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Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by RaySachs, Mar 7, 2018.
That's killer! So, take it you found the Kool-Aid...welcome to the fold Ray
And good use of your space.
Small crisis of doubt yesterday. Not about anything to do with the sound or playability. But I play sitting on a guitar stool the vast majority of the time anymore. And without a strap, the lower cut/curve on the guitar sits on my right leg in a position that has my right hand hitting the neck pup a lot and makes it really hard for my left hand to get at the upper frets - say 10-17 or so - at an angle that I can fret up there comfortably. I checked out straight on photos of the 594 and the Ibanez semi-hollow I've been playing almost exclusively for several months and the center of that leg cut out on the Ibanez looks like it's about two inches further to the right (relative to the pickups and bridge) than the cut on the 594. Which puts my picking hand naturally between the pickups and allows comfortable access to the upper frets. You'd almost think there'd be neck dive with the guitar that far to the left, but I guess the way the larger body sits under my upper arm, it was never an issue. To get in a similarly playable spot with the 594 I almost have to lean to the right and kind of wedge the guitar and kind of shove it to the left, which isn't a comfortable position at all. I finally pulled out an old nylon strap that can be adjusted in any increment and can get much shorter than my leather straps, and cinched it up such that the guitar sits in a position where my hands naturally fall into the right places. It's riding pretty high, but it's comfortable to play that way. But the guitar isn't resting on my leg - it's totally supported by the strap. And I have to put my left leg up on the foot support because if I put my right leg up there, is shifts the guitar back to the right again. And it's really not comfortable with both feet on the floor.
I'm thinking and hoping this is just a matter of a bit of adaptation. I've played plenty of solid bodies of this size before and never noticed this as a problem. Maybe I just really adapted to the position of that larger semi-hollow and have to adapt back. Hopefully, this is something I won't even notice after a while. But it was pretty uncomfortable there for a while and I was really bumming over it.
Congratulations! You won't be in the " one guitar" camp very long.
I've been in the one electric, one acoustic camp most of my life will probably stay there. I've never had more than two electrics and any time I've had two, I was always wondering why I kept the #2 and never ever thought about adding a third. When I've had two, one of them would always be so dominant as a #1 that the other one usually just made me feel guilty and I'd play it every now and then out of obligation, but generally nothing more. And particularly with the 954, it's got good enough humbucker and single coil sounds that it makes the argument for one electric even stronger. I'm not a versatile enough player to need or want more than a couple good basic sounds (beyond what I can dial in on an amp) and the 954 has that covered...
Now I'm just working out a good comfortable seated position to play this freaking amazing guitar. That's the only fly in the ointment so far...
I realise that keeping the guitar left while seated feels wrong to you, but for easy upper access, the guitar is best on the left knee (for a right handed person). Obviously legs need to be spread wide enough to accommodate the lower bout between them.
If the stool you use is tall (and your feet are off the ground), then that may not be possible. So try a lower seat. This is more of a classical guitar position (though they also use a foot stool to raise the left leg).
You might need to experiment with this position because it can affect your back. Good luck whatever you try.
Thanks for those thoughts. I think taking up a classical guitar position in late middle age is probably a few steps farther than I'm willing to go - resting the guitar on my left leg is just too foreign to me. Plus, I'm afraid I might break into an etude, and and I'd sound even worse at that than the stuff I usually play!
What I'm finding is that if I keep my strap on the guitar, I can rest the guitar on my right leg as I always have with the strap somewhat loosely around my neck and shoulder and then as I move up the fretboard, I can sort of sit up straighter and turn a bit to the left and the strap then pulls the guitar into a position where the neck is where it needs to be. I have to be honest and acknowledge that part of my problem is my belly is encroaching into areas it's never been before and actually is part of the problem with getting my hand around to those upper frets. Kind of ironic because I think part of the reason I've gotten so enthusiastic about playing again over the past year is because of health issues that have limited my ability to exercise with anything like the intensity I'm used to doing, and thus leave me fatter and create problems even for playing.
Being the anal sort, I downloaded some screenshots of various different guitars taken from straight-on from the Sweetware site and using a straightedge, measured the relative distance of the center of the lower cut-out (leg rest) from the 12th fret and the bridge. And the 594 was the closest to the 12th fret and the Ibanez I've grown used to was the closest to the bridge. And the difference isn't subtle, with the 594 cutout very close to the back of the neck pickup and the Ibanez very close to the front of the bridge pickup. The strat and telecaster, which I've also played a lot relatively recently, were the next closest to the 12th fret, but the actual comfort level with those is probably slightly mitigated by the longer scale lengths. This confirmed for me that this is real, not imagined, but I'm reasonably confident I'll adapt.
