jdgm, on 03 October 2016 - 09:20 AM, said:
The following is from "The History Of The Guitar In Jazz" by Norman Mongan. The Farlow quotes are from an April 1971 "Jazz Magazine" interview, cited in the book.
In 1950, Tal experimented with a short-scale neck on his guitar....
"It was around that time with (Red) Norvo that I transformed the scale of my guitar, shortening the distance between the bridge and the nut by approximately the length of the first fret - about two inches. This had the effect of raising the tuning of the instrument a half-tone, like putting a capo on the first fret. There were two reasons for this. Not only did the strings have less tension and feel softer, but it also permitted larger stretches with the left hand. Some friends felt it was like bringing coals to Newcastle as I already had big hands. I used this system for years after. It was only much later, when I played with Artie Shaw, that I reverted to the standard neck that I still use."
I've scratched my head over exactly what this one means for years actually!
Thank you for the explanation,
I had not been aware of that article. But the shortened scale sure does make a difference in playability.
However, the capo on first fret statement is a tad confusing, since placing a capo over the first fret of my L5 does raise the tuning as expected, but it does not appear to provide the same ease of play beyond that point, as does the Byrd.
Actually, the only purpose a capo serves for me is to prevent the ball end of a string from dropping out of Gibson and similar tailpieces when restringing.