Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
ritchieb
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:10 pm
Location: Oslo,Norway

Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by ritchieb » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:51 pm

Hello,

I recently bought one of these guitars through the mail,as I travel a good deal and one of these can fit in a suitcase. As its getting harder to carry guitars on board planes as hand luggage, this seemed like a good option. The guitar works fine as a practice tool, but I have a major problem with the balance. Even though it has no head, it is very head heavy. I find I'm having to hold the guitar almost with my left-hand. For intricate classical pieces this is obviously a major disadvantage.

Has anyone experience with these guitars, and if so any advice on overcoming the balance problem? A strap seems not to help either as the centre of gravity seems not to be at the body where the strap buttons are.Any help greatly appreciated. :D

Thanks in advance,
Ritchie

rardi

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by rardi » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:11 pm

Ritchie:

I'm a new member on this forum and this is my first actual response to anyone. So I hope I'm not too off the mark with this reply!

I don't have one of your travel guitars, but I too had your problem with a peizo electric guitar that I created from various components I had lying around. If the guitar you have is the one pictured in this link *Mod Edit: commercial link removed* my first impression is that the metal leg rest doesn't extend far enough towards the neck to approximate the leg rest location of a normal guitar. Hence the whole guitar is "moved" further to your left and feels out of balance with your body. The metal leg rest (as pictured) extends only to the 21st fret and the concave curve part that would balance on your leg looks to be much closer to the bridge/saddle position than a normal classical guitar. Is there any way that you could create your own leg rest that would still be attachable to the travel guitar but would extend further towards the neck? Maybe make it out of wood like pictured in this link? *Mod Edit: commercial link removed*

To my self-made guitar, I made a different leg rest extension which improved the balance. I also found that angling the extension downward/further away from the guitar body then oriented the guitar neck towards a more familiar playing position.

Another factor is that travel guitars (and the guitar I made/modified) don't have don't have the lower bout section that enables the guitarist to brace the guitar against the chest and on which the right fore arm can rest. Not much can be done about this though.

Maybe by playing and comparing the positions of your normal guitar and the travel guitar, you might discover other ideas for tweaking that might help.

Richard
Last edited by rardi on Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rardi

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by rardi » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:27 pm

Ritchie:

Regarding the sentence in my last post ... "I also found that angling the extension downward/further away from the guitar body then oriented the guitar neck towards a more familiar playing position..."

I subsequently saw something about attachments to normal guitars that assist with maintaining a good playing position. He is a link:

*Mod Edit: commercial link removed*

This was the concept I was trying to convey. Anyway the link might give you an idea or two if you are inclined to modify or change out your travel guitar's leg rest.

rardi

ritchieb
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:10 pm
Location: Oslo,Norway

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by ritchieb » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:07 pm

Hi Rardi,

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my query. Yes, the guitar I have is the same as in your link. I think you are right about the rest being wrongly placed with regard to the body/neck. I was expecting something akin to the Steinberger guitars on this body, but assumed that maybe this was a new ergonomically designed marvel, as all the reviews I'd read previous to buying were positive. I like the guitar in other regards like playability and sound is ok if you regard it as a practicing tool too. The balance question however is critical for me, to be honest if I'd have tried the guitar prior to purchase it would have stayed in the shop. :lol:

But, now that I have it, I'd like to get it easily playable.It was great to stuff it in my suitcase on a recent trip. European airlines are so antsy about hand luggage these days (nothing longer than 50 cms seems a general rule..), so this rowing boat oar would be perfect for me if I can crack the balance problem. The Efel rest seems plausible. The body is very thin though so it would require some doctoring from me.

I think where the rest is placed is fundamental to the problem though, so I'll see about rectifying this in the coming weeks.

Thanks for the input again. :D

Regards,
Ritchie

User avatar
robin loops
Posts: 3145
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:57 am
Location: California

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by robin loops » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:49 pm

I had the martin backpacker for a while and found the most comfortable was to sit holding it but use the strap to give it a little extra stability/balance.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

User avatar
Aucaman
Posts: 619
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:15 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, California

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by Aucaman » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:47 pm

I've been using a Miranda travel guitar and it works great for me
*Mod Edit: commercial link removed*

User avatar
pogmoor
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9425
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:55 am
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by pogmoor » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:30 pm

Moderator comment
Commercial links have been removed from several post in this thread. The forum aims to be non-commercial and free from advertising. You may refer to commercial products and give information (such as search terms) that will allow members to find commercial sites, but direct links are not permitted. (With some exceptions we regard any sites that provide purchase facilities as commercial sites.)
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Lester Backshall (2008), Ramirez (Guitarra del Tiempo 2017),
Yamaha (SLG 130NW silent classical guitar 2014).

ritchieb
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:10 pm
Location: Oslo,Norway

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by ritchieb » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:46 am

The Miranda guitar looks great. Much better design, looks like something serious players can use. I think they're only available in the U.S. though, to get one here in Norway would mean serious shipping costs and a hefty import customs bill. I don't travel so much to justify the expense, but it looks like a sound investment if you're based in the U.S.

Have heard some good things about the Backpacker too.You can get hold of them here, if you wait a few months.Have heard they suffer from "top-heaviness" too, and they're about 36" long, which is almost as long as my Yamaha Silent guitar. I bought the Traveler to avoid frequent wranglings at airports with staff regarding carry-on of the Yamaha.After 9/11, here in Europe at least, what you can take onto the plane as carry-on has drastically reduced, probably also due to cut-price airlines too stuffing in as many passengers as possible.

