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A problem playing standing up with a Hollow Body The top of my guitar falls forward

#1 User is offline   matonanjin 

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 01:41 PM

I am absolutely in love with my new Gibson 1972 ES-325. At least I was until I tried playing it standing up. And I didn't know which subforum to post this in. As many hollowbodies and semi-hollow bodies as there are there has to be a real obvious solution to this that I am missing.

When I am sitting, playing my new guitar all is right with the world. When I stand up and try and play the top of the guitar falls forward or away from my body. This makes it near impossible for me to play. The reason for this is because the left strap holder is on the back of the guitar as opposed to the left edge as on a solid body. I have only played standing a couple times with my Strat with no problem.

So those of you with 335's and other hollow bodies or semi's, how do you keep the top of the guitar from falling forward so you can play it?

I have posed this to a couple people and got answers such as:

1) Move the strap holder. I don't want to put another hole in my beautiful new guitar.
2) Hold the top of the guitar back with the forearm of my strumming hand. Probably feasible but it's hard enough for this chubby old guy to try and learn with out worrying about that.
3) Tie the left end of the strap to the headstock. I haven't tried this yet. Maybe a possibility.
4) And I posed this to a guy that I have taken some Skype lessons from and got, "I don't know. I just stand up and play it." This wins for least helpful. :rolleyes:

Any other suggestions are sincerely appreciated.
1972 Gibson 325
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#2 User is offline   sparquelito 

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 04:58 PM

matonanjin,

When you say that left strap holder is on the back of the guitar as opposed to the left edge as on a solid body, do you mean to say that the strap button is on the 'back of the guitar' right where the neck joins the body?

Do you play with a wireless rig, or a standard cable going to the amp?

Do you loop the guitar cable up and around where the guitar strap is fastened to the bottom (right) edge of the guitar before you plug it in, or do you just plug it in an let the cable ride freely in the socket?

Would you call yourself a slender fellow, or do you have a bit of a beer belly?

Do you wear your guitar slung low like Slash of Guns-n-Roses, or up high like most jazz players?

Sorry for so many questions, but this is a curious dilemma you are facing.
:unsure:
Am I alone in this?

Am I alone?
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#3 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 06:05 AM

so, that question about how low you're wearing it... I think that could help, did you try shortening your strap to get it up higher on your body? what kind of material is the strap made from?

btw, you really can't relocate that strap pin to the place you mentioned with out first putting something on the inside to anchor the screw to. There's not really enough wood for a good tight grip for the screw, eventually, it's going to wear down and fall out. and that could be bad...

I have a few hollow and semi hollows that have the same setup, but I do tend to wear my guitars pretty high I used brushed leather straps that grip the shoulder and do not move around, that "fall away" issue does not happen for me.
/Ray
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#4 User is offline   matonanjin 

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 06:28 AM

View Postsparquelito, on 05 May 2016 - 04:58 PM, said:

matonanjin,

1) When you say that left strap holder is on the back of the guitar as opposed to the left edge as on a solid body, do you mean to say that the strap button is on the 'back of the guitar' right where the neck joins the body?

2) Do you play with a wireless rig, or a standard cable going to the amp?

3) Do you loop the guitar cable up and around where the guitar strap is fastened to the bottom (right) edge of the guitar before you plug it in, or do you just plug it in an let the cable ride freely in the socket?

4) Would you call yourself a slender fellow, or do you have a bit of a beer belly?

5) Do you wear your guitar slung low like Slash of Guns-n-Roses, or up high like most jazz players?

Sorry for so many questions, but this is a curious dilemma you are facing.
:unsure:


Believe me I don't mind all the questions. I need to resolve this. But I don't think it is all that curious of a dilemma. I think it is a common occurrence with hollow bodies. I'm just curious how people resolve it.
1) Yes, it's on the 'back of the guitar' right where the neck joins the body. Right where all hollow bodies have the strap button.
2) I'm not sure how this is relevant but with a cable.
3) The cable just drops
4) I am the furthest possible from slender! [rolleyes]
5) I have it fairly high.

