Does a waist and elbow contour help? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Does a waist and elbow contour help?

I have an Ibanez AS73 and ESP/LTD viper (similar to an SG) and they are my two guitars. I sometimes use bassist or drummer's Les Pauls. I am pretty comfortable with all of those.

But the other day, I picked up the keyboardist's Squier strat and I played so much better on it in an extended jam/practice. I didn't feel tired and the body became one with me and was so effortless to play even though the strings were way too heavy. I played better on that than the main guitars I use all the time and I attribute that to the comfortable waist and elbow contours. It really does make a difference and I see why there are those who only use strat or strat derivative guitars with those contours. For instance, would you use a top and back bound RG with no contours?

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 10:44 AM
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Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

I play the same in all guitars, the only thing that bothers me is high action, I hate it cause guitar sounds out of tune because when you fret a note you're actually bending it and it's very uncomfortable.
Shapes never bothered me, they're just a visual thing.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 02:10 PM
 
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Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

I personally do not like body contours. Don't know why,, I love explores and teles for this reason, also my Nate Perle Fireman has no contours. I'm doing 2 builds right now and neither are going to have any contours. I own a strat and really don't see it as any more comfortable to play. Then again, if I get a beer gut I may be changing my tune!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 02:51 PM
 
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Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

Probably depends on body types. Taller/skinnier people seem to gravitate towards no contours as they dont need them. Shorter, stockier, or ... "more robust" persons kinda need the contours.

Im not short or fat, however, I find that telecasters without contours really dig into my rib cage quite a bit. Almost painful unless Im playing standing up.

I don't need a forearm contour though, not sure why people like those so much...
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

I know the strat and its derivatives (Jackson Soloist/Dinky, Ibanez RG/Jems/others, Peavey Predator, ESP M I/II/KH, Charvel San Dimas, and countless others) are within the most successful design ever invented by Fender, but I didn't really think it out so much.

I heard so much about the original contoured body and how that was such a big thing, but when I started playing guitar that shape was already more than 20 years old so I took it for granted. There are other things on a strat like six on a side tuning keys, bolt-on design, three pickups with selector switch, and tremolo, but the body shape is something that I am so amazed at on long gigs. I can pretty much play anything for a few minutes and be comfortable but there's nothing like that body that fits to a human body that makes it so easy to do in an extended session. I am 25 pounds heavier and the slightly rounded tummy appreciates the contour even more so you all have a good point there as mentioned above in your posts.

Since I am a fan of Ibanez first and foremost (who here isn't) I may try out an RG for my next "main" guitar. Also the tele-like FR320 model with all its strat-like contours and mix of single coil and humbucker tones may be a doable option, too.

Anyway, there's nothing like getting with others which made me have to actually sit or stand for uncomfortably long periods of time to make me see the beauty in those contours. Besides guitars that fight your body in any long period of playing my other pet peeve is a sticky, candy feeling with high gloss backs of necks. A glossy fingerboard is not ideal but at least the frets limit contact with anything that can get simultaneously slippery and sticky.

When I come to think of it, especially if I am a shredder who likes trems, the typical RG with satin neck, recessed locking Floyd, contours, and maximum pickup sounds, is probably the best thing out there in the guitar world. A non trem player can find equal shredability in a fixed bridge RG. The old attachment I had to vintage Fenders and Gibsons is gone realizing that Ibanez and others have raised the design bar, and simply that the vintage stuff is stupidly expensive and won't repay in any way in terms of ergonomic use or playability.

