Help - Can I get used to a heavy guitar

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by kiedff2, May 7, 2021.

  1. kiedff2

    kiedff2 New Member!

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    So basically, I had a really rough couple of years and as a reward to myself for getting through it I spent the most I've ever spent on a new (new to me, used ebay purchase) guitar because I have always missed having a fender. Man I love this guitar, plays the best of any guitar I've ever played and sounds like I always dreamed of. I was stoked! Anyway, long story short in the weeks I've owned it I only played it sitting down. Lately with the world opening up again I've been jamming with friends and playing standing up. I knew the guitar was a bit heavy, but thought nothing of it, but playing for only 30 mins standing up my shoulder ached, my neck ached, my back ached, my arm was mostly numb, I had a headache. I've never experienced anything like it, it was miserable. Since then I've bought so many straps of all kinds and widths and nothing makes it bareable. I really don't want to sell this guitar, it means a lot to me for what it represents and as I said is the best playing guitar I've ever owned and it would be a real challenge finding another one as it's a Fender Sixty-Six and they've been discontinued. It's really bringing me down. I guess what I'm asking is will my body adapt at all or am I just going to do myself an injury trying to persist with it? Alternatively are there any non-destructive mods I can do to it to lighten the load any (clutching at straws here I know)
     
  2. misterwogan

    misterwogan Senior Stratmaster

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    Paragraphs (hitting the newline key after a couple of sentences) makes it easier for us to read and understand what you're trying to say - otherwise, it's just a wall of text.
     
  3. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist

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    You won't just get used to it without strengthening your body. Some workout will do the trick.

    Or one of these.
    https://vikingguitarstands.com/
     
  4. Heavyriff

    Heavyriff Senior Stratmaster

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    Welcome to the forum. Don't mind the curmudgeon response to your FIRST post. It's generally a friendly place.
     
  5. Heavyriff

    Heavyriff Senior Stratmaster

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    To answer your question if you are in poor physical condition or have suffered some sort of injury probably not. Bring a stool.
     
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  6. J4ME5

    J4ME5 Strat-O-Master

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  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    Most pictures of Les Paul playing a Les Paul, the industry recognized excessively heavy guitar, show him sitting down playing. He played in Jazz bands where most guitar players sit anyway. He was after the heaviest guitar to reduce feedback. And his playing position resulted in a guitar designed with more weight. It wasn't until 'Rock 'n Roll Dude!' came out that players had to stand. So bring a chair or a stool.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Samwell885

    Samwell885 Strat-Talk Member

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  9. Biddlin

    Biddlin Senior Stratmaster

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    You don't give a specific weight, but I play Les Pauls that go around 9lbs. I keep a 7 lb. 8 oz. SG on the stand next to it to trade off.
     
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  10. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

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    How heavy is it? And have you tried playing standing up with a lighter guitar?

    I have them weighing from 6 pounds to a tad over 9 pounds. When I pick them up out of the case, I notice a vast difference. But when I'm standing up playing, I honestly don't really notice much difference after a few minutes. I guess my point is that maybe you just need to keep trying for a bit to get your body adjusted to it. And maybe not, 'cause I'm wrong a lot (my wife tells me).
    But I have also had other people tell me they can't play a Les Paul because of the weight. I think my strap is just a 2" soft leather strap, which is the same strap I've owned since about 1990.

    Just make sure it is indeed the weight of the guitar before you give up on it.
     
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  11. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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  12. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    Did you ever lump hay for a living?
     
