The guitar doesn't fit - issues with size and position

Funny you should mention ‘the lean’. I’ve posted about that strategy before as well. I was going to bring it up again here, but I thought my post was already too long.

I agree with what you say, though, and I think it could be useful to @GTR. It’s a very good solution when you really need classical position, especially high on the neck, though it works lower on the neck as well. Switching to ‘the grip’ made it necessary to do this less often, but it’s still very useful. To me, a left-hand CTC would include both the grip and the lean.

Awesome, I’m gonna give that a look!

Yeah , the ‘lean’, sounds a lot better than my “shove your guitar into your groin” method, lol. Maybe I love my guitar a bit too much!

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Instead of pushing the guitar out with your LH, which won’t be afford LH stability, push on the guitar body with your right forearm, like Joey Tafolla does. This causes the guitar neck to angle out. The guitar angle’s vertex is still the base of the guitar. This means the lower frets, which do NOT need more space, get waaay more space while the upper frets get only a couple of stingy centimeters.

|    ∕
|   ∕
|  ∕
| ∕👌     
|∕  <----------- R arm; base of guitar body.

The disadvantage is the R arm is tense, holding the guitar. Feels like not free rhythm and timing. Playing and phrasing don’t breathe and pop with life, but is instead hold tense.

Instead, the guitar body should be out away from the players body, like an acoustic, to put the upper frets out in front more. The guitar neck should also have a slight pitch so that the lower frets are closer. Then if you could have a lower horn to also use for the leg, that would be cool, too.

I’m gonna start a “Make this fugly guitar less fugly” threat and post my pig butt design.

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Link: Guitar Design Assthetic…

I argree that pushing with the right hand/arm will make the picking hand tense, thats why I do the leg/groin lean - you don’t need to touch the guitar with the right hand and it will stay (relatively) still.

Sorry to disagree. The grip I described gives me the most stable left hand I’ve ever had. Like I said, I consider this problem solved.

This exactly why I don’t consider this an acceptable solution. It doesn’t sound like you do either.

Best of luck with your design.

I would argue that there isn’t anything inherently “wrong” about a standard electric guitar design, although certain body styles do influence certain habits. I’ve discovered that when I’m doing scalar picking I’m a wrist deviator ala Eric Johnson, so playing my rhythm guitarists’ Xiphos was awkward as hell since there isn’t a nice place to support the forearm, you pretty much have to be a rotational picker on pointy guitars.

That being said, I can’t see making an electric guitar “fatter” making things any more or less easier to play.

There is a physical reason that the “lean” makes things easier to reach… you are spreading apart the shoulder blades and getting more of the upper torso and arm around the perimeter of the guitar. I see this in young guitar students who most likely have really strict parents always yelling at them to sit up straight. Their shoulder blade movement is severely restricted and they have trouble reaching around the neck of the guitar.

Theoretically, a fatter, more acoustic guitar design could force a player to do this, but I suspect if a guitarist isn’t inclined to naturally go to this movement that they would probably feel even more restriction on a fatter body than on a slimmer one.

Also, with @GTR continually referencing Joey Tafolla… perhaps he does the movements you are describing, and I’m sure he’s a fantastic player, but for one player’s example I can find ten or twenty that do something different and are highly skilled and effortless musicians. I would suggest a smarter thing to do would be to find a consistency that all or most players do and find out what that is and use that as what you’re looking for. And I can assure you, most all players will do some form of the “lean” to get those shoulder blades moving at some point or another, and depending on their body size it can be more subtle, or more pronounced (like in Gilbert’s case).

Ben Eller roars through this solo with his usual calm and unhindered way. His thumb routinely pokes over above about the 10th fret. See if there is anything here that will help.

I also believe you’re wearing the guitar roughly 2 inches too low.

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Correct me if I’m wrong, this was the issue you had 4-5 years ago on artistworks (before what appears to be your recent ban), and seemed to have been resolved since.

not really sure why you refer to me in third person. E.g.
“Also, with @BlackInMind being unfamiliar with guitarists pressing the forearm against the armrest portion of the guitar body to stabilize its angle, I was able to find another example https://youtu.be/s6OowWer7t4?t=120 “ weird to do it that way.

That’s a really strange problem. I’ve never heard of somebody who is not able to reach around the guitar. Most likely you’ve misunderstood that person‘s problem, too.

My problem is… Well, I’ve restaed the problem with pictures and everything… But let’s say I rotate the scapula to extend the shoulder forward more. That’s going to make my arm reach longer. If you read back to the first thread, you can see I have not enough space for my arm and that causes my forearm to be smashed flat against the back of the neck. So that’s obviously going to be the opposite of what I want to do. I need to retract the shoulders to get more space, like Billy Sheehan does.

This thread title is distinctly not “my issue resolved [EOM]“. You didn’t know that? Or did you just want to bring up that I was banned from artistworks? Just trying to cut of the noise to see if there’s any signal here……

Are you pushing the guitar neck away from your body with your fret hand thumb fully behind the neck, or with the thumb slightly peeking out?

