Guitar Gaf |OT| Fingerpickin’ good

Jun 22, 2008
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I would go crazy with an axfx or Kemper amp/modeler. Option paralysis overload.

I'm still not done experimenting setting up tones with my VH4, and thats one amp after months of use. Hell, I spend an entire band rehearsal getting to know the "mid" knob on channel 3 of the amp.

Its the same reason why I started to dislike the big Strymon pedals.

Plus selling and getting new amps is like half the fun, if i had every amp under the sun at once ... the eternal journey for "the tone" would be over
 
It's a blessing in disguise! Now you get to save up more and get a Kemper instead! I had the Kemper for 3 days before I sold my Mesa Boogie Mark IV.
I'm not totally sold on the kemper but, to be fair, I've not really looked into it. i think for me either would be more than enough haha.
 
Aug 22, 2005
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I was going through the thread and saw you owned one of these. Do you like it?

I just played an Ibanez Artcore at GC and fell in love with it. I went to try out some Les Pauls and just couldn't get past the neck. I'm getting into jazz guitar and am in the market for a new guitar.
It's a great guitar! I'm really pleasantly surprised how versatile it is. Jazz will be no problem, but you'll be able to rock out, too
 
Aug 19, 2009
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That's a great choice I think. I've had one on my wishlist for quite some time. Considering that they are $700 new, and judging by the pics it seems in decent shape, that looks like a good price to me. Definitely check it out when you see it and play a little to make sure it's still playable.
 
Jun 1, 2007
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Ohio
That's a great choice I think. I've had one on my wishlist for quite some time. Considering that they are $700 new, and judging by the pics it seems in decent shape, that looks like a good price to me. Definitely check it out when you see it and play a little to make sure it's still playable.
Thanks. It's a nice looking guitar but I didn't end up getting it.

There was a crack in the finish, there was tarnish and grime all over the gold hardware, the volume pots were pure static when you touched one and would actually cut in and out (it was silent between 6-8), One of the tone knobs was bent, and through both his Fender Mini '57 and through my headphone bug style amp it sounded like some awful distortion even when played clean. He was trying to pass it off as just being his amp, but I know my headphone amp and it never distorts. I think there's something wrong with the pickups or some of the electronics. Ironically I loved the neck of this guitar. It was super comfortable. Oh well.
 
Mar 17, 2010
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Been practicing with yousician

Its pretty great, but I feel like Im struggling with the fingerpicking (not knowing which fingers to use which I think is probably important)

Its a good way for me to relearn everything and hopefully I can be more natural at playing
 
I feel like Im struggling with the fingerpicking (not knowing which fingers to use which I think is probably important)
Depending on the song you would typically cover the three bass strings with your thumb and then first, middle, and ring fingers cover the third, second, and first string respectively— or your thumb handles the two lowest strings and your four fingers cover the others.

There are also sloppier styles where your thumb, index, and middle fingers are all over the place (how I play blues).
 

Wag

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Mar 23, 2008
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I've been practicing bare chrods on my acoustic and I developed severe pain in my joints on my fretting hand.

My acoustic is very hard to play, the strings are set high. I've had it adjusted and have light guage strings but it doesn't seem to help.

Any suggestions?
 
I've been practicing bare chrods on my acoustic and I developed severe pain in my joints on my fretting hand.

My acoustic is very hard to play, the strings are set high. I've had it adjusted and have light guage strings but it doesn't seem to help.
... are the strings still high? The action can be set comfortably low on most acoustics, but if not yours then a new one made me be in order.

Don't squeeze as hard as you can on the neck of the guitar.
Yup. A thicker neck (back to front) may make this easier as well, as you don't need to bring your thumb and fingers as close together to stop the string against the fret.


And learn on an electric.
Meh, use whatever (but don't hurt yourself).
 

Wag

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... are the strings still high? The action can be set comfortably low on most acoustics, but if not yours then a new one made me be in order.



Yup. A thicker neck (back to front) may make this easier as well, as you don't need to bring your thumb and fingers as close together to stop the string against the fret.




Meh, use whatever (but don't hurt yourself).
My acoustic is an Alvarez Yari and I've always found it difficult/painful to play. I think the strings are set as low as it possibly can. I also have a Epiphone SG electric (pictures earlier in the thread). I don't really play the electric all that much.

