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Acosutic players, how can I bond more with my Les Paul ?


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Im asking because I started off on acoustics and never left. The band I play with is 100% acoustic based. Always loved everyting about acoustics, from the tone, playability, simplicity and portability, the whole box n' dice.

 

Never really been drawn to electrics in terms of playing, but love listening to electrics, from blues to hard rock and a lot in between. Mrs EA bought me as a birthday present the Les Paul some years ago, and all it did was start gethering dust.

 

Recently I took her out again to play some tunes / licks but after about 20 mins I always get bored, feels like i should be playin her in a full band, even though Im not keen on joining an electric guitar based band. Also, I find electrics uncomfortable to hold. Sitting down with one feels odd, while standing the Les Paul is heavy and my back hurts after 20 mins. I dont like the thin nut on Strats and Teles. I do however like the tone of the Les Paul, thats not an issue.

 

Point being, I seem to be addicted to acoustics in every way (healthily) and have a hard time getting my head around electrics.

 

If you primarily are an acoustic player, how do you go around handling electrics, and how do you approach them and make the transition.

 

Or in other words, what can I do to bond a little with the Les Paul ??

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Im asking because I started off on acoustics and never left. The band I play with is 100% acoustic based. Always loved everyting about acoustics, from the tone, playability, simplicity and portability, the whole box n' dice.

 

Never really been drawn to electrics in terms of playing, but love listening to electrics, from blues to hard rock and a lot in between. Mrs EA bought me as a birthday present the Les Paul some years ago, and all it did was start gethering dust.

 

Recently I took her out again to play some tunes / licks but after about 20 mins I always get bored, feels like i should be playin her in a full band, even though Im not keen on joining an electric guitar based band. Also, I find electrics uncomfortable to hold. Sitting down with one feels odd, while standing the Les Paul is heavy and my back hurts after 20 mins. I dont like the thin nut on Strats and Teles. I do however like the tone of the Les Paul, thats not an issue.

 

Point being, I seem to be addicted to acoustics in every way (healthily) and have a hard time getting my head around electrics.

 

If you primarily are an acoustic player, how do you go around handling electrics, and how do you approach them and make the transition.

 

Or in other words, what can I do to bond a little with the Les Paul ??

 

 

Ea....same problem. I learned to play on an acoustic. Was in several bands playing electric.....a les first and later a strat. The bottom line....when I pick up th acoustic something clicks. It just is my style and drives my creativity. I never wrote a song on an electric. Always acoustic and then electrified it. I hav maxing respect for great electric playing....but it's not my thing.

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Find a song to learn that is a true electric guitar anthem and learn it on your LP....Neil Young and Crazy Horse songs for example ....learn the RIFF that defines the song then learn the whole thing and add it to the songs you play all the time.

 

If it doesn't sound "Right" when played on an acoustic guitar then as you learn the song you will reach for the LP.

 

I have a great LP hanging on the wall and this is what I am starting to do so that I play the thing more....if it works for either of us .....then good!

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Don't force it. Mrs.EA will understand if you are honest with her. Just like the people who

resolve to practice so many hours a day; are they doing it because they want to get better, or because they love the sound and the aural and tactile experience of playing?

 

Follow your heart.

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.

When playing electric at home I get a lot more enjoyment with a drum machine or backing tracks - for example - http://www.guitarvoice.com/ and http://www.guitarbackingtrack.com/

 

Sometimes I make my own backing tracks with my looper.

 

Enjoying the playing is the key - leads to longer sessions and more bonding. . B)

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EA, I'm not sure what to say. For me, if it ain't there, it ain't there. I've got three ukes. I play two of them, but never the other, which is the coolest looking one. I just don't play it because it is not "me." hell, i don't know...lol....I had a Songwriter. It was gorgeous, and the sound matched the looks, BUT, I couldn't get myself to play it as much as I thought I would. I know I was nuts, but I just didn't bond with it. At least not how I have with other guitars. I sold it to a guy I know who plays in a church group. You should hear it in a church with those high ceilings...lol..he thanks me everytime he sees me...Yet, I know that "that" particular guitar was not for me.......Your question is a good one.

