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A little guitar help needed

Walking Eagle 25 Feb 04 - 05:08 PM
DonMeixner 25 Feb 04 - 05:29 PM
greg stephens 25 Feb 04 - 06:46 PM
Leadfingers 25 Feb 04 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,Sleepless Dad 25 Feb 04 - 07:41 PM
The Fooles Troupe 25 Feb 04 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,Sleepless Dad 25 Feb 04 - 07:43 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 25 Feb 04 - 07:49 PM
DonMeixner 25 Feb 04 - 07:58 PM
Walking Eagle 25 Feb 04 - 11:27 PM
ddw 25 Feb 04 - 11:48 PM
dick greenhaus 25 Feb 04 - 11:59 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 26 Feb 04 - 12:35 AM
Dave of Mawkin 26 Feb 04 - 06:19 AM
GUEST 26 Feb 04 - 07:59 AM
Gary T 26 Feb 04 - 09:29 AM
Fortunato 26 Feb 04 - 01:49 PM
Walking Eagle 26 Feb 04 - 03:11 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Feb 04 - 03:42 PM
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Subject: Tech: A little guitar help needed
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 05:08 PM

I was wondering what I should look for in a good luthier. I may need to get my guitars switched from lefty to righty because of an inoperable pinched nerve in my right elbow. Does anyone know of any good luthiers in S.E. PA? Should I call Martin and ask for suggestions? I guess I need a little encouragement because I had trouble playing right handed and finally became good at playing left handed. The old 'handed' question again!

Thanks for any suggestions you may have. I appreciate your good ideas.

W.E.


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Subject: RE: Tech: A little guitar help needed
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 05:29 PM

Hi Walking Eagle,

I hate to say this but the stuff that makes your current gear so perfect just as it is will go away when you take the top off and try and reconfig the braces and bridgeplate and then put on a new bridge with the right intonation and angle to the bridge bone.

My choice would be your other, best bet. That is to learn to play them chords upside down a la Bill Staines, Jimi Hendryx, and Libba Cotton. Got them by some pretty OK.

Others will undoubtedly disagree.

or maybe you should view this as the golden op to own a new guitar.

Don


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Subject: RE: Tech: A little guitar help needed
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 06:46 PM

I totally agree with Don(with the proviso that I've never had to do it!!). yes, learn to play your well-loved boxes backwards, or go and get some hot new items and learn to love them. Sounds a frightening transition, but go for it. I think on balance that the new guitars might be more fun.
New, even more radical, cut loose and get a button accordion or a banjo instead. I've tried that, it's fun.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 07:03 PM

Yeah !! Go for the banjo option.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: GUEST,Sleepless Dad
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 07:41 PM

Just so I understand better - why would the pinched nerve not bother you if you started playing left handed ? Is there any way to play right handed anymore ?


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 07:43 PM

No - go for a piano accordion mate! The main engine for an accordion is the left shoulder/arm driving the belllows. :-)

Stick with it - use all that experience & talent for something musical.

You could try converting your guitar to a laptop steel technique ... :-)

Robin


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: GUEST,Sleepless Dad
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 07:43 PM

Something else I should have asked. Would a smaller bodied guitar help ? What size do you play now ? There is a huge difference between a D and a 00 or 000.


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Subject: RE: Tech: A little guitar help needed
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 07:49 PM

I agree with Don as well. Converting a cheap piece of crap guitar from left-hand to right-hand is easy because all you have to do is replace the bridge and nut. It never sounded that good in the first place so who cares if a couple of braces angle off in the wrong direction? But to retain the voicing of a quality instrument you do have to reconfigure the bracing pattern (most patterns are not perfectly symmetrical and the asymmetry has to be reversed). That's an expensive proposition.

I would sell the lefties and buy right-handed replacements unless you've got something that you just can't bear to part with.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 07:58 PM

OR.....

