position would indeed be very tiring. I think it would definitely be hard on the shoulder.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by edh
    Jim that arm position would indeed be very tiring. I think it would definitely be hard on the shoulder.
    Here the personal preference of holding the guitar matters. I have a 19" Stromberg "hommage", which is indeed uncomfortable for me if I hold it with the guitar body in the "correct" vertical position - but I don't.
    Using the guitar for rhythm strumming, I hold the guitar with the guitar body at about 60 degrees from vertical - much like Freddie Green did. That way the wide lower bout doesn't "collide" with the right upper arm and the palying position is much more relaxed. That more horizontal position doesn't work well for fingerpicking, but for rhythm playing it works better that a perfectly upright position, especially for the right arm and hand. Wes is another player who comes to mind holding the guitar this way, though not quite as horizontal as Freddie Green. Actually, I think this position makes his thumb strumming hand work more relaxed. In addition, that position allows the back of the guitar to vibrate more freely, thus enhancing the bass response in acoustic playing.
    Last edited by oldane; 12-10-2013 at 05:01 AM.

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by edh
    Jim that arm position would indeed be very tiring. I think it would definitely be hard on the shoulder.
    If the guitar is not too big it does't really bother my shoulder much but then I've been playing in this position for over 50 years. I played a Gibson ES125 as a kid and I think I got into this position partly because I had difficulty reaching over the lower bout and partly because I didn't know any better but I like where it puts my picking hand in terms of the sound produced playing that far forward. I also like the level of control I can get over my attack by having my hand coming from directly above the strings. It allows me to keep my hand movement to a minimum.
    Last edited by Jim Soloway; 12-10-2013 at 12:09 PM.

  11. #60

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    I'm 6'2" with a belly. I always sit to play. I've been working on my position with my 17" x 3" L5 copy.
    I learned to play with guitars sitting on my right leg, like most people. However, I've learned that position makes it much trickier for me when chording up beyond about 7th fret. I get better clarity and finger pressure with chords above 7th fret when the fretboard is generally out more to my left and angled 30+degrees from the horizontal (clock hand pointing to 2 o'clock if you look at me from the audience). My left arm doesn't get as bunched up in my left side like that.
    I've tried the big and small Dynarette cushion on both legs, and also tried a footstool (a box) under my left foot with the guitar on my left thigh (classical style).
    My relevation recently was to use a strap, quite short, with the lower bout hanging outside my right leg. Like Joe Pass position, but less extreme and upright. This new position naturally brings the fretboard up and left, and the headstock a little more out in front than the body, and my right hand floats comfortably over the neck pickup. It snugs the guitar into my upper chest, with a gap between the back and my belly. Both my feet flat on the floor. I can play for longer like this without getting any backache, and reach the bits of the fretboard I want to reach. Importantly, my right hand technique is quicker now.
    I write all this in case it's of use to someone.

  12. #61

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    I was 6'2 but maybe 6'1 now as age takes a toll. The 18 inch feels pretty good or a 17 depending. If if feels good play it.............

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    I was 6'2 but maybe 6'1 now as age takes a toll. The 18 inch feels pretty good or a 17 depending. If if feels good play it.............
    I was just under 6/1" and am now about 5"11" as age has taken it's toll for sure. I am still comfortable with an 18 inch or 17 inch archtop (I own two 18" guitars and five 17 inch guitars) with or without a strap. I very much like my 16 inch guitars, but a strap or footstool is necessary with those.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldane
    Here the personal preference of holding the guitar matters. I have a 19" Stromberg "hommage", which is indeed uncomfortable for me if I hold it with the guitar body in the "correct" vertical position - but I don't.
    Using the guitar for rhythm strumming, I hold the guitar with the guitar body at about 60 degrees from vertical - much like Freddie Green did. That way the wide lower bout doesn't "collide" with the right upper arm and the palying position is much more relaxed.
    I realize this is an old post. Doesn’t that position make it harder for the left hand?

  15. #64

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    I'm almost 6'4" and I own a 17" as well as a 16". Both are fine but the 17" just feels right, probably because I owned an L5CES for years. But I also had an L4C for awhile, so that 16 feels familiar too. I have to say that smaller solid body electrics don't feel as good to me lately, and my D28 just feels too deep.

    Soundwise the 17" (Campellone) is carved and the 16' (Borys) is a lam so hard to compare, but the 16" definitely has more of a mid-focused 175 vibe to it, and is more of what I'd call an "electric" guitar.

    The 17" carved has a much more pleasant acoustic sound, which is what I got it for, but the floating pickup sounds pretty great as well. Definitely more highs, lows and "complexity" to the 17". Both are 25" scale BTW.

    I've never played a carved 16", but I think size and depth matter, and I very much think scale length matters. And woods matter. Heck, everything matters!

    But all of that is less important than that the guitar fits and makes you want to play it!

  16. #65
    Nice 8 year old thread bump. Any thread with Patrick in it is worth a bump!

  17. #66

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    I was 6'5" when I got married 37 years ago, I'm now 5'9".