 

Almost forgot---to baffle myself even more, tonight a good friend made me an offer on my HD28 that I couldn't turn down. He took it home about two hours ago. It's a great instrument, but hasn't gotten the playing time it used to get. I'll use the money in the future to get an HD35 or another Gibson. "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy."

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Thanks for the comments MPicker.

 

A bit off topic but I know what you mean about the Songwriter. It is my least played guitar at home, as Im so, so about rosewood. But plugged in through a PA she is a star that blows away all my other guitars. Plugged in the rosewood overtones just fill the room coupled with the bottom end its the ideal rhythm guitar. I always use it at our bigger gigs (ie PA and soundguy). Hence I can understand why your friend likes it so much.

 

At home I love her with fresh strings, but once the zing goes away she sort of sits there.

 

Interesting about the HD-28. Tree days ago here in Australia where I am now I visited a great guitar shop which had a bunch of Martins. Played about 8 of them and have to say the HD-28 was my least favourite. Found it way too dark for my liking.

 

Surprisingly, or maybe not the plane Jane D-18 was my favourite. I even A/B'd here about 6 times against a D-18v and D18-A. The D18-A was literally on steroids, amazing guitar but I just didnt know how to handle her, plys the 1 3/4 nut width coupled with the Martin neck profile didnt do it for me. I loved the woody rawness and all round fun of the D-18. If I didnt have my CW (which is highly similar in tone) I would probably buy a used D-18 (I think Martins sound best played in, a bit stiff brand new)

 

EA, I'm not sure what to say. For me, if it ain't there, it ain't there. I've got three ukes. I play two of them, but never the other, which is the coolest looking one. I just don't play it because it is not "me." hell, i don't know...lol....I had a Songwriter. It was gorgeous, and the sound matched the looks, BUT, I couldn't get myself to play it as much as I thought I would. I know I was nuts, but I just didn't bond with it. At least not how I have with other guitars. I sold it to a guy I know who plays in a church group. You should hear it in a church with those high ceilings...lol..he thanks me everytime he sees me...Yet, I know that "that" particular guitar was not for me.......Your question is a good one.

 

Almost forgot---to baffle myself even more, tonight a good friend made me an offer on my HD28 that I couldn't turn down. He took it home about two hours ago. It's a great instrument, but hasn't gotten the playing time it used to get. I'll use the money in the future to get an HD35 or another Gibson. "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy."

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I fingerpicked nothing but acoustics for over thirty years (Travis style picking), and then discovered the joy of playing the same stuff on electrics in the last ten years. I now love electrics, after working my way through LPs & SGs with humbuckers, semi-hollows with humbuckers, LPs & SGs with P90s, and finally hollow & semi-hollow bodies with P90s. The fretboard access & ability to play with a light touch have really won me over. Of course, you've also got to find the right amp, but that's another story!

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Your post really echos my own thoughts of late. I have two very nice electrics and a great amp, but I never play them. In my case, having two young kids in the house, the acoustics are just better from a volume perspective. Also, I always play alone, and it is harder for me to accompany myself on the electric. I'm not very skilled and basic strumming just sound better on an acoustic. I will never sell the electrics, though, as I know I will come around to them eventually.

 

Every guitarist should have a Les Paul, used or not...

 

Lars

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I think for SOUND that makes you want to play electric, the amp is more important than the guitar.

 

When I first started to really play acoustic, I had already played electric a long time. I had a couple cheap ones, but when I started to experience GOOD acoustics, I noticed they have a ton of qualities to them that I look for in the electric thing. So to me a good acoustic is not just hippy/cowboy quiet stuff, they have growl, meat, tone...everything badass that an electric can have.

 

So, in reverse, imagine trying to turn someone like me on to acoustic. I have great electric tone, so how convinced might I be if I was given a plywood acoustic or a cheaper one? Surely not the same as if you handed me some of your Gibsons there. THEN it would be a whole different world.

