You know you need a 640 scale when...

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
ben etow
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Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by ben etow » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:20 pm

...when you know you can play a piece but your handsare burning when or before you get to the end... knowing you can play the piece in three or four bits.
Actually, I chose a 630 guitar, but I really need great dynamic range, so I have the strings at about 5.2/4.0...
Now I can play the Toccata de Pasquini or even José's sonata without suffering to much. :)

AsturiasFan

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by AsturiasFan » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:17 am

Unless the tendons are already very flexible, a serious wrist stretching program will increase ones reach much more than even going to a 615. A 615 is just equivalent to putting a capo on a 650 at the first fret.
The infamous Asturias bar chord starting on the 8th fret is generally considered to be very difficult (unless the hand is big enough). Originally this was an impossible chord for me. My pinky could not comfortably reach up to the 12 fret because this put tremendous strain on the wrist. After a wrist/tendon stretching program (taken from aikido), I can now play the Asturias bar chord at the 6th fret. (I can even play it on the fifth fret and lower, but without the D-string sounding.) Developing flexible tendons will allow drastic increases in reach without dangerous strain. My hand is just small enough that a formula posted somewhere at Delcamp recommends that I use a 640 mm.

Anyway I have the impression that the standard opinion for increasing reach is just to practice longer reaches. My opinion is that the left wrist should be treated as an elite athlete, which needs both stretching and strengthening exercises. Very few sports take the attitude that just engaging in the sport itself is optional.
Last edited by AsturiasFan on Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

FletaFan

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by FletaFan » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:05 am

your 9 years old.

ben etow
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Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by ben etow » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:28 am

AsturiasFan wrote:Unless the tendons are already very flexible, a serious wrist stretching program will increase ones reach much more than even going to a 615. A 615 is just equivalent to putting a capo on a 650 at the first fret.
The infamous Asturias bar chord starting on the 8th fret is generally considered to be very difficult (unless the hand is big enough). Originally this was an impossible chord for me. My pinky could not comfortably reach up to the 12 fret because this put tremendous strain on the wrist. After a wrist/tendon stretching program (taken from aikido), I can now play the Asturias bar chord at the 6th fret. (I can even play it on the fifth fret and lower, but without the D-string sounding.) Developing flexible tendons will allow drastic increases in reach without dangerous strain. My hand is just small enough that a formula posted somewhere at Delcamp recommends that I use a 640 mm.

Anyway I have the impression that the standard opinion for increasing reach is just to practice longer reaches. My opinion is that the left wrist should be treated as an elite athlete, which needs both stretching and strengthening exercises. Very few sports take the attitude that just engaging in the sport itself is optional.
I consider my entire left hand as very flexible. I can play the A sharp on the 5th and G sharp on the 4th in the rasgueado section of Rodrigo's Passacaille, even on a 650 guitar with strings at 5.2/4.0.
I still prefer my 630.

There is no point in striving for movement economy and eficiency everywhere in your technique if you can't accept the idea of playing with a shorter scale instrument when needed. I don't say everyone needs it, but I most certainly do.

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LVR
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Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by LVR » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:34 pm

AsturiasFan wrote:My opinion is that the left wrist should be treated as an elite athlete, which needs both stretching and strengthening exercises. Very few sports take the attitude that just engaging in the sport itself is optional.
This sounds correct. Can you go into detail about your stretching and strengthening program or indicate a site where this information is available? I, like many Forum participants, have no access to an Aikido instructor.
( I think the last word is meant to be "optimal"?)
The basic thing about playing the guitar is the pleasure you get from it. There's nothing wrong with pleasure is there?
Julian Bream

AsturiasFan

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by AsturiasFan » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:19 pm

ben etow wrote:I consider my entire left hand as very flexible. I can play the A sharp on the 5th and G sharp on the 4th in the rasgueado section of Rodrigo's Passacaille, even on a 650 guitar with strings at 5.2/4.0.
I still prefer my 630.
There is no point in striving for movement economy and eficiency everywhere in your technique if you can't accept the idea of playing with a shorter scale instrument when needed. I don't say everyone needs it, but I most certainly do.
I should not have attempted to generalize from me to the rest of the world, which is a bad habit of mine. A better statement on my part would have been to say that there are stretches I can now make because they no longer tear up my wrist. My span from thumb to pinky certainly hasn't changed.
LVR wrote: This sounds correct. Can you go into detail about your stretching and strengthening program or indicate a site where this information is available? I, like many Forum participants, have no access to an Aikido instructor.
( I think the last word is meant to be "optimal"?)
Yes I meant optimal. choctawchas (douglass) has a video with two stretches starting at 2:33 viewtopic.php?f=71&t=34955. In the same thread on the second page I have links to aikido stretches. There's a lot of wrist/tendon stretching exercises on the web. My guitar teacher is the one who actually showed me the aikido stretches. Douglass' first stretch is the one I concentrate on most (pulling the hand back to stretch the forearm tendons). I think this is also the one I should have been most careful with -- I overstretched and had to quit for a while. I think the other stretches are less prone to injury or overdoing it. You do want to start slowly and gently and gradually build up the intensity of the stretches.

As far a strengthening, I don’t know how to do it away from guitar. The most difficult bar chords for me have the pinky close to the max distance from the bar. I form one of these chords and play six string arpeggios that I’ve memorized until the hand gets tired (Duncan does something similar). Doing so at the first fret adds some difficulty. It’s only because of my increased flexibility from stretching that allows me to do this on some chords without pain or fear of injury. I seem to remember Jamie Andreas has a strengthening exercise where the index finger bars and stays in place, while the other fingers move around.