I think it's time for a new acoustic. It's a nice guitar with some wear by the pick-guard. I could probably get $500+ for it. Any suggestions on an easier steel string to play that's not too expensive? I'm mostly into blues/r&b.
 

Yen

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Jul 23, 2009
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Moving to Portland has been pretty kind to me so far guitar wise.

Got a G&L Asat Tribute and Michael Kelly Patriot LTD from a pawn shop for $400 out the door, also got a Vantage hollow body from a trade.
Interested in your Michael Kelly impressions. Was keen on buying one a few years ago.
 
Dec 10, 2004
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Moving to Portland has been pretty kind to me so far guitar wise.

Got a G&L Asat Tribute and Michael Kelly Patriot LTD from a pawn shop for $400 out the door, also got a Vantage hollow body from a trade.
Nice! Those ASATs come up regularly on Musiciansfriend’s Stupid Deal of the Day. Always been tempted. Been curious about the Michael Kelly Patriot too, I keep seeing those gray ones with the Floyd Rose.
 
Interested in your Michael Kelly impressions. Was keen on buying one a few years ago.
First thing I noticed besides how it looks was how it feels. Less heavy than a real LP, not a very thick neck either, so it would be great for non tremolo shred stuff. This one actually has a few flat frets that I need to get worked on soon, but it sounds great distorted, and even has a coil tap that I didn't realize till I got home with it.

I'm not sure all of the Patriots are created equally, this is my first real experience with one.
 

Wag

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This is the guitar I own (Alvarez Yairi DY45 1986). I've always had difficulty playing it and think it's why I've never been able to progress further than I have. Barre chords are especially difficult for me to play on it. I just want to be able to play pain-free.

I'd learn on my electric, but I think in the long-run it won't help me because I'll be mostly playing acoustic.
 
Jun 1, 2007
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Ohio


This is the guitar I own (Alvarez Yairi DY45 1986). I've always had difficulty playing it and think it's why I've never been able to progress further than I have. Barre chords are especially difficult for me to play on it. I just want to be able to play pain-free.

I'd learn on my electric, but I think in the long-run it won't help me because I'll be mostly playing acoustic.
Beautiful guitar. You could try extra light strings. The difference is pretty big. Look at the tension difference between extra lights and lights.

Strings are a ton cheaper than a new guitar. That said I started with acoustic and didn't get barre chords until I got my strat, and after getting them with the strat I was able to take the technique and get it on acoustic. It's as much technique as it is strength. Also you may find you enjoy electric more than you pictured. I know I did.

When I was learning barre chords not too long ago I just played Creep over and over. It's just 4 barre chords so it's a great strength trainer while being pretty simple.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-IAFa5Hz8M
 
Feb 27, 2014
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For people struggling with your strings despite height adjustments I'd suggest getting one of those finger grip exercise thingies. After a couple weeks I'd built a bit more muscle up and it became trivial shortly after.

PS you're all such lucky bastards. I've not been able to play for 3 years now since developing Psoriasis. Every time I start to think I'm safe again another sore on the fingertips shows up and im worried I'll shred my hands to bits trying to play. If the one lone bastard were to fuck off I'd actually be able to give it a shot again but such is life.
 
My acoustic is an Alvarez Yari and I've always found it difficult/painful to play. I think the strings are set as low as it possibly can. [...]

I think it's time for a new acoustic. It's a nice guitar with some wear by the pick-guard. I could probably get $500+ for it. Any suggestions on an easier steel string to play that's not too expensive? I'm mostly into blues/r&b.
I would go to a store and try different ones. Measure and examine the profile of your Yari’s neck so you can try to figure out what’s better (or worse) about other necks.

I like thick necks, very round or V in profile. I don’t like ones that are too thin nor shaped like a canoe hull.

I would also look out for a smaller bodied acoustic for blues (OOO/OM, grand concert, parlour, etc).
 

Wag

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Mar 23, 2008
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Beautiful guitar. You could try extra light strings. The difference is pretty big. Look at the tension difference between extra lights and lights.



Strings are a ton cheaper than a new guitar. That said I started with acoustic and didn't get barre chords until I got my strat, and after getting them with the strat I was able to take the technique and get it on acoustic. It's as much technique as it is strength. Also you may find you enjoy electric more than you pictured. I know I did.

