Author Topic: I nearly gave up until I realised a strap can help me play my Les Paul..  (Read 1186 times)

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Offline Mrs Bolan

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Hi all, my first time posting on the forum and just wanted to share this in case others have the same problem. I first started learning guitar when I was 14 on a classical guitar. It was horrible and I couldn't do barre chords on it and gave up. I picked it up again properly the beginning last year (30yrs old) after buying a strat. That was actually really comfortable to play but shocking quality so I recently upgraded that budget strat to an Epiphone LP100. For the last month I feel like I have been getting worse at playing. The les paul felt way to heavy and not comfortable to play at all. I was about to take it back to the shop (if they would take it) but watched some vids on youtube and did some google searches. I saw that if I use a strap and have the guitar in a classical position this makes it far easier to play with no guitar weight on my fretting hand. I didnt want to be put off playing as I love it so much and am so glad I found this info especially about playing in the classical position. I tried that once before for about a minute but after 5mins it really is quite comfortable and feels easier to barre chords and pick the strings as it brings the neck up higher so you're not leaning over the guitar. There wasnt a lot of info out there about using both of these technics but it has helped immensely and means I havent wasted $500 on a guitar I cant play. I'm going to go buy a good leather strap tomorrow as I only have a crappy nylon one at the moment :)

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Offline DarrellW

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Re: I nearly gave up until I realised a strap can help me play my Les Paul..
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2017, 09:29:11 am »
You shouldn't be supporting any of the weight of the guitar with your fretting hand, it will dramatically slow up your chord changes and make your wrist / hand hurt, so you've found out by accident what you were doing wrong :)
It's a nice (but heavy) guitar so I would try to get used to it with the strap; I need to use a strap with my electric for the same reason - it's seriously heavier than my acoustics and is taking a lot of getting used to.
Good luck
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Offline m_c

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Re: I nearly gave up until I realised a strap can help me play my Les Paul..
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2017, 09:39:43 am »
As much as Les Paul / Singlecut guitars are iconic, they're not ideal for playing sitting down.

I can quite happily play my singlecut PRS sitting, but it's noticeably less comfortable than my Strat. However I'm 6'4" and spend my days doing manual work, so the weight/size will be far less of an issue to me than most.

Offline Drubbing

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Re: I nearly gave up until I realised a strap can help me play my Les Paul..
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2017, 10:31:56 am »
An LP in the classical position is still going to be a problem, as then the main chords are too far up the neck to play for longer periods. Barre chords up near the head will still be hard. The fact you're also doing this with a strap to support the weight suggests you have not got positioning right at all.

I have no issues playing my LP sitting down in the regular non classical position. If you're supporting the neck when not using a strap, it's not sitting right to begin with, and that can be addressed.

There is no reason you should need to support the neck at all. I can only imagine that without a strap, you may be pushing the neck up to replicate getting the neck into the classical position and taking all the weight of the guitar into your fret hand.

The LP100 is a budget LP too. As LPs go, its very lightweight, being considerably thinner than Gibson, Epi Studio/Custom and Tokai versions.

Offline Johan217

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Re: I nearly gave up until I realised a strap can help me play my Les Paul..
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2017, 11:24:49 am »
A good strap (+ straplocks) is essential when playing an electric guitar, especially heavier models such as a LP. Look for a fairly broad strap so that the weight is distributed more evenly on your shoulder. Padding may increase comfort even more, but that may be a matter of preference.

I was brought up with the idea that one must practice while standing up, and I still prefer it that way. I find that sitting down with the LP gives me trouble with my right leg (numbness caused by the weight). Ultimately I tried the classical position and it does feel more comfortable to me: no strain on my leg and being able to point the neck more upwards allows me to keep my left wrist straighter. It also gives me more elbow room (no more poking in my ribs). In short, it feels closer to playing while standing up to me. Provided that you are indeed using correct posture, if the regular position is causing discomfort I think the classical position is a good alternative.
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Offline close2u

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Re: I nearly gave up until I realised a strap can help me play my Les Paul..
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2017, 11:49:57 am »
Sueded or sueded backed straps are good to look for as they are not prone to slipping like some leather straps are.

ps

I have moved your thread to the correct place and given it a meaningful title.


pps

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Offline Joerfe

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Re: I nearly gave up until I realised a strap can help me play my Les Paul..
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2017, 01:39:59 pm »
I never really took to playing electrics sitting down. Until I started playing in a band I managed, but when I joined I started to play standing up and I found that it gives so much more freedom in terms of getting into the groove, but also I find that it makes playing easier.
Now I play standing up all the time, even when not at band rehearsals. It just feels more natural both when playing the electric and the acoustic.
/Jesper

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Offline antwilk1981

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Re: I nearly gave up until I realised a strap can help me play my Les Paul..
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2017, 09:40:22 pm »
I can't play either a strat or Les paul sitting down unless I wear a strap. I find they slide around alot and they're uncomfortable to play. I good soft leather or suede strap shouldn't slip around too much. Welcome to forum

Ant

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Offline MetallicAnut

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Re: I nearly gave up until I realised a strap can help me play my Les Paul..
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2017, 10:35:53 pm »
I play with a strap regardless if I'm sitting or standing. When sitting I have the guitar between my legs in the classical position. That way when you stand the guitar comes up in the same position as if you were standing. Best for me anyway....

 

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