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Old adage


Lazerface

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I was chatting with my dad today, who also plays guitar. He owns a 72 lp custom and a 73 hardtail strat. He was telling me some players find it hard to switch back to gibsons after playing fenders due to scale length (he favors his strat). But then he told me of what he claimed was an old adage that "better" guitarists play fenders because they are harder to make sound good because of thinner tone with single coils and less sustain, and that players that arent as good play gibsons. It is definitely an exaggeration, but i couldnt help but think that tuere very well may be some truth behind it. Please discuss

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That adage makes absitively no sense. I think they were pulling your Dad's leg. Sounds like someone who knows nothing about guitars made that up. Like if someone said that Jimi hendrix could bend further than anyone else because he used a curly guitar cable. Everyone knows that your guitar cable has nothing to do with bending strings, so you know that person who said it knows nothing about guitars.

 

Fender and Gibson have always been the leading world class electric guitars. I don't think one is better - or for a better player- than another.

 

Fender scale length is longer than a Gibson, as far as I know. I would think it would be easier on the hands to go back to the shorter scale Gibsons. I don't think anyone has a problem switching. Many people play different brands of axes and switch back and forth one after the other with no problem.

 

I think people usually play certain guitars because they like the sound, looks, and feel of it.

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I really don't take any credence in that.Jeff Beck can dazzle an audience with his amazing fretboard magic on a Les Paul and then pick up a Strat and continue to dazzle in the same way.The same goes for guys like Marty Stuart who would wow a crowd by flat picking on aa SJ 200 and then pick up a Tele and do incredible chicken pickin'.I've seen many artists taking different scale guitars to a gig.Even I used to take a Strat and a Guild S-100-NB(which has the same scale length as an SG)to gigs and change between songs without effort and I'm by no means the same calibre as Beck or Stuart.The only way this could be a problem is if you only played one or the other all the time and then was passed one with a different scale length.Anyone who has various guitars wouldn't have any problem with it.That's part of the reason I think that people should have guitars of different types and brands.

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A "Great" player, can/will make any guitar sound fantastic! They simply

utilize each guitars strengths, and characteristics, and know when, and how

to use those, to best effect! Tone preferences, may dictate what one

player uses most. But, they can, and do, know how to make each type guitar

they play, do what they need it to do. Anyway...that's my 2-cent's on the

subject. :rolleyes:

 

CB

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I've never heard that adage. In fact, my opinion from experience has been the opposite. I find playing a Strat type guitar is easier to "sound good" on because the Les Paul will show your mistakes a lot more. I find I have to really make sure my fingers are where they're supposed to be when playing my Les Paul. Especially when playing clean. I think it does have a lot to do with single coil and double coil pickups, which BTW isn't limited to just Strats and LPs. IMO the single coils have a more natural, round smooth sound. The Les Paul humbuckers are a little hotter and have kind of a blaring sound (especially the bridge) if you're not careful. That's not to say I think Strats sound better. I love the Les Paul tone when it's dialed in right.

 

The other difference to me is the necks. I generally prefer the Les Paul neck. Aside from the scale length, most Strats I've played have a sorta wide/thin blade style neck. They tire my hand out a lot more than the fatter but more narrow LP necks. I guess that's why I really like the Gibson 50s style necks.

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It's not that good players drop their Gibsons in favor Fenders. Neither brand is better than the other. They make completely different guitars that also sound completely different. I prefer Fenders for their clean tones 99% of the time. And I prefer my Gibsons 99% of the time when I need good crunch and overdriven tones. Anyways, Fenders sound good without much effort. I started my electric journey on a strat, and still play strats now 20 years later. The same is true for my Gibsons....they sound good without any effort too, just like any guitar made of quality components will :) Some people are simply "fan-boys". I was a Fender fan-boy for years......until I bought my first Les Paul. Now I realize you HAVE to have both to complete your collection and round out your tonal palette.

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I have seen great musicians playing high dollar Gibsons and Fenders. I have also seen Chet Atkins pick up an inexpensive aooustic guitar and make it sound wonderful. Great musicians are not necessarily locked into one brand.

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For me, I find getting the sounds I want out a Stratocaster a breeze. 2 and 4 always sound good to my ears, some nights all 5 positions do. As for Les Pauls, I find I have to work with them for them to sound good with a clean tone. The only Les Paul that's ever had "that tone" I hear in my head right away clean was a Les Paul Traditional. Standards, Studios and so on have something about them that doesn't work for me clean.