When I was learning barre chords not too long ago I just played Creep over and over. It's just 4 barre chords so it's a great strength trainer while being pretty simple.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-IAFa5Hz8M
I guess I'll buy some extra light strings. I was going to try that anyways. I think my fingers just aren't used to the barre chords and I'm pressing too hard with the flat of my fingers instead of on the side.

This is why I wish I could afford lessons.
 

Wag

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Mar 23, 2008
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I would go to a store and try different ones. Measure and examine the profile of your Yari’s neck so you can try to figure out what’s better (or worse) about other necks.

I like thick necks, very round or V in profile. I don’t like ones that are too thin nor shaped like a canoe hull.

I would also look out for a smaller bodied acoustic for blues (OOO/OM, grand concert, parlour, etc).


I bought a couple of sets of these, hopefully they will help, I don't think I can set the action any lower than it is. If not I'll just look for a new guitar. I don't want to end up with arthritis in my hands.
 
Aug 22, 2005
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I can't speak to them myself, but I've read that the Martin strings are not very good; they lose their liveliness pretty quickly. But, acoustics can really change their sound with different strings. It's worth it to experiment with various brands.
 
Jun 1, 2007
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I can't speak to them myself, but I've read that the Martin strings are not very good; they lose their liveliness pretty quickly. But, acoustics can really change their sound with different strings. It's worth it to experiment with various brands.
They're changing more for feel than sound so those will fit the bill. If the lower tension helps he can always use a different brand.

To continue Acoustic hour:
I just bought a Seagull Entourage Rustic Burst last night. It's essentially an S6 with a sunburst finish so they can use wood that while still sounds as good might have a purely cosmetic blemish, that would be covered up by the sunburst.

The previous owner was kind enough to give it a natural road wearing, distressing, and relic job. It's definitely seen better days. The truss rod was very loose and it had a large bow to it, ruining the action. I already adjusted that. I was about to order one in pristine condition for $285, then this guy finally messaged me back and I couldn't turn down a Seagull for $90 no matter the condition.



I ordered a bunch of stuff to clean it up and will post an after shot on Sunday when I'm done. I got:
Bone nut, saddle, and bridge pins
New Strings
Fretboard conditioner
#0000 Steel wool
Turtle Wax Express Shine
String action Ruler
And a black Tusq XL nut for my strat.
After seeing how the white Tusq browns I decided to go with black.

Is there anything I forgot to order to give this a deep clean?
 

Wag

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Mar 23, 2008
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I can't speak to them myself, but I've read that the Martin strings are not very good; they lose their liveliness pretty quickly. But, acoustics can really change their sound with different strings. It's worth it to experiment with various brands.
They were the cheapest XL strings I could find on Amazon Prime. I just want to see how my guitar (and my hands) do with them. I'll probably have to fool around with the action on my guitar myself.

The pain in my left hand is just starting to diminish after taking a 5 day break. I'm going to start squeezing a stress ball on a regular basis and see if that helps.
 
Jun 1, 2007
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Ohio
They were the cheapest XL strings I could find on Amazon Prime. I just want to see how my guitar (and my hands) do with them. I'll probably have to fool around with the action on my guitar myself.

The pain in my left hand is just starting to diminish after taking a 5 day break. I'm going to start squeezing a stress ball on a regular basis and see if that helps.
Let us know if it's any better when you put on the new strings. Also before you lower the action by sanding the saddle or filing the nut, make sure your truss rod is set correctly.

I'm using this method before I get my ruler.
http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/repair/acoustic-guitar/truss-rod.php
I just eyeball it. I like it when the bass string is just a little bit over the 7th fret when I have a finger on the first and last fret.
 

Wag

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Mar 23, 2008
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So my finger/hand/wrist started to hurt worse today after I squeezed the stress ball a few times- I have carpal tunnel symptoms so I'm going to take a break with the guitar for a while. I might need a new guitar anyways.
 

Wag

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Mar 23, 2008
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I had to stop playing guitars with thin necks to avoid shooting pains in my forearm. Have you ever tried bottleneck? It may offer you an easier time since there is much less fretting involved.
I have a few slides, never really took to it. Not all that great for accompaniment which is basically what I'm trying to do- just play along with my singing. I like blues but I like R&B too- so I'd like to be able to play some standards like What's Going On, along with some I/IV/V blues.

My left hand is all numb with shooting pain into my fingers. Pretty sure it's carpal tunnel symptoms.

I just bought a brace from Amazon, hopefully that will help.
 