Borrow a righty from a friend for awhile and see if it works for you.
Then make the big change only if it is sensible to do so. That way you don't lose the good'uns and you may gain another. But don't in any way go about this too too rapidly.

Don


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 11:27 PM

Good ideas all.

My pinched nerve occured in my right elbow, essentially rendering my small and fourth fingers too weak to chord. It can't be operated on because of a condition that I have called lymphedemia in my arm. The lymph nodes are impaired and my arm is swollen. This means that my lymph nodes can't remove any infection that might occur.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: ddw
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 11:48 PM

W. Eagle,

I think you've been given some sage advice by all, but there is another option. I don't know what kind of music you play, but almost any kind can stand some form of slide guitar — even if nobody knows that yet.

Consider tuning your guitar to an open chord and playing bottleneck and/or simple (often one-finger) chording. It just might open a whole new world for you.

Hope you don't lose your music.....

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 11:59 PM

I"ve always felt that being left-handed would make learning a normally set-up guitar easier (a guess, as I'm right-handed.) After all, the left hand requires more strength and, unless you're going in for really fancy finger picking, more dexterity.

Am I wrong?


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 26 Feb 04 - 12:35 AM

I'll second what David said about open tunings, especially since it sounds like your index and middle fingers are still okay for chording. Simple one and two finger chords are all you need to play most songs in open tunings.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: Dave of Mawkin
Date: 26 Feb 04 - 06:19 AM

There is actually left handed convertor kits you can buy, basically just replace the saddle and nut if its acoustic or bridge plate if its electric, shouldnt be too painful to the wallet.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Feb 04 - 07:59 AM

String the instrument backwards and strum a few chords.

If it still sounds good tonally, (which it will) then just pay a luthier to fill the existing saddle slot, machine a new one, and fill and drill new pin holes (which will probably be necessary but may not be). Not a big job.

If you ever want to sell the instrument, then get your luthier to fit a replacement left handed bridge,and bridge plate, and bingo, you have a pristime LH Martin for sale.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: Gary T
Date: 26 Feb 04 - 09:29 AM

I"ve always felt that being left-handed would make learning a normally set-up guitar easier (a guess, as I'm right-handed.) After all, the left hand requires more strength and, unless you're going in for really fancy finger picking, more dexterity.

Am I wrong?


Somewhat. If it's such a good thing, why aren't 90+% of guitars made left-handed, so righties can take advantage of it?

It's generally true for beginners that the most challenging thing is the fretting, normally done by the non-dominant hand. But my understanding is that as one advances, the requirements for the picking (dominant) hand can be even more demanding, hence the traditional design and use of guitars.

Another factor is position. For most people, holding a guitar the "other way round" feels quite awkward. It's natural to want your dominant hand in close and your other hand reaching out (think holding a rifle, boxing, etc.). Many lefties find this less of a concern than finding and sharing instruments, and choose to play right-handed -- but bear in mind that in many areas, finding a good lefty guitar is a MAJOR challenge. Hardly any righties seek out left-handed guitars.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: Fortunato
Date: 26 Feb 04 - 01:49 PM

John Warden in in Woodstock MD. He is IMHOP the best Martin (licensed) repair man near you, or anywhere as far as I know. PM me if you want his telephone number, and he can answer your basic question better than anyone I know.

Yes, I think you might relearn to play the guitar with the other hand, upside down and backwards, I've seen it done by a middle aged person to reasonable effect.

Sorry for the necessity and good luck adapting.

Chance


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 26 Feb 04 - 03:11 PM

I knew I could count on you 'catter critters for helpful advice. I am most grateful for all of your ideas. I'm also exploring non-surgical ways to treat my pinched nerve so I can keep my lefties lefty and my right hand functional.

I may start a thread about the pinched nerve business.

Again, my thanks
Julie


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Subject: RE: A little guitar help needed
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Feb 04 - 03:42 PM

I wasn't advocating--just wondering.


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