Kind of funny to think that PRS designed this guitar either for classical guitarists or younger folks who are standing almost all the time. But clearly not for fat middle aged guys who like to sit, which you'd think would be their target demographic given the prices!
Lol. I'll pleasantly remind you of this post 12 months from now!
I’m confident one of us will remind the other of something!
I play the classical position as well is the right leg. The classical was odd at first but I like it now. I use it when I need a position change. Try it once. Old dogs can learn new tricks. I also recommend putting your wallet in your right front pocket to pin the guitar close to you when you sit on a stool. Works pretty well for me.
I’ve tried it more than once - just doesn’t feel right to me. Playing with the strap is actually working pretty well. It’s not usually under any tension. But then as I start moving up the neck. I sort of naturally sit up more and a bit to the left, and it the strap kind of engages and pulls the guitar into a position where I have good access to the upper frets.
It’s just adaptation. When I first started playing the semi-hollow, it felt weird in a different way relative what I’d been playing before. Now it’s the standard I’m judging the 594 against. Pretty soon I won’t even give it a thought...
If you could remind me where I put my keys tomorrow morning that would be really cool!!!
Love to help, but I'm already employed full time helping my wife keep track of her keys. Sorry!
Apparently, you and I have the same special purpouse Ray.... my wife has one too...she misplaces her keys then ask me what I did with them...then all I hear is the voice of Charlie Browns teacher...
Ok fair enough Ray. but since you raised it I must confess...
I too have a fat spherical belly, and playing seated for me (yep, in classical pose) works better than standing.
I do use a strap & stand when I play live. To get to upper frets then (and I use them a lot) I draw the guitar further left and raise the neck. So the guitar is about 30% from horizontal. Maybe even a little more. That helps me comfortably reach upstairs using pretty much any guitar. So maybe raising the neck might help? Just an idea.
In the day and a half or so since I mentioned this "almost a problem" with playing this guitar, I seem to have totally forgotten how to make it not work. I've been playing it a bunch today without any strap, all on my right leg and having no problems at all, playing up to the 17th fret without even thinking about it. I seem to be sort of shifting my weight slightly as I move up the fretboard and sort of push the butt end of the guitar a bit more tightly against my body with my forearm, so the neck moves away from my body slightly, giving me plenty of room to reach the higher frets with my fretting hand. Just sort of happened. I probably shouldn't have mentioned this at all - I was pretty sure I'd adapt and it would take care of itself. Happened faster than I expected...
Man, one amazing thing I'm noticing is how insanely well this guitar stays in tune. The first day or so after I put new strings on it, most of the strings were doing fine but my G string was getting really out of whack. I was thinking it might be the nut, or it may just have been a cranky G string. But it seems to have resolved itself. Out of habit, I tend to check the guitar each time I sit down to make sure it's in tune and since those first couple of days, I don't think I've had to touch the tuning keys. My last guitar stayed in tune really well, but I'd usually have to adjust one or two strings, however slightly, when I'd sit down to play. I think I'm finally getting my money's worth out of the poly-tune function of my tuner - just give it a strum and see if any of the individual notes come up sharp or flat. I've generally run through each of the strings, but I think that's overkill with this instrument. Cool!
Good to hear Ray.
Wait till you hear guys say they pull a PRS out of a shipping box from Sweetwater for example and strum it and it's in tune!
PRS takes pride in the stability of their tuning. The only thing I've seen that alters the tuning is temperature. I can take a guitar that is in tune and after setting against my body for 10 minutes of playing I need to tune again. Once it's up to my temp, I'm done tuning.
I've actually heard that claim about more than just PRS's - I think it's meant as more of a testimonial to Sweetwater somehow, as if their amazing procedures keep a guitar in tune no matter what, even after it leaves their warehouse. I've had plenty of guitars that stayed in tune quite well, but so far this one is kind of ridiculous. A couple days with a lot of retuning the G string (I have a feeling it was binding in the nut and just playing it and retuning it eventually took care of it) and since that resolved itself, I'm not sure I've had to touch a string. I've heard PRS talk about tuning stability in some of his videos and I just figured it was marketing - of COURSE you want your guitar to stay in tune. But so far, this is pretty well beyond anything I've experienced with other guitars.
I love it when a figured flame top has contrasting grain. Looks great!