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Kind of funny. I was playing my Strat last night and my buddy was playing a Tele thinline with Humbuckers. The Strat was chiming like a bell. I like all guitars. I have two very nice LPs and the cheaper Tribute model also has that bell chime tone (p90s). If I have to perform its the Strat every time. Easier to play, killer tone and I have big hands. But for Blues I prefer the Gibby classic custom.

 

Gibsons and Fenders both make great electrics, you just have to be particular when buying one, there are dogs from both brands out there.

 

I know this isn't about acoustics, but hands down I prefer "short scale" Gibsons.

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Fenders are easier to play chords and arpeggios on because of the smaller fretboard radius. Gibsons are easier to play lead with lots of bending on because a lower action can be set without the worry of choking out. Because I have short fingers I find the 25'5" scales more difficult for longer stretches but it's not so bad, TBH.

 

Theoretically, the easiest playing guitar for lead work is the 'superstrat' which has a flatter fingerboard radius/compound radius and jumbo frets.

 

I think the answer to which guitar is easiest to play depends more on what music type you play and what your hands and fingers are like.

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I used to have a friend who never had an opinion. The way he saw it, whatever 'it' is, was by golly, the way it IS! Those who don't agree with him are not people with a different opinion. They are WRONG and STUPID. It is his life's mission to make them see the TRUTH. [angry]

 

Anyone else know anyone like this? [flapper]

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I've heard the adage and used to think there was truth behind it. As a teen I played a Gibson and could make it sound somewhat like the players of the day in 70's. In the 80's, in college and grad school I played a strat mostly because I had one with me and left my V at home with my parents. I thought the strat was more difficult to "master" and so when I made it sound decent in a band I thought "wow, I really have come along as a player" which translated in my mind into me being a better player.

Now in my 50's, again in a band, I play a Gibson for 90% of the songs. In my hands through my amp, sounds better. None of this proves anything except my own perception that it is easier to play a Gibson. I may not be as good as I was in my 20s but I sure like playing and am comfortable with my LP, plain and simple.

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I used to have a friend who never had an opinion. The way he saw it, whatever 'it' is, was by golly, the way it IS! Those who don't agree with him are not people with a different opinion. They are WRONG and STUPID. It is his life's mission to make them see the TRUTH. [angry]

 

Anyone else know anyone like this? [flapper]

You mean like a GUITAR ACTIVIST?

 

I guess a case can be made that sinse the introduction of the LP, global temperatures have risen slightly.

 

Or maybe it is the heat put off by using tubes.

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I'll take my Fretless Fender American Standard Jazz Bass. But when I saw Hendrix in 1970, he switched back, and forth from the Strat to the SG. I closed my eyes as he played parts of the different songs with the two guitars. You couldn't tell which one he was using. He was the Master who wheedled the Fender or the Gibson AX. He knew how to play a guitar.

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"A Les Paul, which is kind of a sissy guitar when compared to a strat anyway." ~Jeff Beck

 

"The electric guitar is not a musical instrument." ~Andres Segovia

 

"... I think the guitar is a pretty feeble instrument." ~Robert Fripp

 

"Whammy bars are for sissies." ~Brad Paisley

 

 

What's that old adage? "Opinions are like...." ohhh....how does that go?

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IMO the bridge on the Strat (with whammy bar, not the hard tail) are the best for bending if you like the over tones you get. You can adjust the springs to get any amount of travel you want, but be prepared to retune a lot.Other then that they are both great guitars.Adage #1. I like apple and cherry pie.Adage # 2. Don't drool on my guitar.dry.gif

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I used to have a friend who never had an opinion. The way he saw it, whatever 'it' is, was by golly, the way it IS! Those who don't agree with him are not people with a different opinion. They are WRONG and STUPID. It is his life's mission to make them see the TRUTH. [angry]

 

Anyone else know anyone like this? [flapper]

 

I work with that guy. :rolleyes:

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.

 

Regarding skill: That's an old "slam ya" joke between players, not an adage. Players pitch that one back and forth all the time: This one's for hacks. That one's for sissies. Come on.

 

Regarding the sound: The rise of the 'Super Strat' and the proliferation of Fender factory S/S/H Strat models in the last couple of decades tells me that the standard Strat setup leaves many players wanting more humbucker (LP like) guts in the Strat sound.

 

 

.

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Lots of good stuff here. I personally really like my les pauls. The biggest thing that turns me off of strats is the whammy bar. Seeing as hardtail strats are hard to come by, i was looking into getting one then blocking the tremolo, until discovered the american special telecaster. As far as fenders go, I am definitely a tele guy now.

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