Maybe my quest for a playable guitar under 40" is unrealistic, I love the Yamaha. I won't admit defeat yet though on the Traveler.

Thanks for taking the interest.

Ritchie

User avatar
robin loops
Posts: 3145
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:57 am
Location: California

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by robin loops » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:28 pm

ritchieb wrote:The Miranda guitar looks great. Much better design, looks like something serious players can use. I think they're only available in the U.S. though, to get one here in Norway would mean serious shipping costs and a hefty import customs bill. I don't travel so much to justify the expense, but it looks like a sound investment if you're based in the U.S.

Have heard some good things about the Backpacker too.You can get hold of them here, if you wait a few months.Have heard they suffer from "top-heaviness" too, and they're about 36" long, which is almost as long as my Yamaha Silent guitar. I bought the Traveler to avoid frequent wranglings at airports with staff regarding carry-on of the Yamaha.After 9/11, here in Europe at least, what you can take onto the plane as carry-on has drastically reduced, probably also due to cut-price airlines too stuffing in as many passengers as possible.

Maybe my quest for a playable guitar under 40" is unrealistic, I love the Yamaha. I won't admit defeat yet though on the Traveler.

Thanks for taking the interest.

Ritchie
I agree. The backpacker had a pretty good tone but the odd shaped body made it impossible to play sitting down (although great for hiking, not so much when you're sitting at a the campfire). I was able to compensate for it being absurdly top heavy by using a strap (while sitting) but in the end gave it away as a gift to someone that would appreciate it more. The first mistake they (Martin) made in the construction is not using at least a ukelele type body (one of the biggest drawbacks is that you can't rest the thing on any part of your leg because it slides on the leg towards the 12th fret). The other mistake was putting the tuners on a normal (albeit mini) headstock without having anything to counter balance the weight of the headstock. All in all a cute idea, and cool to own but I wouldn't spend much money on one and if given an option would go for a yamaha silent guitar or the Miranda.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

RashJoe

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by RashJoe » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:04 pm

I have the Soloette travel guitar and have had no problems on flights. I either put it in the overhead compartment or hang it in the closet upon coming on board. Just Google Soloette. This is the one Sharon Isbin has endorsed.

AndreiKrylov

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:06 pm

Here is my own solution for this:
I have 2 guitars fit in very small case. :)
Together in the case they are smaller than almost any of mentioned above guitars...

one of guitars alone
[media]https://youtu.be/v5JKVyRk-rY[/media]

Here they are together:
[media]https://youtu.be/Ckbd4L_gcnw[/media]

packed in the one hardshell case:
[media]https://youtu.be/vRGRs-upfbk[/media]

RashJoe wrote:I have the Soloette travel guitar and have had no problems on flights. I either put it in the overhead compartment or hang it in the closet upon coming on board. Just Google Soloette. This is the one Sharon Isbin has endorsed.

likozar62

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by likozar62 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:45 pm

I bought my Ultra Light Nylon for when I am traveling. I also have a Yamaha SGL 100N but find it still bulky to take on an air plane. Once I was told that I could not take it as carry on (big worry about what it would be like at the end of the flight!!!). I thought I'd give the Ultra Light a try!
My solution to the lack of a guitar body was to build a classical body shape out of plywood and to attach it to the back of the guitar with bungee cord (simple!!!). It helps to give the guitar some balance and allows it to sit more normally on my knee (in a classical guitar playing position). The plywood body easily detaches an stores nicely in my suit case, and the guitar comes with me as carry on!

Here is a picture of the guitar with the body.

Hope that this helps!
JL
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
George Crocket
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9711
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:48 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by George Crocket » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:58 pm

Hi likozar62. could you please introduce yourself here.
George
2010 Stephen Eden spruce/cocobolo classical guitar
2012 Stephen Eden cedar/IRW classical guitar

Supperconductor
Posts: 480
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:34 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by Supperconductor » Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:44 pm

JL,

That really is a great idea.
- Kam

2012 Hippner Hauser SP/IR
[Savarez Corum 500R Normal Basses
La Bella RN-L Rectified Nylon Light Trebles]

User avatar
CarlWestman
Posts: 585
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:36 pm
Location: Chattanooga, TN

Re: Traveler Ultra Light Nylon guitar

Post by CarlWestman » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:53 pm

With respect to smaller, travel guitars that tend to be neck heavy, I recently came across a solution which mirrored one I had thought about, but had not done quite that way, or seen done before.

When the neck is heavy, there are two main ways to support it. One is to lift it at the tuner end (near the nut) either with your hand or with a strap tied just behind the nut. The former is obviously a burden when playing, and the latter can be unsatisfactory compared to a normal full size CG. Another way is to tie a strap or shoelace to the endpin (if you have one, or use a suction cup), and hold the free end down under your shoe. It pivots the tuner end up. This works well until you move your foot, of course ....

Recently I happened upon a video of someone playing an extremely long-necked stringed instrument called the theorbo, and I noticed how the player kept the long, heavy neck in position. He used a combination of shoulder strap and an endpin strap which he sat upon. Check out the following video between 0:20 and 0:25 to see:

http://youtu.be/sCRAY8WFDRo

Return to “Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists”