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What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by andyfr, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Sangetsu

    Sangetsu Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    50
    10
    Oct 6, 2017
    Tokyo
    No, you don't need to, and you are right, it isn't necessary. In fact, I played for a few years before I started doing it myself. But I was not playing as cleanly as I thought I should be, and my teacher recommended that I try it. It was actually quite difficult to get used to at first, but in the end it made a significant improvement in my playing. It was like I had been driving a car with 5 gears, but only using 4 of them.
     
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  2. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    That's a common misconception on here. If using the trem arm is not part of your playing style (and it probably isn't for most players) it makes far, far more sense to deck the trem. I know lots of Strat players who deck their trem because it takes away the Strat's no 1 problem - if you break a string on stage, the entire guitar becomes useless as all the other five strings go out of tune! That's a pretty major drawback!

    I saw this happen to Jimmie Vaughan a couple of times in the 80s, & he finished one gig more out of tune than anyone else I've ever seen. Except for Johnny Copeland, but he was too arrogant to stop & tune after he broke the top E on the first song. But that's another story. So that was when I decided that the floating trem was a complication I didn't need. My Tele didn't have a floating trem, so why did my Strat need one?

    People who like to use their trem shouldn't try to force others who don't into having their guitar set up the same way that they do. This is a matter of free choice, & both choices have their pros & cons. Making the tuning more stable on my Strat is huge advantage if the only thing I lose is the ability to sound like Hank Marvin, who I don't much like.

    Finally, I'm afraid that

    "To survive outside of your bedroom as a Strat player, you need to be able to play a regular Strat."

    is a very silly thing to say. Just nonsense really. I'm a guitar player, not a Strat player. I adapt the Strat to suit me, whereas you're suggesting that guitar players must adapt to suit a design detail thought up in 1954!
     

  3. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 25, 2016
    USA
    It's just straight math:

    1. The most popular electric guitar design is the Strat type.

    2. 99% of all Strats are un-decked.

    So if you break your guitar at a gig and need to borrow one, if you want to play the 100 Strats at GC, if you want to use the 1950 vintage Strat at the recording studio, you BETTER know how to play a normal Strat.

    I mean, it's great having an Alps, but if you want to drive anyone else's sports car, or work at a valet, you BETTER know how to drive a standard shift pattern, lol.



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  4. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Do you have any evidence to support this claim?
     

  5. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    51
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    So where did you get this 99% figure? I would be willing to bet the percentage is a lot lower than 99%.

    And there are a lot of other types of guitars other than strats. Even if it is true that they are the most popular, there is no shortage of other guitars with hard tails.

    I'm just saying, I think that just because someone does not have a Strat with a floating bridge, does not mean that they are doomed to failure the moment they step out of their bedroom.
     
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  6. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Mr. Clapton is relieved to hear that. As is Mr. Cray.
     

  7. Strat-Slinger

    Strat-Slinger Senior Stratmaster

    I see this exactly the same... there's nothing that is going to make a Stratocaster any less of a Stratocaster if you deck the bridge... will there be some things that you won't be able to do with the trem if it's decked?... well, yeah... there's a lot you won't be able to do but... if using the thing isn't part of your playing style.. then yes, DECK that puppy...
    I used to keep mine decked when I played 11 gauge on it... having a "float" was actually very problematic for me with a heavier string set on the guitar... but, I decided to "float" the bridge when I went down to 10 gauge string sets... and adapted my style to having a float on the bridge... and I'm totally into having a float these days... but... it wasn't always the case... and no... my Strat wasn't any less of a Strat when the bridged was decked....
    all this is, of course, IMO... but, just sayin'...
     

  8. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Strat-O-Master

    990
    Feb 26, 2014
    LAS VEGAS , NV
    The impetus for suggesting tremolo use is that it can add an extra layer of technique and expression to one's playing style. If it's use is not one's cup of tea and/or not something you wish to develop, then so be it, and deck it or buy a hard tail guitar. I played hard tailed Gibsons for +/- 40 years and steadfastly shunned tremolos for fear of tuning issues. Three or four years ago, I got my first wiggle stick, learned to properly set it up and have been pondering ever since how I ever existed as a guitarist for so long without one! Yes indeed, there is a learning curve, but for me the results have been well worth the efforts. Different strokes for different folks, but if one is at or near the beginning of this often life long guitar playing journey, it just seems that one owes it to themself to at least check it out seriously! While very few of us will ever have the skills or desire to play like Eddie VanHalen, it sure is nice to have the ability to "shimmer" whole chords and bend the pitch of such, along with intervals and single notes, "DOWN" instead of only up! In case no one has noticed, I've become a card carrying, "Wiggle Stick Junkie!"

    Just Wigglin' My Stick Atcha!
    Gene
     
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  9. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 25, 2016
    USA
    In the shop, maybe a single decked Strat comes through in a year's time, whereas probably 100+ come through with standard Fender setups.

    Have you ever gone into the studio and found their 1959 vintage house Strat decked? Nope, me neither.

    Have you ever gone into a high end guitar shop and found a single decked guitar on the wall? Of course not, the luither would certainly set the guitar up standard before putting it out on the sales floor.

    -

    It's certainly OK to have your own Strat decked, if that's how you like it.

    BUT I would never tell a beginner to learn his right hand technique on a decked Strat, because it's going to limit him from playing most of the Strats he will ever encounter in the wild.