 

Well, being as you are already accustomed to a great acoustic tone, I doubt you will be excited by cheapy run of the mill amps. Just like with the difference between a starter acoustic and a great one, there are major differences between amps-even amps designed to do the same thing.

 

To me, a Fender '59 Bassman reissue, a Victoria 35410, and an original '58-59 Bassman are like an Epiphone DR-500, a new Gibson TV and a 50's Gibson. They may be all the same thing, but they certainly won't perform the same way.

 

Hope it doesn't sound like tone snobbery. I don't mean to imply that you can't get a connection with the sound and effect of a cheaper amp, and just like cheaper acoustics, you can find some that sound better than others.

 

Seeing how you write about the tone of your acoustics and how you play them, you are certainly into the finer aspects of the better acoustics. I can see how it may be difficult to really understand and bond with the electric going from the acoustic tone you have if you are playing cheaper amps.

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Thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated. Interesting approaches and ideas how to give the electric a try.

 

I think I will probably start through blues improvisation, as this is an area Im exploring right now, and this could be a good way in.

 

I really like the tone of the LP when used in this format, and also i added thicker strings 10.5's which really have her a tasty tone. (cant get used to the thin, thin electric strings).

 

Ivesting in more amps is not an option, as theres no room plus Im not inclined to invest too much into gear with electrics, unless its a recommended modeller. The VOX amp is already a modeller and having a couple season electric guys play the LP through it they gave it the thumbs up.

 

I'll see how I go in the next few weeks and report back !

 

cheers.

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Every guitarist should have a Les Paul, used or not...

 

I never own an electric myself and played very little from my friends' in the past.

 

Not that long ago, I picked one wicked black Les Paul off the wall at my favorite music store and just played(unplugged) it for a bit and this baby felt right at home in my hands. Living in an appartment with no special room to play though, my H-Bird is defenitely more than an appropriate instrument to play. Besides, I'm so much more of an acoustic picker than a shredder, but maybe one day if I win the lottery, I might bring this black cutie home [smile]

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"God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy." that's tooo good MissouriPicker.

 

The new generation of electric hardbodies are computers not guitars, auto-tuners are the end of the world as we know it.... the redundant/formulaic world we live in.

 

I sold my LesPaul & Strat about 10yrs ago, went total acoustic and have never looked back.... I'd rather play a PS/3 or Xbox.

However, I picked up an Eastman AR810 archtop acous/elec a while back for some note playing. When you love the tone of wood it's hard to get too far off the path. Making harmonics with an acoustic instrument is so much more difficult, honest and pure.

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I have 2 electrics and 4 acoustics. I love my ES335 its a lot lighter then a solid body and even has that acoustic feel when playing it. The amp is a very important part of the whole experience for me. I have a little Fender G-deck that's fun to play through because it has some bass and drums tracks and a looper built in and its easy to get a "band" to play along with. An electric needs a band to sound whole and an acoustic does not. If you want to reconnect with the electric then you will need "others" to play with be they real or in the virtual band world.

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I have the same problem. I recently bought a Heritage H157 which is their version of the Les Paul Custom. It's a fine guitar, but whenever I pick it up I'm at a loss. I rarely flatpick, and the neck isn't really suitable for finger picking. As much as I loved the guitar, I ended up selling it and buying a Gibson WM-00.

 

I'm a happier man now.

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if you've had it more than five years and your wife didnt buy it...... I would sell it!

 

Mine bought me a a 2004 Es335 for Christmas in 2005.

 

She (the guitar) is known as "the Dumb blonde" as I can't get to her at all.

 

My son (of The Cleft Pallate fame)and Thermion!k ( who all but the rawest recruit will remember) think shes great but

 

I cant get to her at all

 

My problem is that my wife put her money on the line and it would take more explanation to sell her than it did to buy her so the Dumb Blonde stays.....

 

One day we'll move somewhere where a teacher will help me understand how to play her.

 

If i Could I'd probably swap it for a Tele but the thought of the GIFT outweighs everything.

