Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Les Paul Upper Fret Access


crazytrain513

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

 

Sorry if this question is kinda "noobish" (I don't intend for it to be in any way) but I just purchased my first Gibson yesterday (Les Paul Studio) and I'm very excited for it to arrive. It's a 2012 in Satin Yellow and immediately, my only complaint was upper fret access. I found it really hard to reach frets up there in the registry without repositioning my entire wrist and hand position, and I was wondering...am I the only one that feels this way, and if not, does it get easier with time?

 

I'm a huge classic rock junkie, playing a lot of Randy Rhoads, Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Scorpions, UFO, etc. and I don't want this to affect the fluidity of my soloing and such. So I guess all I'm asking is for people to tell me that they play Mr. Crowley or Panama on their Les Pauls all the time and that it's completely possible...haha

 

Thanks for reading

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello everyone,

 

Sorry if this question is kinda "noobish" (I don't intend for it to be in any way) but I just purchased my first Gibson yesterday (Les Paul Studio) and I'm very excited for it to arrive. It's a 2012 in Satin Yellow and immediately, my only complaint was upper fret access. I found it really hard to reach frets up there in the registry without repositioning my entire wrist and hand position, and I was wondering...am I the only one that feels this way, and if not, does it get easier with time?

 

I'm a huge classic rock junkie, playing a lot of Randy Rhoads, Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Scorpions, UFO, etc. and I don't want this to affect the fluidity of my soloing and such. So I guess all I'm asking is for people to tell me that they play Mr. Crowley or Panama on their Les Pauls all the time and that it's completely possible...haha

 

Thanks for reading

 

Ahhh yes, the pain of playing the best guitars in the world...Trying to reach those damn upper frets!! That's probably the only thing I hate about the Les Paul, other than the price. When I play the tapping part of the Crazy Train solo, it is a ***** when I reach the highest point because I have to wrench my wrist as well.

 

If I need to rattle off a zillion notes at lightning fast speed, I will just bust out my Jackson Rhoads RR24 Pro, but if I want to seduce them with the most epic lead solos and legendary tone...My Les Paul Supreme will always be my weapon of choice....

 

So does it get better? Yes, with constant, steady practicing, but I knew something was up when I could rattle off the solo just fine when I switched to my Jackson and to this day, still have difficulty playing it PERFECTLY on my Les Paul from a technical standpoint....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahhh yes, the pain of playing the best guitars in the world...Trying to reach those damn upper frets!! That's probably the only thing I hate about the Les Paul, other than the price. When I play the tapping part of the Crazy Train solo, it is a ***** when I reach the highest point because I have to wrench my wrist as well.

 

If I need to rattle off a zillion notes at lightning fast speed, I will just bust out my Jackson Rhoads RR24 Pro, but if I want to seduce them with the most epic lead solos and legendary tone...My Les Paul Supreme will always be my weapon of choice....

 

So does it get better? Yes, with constant, steady practicing, but I knew something was up when I could rattle off the solo just fine when I switched to my Jackson and to this day, still have difficulty playing it PERFECTLY on my Les Paul from a technical standpoint....

 

 

Oh boy...I dont know how this makes me feel because the past two months have been all about choosing between a Les Paul or a Jackson RR5 Rhoads...and I finally picked the Les Paul thinking if Slash, Randy, Jimmy Paige, etc...can all do it, why can't I?

 

There's gotta be a way...at least I hope so because this is going to be my one and only guitar when it arrives as I sold my other one to get this =X

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh boy...I dont know how this makes me feel because the past two months have been all about choosing between a Les Paul or a Jackson RR5 Rhoads...and I finally picked the Les Paul thinking if Slash, Randy, Jimmy Paige, etc...can all do it, why can't I?

 

There's gotta be a way...at least I hope so because this is going to be my one and only guitar when it arrives as I sold my other one to get this =X

 

Give it time, you will not regret it. It is not that much of a chore really. My first guitar was an Epiphone Les Paul with a 50s neck profile, so I was used to the feel going into it. I just have trouble in certain situations and the Crazy Train solo is one of them. It might be harder for someone who is used to the more metal-ish guitars like Ibanez and Jackson.

 

Don't worry man. Remember, you traded in your used cars and got a Rolls Royce...You will not be disappointed =)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello! Congratulations on Your new LP! Don't worry about the fret access! As You get used more and more to the LP, it will become natural and effortless. If Zakk Wylde with His huge hand can easily access those, anyone can! [biggrin] Cheers... Bence

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It comes with the territory. Upper fret access on a Les Paul is terrible although it is worst still on a large single cutaway jazz guitar although you are less likely to play in that area on the jazz box.

