The " -capo" - pain

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
cn90

Re: The " -capo" - pain

Post by cn90 » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:44 am

kristi wrote: I am using normal tension strings -- should I switch to high tension?

I've just checked this; the 12th fret action for the 1st string is 4.5mm and for the 6th, it is 7mm. I play Alhambra 4P and this is how it came from the factory (I actually switched to this guitar rather recently). Should I be concerned about this and ask to set it to the defaults?

//K
WOW!

1. HT strings make barre worse, so stick with MT strings.

2. Check the action by reading this:
http://www.hillguitar.com/scripts/frame ... setup.html
Remember that action is checked by:
- using a metal ruler
- measuring the distance between the TOP of the 12th fret (or 5th or 7th frets) and the BOTTOM of the string.

Get a decent luthier to redo the saddle for you if necessary.

kristi

Re: The " -capo" - pain

Post by kristi » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:16 am

:oops: :oops: :oops:

Thank you for the clarification... I honestly thought that action is measured at the top of the string :desole:

I just re-measured it in the proper way, and also using a more suitable instrument, that is more stable and has a wider straight edge. Now I see that the correct measurements are, 3,3mm for the treble E, whilst the bass E stands at 4,5mm. Thus the first measurements were clearly my rough mistake, rather than a production inaccuracy... :oops:

I believe no maintenance of the guitar is required, or? It might be that the slightly higher action was ment to be...

Sorry once again for the "false alarm", and many thanks for the support,
//K

cn90

Re: The " -capo" - pain

Post by cn90 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:22 pm

I'd adjust the action.
- Keep the original saddle in case something goes wrong
- ask a luthier to do a new saddle for you. Personally, I would use:
1st string/12th fret: 2.5 to 3.0 mm
6th string/12th fret: 3.5 to 4.0 mm.

You may not believe this but a difference of 0.3mm can make quite a bit of difference.

Better yet, the luthier should make 2 new saddles for you so you can try them out to your liking:
Saddle a:
1st string/12th fret: 3.0 mm
6th string/12th fret: 4.0 mm.


Saddle b:
1st string/12th fret: 2.5 mm
6th string/12th fret: 3.5 mm.

kristi

Re: The " -capo" - pain

Post by kristi » Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:25 pm

Many thanks for sharing your opinions and advises! After considering everything you've said, I've decided to 1- put emphasis on improving my barre technique, and if it does not give the desired result, then 2- contact a luthier to work on the saddle in the advised way.

Meanwhile I'd like to ask an additional question on this topic... Can it be so that string gauge has influence on barre playability?

The reason I'm asking is, I switched the strings between the guitar I play and my former guitar (which now mainly "rests"). My former guitar had D'Addario extra high tension strings, while the one I currently play was strung with Savarez normal tension. I did this mainly out of curiousity, wanted to compare what happens if I increase the tension on this guitar (moreover, high tension is for whatever reason advised by my guitar producer).

Naturally, the strings appeared more tense, demanded a little more offort to play and had a fiercer impact on the finger tips, which was of course expected. But for my surprise, I found out that my barre chords sounded significantly clearer with those newly put strings... I am now a little confused, 'cos I think (and you guys also noted this) that the higher the tension, the more effort the playing demands, including playing barre. Thus I came to think there can be only 1 of the 2 reasons:
1 - The high tension strings are thicker. So the hypothesis is, maybe higher string gauge makes it easier to take a clear barre?
2 - It could also be so that my barre technique improved overnight :twisted: But I fear this is as realistic as the Tooth Fairy...

Looking forwards to hear your competent opinion, once again ;) And many thanks!

//K

mac_mcg

Re: The " -capo" - pain

Post by mac_mcg » Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:15 pm

Not sure about that. But I'd like to add to the mix that I have two guitars with slightly different neck profiles, and for me barring is easier on the flatter "D" neck than the rounder "C" neck. There was recently an extensive thread called Neck shape and playability which considered how neck profile can have an affect, often barely perceived, on our playing and comfort etc. One thing's for sure, if your not comfortable, you are already predisposed physically and mentally to mess up, as I think many of us know only too well. Too much tension, and I'm not talking about the strings.
Best wishes, Kristi.
Mac

gtrgabriel

Re: The " -capo" - pain

Post by gtrgabriel » Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:28 am

My fretting hand used to go numb in a matter of a few minutes of playing pieces that had a few succesive barre chords.
Also, I couldn't get a clean sound from the 3rd, 4th and 5th string in a full barre chord. After investigating various comments
and posts, I tried something that has solved the problem. I thickened the back of the guitar neck with duct tape by about
1/8 of an inch which almost immediately resolved the problem. In my case, the thicker neck gave my hand more "leverage,"
(I hope that helps).

Moreover, you might try a radiused fingerboard, which would give the 3rd and 4th strings a higher profile on the fingerboard.

GuitaristOrdinate

Re: The " -capo" - pain

Post by GuitaristOrdinate » Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:22 am

Kevin R. Gallagher's video on Barre Technique helped me more than anything I'd seen or read previously . It's the last video on the following webpage . Kevin makes some great little videos on technique and the playing of certain songs . They're well worth checking out . I've also included the YouTube link to the Barre Technique on Classical Guitar video . I hope this helps you as much as it did me .

Ed

http://www.guitar69.com/videos.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzYfdYto ... r_embedded

dawhealer

Re: The " -capo" - pain

Post by dawhealer » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:25 pm

cn90 wrote:I'd adjust the action.
- Keep the original saddle in case something goes wrong
- ask a luthier to do a new saddle for you. Personally, I would use:
1st string/12th fret: 2.5 to 3.0 mm
6th string/12th fret: 3.5 to 4.0 mm.

You may not believe this but a difference of 0.3mm can make quite a bit of difference.

Better yet, the luthier should make 2 new saddles for you so you can try them out to your liking:
Saddle a:
1st string/12th fret: 3.0 mm
6th string/12th fret: 4.0 mm.


Saddle b:
1st string/12th fret: 2.5 mm
6th string/12th fret: 3.5 mm.
Excellent advice. I'll add that hand strengthening exercises may be beneficial as well.

We all have different playing requirements for our instruments and individual techniques. I've been playing guitar (all styles and types) since 1959 and I tend to lean towards setups with higher actions. None of my guitars, even my Fender Mustang (my one electric), has an action lower than what you list for saddle "a." The action on my Masaki Sakurai is a whopping: 6th string/12th fret: 5.0 mm; 1st string/12th fret: 4.0 mm and the scale is 660 mm. High tension strings. No problems playing whatsoever, but I play a lot of steel string as well. If I go lower I'll get too much string noise (at least for my peace of mind), and my luthier says it doesn't need a neck reset.

Sometimes you have to experiment a little to get it just right and there's seldom one solution that will work for all of us.

Guitar1979

Re: The " -capo" - pain

Post by Guitar1979 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:28 am

I am not sure my opinion can help :?
But i used to have problems about cramps and numbness in tips of my fingers and toes which improved after i take Vitamin B Complex ....and u might be more careful not to twist too much ... it might effect the nerve. I am not sure it relates to your peoblem or not, but thought i should mention it.
:)

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