Electric Guitars Why... maybe stupid n00b question

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by PeterSchroeder, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. PeterSchroeder

    PeterSchroeder Munich, Germany

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    Let me start with telling you some background. Picked up learning the guitar in April this year. My first guitar was an Epiphone SG and I still have it. Did an electric guitar basic course for 12 weeks then it was holiday time. Bought a Squier Bullet Strat, hardtail version, for traveling (didn‘t want to take the more expensive and heavy SG with me) and booked the Beginner Blues Guitar course. Did the first lessons including Sitting Easy Blues, and the E7, A7 and B7 chords exercises. SEB felt like being almost done. Back from holidays I picked up my SG again and since then I feel like I struggle a lot more with SEB than before. Today I did a test - identical warm ups the Sitting Easy Blues, first with the Strat then with the SG. On the Strat I almost nailed it, on the SG it didn‘t work that well. Any idea why ? Is it because the frets are wider on the Strat (I got kind of thick fingers) ? First fret is about 1.5mm wider on the Strat compared to the SG. Is it the body shape ? The SG feels like everything is much further on the left compared to Strat or a Les Paul. For me it is hard to tell (btw excuse my english, I am not a native speaker). From a sound perspective I would always pick the SG , love the humbucker sound. Next week - hopefully - I will get a used Les Paul, love the sound, it feels much more balanced and the first thing I will will try will be Sitting Easy Blues.... and I hope it will outplay the SG, even better would be outplay the Strat....
     
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  2. PapaBear

    PapaBear Guit Fiddlier

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    More likely string gauges, if they're the same they will feel different due to the different scale lengths of the necks.
     
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  3. PapaRaptor

    PapaRaptor The Central Scrutinizer
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    The SG is to the left of a Strat. I've always had a period of adjustment when going to a SG from a Strat or Tele. The upper horn on most Strats extends to the 12th fret and the lower horn, to the 17th fret. The SG horns are symmetrical and only extend the body out to the 19th fret. The other reason they feel radically different is because the saddles on a Strat are approximately 5 3/4" from the tail of the guitar and the Tune-O-Matic on the SG is around 8" from the tail. Also in checking overall length of the guitars, my SG is a full inch longer (40") than my Strat (39") even though the SG scale is 3/4" shorter than the Strat.

    Surprisingly, the Les Paul is almost exactly the same length as the SG. The difference in the feel between the two of them is largely because the LP has a thicker (and heavier) body than the SG and with the single cutaway body style of the LP, the body extends to the 16th fret of the neck.

    I have a couple of Danelectro longhorn guitars and they feel like they are almost nothing but neck.
     
    #3 PapaRaptor, Oct 12, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
  4. Rad

    Rad Blues Newbie

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    I bet if you play one or the other for a length of time it might feel like you play it better.

    Strat is 7.5” (vintage style) or 9.5” (modern) fingerboard radius, the SG is 12” radius, that can make some difference.

    You and your fingers will get better at adjusting to different necks and fingerboards. You will most likely develop a preference and that can change over time, it has for me.
     
  5. PeterSchroeder

    PeterSchroeder Munich, Germany

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    I use 9‘s on the Strat and 10‘s on the SG. The main thing for me is I tend to hit the mini chords easier on the Strat when switching from single notes, also „real“ chords feel easier on the Strat.
     
  6. MikeS

    MikeS Allen, TX
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    Seems like every time I switch to my SG, my hands "naturally' hit the wrong frets. It takes time to get used to it. That's why I don't play mine that much.
     
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  7. PapaBear

    PapaBear Guit Fiddlier

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    Ya'll should try a Firebird, probably a lot like Lloyds longhorns
     
  8. CaptainMoto

    CaptainMoto Blues Voyager

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    What Papa said plus....
    The different guitar body sizes and shapes puts the guitar strap buttons in a much different place.
    This causes the guitar to hang in such a way that it feels as though it is pushed to the left.
    SGs have never felt right to me.
     
