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Cerb

Have to be careful playing the SG

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So yesterday I was playing Purple rain onbthe SG and noticed that some chords sounded aweful.  The chords are voiced so that there are some pretty long stretches and the position I have to take in order to reach put some pressure on the neck, this bends the chords out of tune. It doesn't take any more pressure than for me to rest ny right arm on the body while fretting a chord, so the neck seems to be pretty flexible. 

I figured it out eventually but had to change technique and how I hold the guitar. It seems this is a pretty common "feature" on SG's and my question is; have your SG forced you to change your technique? Do you play your SG differently than other guitars? 

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I've never heard of this before and I dont own an SG.

I do however have some long necked (neck joint at 24th fret on one) guitars and a couple of thin necked guitars.

I have had to learn different ways to play chords due to thumb osteoarthritis. This is the reverse of your issue. I cant apply back (thumb) pressure to the neck, so use my fretting fingers unsupported. Obviously this can be done (because I've done it). The neck is kept steady by bracing the body against my torso using the left arm.

This might be an extreme 'fix' for you, and it might might still de-tune your neck due to the lack of support? I feel sure your problem is fixable though.

 

I cant help but wonder. Is your SG ok? Could it have taken any damage somehow?

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3 hours ago, merciful-evans said:

I've never heard of this before and I dont own an SG.

I do however have some long necked (neck joint at 24th fret on one) guitars and a couple of thin necked guitars.

I have had to learn different ways to play chords due to thumb osteoarthritis. This is the reverse of your issue. I cant apply back (thumb) pressure to the neck, so use my fretting fingers unsupported. Obviously this can be done (because I've done it). The neck is kept steady by bracing the body against my torso using the left arm.

This might be an extreme 'fix' for you, and it might might still de-tune your neck due to the lack of support? I feel sure your problem is fixable though.

 

I cant help but wonder. Is your SG ok? Could it have taken any damage somehow?

I did some googling and it's apparently pretty common, with some SG's being more extreme than others, mine seems to be on the extreme side. 

Your solution won't work for me, applying pressure to the body and counter it with pressure on the neck is exactly what causes it to bend out of tune. I must be very careful to only apply thumb pressure and leave the neck neutral.  It's a bit troublesome since my arm, when resting on the body of the guitar, makes the neck shift away from my body while my hand holds on to the neck. This makes it go sharp. Very little pressure is required. 

My solution was to shift the guitar over to the right so that it hangs on my right hip instead of below my chest. Resting my arm on the body only holds it in place then, without shifting the neck outwards. I looked up pictures of SG players on line and many seem to sling it that way. 

Edited by Cerb
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yes, I agree,  The SG has a LOT of neck exposed from the joint.

Much more so than a LP does.  

Heavy handed players are usually not well suited for an SG.  they tend to move the neck around a bit too much when playing.

 

Edited by kidblast
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1 hour ago, kidblast said:

yes, I agree,  The SG has a LOT of neck exposed from the joint.

Much more so than a LP does.  

Heavy handed players are usually not well suited for an SG.  they tend to move the neck around a bit too much when playing.

 

Yeah. I had to adapt my technique. 

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53 minutes ago, Cerb said:

Yeah. I had to adapt my technique. 

they are still among the coolest of the cool guitars to play.  Massive fret access, light, but still hit like a sledgehammer when you need them too.  I never thought I'd like SGs as much as I do,, all I had to do was try one and the lights went on...   "YEA! I GET IT!

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44 minutes ago, kidblast said:

they are still among the coolest of the cool guitars to play.  Massive fret access, light, but still hit like a sledgehammer when you need them too.  I never thought I'd like SGs as much as I do,, all I had to do was try one and the lights went on...   "YEA! I GET IT!

This is my second SG. I used to dislike SG's for a long time, I had never played one so I must have based my dislike on looks. One day something snapped and I was thinking "man those look rather cool", so I got a used 2005 SG Special Faded, it was a good guitar (no flexi-neck) but I've never gotten along with humbuckers, they are not my tyoe of sound. 

This 2019 SG Special (P90's) however, is magical. Light, resonant, superb fret access and there are these shimmering harmonics that makes the hair onbyour arms stand up. Heck, I'll even change my technique to play it 😄

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Not a whole lot to add here except that I love my SG very much! It's a plain regular Standard and it's light, love the pus and love the neck access. Can't say I've had issues with neck bending etc. I play a lot of jazzy blues with extended chord turnarounds etc and everything sounds fine (except the quality of playing sometimes!!:)

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I would suggest having it checked out by a good luthier. It may be something simple like intonation, nut string height or truss rod tension....

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2 hours ago, mihcmac said:

I would suggest having it checked out by a good luthier. It may be something simple like intonation, nut string height or truss rod tension....

It's none of those things, just a flexible neck. I adjusted my technique so it's not an issue anymore 🙂 

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On 10/4/2019 at 2:24 AM, Cerb said:

So yesterday I was playing Purple rain onbthe SG and noticed that some chords sounded aweful.  The chords are voiced so that there are some pretty long stretches and the position I have to take in order to reach put some pressure on the neck, this bends the chords out of tune. It doesn't take any more pressure than for me to rest ny right arm on the body while fretting a chord, so the neck seems to be pretty flexible. 

I figured it out eventually but had to change technique and how I hold the guitar. It seems this is a pretty common "feature" on SG's and my question is; have your SG forced you to change your technique? Do you play your SG differently than other guitars? 

No, no change in technique.

Gibson is notorious for not using enough glue in the neck joint. I've had several SG's like this, eventually one got so bad it had to be re-glued. I am not saying your SG needs  to hav the neck re-glued, no, but this is common for SG's especially one's with the neck joining at the 21st fret. I dealt with the one SG for a few years and then when it got really bad...... the Luthier that fixed it was able to separate the neck from the guitar using just his hands. Came right apart......... I did not need to see it happen. 

Pete Townsend even bought the Mid 60's SG Specials specifically because of this(they were also 'cheaper to smash' sez Pete), all he had to do was bend the guitar against his body and he got a tremolo/wobbl-y effect.

Careful with that axe !

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