What I would like, but what Ibanez doesn't build to my knowledge, would be a fully hollow RG in exact same dimensions of RG but with all the contours and thin body. The closest thing I have seen to a hollowbody with all the nice twists and turns of a strat is a one of custom shop PRS and those are too expensive. It's 100% percent hollow with a lot of the body being steamed and bent to exact shape, with minimal bracing and a solid block just under where the bridge goes still allowing for most the full hollowbody tone. A small motherboard with electronics allowing for best tone and versatility is wired in with the rest of the controls. Feedback is reduced somewhat due to small bridge block and thin body form factor. They do have the full depth, strat like PRS Custom/McCarty that is somewhat more affordable and stock.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 04-30-2013 at 03:36 PM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 04:02 PM
 
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Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

speaking of contours,, I think the AANJ is amazing and I don't know why every company uses it. . Its the one contour I'm happy to use.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GUITARMAGEDDON View Post
speaking of contours,, I think the AANJ is amazing and I don't know why every company uses it. . Its the one contour I'm happy to use.
I have seen Dean with a similar contour. It does help higher fret access.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 11:15 PM
 
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Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

Oh yes, sure. the body contour is a must for me.
I once play a tele ( sitting down), it hurts my ribs.
a mockinbird.. ? even worse.

so yes, body contour is a must.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 02:51 AM
 
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Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

Blazer, you should really try a EBMM jp guitar (the standard model, not the jpx versions). It has a scooped contour that is probably the most comfortable guitar I've ever played.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 09:45 AM
 
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Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

I'm with Psycho, I am sitting most of the time because I am a home recording/playing kind of guy. Leaning into a guitar when your sitting does hurt after awhile. It is why I think the Radius/JS body style is so comfortable, no sharp edge and a nice arm contour.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

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Originally Posted by dratsum View Post
Blazer, you should really try a EBMM jp guitar (the standard model, not the jpx versions). It has a scooped contour that is probably the most comfortable guitar I've ever played.
I have often thought about visiting the factory since it's near me. The waist contour is a must for me for long periods of time, and the elbow contour is something I can take or leave but it's nice.

Later American Standard Telecasters now have the waist contour after probably many tele fans complaining about the slab body. Many years of using three saddles to try to intonate a Fender tele has resulted in most models now sporting six individual saddles. Leo Fender had enough innovations with his first 1949 prototype Esquire/Broadcaster that changed the industry that we couldn't expect him to also figure out the six back and forth, up and down, and side to side moveable design that finally got put on the strat a few years later.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 10:36 AM
 
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Thumbs up Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

One of the reasons that I started to use RG-like Axes, and finally Jem/UV's because their contour fits my body *perfectly*

Regards,

JP
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

I like this Les Paul Ultra with waist contour.

The arched top of most Les Pauls allows for the sides to be set back, too and the effect with a waist contour would be similar to a strat where the body does not dig into your ribs and that the elbow has sufficient clearance.

To a lesser degree, the Gibson SG has enough contours on it to make it more comfortable than the non-contoured Les Paul.

I don't know why Gibson doesn't contour all their Les Pauls. Fender took the bold move to contour the Telecaster which some may have thought would have remained slab bodied forever.

I know Ibanez is very innovative and a stickler for ergonomics. I wonder over the years if they used waist contours on their Artist Series solidbodies.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 10:46 AM
 
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Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

Hey Blazer, for hollow bodies with contours, check out the carvin holdsworth. They have the standard, the fatter fatboy, and a headless version.
I own 2 RGs, a tele, a strat, and the carvin.
it has rounded body sides and is really comfy to hold and play. Easily the equal to an rg or strat.

it is also set neck and semihollow with a block for the bridge. Also 25.5" scale.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 02:02 PM
 
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Re: Does a waist and elbow contour help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 63Blazer View Post
I have an Ibanez AS73 and ESP/LTD viper (similar to an SG) and they are my two guitars. I sometimes use bassist or drummer's Les Pauls. I am pretty comfortable with all of those.

But the other day, I picked up the keyboardist's Squier strat and I played so much better on it in an extended jam/practice. I didn't feel tired and the body became one with me and was so effortless to play even though the strings were way too heavy. I played better on that than the main guitars I use all the time and I attribute that to the comfortable waist and elbow contours. It really does make a difference and I see why there are those who only use strat or strat derivative guitars with those contours. For instance, would you use a top and back bound RG with no contours?

Thoughts?
Go try out a JS and I guarantee you that you'll entertain selling your other guitars because it's that comfortable.

Jimmy
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