 

In terms of fret access there is just nothing to beat - and I mean nothing - an SG type guitar. Overall, I probably play my Epiphone G400 more than any of my guitars and that includes the pretty good similar high access of the Yamaha SG2000.

 

But the Les Paul is still my favourite guitar though just because of how it sounds!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes it gets easier to deal with the more you play. It was bothering me enough that I thought about buying an LP Axcess. It has a heel less design and body contours. I ended up ordering a Carvin which has a heel less design also. I went with 24 frets which moves the 15 to 17 frets out from the heel. It hasn't come yet, so I can't say how much it will help. Recently I've been getting much more used to my LP. I figure if Joe Bonamassa can do it like he does, I have no excuse except lack of talant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes the sound is almost entire the reason for me finally biting the bullet and getting a Les Paul. Coming from a thin-necked superstrat Washburn with 24 frets, the Les Paul feels cumbersome with its 50s neck and poor access.

 

But at the same time, I love those imperfections. I love that solid baseball-bat-grip and short stubby fretboard. And if everyone else is finding ways to shred on these beasts, there's gotta be some special tricks to getting up there quickly and efficiently...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But at the same time, I love those imperfections. I love that solid baseball-bat-grip and short stubby fretboard. And if everyone else is finding ways to shred on these beasts, there's gotta be some special tricks to getting up there quickly and efficiently...

 

Hello! Ask Zakk Wylde, Doug Alridge, Vivian Campbell... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

From 9:30

 

Cheers... Bence

 

Thanks for the video link... always enjoy GM's playing. BTW, I noticed he has his selector switch to bridge; but he adjust the neck volume knob. He must have it reversed for easy access... not a bad idea.

 

Edit: Nah...I watched it again. It's my mistake; it's standard volume/tone layout. [blush]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As one previous poster mentioned... try an SG. It's easy access to the higher frets! Plus it's lighter and seem to have a tad more sustain than my other LP's. [thumbup]

 

I've been in the market for a guitar for, I want to say, a good 8 or 9 months now. Over this time, I've played A LOT of Les Pauls, A LOT of SG's, a few Firebirds, a few Explorers, and a couple Jackson Rhoads RR5s.

 

When it all boiled down to it, I narrowed it down (almost two months ago) to the RR5, the Standard SG, and the Studio Les Paul.

 

The reason I chose the Les Paul finally was for this reason:

 

1) Although the RR5 played like a dream (compound-radius neck) and sounded phenomenal most of the time, the cleans were not satisfactory for me and there was not enough tone control from the guitar (3 knobs only)

 

2) The SG sounded great, but I don't know if this is just me, but although the fret access was good, I kept having a reoccurring issue where the neck kept dipping down. I hear it's because they are quite top-heavy and while everyone doesn't experience this issue, I found it quite cumbersome. I don't mean to bag on SG's in any way -- great guitar but it's something I couldn't get myself to accept.

 

3) A lot of artists I cover are all Les Paul users. The sound was excellent, and comparing the Studio Les Pauls to the Standards, I found there was not too much difference in tone. And since the 2012's now officially have maple caps, even less difference. I also liked the Satin finish because the neck almost felt "unfinished" which is my preference for speed purposes. And all the while, I kept thinking to myself: "Since I'm always trying to imitate the 'Les Paul sound', it only makes sense that I, in fact, get a Les Paul."

 

In the end, about a week ago, I finally took a deep breath and purchased a 2012 Les Paul Studio in Satin Yellow. She just came in a couple days ago and while the fret access is a bit difficult, I think it's something I can get used to. As was mentioned by many above, if so many famous artists can do it, there has to be a way. It's my new goal.

 

I'm glad that I'm not the only one that experienced this issue though!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try taking your thumb off the neck for upper access. Move it to the same side as your fingers (high E side). That helps.

I've taken a quick pic to explain.

250BBC8F-79CF-4125-B0AE-D3D697AF1F89-4609-0000097A68071C27.jpg

 

Very unique take, I must say. I tried it out this way. I'm not sure if this is just me but I felt like I had a bit less of control over my bends doing it this way. Is this just something I have to get used to?

 

I find that moving my thumb down TOWARDS the high E, while still keeping it behind the neck helps, while almost turning my wrist more towards the "left" makes it a bit easier. Thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...