New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Swin
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New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by Swin » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:54 pm

I've only had it a week, I know, but it feels like instant regression. I love my new guitar. Sounds great, looks beautiful, but more difficult for me to play. My other one wasn't standard (smaller fret distances and strings were closer together). I've had to go back to early basics to catch back up to where I was. It will take time, but it's frustrating in the mean time. Any tips from when you all were adjusting to a new guitar?

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Kent
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by Kent » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:01 pm

Make sure it is set up correctly.
You won't regret taking it to a Luthier or guitar tech. It could be way out of wack!

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Steve Ganz
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by Steve Ganz » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:36 pm

Suzie,
Kent's advice may be good. Your new guitar's action may be high (overall or at the nut). It's hard to know over the internet. :)

The feel of a guitar depends upon so many things. Small differences can feel huge, or be subtly disorienting.

I adjust to new guitars all the time since I build them. Some just feel better than others in small ways. In your case, you mention the scale length and the string spacing. Those are important variables, but neither alone ultimately determines playability by an individual player.
If you were nearby I'd ask a bunch of interactive questions, but I'll make one suggestion that helps me. Before trying to play, spend a minute just feeling the guitar, maybe with your eyes closed. With the left hand, find the nut, 12th fret, 5th fret (it's about half-way between nut and 12th). In each position find and feel each string. If you spend a minute or two calibrating your fingers to the guitar in this way, perhaps you will find it easier to play.
Steve

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lagartija
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by lagartija » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:51 pm

Don't despair! Not everyone adjusts to a new guitar quickly, and the greater the physical differences, the more disorienting it can be. If you are very physically oriented in your playing, depending primarily on your motor cortex programming (often called "muscle memory"), you may find it will take a while to "index" yourself into the new positions your fingers must find.
To have both the string spacing and the fret distances changed can be challenging. If you have checked that the set up is good (as recommended by Kent and Steve), I would recommend that you help retrain your motor cortex by playing the two octave C scale pattern, then moving the pattern up by one fret all the way up to the 12th fret --just before you go to bed. Play slowly and accurately, looking at your hands.
Then, go off to bed and have a good night's sleep. :-)
Your brain will be processing the changes to the motor cortex programming while you are asleep. Do this every night for a week and then let us know how things are going.

You will adjust.... it takes people varying amounts of time and you have to be patient with yourself and think of this as an interesting exploration into how you process physical changes. It may be of use in the future.
Good luck!
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__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

brooks
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by brooks » Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:09 pm

It's possible that moving to both a longer scale and larger string spacing - and possibly a higher action/higher nut as Steve and Kent suggested - means that two or three playability variables are a bit more challenging on this guitar. I would suggest, after making sure the setup is optimal and playing it for a month or so to get used to the differences, if you are still finding it more difficult to play than your old guitar, you might consider getting a new nut made with the same string spacing as the old one. It's possible that the latter suited your hands better. (And you can always pop the original one back in if you decide you preferred it to the new one)

Laudiesdad69
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:56 pm

I have now got so used to a 52 mm nut spacing and 650mm scale that I can't go back to playing certain electric guitars. The necks feel too skinny. If I sit down with any other electric than my Brian May replica, it takes about a half an hour before I don't feel the difference anymore.

I second what the others have said in his thread, make sure he guitar is set up, and that the strings aren't too high off the frets. Check with the dealer that you bought the guitar from. Many dealers will set the guitar up for you for free if you bought the guitar from them. I have four classical guitars, and three of them weren't set up right from the factory. Talk with a luthier or a tech and discuss with them what the differences are with the new one, and if you still have the old one, take it in with you so they can get measurements off of it. Tell them what you liked about the old one. Things like string height can be changed and spacing can be changed if a new nut is in order.

celestemcc
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by celestemcc » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:49 pm

What Lagartija said! I went from a long-scale to a short-scale guitar and expected the transition to be very easy... and while I won't say it was "difficult" it wasn't smooth. Action and span were immediately better, but I still had to adjust to the different neck shape and string spacing, and the slightly smaller body. Point being, it's a new instrument, and it just takes a while to become an extension of you. In time, it will!
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
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Swin
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by Swin » Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:55 pm