    Once he can play a standard Strat, he can then play ANY Strat, decked or standard.


    100% agreed.

    But if somebody is going to loan you a guitar at a gig, it's not going to be their $3500 Les Paul, it's going to be their MIM Strat or MIC Squire - undecked.
     

  10. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    51
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    Unless it's their Tele, Epiphone, Yamaha, Ibanez, PRS SE, LTD, Dean, or whatever, with a fixed bridge.

    I'm not saying you're wrong in thinking that learning to play with a floater is good, just that I think your under estimating the percentage of available common guitars with fixed bridges.
     
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  11. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 25, 2016
    USA
    I already said I agreed with you 100% on that idea.

    If you know how to play a standard set up Strat, you will be able to play ANY of those guitar you listed.
     

  12. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Please tell me which studio I can visit that will have a 1959 house Strat available for my use. I'd love to spend some time there.

    Anyway, surely 99% of players take their own guitar with them when they visit a studio?
     

  13. RaySachs

    RaySachs Strat-Talker

    Age:
    58
    264
    Jun 25, 2017
    Philly area
    If I didn’t deck my strat, I simply wouldn’t play a strat. Within the first months of strat ownership nearly 40 years ago, I knew I didn’t like using a tremolo. And if you don’t use it, having one that isn’t decked it all downside, ZERO upside.

    Those advising me I should learn to play a guitar I hate in case I ever get stuck having to play a guitar I hate are spouting nonsense.

    If I was gigging, I’d bring a backup. I’ve done it before, I could do it again.

    I play a strat because I love the sounds I can get out of a strat that I can’t get out of a tele - if that wasn’t the case, I’d only play a tele. As it is, I love both of them, but never use a tremolo. When I got my current strat, the first thing I did when I got it home was deck it with a stack of quarters behind the block and a couple of dimes in front of it - an additional investment of $2 or less that’s more valuable than most parts of this guitar.
     
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  14. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 25, 2016
    USA
    All of the bigboys have 50s and 60s instruments. Just look at their gearlist.

    Remember that if an artist in Studio C is using the 1963 Strat, your going to be waiting if you don't call and reserve it first.


    Of course they do.

    But sometimes, playing the vintage instruments coxes out a tone or performance from the artist that otherwise would not occur.

    I would never own or drag around a big Leslie speaker, but there have been times where that silly thing was exactly what made the track.
     

  15. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    I'm afraid I don't move in such elite circles, though I'm delighted for you if you actually do. I'm happy if a studio I use even has a Fender amp, never mind a Fender valve amp! However, that's of no relevance to 99% of guitarists.

    Anyway, we're all still waiting for you to explain how you arrived at the "fact" that 99% of Strats have their trem floating. I would love to hear you justify that statement with some cold hard facts.

    Or withdraw it?
     

  16. andyfr

    andyfr Strat-Talk Member

    11
    Oct 7, 2017
    UK
    Thanks to all for advice and suggestions. I have just got a strap and have now found a better position where my hand isn't touching the bridge as often. I'm going to persevere with a floating bridge for the time being and if I decide I can't get on with it then I will deck it in a few months time.

    Thanks once again. :)
     
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  17. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    Spot on. If you don't wiggle the stick, then deck it. :)
     
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  18. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 25, 2016
    USA
    I thought I had explained that in my above post, but here it is again for those that missed it:

    In the shop, we get 100+ Strats and Squires every year come through the doors.

    Many come in for service (fretwork, new pickups, tuners, nutjobs, setup), come in on consignment & estate, or come in as trade-ins.

    Add another dozen for students coming in with their Strats for lessons.

    So you could say we get a pretty big cross section of new and vintage Strats.

    Last year we only saw one decked Strat that anyone can remember. This year we have not seen a single one (and we are 10.5 months through the year).

    We did have a hardtail come through last Spring for a fretjob, so you can count that if you like.

    So one decked Strat a year out of 100 or so Strats, would give you ~99%.

    I know, we could get 3 deckers in a row in December and that would skew our numbers to 97%, but you can certainly see our point.

    You hear a lot about decking on the forum, but in the real world, it's not very popular.

    BTW, if you guys never use a tremolo, just get a Hardtail. It's cheaper and more stable than decking. It still goes out of tune when you break a string, but less so than decked.



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  19. Strat-Slinger

    Strat-Slinger Senior Stratmaster

    I feel you're making a lot of these calls based on your preferences... not based on "Real World" anything...
    I'm not trying to get into a "I'm Right... You're Wrong" type of argument out here... but...

    In the real world... people DO deck their Stratocasters.... I've been playing out for 30+ years... and up until about maybe 8 years ago... my Stratocaster bridge was decked (like a lot of other folks I know and have known... that were also working guitar players playing out in bands)...
    Seriously... I think you need to re-consider this "fact"... that folks who want to play a Strat should prefer a floating bridge... it's simply not the case... in many cases it's exactly the opposite... just sayin'....
     

  20. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 25, 2016
    USA
    Of course they do.

    I've seen it with my own two eyes.

    I never said that people who play Strats should prefer a floating bridge. Not once.


    I said let a BEGINNER learn the proper right hand floating bridge technique so that he can play the vast majority of Strats out in the wild.

    Then, if he chooses to deck his Strat, he can - but at least he will be able to play ANY Strat.

    So simple......
     
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