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What to do?!!!

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ridgeskimmer
(@ridgeskimmer)
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Hi All,
I have been playing for a few months now on my Yamaha Pacifica which I find nice and light and comfy to play. I love the Blues and some Rock stuff(AC/DC for my son!!) but mainly enjoy playing lead along with Blues backing tracks using the old minor pentatonic with which i've finally learned all the five positions!!! So I thought I would like to get a bit better guitar as a treat. All my life I have loved the look and sound of a Les Paul so I have just bought myself an '89 LP Custom(picture below) which looks stunning (and sounded great when an expert played it in the shop for me!)
Now the problem and reason for this post!
After playing it for a week or so now im finding it much harder to play than my Yamaha and finding it very heavy and therefore much more uncomfortable to the point that last night I put it away and got the Yamaha back out which felt great again!!
So the question is should I persiveer with the Gibson or exchange it for say a decent Fender Strat which will be closer to the comfort of my Yamaha or even stick with the Yamaha and keep the Gibson for when I get better?!!!
Probably not an easy question to answer but if anyone has any thoughts it may help me make my mind up!!
Thanks
Mike


   
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Doc Gliss
(@doc-gliss)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 34
 

Gawd that's gorgeous; I can almost hear it resonate from here! If it's much harder to play, it might need a set-up, something a guitar shop can do for maybe 40 well-spent dollars. You might be amazed at the difference. The weight is something you just have to get used to should you decide to keep it (as I would definitely do), but a wide strap helps a lot.

Best wishes Mike!

Doc

If the dude woke up this mornin', he's playin'.


   
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lars
 lars
(@lars)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1120
 

Hi - and welcome to GN
that is some axe!!

Just a few thoughts:
Setup: maybe the action is too high - lower action could mean easier to play
Strings: same thing, maybe you could consider thinner strings - 9s maybe?

Or, perhaps it is just about getting used to.
Good luck

lars

...only thing I know how to do is to keep on keepin' on...

LARS kolberg http://www.facebook.com/sangerersomfolk


   
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ballybiker
(@ballybiker)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 493
 

LOOKS WAY TOO PRETTY TO PLAY :roll:

what did the drummer get on his I.Q. test?....

Drool

http://www.myspace.com/ballybiker


   
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MeeBit
(@meebit)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 33
 

I know what the problem is. It does'nt like you so just mail it to me. :)

Seriously though, I have too little experience to comment on the hard to play part, but as far as the heavy part I would say what other have. For me it's been basically a matter of getting used to it. Also I suggest getting a nice wide sadjustable strap, so you don't have to worry about it falling off your lap when you're sitting.

Location: Home, 'cause there's more beer here.


   
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ridgeskimmer
(@ridgeskimmer)
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Thanks Guy's for ideas so far.
The strap is a good idea as normally when I sit to play I don't use one so I have been taking all the weight on my leg and it digs in after a while! It did feel better when I played a bit standing up. As for the action maybe it's a bit low for my level of playing as when im string bending im slipping over the strings quite regularly which I don't do on the Yamaha. Also the strings are harder to bend so would this maybe suggest I should change to lighter gauge strings and if I did what difference do the lighter gauge strings make?
I don't want to get rid of it but at the end of the day I dont want to sit and look at it I want to play It!!!
Thanks so far
Mike:-)


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

very nice guitar. I thought Customs had black pickguards? your guitar is a heavy guitar. a wider strap will help a bit.
a strat and your Custom are two different beasts. play around with a strat before you trade. both are great guitars.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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ridgeskimmer
(@ridgeskimmer)
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

very nice guitar. I thought Customs had black pickguards?

Your right the previous owner fitted this one. Its got just a hint of gold in it and makes it look great I think. I've got a black one to put it back to standard.
Thanks


   
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Alan Green
(@alangreen)
Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

Les Pauls are very heavy (mahogany - 20+ seconds sustain but weighs a ton) and take some getting used to. You can lower the action a little across the tunomatic bridge there if it's hard to fret.

Best,

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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chuckster
(@chuckster)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 938
 

That is a beautiful instrument.

Quite an interesting thread as well as I currently play a Pacifica and was toying with the idea of treating myself to a LP (standard) in the near future. I've had a quick go on my guitar teachers LP so know about the weight difference but I haven't really played it long enough to appreciate what it would be like to play for any length of time. I hadn't even considered that to be honest.