Thank you for all of the suggestions. I think my new guitar is set up properly. It's an Alejandro Cervantes and my understanding is that he checks each guitar individually before they are sent out. The owner of Maple Street guitars, where I bought the guitar, assisted me with the purchase. He has been playing classical guitar for over 30 years and he said that he inspects each guitar that he sells. My previous guitar was a fender factory guitar for beginning classical guitarist. The action was very high on that guitar, whereas this guitar seems to be at the appropriate level. Also, the strings being closer together on my previous guitar caused a lot of buzzing because my fingers kept hitting the other strings. I think my main problem is not being used to a proper standard guitar. I did notice more improvement over this weekend, which was encouraging. I do believe it was helpful for me to take a few steps back to work on simpler pieces to get me more familiar with the guitar. Closing my eyes to feel the nut, the 12th fret, and finding the 5th fret at about the half way mark was an interesting and useful suggestion also. Thanks again, everyone, for your feed back!

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souldier
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by souldier » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:47 pm

If the setup isn't the issue, then it could very well be the guitar. Some guitars are just easier to play than others for various reasons. I've played several Cervantes guitars, and I could get by fine on them but the neck felt a bit chunky, making it harder for my small hands. I'd imagine individuals with larger hands would find them quite comfortable. It may be a matter of adjustment, but it may also be that it's just not right for you personally. If even after two weeks you are still having difficulty, I'd honestly look elsewhere as that should be plenty of time to feel at home with the guitar. That's also assuming you have the basic technique down.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

brooks
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by brooks » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:35 pm

The Cervantes' I've played at the dealer all seemed to have had a standard 4mm bass - 3mm treb setup. I had the one I owned set up a bit lower than that, and I'm sure you could too if yours is also the standard 4-3 and you wanted to make it just a shade easier to play...even fractions of a mm can help! (to check action, measure from the bottom of each E string to the top of the 12th fret)

Swin
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by Swin » Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:55 pm

Two week update... Things are definitely improving as I spend more time with my new guitar. Thanks for all of your suggestions. I will have them recheck the action when I go back in. I've come up with a couple more questions for you all...
The G string sounds dampened or "thuddish" compared to the othe strings. Is that typical? I'll mention it next time I bring in the guitar. (Maybe it's just these particular strings?)

Also, when practicing scales, a low string will resonate when I'm playing a high string (example: A string will resonate when I'm playing a note on my B string). One of the things I love about this guitar is the full and lasting sustain it holds, which may be the reason for the sympathetic tones. I guess I need to work on dampening the low string while playing the higher ones. Any other input is appreciated! Thanks! :merci:

Mike Gover
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by Mike Gover » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:39 pm

The G string tone has been discussed many times on the forum- it often requires experimentation with a variety if strings, materiel's and tensions to optimize the tone, volume and projection.

The lower string sympathetic vibration is very common with well built lively & resonate guitars.

Jack Douglas
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by Jack Douglas » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:45 pm

A quick fix for the full G string is to replace it with one of two choices. Choice one is a medium high tension Knobloch active carbon string. With carbon make sure you give it an extra turn through at the tie block.
Choice 2 is to install a high tension Savarez alliance g and b string and use a D'Addario J-46 nylon E string. In that case I would suggest medium high tension basses.
Either way, you should be good to go.
Hauser III 2014!

Swin
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by Swin » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:15 pm

Great advice!! Thanks to you both!

Laudiesdad69
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Re: New guitar... New challenges... (Suggestions please)

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:13 am

I am waiting for my set of Alliance/Corum strings to need changing, but when I get around to changing them I am thinking that I will keep the Alliance G string, and change the B and E string back to nylon as the B and E are really quite bright. Also, Ramirez makes their sets available in nylon with a carbon G string added. This is a good way to go if you only want the one string to be carbon as it's less expensive, depending upon where you buy them. I really like the carbon G as there isn't that tubby, loose sound that the G is famous for in nylon.

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