 

We didn't have the vast riches we have now at the time and the Dumb Blonde will, perhaps, stay encased until my son and Thermion!k play for her honour and ownership at the "Crossroads" following my demise.

 

Cheery thought......... I'll string it with 13s .... that will slay them!

 

 

Oh and just as a postscript

 

as one day I realised that I was not E.C. ( as I thought I was the day we bought the 335)

 

You will realise you are not Gary Moore ( as ( perhaps ) you felt when you bought the LP Studio.

 

-:)

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Im asking because I started off on acoustics and never left. The band I play with is 100% acoustic based. Always loved everyting about acoustics, from the tone, playability, simplicity and portability, the whole box n' dice.

 

Never really been drawn to electrics in terms of playing, but love listening to electrics, from blues to hard rock and a lot in between. Mrs EA bought me as a birthday present the Les Paul some years ago, and all it did was start gethering dust.

 

Recently I took her out again to play some tunes / licks but after about 20 mins I always get bored, feels like i should be playin her in a full band, even though Im not keen on joining an electric guitar based band. Also, I find electrics uncomfortable to hold. Sitting down with one feels odd, while standing the Les Paul is heavy and my back hurts after 20 mins. I dont like the thin nut on Strats and Teles. I do however like the tone of the Les Paul, thats not an issue.

 

Point being, I seem to be addicted to acoustics in every way (healthily) and have a hard time getting my head around electrics.

 

If you primarily are an acoustic player, how do you go around handling electrics, and how do you approach them and make the transition.

 

Or in other words, what can I do to bond a little with the Les Paul ??

As mentioned, you need to have a 'good' tube amp that can 'speak the language' of the Paul. I suggest a Fender with a good overdrive pedal or a Marshall. AND as mentioned ..play some electric Neil Young/Crazy Horse music and crank that sucker up!

On the other hand....if you ain't feelin'it .....then....it just ain't your thing....Let it go!

Personally, I don,t have a problem with 'crossing over'. But then again....that's MY soul... [wink]

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Mate, there is only one way to bond with your guitar and that is to play it until you know every inch of it and can play it without looking at the fretboard for example.

 

Now when you get back from Oz, your fingers will have lost some hardening. An easy way of getting this back on your return rather than play your acoustics, would be to play ‘The Paul’ for a week and nothing else. Should be easier on your fingers than the acoustics.

 

I get what people are saying about amps, but I would not advocate you go and spend 800 Euro€or whatever. Use what you have got amplification wise or get something that does not cost a lot like the iRig for the iphone if you have one.

 

Madman_Greg

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Thanks Greg, might just do that. The fingers are already starting to soften up which is causing me a bit of a worry as we have 3 gigs a few days after I reuturn. Might be a good opportunity to fiddle with the LP to get some strength back. Agree that investing into amps is not an option, the Vox does a fine job.

 

I will however probably try some blues numbers to find a way in with the LP, it has lovelly bluesy tone.

 

cheers.

 

Mate, there is only one way to bond with your guitar and that is to play it until you know every inch of it and can play it without looking at the fretboard for example.

 

Now when you get back from Oz, your fingers will have lost some hardening. An easy way of getting this back on your return rather than play your acoustics, would be to play ‘The Paul’ for a week and nothing else. Should be easier on your fingers than the acoustics.

 

I get what people are saying about amps, but I would not advocate you go and spend 800 Euro€or whatever. Use what you have got amplification wise or get something that does not cost a lot like the iRig for the iphone if you have one.

 

Madman_Greg

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But she DID buy it .... [rolleyes]

 

 

Then you got to stick it out dude!

 

as someone said in another post.......... a divorce costs more

 

And I speak from the bitterest experience

 

Did Mrs EA then see you as a Spandex clad rock god wielding a Les Paul?

 

 

Like my lady once saw me?

 

(Only that was more a perm haired hippy with pince nez playing "Strange Brew")

 

Mind you its more Special Brew ( Carlsberg) these days

 

keep the faith, keep the guitar

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