View Postkidblast, on 06 May 2016 - 06:05 AM, said:

so, that question about how low you're wearing it... I think that could help, did you try shortening your strap to get it up higher on your body? what kind of material is the strap made from?

btw, you really can't relocate that strap pin to the place you mentioned with out first putting something on the inside to anchor the screw to. There's not really enough wood for a good tight grip for the screw, eventually, it's going to wear down and fall out. and that could be bad...

I have a few hollow and semi hollows that have the same setup, but I do tend to wear my guitars pretty high I used brushed leather straps that grip the shoulder and do not move around, that "fall away" issue does not happen for me.


The strap is a Lakota Leathers Strap made from Bison. I am trying to wear the guitar fairly high and I have the rough side towards me. That helps a little but it still "tips". I appreciate the necessity to anchor the screw and a luthier here explained that.

I see a lot of jazz guys standing, playing with their hollow bodies. I wonder if they just learn to play that way. Maybe this will force me to play with out seeing the fretboard! :rolleyes: [unsure]
1972 Gibson 325
2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe
2012 Fender Stratocaster American Standard
2015 Epiphone Casino Coupe
2012 Yamaha Pacifica
Walden G740CE
Fender Blues Junior III
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#5 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 06:32 AM

yea it could be,, small little things like this can make a big difference when you're starting out, or just been playing for a while.

I've been playing for about 50 years now, so nothing much matters to me except the instrument is relatively playable! :)
/Ray
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#6 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 07:35 AM

This is not meant to be a snide reply, but.... so here goes.

With standard playing technique, I'm not sure how exactly you can get any music out of a guitar without having your hands on it. Simply stated, your right arm, as draped over the guitar to play the strings, is what holds the guitar in place. At the moments when your right hand technique might cause your right arm to completely leave contact with the guitar (such as a heavy strumming, or Pete Townsend windmills), your left hand is most likely grabbing a chord, and is now what keeps the guitar in place. In any and all cases, you've got at least one hand/arm on the guitar at all times holding it in playing position. This is the same standing or sitting.

If at any time you have no hands on your guitar while it's draped around your neck (or even in your lap), you're probably doing something you shouldn't be doing, and are asking for disaster from things such as neck dive, cord yank, or strap failure (and body tilt/twist).
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#7 User is offline   stein 

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 08:02 AM

View PostL5Larry, on 06 May 2016 - 07:35 AM, said:

This is not meant to be a snide reply, but.... so here goes.

With standard playing technique, I'm not sure how exactly you can get any music out of a guitar without having your hands on it. Simply stated, your right arm, as draped over the guitar to play the strings, is what holds the guitar in place. At the moments when your right hand technique might cause your right arm to completely leave contact with the guitar (such as a heavy strumming, or Pete Townsend windmills), your left hand is most likely grabbing a chord, and is now what keeps the guitar in place. In any and all cases, you've got at least one hand/arm on the guitar at all times holding it in playing position. This is the same standing or sitting.

If at any time you have no hands on your guitar while it's draped around your neck (or even in your lap), you're probably doing something you shouldn't be doing, and are asking for disaster from things such as neck dive, cord yank, or strap failure (and body tilt/twist).

I agree with this.

In particular, I never want a guitar strapped on without at least one hand on it at any time.

But back to playing, I can sure understand not wanting to be holding a guitar in position when playing. BUT, at the same time, you have to play it in order to get comfortable with it.

You mention only having played standing a couple of times. I would say more practice, and experimentation is in order. If you have little practice playing while standing, chances are pretty good you haven't found the ideal height yet.
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#8 User is offline   matonanjin 

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 11:10 AM

View PostL5Larry, on 06 May 2016 - 07:35 AM, said:

This is not meant to be a snide reply, but.... so here goes.

