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Author Topic: "But Doc, it hurts when I do that"  (Read 1149 times)
ElJefe
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« on: February 25, 2007, 09:14:10 PM »

It seems like the number 1 reason to quit playing a "D" (dread-sized guitar) is for medical reasons or old injuries.  One friend said that the 000 was still too big for his sholder/nerve problem.

We all do what we have to do to keep playing.  So what size guitar did you end up down-sizing to?
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Larry

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sgarnett
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2007, 10:07:16 PM »

I usually play in a more-or-less classical position. Between various old injuries and spending all day at a computer at work, both too big and too small cause problems. Too big irritates both shoulders, especially the right shoulder, and the left wrist. Too small irritates the nerves and tendons in my right forearm. No matter how I adjust my position, playing my Parlor makes my right hand tingle or go numb. For me, the sweet spot is a 12 fret OM/Grand Concert/classical. A Martin 00-18 (14 fret) or Larrivee 00-05 isn't bad either, but the OM/000 feels "just right" to me.

A normal 14 fret OM tuned down a step and capoed at the 2nd fret is also a nice option. The most readily available option is a Martin 000-15S. You can usually find a used one in the ballpark of $700 on Ebay. I've only played one in a very noisy room so I don't really have an opinion of it, but they seem to be highly regarded. Even if it isn't exactly your cup of tea, that would be a good way to try out the size and see if it will work for you ergonomically speaking. If you buy it used, you should be able to resell it for close to what you paid.

By the way, it also helps to shift your position around a little bit. Sit forward, scoot back, shift to the guitar to your right leg, change the neck angle, etc. Staying in one fixed position is more likely to aggravate whatever hurts.

It's easy enough to find a 00-18 and a 000-15S in the same store. Try them both side-by-side and see what feels the best.
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canoe65
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2007, 10:36:41 PM »

All my previous guitars were dreadnought sizes and shapes, but my Larrivée L-03 is definitely more suited to my preferred position of playing.  The L body is much more comfortable to play when sitting, which is  the position I play in 95% of the time.

The L body does not sacrifice anything in sound or volume and I love the L shape.  Guitar-playing friends, when they first saw it, commented on how they liked its looks.  It seems a lot of guitarists are just way more familiar with the dreadnought shape.

Even Jean Larrivée first introduced the D-03, initially as a limited offering, and its popularity just took off, leading quickly to the introduction of the L-03.
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JBaer
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2007, 04:48:38 PM »

You may not have to downsize if you experiment with different ways to hold your guitar.
Since having a surgery on my right shoulder, I play in an almost classical position like sgarnett said he does.  On a good day I can play my dreadnaught but I usually play my L-body.  I played standing up for many years and now have to sit.  It was almost like learning all over again.  I also have a very bad back and had to do a lot of experimenting with chairs.  The best that I've found so far is a desk chair that I took the arms off of.  I can change the height and have a foot stool that I prop both or either leg up.  I took up resophonic acoustic and electric lap steel guitar several years ago.  They are much easier on my body and it's rare to find a jam session with too many dobros.
Experiment and Keep on Pickin,
JBaer
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imwjl
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2007, 06:09:10 PM »

It seems like the number 1 reason to quit playing a "D" (dread-sized guitar) is for medical reasons or old injuries.  One friend said that the 000 was still too big for his sholder/nerve problem.

We all do what we have to do to keep playing.  So what size guitar did you end up down-sizing to?

I don't know your specific injury, but my suffering comes from torn rotator cuff and age. Physical fitness and doing physical therapy exercises are what work for me. They don't work perfectly, but pretty much everything is better with some fitness. I think it's safe to say my Strat is a small body and dreadnought is large, and I have one guitar sized in between. None are a help when I have pain, numbness and one hand not working correctly.

I suggest a sports medicine clinic for diagnosis and physical therapy if you have insurance that allows. You can also find exercises on the Internet.

Good luck.

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Queequeg
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2007, 06:37:29 PM »

while I admit to having an SD60, and that's the only D I own any more, I spend most of my time with a CFM 000-15s and a Larrivee 00-60 and tw Larrivees parlors. And not becuase of any injuries. I just like the smaller size these days.
playing a dreadnaught is like driving a truck.
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PortHueneme
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2007, 08:45:51 PM »

A few years ago I was suffering from terrible shoulder pain and numbness in my fingers. I thought it was using a computer mouse all day. (I am a programmer)
It was about the same time that I stepped up my guitar time. I had always played, but only a few times a week for maybe 45 min.
Now I play everyday, and long sessions are not uncommon. I realized that my shoulder issues was probably a combination of the two.

Most injuries a repetitive motion injurie. I am not the always the sharpest nail, but I thought maybe if I stopped repeating the motion I could heal.
A complete review of my work space and fixing some ergonomical things help ease my pain.

Changing positions of the guitar yielded equally good results. Stretching and exercises helped, but you have to get healed first.
My Chiropractor assisted too. (what a crack up, he is).

Here's the best though, I found when I played different guitars my arms were in different positions (no repetitive motion). I now a an good excuse for G.A.S. and am feeling better.
While I am an acoustic player, I also have a solid body electric, I find it very comfortable for long practice sessions. Set you amp and pretend you are playing acoustic. Now I can save myself for those long acoutic jam sessions. I try not to play the big dreads for long practice sessions at home. The OM or Baby T. is much more comfortable.

BTW, I have a new "O" on the way.
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axeman
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2007, 05:59:55 PM »

I did not realize how uncomfortable dreads were until I got my Larrivee LV-09CE.  The L sized body is just enough smaller to make a great difference in comfort with no (to my ears, at least) loss in sound.

My physical malady is stenosis (sp?) of the cervical spine.  Causes my left hand fingers to go numb or twitch.   Until it was diagnosed, I had blamed the stiff clutch on my motorcylce, my bicycle handlebars, my cholesterol meds, catching pitching practice for little league, and so on.  Even quit playing guitar and bass for a few months.  In the end, it was simply age catching up with me.  All that to say, I have fewer problems with the L body and wider neck. 
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2007, 06:09:51 PM »

Just over 12 months ago I was in a minor car accident. I couldnt hold the guitars let alone play them. I had some intensive physio. I was given a course of Pilates and told to swim gently. I am back to my usual self now. Drop me a line and I will explain some bits and bobs. Good advice is to get an L body though....   John
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