    #8 CaptainMoto, Oct 13, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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  9. PeterSchroeder

    PeterSchroeder Munich, Germany

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    Coming back to my struggles. This weekend I spent some time in a guitar shop and had a chat with the guys. Told them what I wrote here in my first post. Then they let me try some guitars and had a look at what my fingers were trying to do. First one was an american strat. Felt a lot easier to play compared to my Epi SG. Then they gave me an Ibanez RG model and it felt even easier to play. Their verdict was the reason for my problems is the neck shape and I would do much better with another profile. Thinner, like th one of the strat or even thinner like the "wizard neck" of the Ibanez. And the Les Paul would not solve my problem because it´s got the same profile as my SG, only the whole shape is more balanced. Which means - I am back to searching for "my" Guitar...
     
  10. CaptainMoto

    CaptainMoto Blues Voyager

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    You're doing the right thing!
    Hold them, feel them, play them !
    It's the only way to select the right guitar for you!
    No matter what reviews show up on the internet, I can't buy a guitar without playing it.
     
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  11. mountain man

    mountain man Still got the Blues!

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    Huh? My SG has the thin 60's profile neck. It's real easy to play and it has 10's on it as do all of my Gibson's. I've got 3 Les Paul's. One with the 50's thick neck, and two others with the thinner 60's neck. The SG is thinner than all of them. The Flying V and Explorer are different but still easy to play. So is the Firebird and the ES 137. They all have different necks but they all feel good and are easy to play. Sometimes I might need a little adjustment to a different neck or the big body of the ES 137 - but that's quick. You might just need time on the fretboard. I wouldn't worry about it. Just play, it'll come. How fresh are your strings? Are they new or have they been on for 6 months? :Beer:
     
  12. PeterSchroeder

    PeterSchroeder Munich, Germany

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    Mine is not a Gibson, it is an Epiphone. Might have somewhat different necks. But got fresh strings on last week. Grabbed my cheap Squier Strat (which I only bought for travelling) and felt much more at home when playing chords. A pity that it doesn´t sound as good as my SG.

    I´ve been trying to get used to the SG since quite a while now but when I see how much easier everything seems to be on a Strat then I tend to get the basics down on that one down first and then try another model.
     
  13. mountain man

    mountain man Still got the Blues!

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    Epiphone is the inexpensive import of Gibson. As Squire is one of many inexpensive imports of Fender. They are based on the parent company's USA built guitars. My point is all necks will be a little different but that doesn't mean they all can't be comfortable to play. You just need to play and play and play. When I got a new flock of Gibson's I didn't play a Fender for a year. And then I went back to the Fender's and didn't play the Gibson's....... They are all great!! I wouldn't worry about it. Just play, it'll come. :Beer:
     
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  14. PapaRaptor

    PapaRaptor The Central Scrutinizer
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    I've been in similar situations over the years. My passion for collecting guitars has resulted in quite a number of different neck styles, shapes and thicknesses. At some point, I became indifferent to most of the variations. I'm not even sure I have a preference any more.
     
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  15. Rad

    Rad Blues Newbie

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    I found mine changed over the years. Young hands decades ago, very thin necks, 9 1/2” radius fingerboards and vintage frets were my choice. Old hands now, slightly chunky necks, 12” radius and wider necks, even 1 3/4” nuts work well for me now.

    My connection and selection process with a guitar starts with the neck and fingerboard. If that is good, tone comes next.
     
  16. Slofinger

    Slofinger Blues Junior

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    The perception I have is that SG’s seem to have the most complaints of being uncomfortable to play. I mean that left hand is really out there at the 1st fret.
    Not to be an enabler, but a PRS has 25” scale fingerboards. I’ve been using that scale on all of my builds. A nice compromise between Gibson size, or Fender.
     
  17. Terry B

    Terry B Humble student of the blues

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    This is the reason I believe all of us, especially noobs, should buy the guitars that grab us, then take the time to grow together. YMMV :whistle:
     
  18. mountain man

    mountain man Still got the Blues!

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    Yep! Just play yer guitar! :Beer:
     
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  19. blackcoffeeblues

    blackcoffeeblues Student Of The Blues

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    There is your answer----Ibanez makes GOOD guitars.
     
  20. dwparker

    dwparker Funky Blues Muther Funker

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    I play an Ibanez as93 and a talman 303m, their take on a Nashville tele. I really enjoy them both and they are great players. I will probaby upgrade the electronics someday on the talman, but not because it is required. Just because I can.