I’m not sure why this is so hard for me. It’s really frustrating! Maybe I need a thicker neck to play this way?

I’m wearing the guitar 2 inches too low?

If raise the guitar strap, it starts to hurt my R shoulder, just like when I play seated.

If a 2 inch change in how high your guitar sits on your body causes pain, is there an injury you sustained at some point you haven’t mentioned?

The reality is that there is no magic guitar design, neck thickness, thumb placement, wrist position etc. that will get you there. At some point you either give up or figure it out. Cracking the Code and Troy’s discoveries prove that. Nowhere does his research indicate that guitar design is a problem. I don’t know that he ever so much as mentions it.

Django Reinhardt is a prime example of one who figured it out. His left hand was severely damaged in a fire. Only two fingers were actually usable. For a Gypsy Jazz player, that should have been the end. Yet, he figured out how to play what he wanted with only two fingers available. At a velocity most can’t achieve with all four fingers and the internet.

not really sure why you refer to me in third person. E.g.
“Also, with @BlackInMind being unfamiliar with guitarists pressing the forearm against the armrest portion of the guitar body to stabilize its angle, I was able to find another example https://youtu.be/s6OowWer7t4?t=120 “ weird to do it that way.

I’m typing in a way that addresses everyone reading the thread.

That’s a really strange problem. I’ve never heard of somebody who is not able to reach around the guitar. Most likely you’ve misunderstood that person‘s problem, too.

And from watching Troy’s material, we know that most everyone is physically capable of performing all the different types of movements required to be a virtuoso guitarist. That does not mean everyone has great kinesthetic, or bodily, awareness to know to make the correct movements at the correct times, or even how to apply different movements to different situations. If that were true, We would all be kinesthetic geniuses that naturally find the proper way to move on their instrument, you wouldn’t have an issue, and Troy would be out of a job :smile:

My problem is… Well, I’ve restaed the problem with pictures and everything… But let’s say I rotate the scapula to extend the shoulder forward more. That’s going to make my arm reach longer. If you read back to the first thread, you can see I have not enough space for my arm and that causes my forearm to be smashed flat against the back of the neck. So that’s obviously going to be the opposite of what I want to do. I need to retract the shoulders to get more space, like Billy Sheehan does.

Coming from someone who studied body mapping as applied to the guitar (similar to Alexander Technique) I can assure you the last thing you want to be doing, and I don’t know where you heard or saw Billy Sheehan say to do this. I had this exact line of thinking for years and it messed up my left hand for a long time.

At this point I think what you need is an in person or skype guitar lesson one on one with a teacher that can help you in real time. I honestly don’t feel like the conversation is making any progress here, since you seem to be shooting down everyone’s advice and seem to have already made up your mind as to what you need to be doing. Good luck!

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In-person coaching session by anybody who knows how to do that is wanted.

http://www.rotharmy.com/gallery/files/1/6/billy_sheehan_live.jpg

Is this working???

I see this not as moving the arm forward, but giving you more ability for your left arm approach angle to come more from below the neck, which in turn allows you to place your thumb a little bit more behind the neck and allow your fingers more spread and stretch.

I’m not sure what else anybody can suggest beyond what has already been stated (other than work on getting a fat belly so that the guitar sticks out as far as you want it too - joke :sweat_smile:). Without any perceived willingness to go away and try all of the above, you are unable to give us any further feedback to comment on - therefore making this issue impossible to cure. All I have left is that you move your left elbow back an inch when accessing higher frets - this might force you to utilise a more pincer like approach with your thumb touching the neck rather than the palm.

I wish you luck, hope that you get it sorted and play that solo how you want it

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Retracting the scapula gets the arm back some. It helps some. But doing that also puts stress and pain on my low back, elbow, and shoulder. It’s not good.

I wanna get the guitar out in front of me more, so more belly could theoretically help, but I want to do it by making the guitar thicker and make my belly smaller.

Best improvement I’ve made so far is to move the strap buttons so that the upper button is BEHIND the horn and the lower button on the upper portion of the face of the guitar body.

I am probably one of the few here that does this, but I tend to frett like this as well, and I don’t have any real problems with it. I actually use the top of my palm as the main fulcrum, and use very little ‘thumb’.

I know this is not typical form, and I also have quite large hands, but it works for me, and I actually switched fairly recently because I was feeling stress in my wrist. Also, I tend to ‘bar’ a lot more than other players, even when it’s not necessary.

I only do this because there is not enough room for my forearm before my hand hits the guitar’s upper frets. And since my shoulders are wide, it hits them at an angle where the fingers run nearly parallel to the strings.

I also have a lot of wrist pain. I’ve lost most of the mobility in my LH wrist (see photos). Some of that issue is from trying to wrangle out barre chords on the uber-tiny fretted acoustic guitar. Although the acoustic puts the hand in a better position, barre chords hurt.

Playing the electric also hurts the wrist.


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