Hopefully it's just a case of getting used to it. Let us know how you get on and if you do have to get rid of it (I hope it doesn't some to that) what you get to replace it.

8)

I've had a lot of sobering thoughts in my time.
It was them that turned me to drink.


   
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TRGuitar
(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3709
 

Hang in there. You will learn to love it you lucky (explitive deleted)! What a great guitar! I'd hang on to her.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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DemoEtc
(@demoetc)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2167
 

When I looked up the Pacifica's fretboard radius, I saw that it's pretty close to the Les Paul - the curve of the fretboard/frets - so the string bending part shouldn't be too different as far as that goes. But there's lots of other differences between Fender style guitars and Gibson - for instance, be aware that the spacing between the strings is a little different - might be enough to throw you off a bit and make it feel weird, especially with your picking hand.

Also, the placement of the picking hand is different because of the arch in the body; it's higher up and away from your body so that may also contribute to the unease of playing it.

The other main thing I think you mentioned was that the strings are really low to the frets and that your fingers slip off over the strings when bending. Some of the Les Paul Customs were at some point referred to as 'Fretless Wonders' because their larger frets and super low action made them feel almost 'fretless.' What you might do is actually raise the bridge a tiny bit so your fingertips have something to grab (or push) against when you're bending.

As far as the physical discomfort, yah, it's like the others have said. My LP is 17 pounds (or maybe 19, I forget), and it's just a part of the instrument. The sharp edges leave marks on your thigh and chest and inside the elbow, and if you stand to play it, the suggestion of a wide (3") strap is great. Like any guitar though, just playing it enough will allow you to get used to it. I actually had the opposite problem - going from Les Paul to Strat - years ago, to the point where I thought I'd made a big mistake getting the Strat. Couldn't get used to the string spacing especially and not having the arch in the body, but after awhile you get used to it. It took me almost a year before I was really comfortable on the Strat, and that was even with the determination to 'make' it work.

Nowadays I rarely play the Strat because when I need it in some recording or whatnot, it's 'instantly familiar' after all these years. It just fits, is totally ergonomic and feels like a part of me, so I concentrate on playing the other guitars for familiarity. Even a Telecaster's a bit 'edgey' with its slab-sides, but not quite so much as the LP. The Strat, or Strat-type guitars, seem to just 'grow' out of your body. :)

I suggest, as others have, .009s maybe, or stay with the .010s, and have the bridge raised just a teeny bit.

Good luck - it's a sweet guitar you have there! Good to keep it for that 'other sound.'


   
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Riff Raff
(@riff-raff)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 371
 

I have a 1981 Ibanez Artist that weighs a ton. It plays great, the action is super low and the neck is fast and it sounds real nice. However, when I'm playing in my den in a chair in front of my computer, I'll almost always grab my Strat cause it's lightweight and more comfortable to hold for a long time. I bought a wide leather strap for my Ibanez that I use even while I'm sitting.


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

a good friensd has a Les Paul Custom. he just had it evaluated; 2300$. his is a 70's model.
Les Pauls are heavy. hence the classic tone they have.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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DemoEtc
(@demoetc)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2167
 

Yah mine's from that same period, '76 or so. Black Beauty like the one pictured (without the aftermarket stuff, which I think is cool looking on ridgeskimmer's guitar), with 2 pickups. Some of the BBs have 3 pickups.

With mine, it developed an S curve in the fretboard above the 12th fret, so I have to have the bridge a bit higher than normal because certain notes go tink, tink if I'm not careful. My wife said to go have it fixed, and she said later that I morphed into some strange creature when she said it.

It was like "NO! Have the frets pulled and the fretboard planed and then refretted? New bridge? (the original corroded quite a bit to the point where one of the saddle screws snapped) The MOJO! Some call it the Mojo! Can't. Won't...have it touched!"

Then there were, she said, weird sputtering sounds coming from me, and then I was back to normal - such as that is. ;)

But there's nothing like a Les Paul - Gibson or Epiphone; it's the design I'm talking about, and the sound - and there's certain times the Strat doesn't even cut it. A Gibson more similar to the Strat is the SG (or maybe the Firebird - both flat and Strat-ish), but...it's cool to have a Les Paul, is what I'm saying :)


   
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