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:22 pm

When you're in 1st position and you can't reach the 2nd fret...

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David Norton
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Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by David Norton » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:27 pm

At the risk of a borderline thread-hijack here....

I am getting increasing frustrated with alternating between my 650s and 640s. In broad terms, the 640 playability is generally better, and the 650 sound is generally better. That doesn't mean the 650s are all difficult to play, nor that the 640s sound poor. not at all. But as a general rule, this seems to be the bias. What I suspect will end up happening is, I will decide to fully 100% commit to one size or the other, and then sell the entire inventory of the size I opt away from. Otherwise, I am really frittering away too much time bouncing back and forth.

My gut feel is I will go with "sound" and sell the 640s. If I absolutely had to choose today, from an entirely unemotional viewpoint, that's what I would do. But three of the four 640s were custom-builds, so there's a degree of personal association with the builder, and a nostalgic back-story to each instrument's design and wood selection, which I need to factor in. Only one 650 is a custom made guitar, my 1983 Brandt, and I would keep that in any event. Far too many musical memories connected there!
David Norton
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First person to complete the Delcamp "Let's Learn Sor's Opus 60" project

AsturiasFan

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by AsturiasFan » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:11 am

David_Norton wrote:At the risk of a borderline thread-hijack here....

I am getting increasing frustrated with alternating between my 650s and 640s. In broad terms, the 640 playability is generally better, and the 650 sound is generally better. That doesn't mean the 650s are all difficult to play, nor that the 640s sound poor. not at all. But as a general rule, this seems to be the bias. What I suspect will end up happening is, I will decide to fully 100% commit to one size or the other, and then sell the entire inventory of the size I opt away from. Otherwise, I am really frittering away too much time bouncing back and forth.

My gut feel is I will go with "sound" and sell the 640s. If I absolutely had to choose today, from an entirely unemotional viewpoint, that's what I would do. But three of the four 640s were custom-builds, so there's a degree of personal association with the builder, and a nostalgic back-story to each instrument's design and wood selection, which I need to factor in. Only one 650 is a custom made guitar, my 1983 Brandt, and I would keep that in any event. Far too many musical memories connected there!
I've always been curioius. If you hold up a 650 and 640 side by side what are the visible differences? How much taller is the 650? How much smaller is the 640 body? What I found really interesting was that your custom 640's in general didn't sound as good as the factory 650's. It may be a while before I can afford a custom, but this information is something I will definitely keep in mind.

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David Norton
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Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by David Norton » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:03 am

AsturiasFan wrote:I've always been curious. If you hold up a 650 and 640 side by side what are the visible differences? How much taller is the 650? How much smaller is the 640 body? What I found really interesting was that your custom 640's in general didn't sound as good as the factory 650's. It may be a while before I can afford a custom, but this information is something I will definitely keep in mind.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. :D Where did I say "factory"? The 650s are all luthier-made French polished instruments as well. However, unlike most of the 640s, these 650s were not designed to "my" specs and choice of woods. The exception is the 1983 Brandt 650, which was a helluva improvement for me at the time from a 664mm x 54mm Ramirez 1a.

Body sizes are the same, within the normal variation of body outlines. There's no visual difference, unless you have exceptionally good eyesight. If you lay them side-by-side with the 12th frets exactly aligned, you'll see the nut and saddle are 5mm difference each, total 10mm overall. Each fret going out from 12 will be increasingly dis-aligned as well. But again, from an audience viewpoint, you'd never catch it.
David Norton
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First person to complete the Delcamp "Let's Learn Sor's Opus 60" project

soltirefa
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Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by soltirefa » Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:56 pm

tomjtx wrote:
I have not heard a loss of volume even with a 630 scale.
One of my students has a 630 Byers and it seems louder than her husband's 650 Byers
Tom
Do you know the width of the fingerboard and the string spacing on that 630mm Byers? I just ordered one and I am asking myself how wide I want that to be. He said, "My standard is slightly under 53 mm for the board and about 43 mm for the spacing. String spacing is highly personal and I vary it depending on the player's requirements".

I have an Asturias 630mm now that is very comfortable, although I think a mm more string spacing might be a good idea for the new guitar.

I'd also be curious what woods that 630mm Byers is made from.

Glen

ben etow
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Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by ben etow » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:10 am

tomjtx wrote:One of my students has a 630 Byers and it seems louder than her husband's 650 Byers.

Tom
Hi Tom,

Could it be so due to strings height or type? Do you have info about that?

Thx.

Ben

ben etow
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Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by ben etow » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:15 am

tomjtx wrote:I had been considering ordering my Connor and Muller with 640 until this summer. The 650, properly set up, was very easy to play.

Tom
For me, an easy to play 650 must have strings at around 4.3/3.6 - way to low to achieve the dynamics I want...
My 630 is at 5.2/4.0! And still very easy to play and great for dynamics.

paulcroft

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by paulcroft » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:24 pm

..you get your head stuck in the soundhole when you're having a look at the inside.

paulcroft

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by paulcroft » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:27 pm

Denian Arcoleo wrote:When you're in 1st position and you can't reach the 2nd fret...
You're in any position and you can't reach the second string.

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