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  13. hornpiper

    hornpiper Senior Stratmaster

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    Sorry to hear about your issue, sounds like a frustrating drag. I can relate somewhat, in that about 10 years ago, I had left shoulder surgery, and could not play for about 2 months. I then required a few months of physical therapy, along with home stretching and strengthening exercises. I also have recurring, chronic neck pain as a result of a car accident about 20 years ago, that probably also contributed to the shoulder problem that ended up requiring surgery.
    I was gigging regularly at the time of the surgery, so a couple of months after surgery I resumed, and simply switched the guitar strap over to the opposite
    shoulder, old-school Freddie King-Albert Collins style, until the tender shoulder healed. It didn’t take any time to adjust, and I probably could have just continued playing that way. I don’t recall anyone noticing, or commenting on the change. You could try that for awhile. If I were you, I would take another one of your straps, and adjust it slightly shorter than your regular strap, so that the guitar hangs at the same length for you, at whichever shoulder you are using. You could switch over to the other side if one side starts aching.
    Another thought is to experiment, and raise the guitar higher when you’re standing. If the guitar is slung too low, you might be putting extra strain on your neck and shoulder, by bending slightly and straining with a heavier type guitar.
    Online there are exercises for guitar players that may help. Google “guitar player neck and shoulder exercises”. Or see a chiropractor, or doctor who can set you up with a physical therapist who can get you going strengthening the muscles you use playing guitar.
    I’ve been playing for many years, and have bought, sold and traded hundreds of guitars. I wish I had a dollar for every time I thought: “This might be the best guitar I ever had”. I know it might hurt, but there are always other great guitars to find out there if worse comes to worse. I would find out how much your current guitar weighs. Take it to a UPS or Fedex shipping location and weigh it on one of their scales. They’re usually up front on the counter. I’ve done it many times before selling guitars, and if it isn’t on the counter, ask an employee to weigh it for you. I’ve never been hassled, or turned down, they want your business. There are lots of Strats out there in the under 8 lb. pound range. I’ve had a few 7.0 to 7.5. SG’s are generally even lighter, (that’s one of the main reasons 5’2” 110 lb. Angus Young runs around on stage with one). Don’t listen to people that poke fun about guitar weight. They either have never had physical problems, are big, strapping young guys, or maybe have never stood on stage for four sets, night after night. We’re all built different. I can tell the difference between just a few ounces when holding different guitars.
    If you’re at a music store, interested in another guitar, ask them to weigh it on their shipping scale, keeping the weight of your other, heavy guitar in mind as a reference.
    If you by online, Chicago Music Exchange, Willcutt’s guitars, Wildwood Guitars, and Sweetwater’s “Guitar Gallery” list the weights of many of their guitars in the description.
    Best of luck, don’t give up, don’t listen to online jokers or naysayers, or the tone is in the weight thing. Try icing the body parts that are complaining after playing. I’ve taken many an ibuprofen or aspirin to get through. Where there’s a will there’s a way, or like an old friend used to wryly joke sometimes when we were in a bind, to lighten the mood: “Where there’s a will, there’s a relative”.​
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
  14. Neil.C

    Neil.C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Mary Ford played a Les Paul with basically a shoe lace for a strap. ;)



    If you can't manage take a seat. Robert Fripp does.

    Not a sign of weakness, whatever you are comfortable with.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. WelhavenT

    WelhavenT Strat-O-Master

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    Seven years ago I finally invested my money in different LPs, as a Goldtop was my dream guitar. Way too heavy, and they altered the way I played. Bought a strat and it was like playing a toy.

    If you like strats, and the one you own is too heavy, sell it and find one that’s light weight.
     
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  16. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth draggin' knuckle breather Silver Member

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    "Can I get used to a heavy guitar?"


    Yes you can.


    The difference between a fairly heavy Les Paul and a really light Strat is what...a big mac, fries and a large drink...a six pack of beer. I had a V that was lighter that any Strat I've had.


    A nice, wide strap and maybe work on your shoulder muscles a bit...or just give it some time.
     
  17. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    I've never got used to heavy guitars. I have an Aria PE-1000 which I've had for 40 years, plays and sounds wonderful, but is so heavy even sitting down takes its toll on my thigh after a while, which is why I dont play it much.

    I've built many guitars and I always try to get the weight as low as possible. I don't find it makes any difference to the tone, so why bother?

    Ultimately my workhorse is my *strandberg, (in my sig) which weighs nothing and allows me to concentrate on playing rather than worrying about holding up the guitar.

    If the weight prevents you from enjoying playing, I'd recommend getting a lighter guitar.
     
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  18. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    I need to put mine on a scale.
    I don't know if the V is actually much lighter than my LP or Strat, or if it just balances SO well that it feels like nothing.
     
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  19. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth draggin' knuckle breather Silver Member

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    mine was right at 6 1/2 lbs.


    and, they are huge guitars!
     
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