Jun 1, 2007
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Ohio
I have a few slides, never really took to it. Not all that great for accompaniment which is basically what I'm trying to do- just play along with my singing. I like blues but I like R&B too- so I'd like to be able to play some standards like What's Going On, along with some I/IV/V blues.

My left hand is all numb with shooting pain into my fingers. Pretty sure it's carpal tunnel symptoms.

I just bought a brace from Amazon, hopefully that will help.
Definitely take a break. Your health is the most important thing. When you're rested you might want to try a nylon string guitar or ukulele. Those will be easiest on your hands.
 
Dec 12, 2013
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I have a few slides, never really took to it. Not all that great for accompaniment which is basically what I'm trying to do- just play along with my singing. I like blues but I like R&B too- so I'd like to be able to play some standards like What's Going On, along with some I/IV/V blues.

My left hand is all numb with shooting pain into my fingers. Pretty sure it's carpal tunnel symptoms.

I just bought a brace from Amazon, hopefully that will help.
Take a big time out, maybe 1 month. I have had this issue in the past. Need to let yourself recover.
 
Jan 25, 2009
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Toronto
This is the guitar I own (Alvarez Yairi DY45 1986). I've always had difficulty playing it and think it's why I've never been able to progress further than I have. Barre chords are especially difficult for me to play on it. I just want to be able to play pain-free.

I'd learn on my electric, but I think in the long-run it won't help me because I'll be mostly playing acoustic.
I realize that this comment is a bit old by now, but I pretty much never recommend people learn to play the guitar on a steel-string acoustic. It is unnecessarily punishing and while you will eventually need to build up some more strength when you transition back to the acoustic if you learn on the electric, it will make the growing pains a lot smoother because you will actually be able to play things in the meantime.

If you have the means to play an electric (or even a nylon string if that appeals to you), do it.
 
^^^ really wish TTB would swing back here.

I have a few slides, never really took to it. Not all that great for accompaniment which is basically what I'm trying to do- just play along with my singing. I like blues but I like R&B too- so I'd like to be able to play some standards like What's Going On, along with some I/IV/V blues.
I play mostly rhythm parts when I play bottleneck— I can do some lead with it but it of a very basic Elmore James style.

Open tunings lend themselves to some arrangements while precluding others— in addition to the obvious major chords open and with the slide, the ii and the vi (minor chords, with respect to the open chord as the I) are playable with three and two fingers respectively. You can also fret behind the slide for various modifications to the major barre chord, but I think your RSI problems would preclude these.

But get better. You may be able to find an occupational or physio therapist in your area that can help you determine how you can comfortably play a guitar and may be a better investment than any new instrument.
 
Jun 1, 2007
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Ohio
Since I'm the kind to never be able to leave good enough alone I decided to polish the guitar. It started satin and I'm trying to get it to a nice semi-gloss.
Unpolished side:


Polished side:


I just got the whole guitar to about the level of that polished picture. It's not perfectly gloss and the polish isn't perfectly even but I'm going to call it a day.
 
Jun 1, 2007
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Ohio
Looks nice! Great job! Some F-One Oil or Lemon oil would really freshen up the fretboard nicely too. Good to do when changing strings.
Thanks. I used Planet Waves Hydrate on it. I'm beginning to suspect I didn't use enough though. Judging by how the last owner cared for this guitar I doubt it's been treated since he got it. I'm replacing the strings on all my instruments tomorrow.

Until this week I never snapped a single string. The g string on the acoustic snapped during all my tightening and loosening as I slowly lowered the nut and saddle, so I replaced it with the old string that was on it for now. The high e string snapped on my strat when I switched The nut. My one years old found my ukulele on the top shelf and threw it on the ground snapping the high a string and messing up the finish.

I'm going higher tensions on all my strings and am a little nervous. I'm going from 9s to 10s on the electric, from concert to tenors on the ukulele, and from 10s to 12s on the acoustic. I hope I can still do a full F chord on The acoustic.

I'm so glad I got the guitar string gauge ruler. I had my setup way too high on acoustic and way too low on the electric.
 

Holgren

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Dec 27, 2018
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I started playing guitar and learning music theory this year. Even though the start is hard and slow, I am loving it and has become one of my favorite hobbies. This is my first guitar:


AD810 CORT. The metal strings made it especially difficult to learn at the beginning haha but I got used to it now.
Cheers guitar fellows!