With standard playing technique, I'm not sure how exactly you can get any music out of a guitar without having your hands on it. Simply stated, your right arm, as draped over the guitar to play the strings, is what holds the guitar in place. At the moments when your right hand technique might cause your right arm to completely leave contact with the guitar (such as a heavy strumming, or Pete Townsend windmills), your left hand is most likely grabbing a chord, and is now what keeps the guitar in place. In any and all cases, you've got at least one hand/arm on the guitar at all times holding it in playing position. This is the same standing or sitting.

If at any time you have no hands on your guitar while it's draped around your neck (or even in your lap), you're probably doing something you shouldn't be doing, and are asking for disaster from things such as neck dive, cord yank, or strap failure (and body tilt/twist).


Please sling all the snide replies you want. I am married. I am used to them. [thumbup]

But I am not sure about your reference to not having hands on my guitar. Did I any any time suggest I wasn't going to have a hand on my guitar? I don't think I did.

I probably should have stressed more that when I play standing up with my strat, the few times that I have done it, I have done so without any problems. With my new hollow body (with my hands on the guitar) there is this problem, due to the strap holder on the back, that I wasn't prepared for, for the top of the guitar to rock forward. It sounds like I just need to work on using my strumming hand forearm to counteract this tendency.

One obvious answer might be, if I don't have the problem with the Strat, why not just use it? I should have probably also mentioned that due to two spinal surgeries last year, and a possible third one in the next few weeks, I need something very light. Hence my purchasing the hollow body. I'm just trying to resolve an issue with it I wasn't prepared for.

Thank you for your snide response ;) and suggestions.

View Poststein, on 06 May 2016 - 08:02 AM, said:


You mention only having played standing a couple of times. I would say more practice, and experimentation is in order. If you have little practice playing while standing, chances are pretty good you haven't found the ideal height yet.

This is probably the answer. Thank you to you as well.
1972 Gibson 325
2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe
2012 Fender Stratocaster American Standard
2015 Epiphone Casino Coupe
2012 Yamaha Pacifica
Walden G740CE
Fender Blues Junior III
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#9 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 01:27 PM

I hear the same comment from a lot of people, perhaps your particular geometry and the shape/size of the guitar.

I think you'll get used to it. The strat is designed to lean back on you and it's a much smaller compact body size.

the 33X bodies are much bigger.

Just keep at it, I think, as Stein is alluding, you'll eventually find a comfortable position.
/Ray
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#10 User is offline   merciful-evans 

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 11:53 AM

I find that even the modestly sized Gibson ES-339 falls away from me. I think it has to do with the location of the forward strap pin at the heel position.
I also have a stout belly.

I have gigged this (& the similar build Epi Casino Coupe). I tend to raise the neck a little higher than normal, so that its raised about 25 to 30 degrees from horizontal; bringing the neck level with my left shoulder. It works better then, though it does take some getting used to. To a lesser extent, I also tend to do this with the Les Paul (which of course has a similarly positioned strap pin).
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#11 User is offline   matonanjin 

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 11:37 AM

Thanks to all of you that responded and I apologize for not thanking you earlier and following up on this. The reason that had me looking for a lighter guitar in the first place, the back problems has had me on the sidelines.

So a belated thanks again for your responses and help, all of you.

View Poststein, on 06 May 2016 - 08:02 AM, said:

You mention only having played standing a couple of times. I would say more practice, and experimentation is in order. If you have little practice playing while standing, chances are pretty good you haven't found the ideal height yet.

Probably predictably, this was exactly it! I took my guitar to a couple guys that are a lot better players than I that also play (semi)hollow bodies. They both plyed it immediately with no issues. I cinched up the strap a little to get it a little higher and I have now been playing it for a couple days very comfortably.
1972 Gibson 325
2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe
2012 Fender Stratocaster American Standard
2015 Epiphone Casino Coupe
2012 Yamaha Pacifica
Walden G740CE
Fender Blues Junior III
Fender Mustang Floor
Boss Eband JS-8
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