Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Can I move bridge to prevent neck dive?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Honza992, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    I did read and understand your original post. I also assumed that since you already built bass guitars you were familiar with all the aspects of building. I apologize if my attempt at strat humor was not clear without a smiley face. --> :D

    I built several 1.5" thick pine Teles and wanted to make sure you are aware of the switch depth issue. This can be overcome by using a Gibson SG type switch if you want to go thinner than 1.5". I have also used the little slide switches like on a Jazzmaster on a 1.5" body.

    What is your target total weight?
    As I said before I have a couple (6.6 & 6.8 lbs) that are considered on the light end of Teles. The 6.6 is chambered alder with a maple top and the 6.8 is 1 3/4" pine. I actually prefer the 1.5" guitars for playing comfort rather than using arm or belly cuts on the guitars I build.

    .
     

  2. Budda45ftw

    Budda45ftw Tele-Meister

    Age:
    37
    139
    Aug 21, 2017
    Rochester NY
    Sure thing. This is a scrap pine body I cut out the other night, the neck has been on one guitar and a cigar box guitar. I like the way it feels. I started with an offset tele body shape and added horns, now it looks strat ish. Go figure. IMG_20170928_173632086.jpg
     

  3. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 23, 2016
    MI
    They're not talking about adding a huge amount of lead. It's all about placement. It gets back to that leverage thing you keep harping on.

    Any added weight could very easily be compensated for with some chambering under the pickguard. Lead on the end pin side and chambering on the neck side could result in a net reduction in weight, it would yield a greater benefit in terms of weight distribution than messing with the bridge placement, it would be far less work, and it would maintain the proper ergonomics of the instrument.

    If you're complaining about tendonitis (which you are), the ergonomics of the guitar are going to have a bigger impact on playing comfort than adding or subtracting a few ounces of body weight.

    Perhaps some of the people you're criticizing have read your posts, and are giving you sound advice.


    .
     
    maxvintage likes this.

  4. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 23, 2016
    MI

    A Telecaster is not a Precision Bass.

    A Telecaster is not a Jazz Bass.

    Leo Fender put the bridge on a Precision Bass and a Jazz Bass close to the end pin because it was appropriate to the instrument's design, playing style and scale length.

    Leo Fender did not move the bridge of a Telecaster closer to the end pin because it is not appropriate to the instrument's design, playing style and scale length.

    He was well aware of the impact that it makes on the ergonomics of the instrument. It's not that it's an idea that never crossed Leo Fender's mind. He literally owned the patent on the technology.

    The idea that Leo Fender thought that moving the bridge closer to the end pin would produce a better and more playable instrument, but was scared to do it because he thought it wouldn't look like an acoustic guitar, is just asinine.

    Do you think the Stratocaster, Jazzmaster and Jaguar were designed because a Telecaster just didn't look enough like an acoustic guitar?!

    By the way, if you take your assertion that Fender designed the Stratocaster in order to correct the Telecaster's (non-existent) problem with neck dive at face value, and you also assert that the way to correct neck-dive is by moving the bridge closer to the end pin, you'd have to ask yourself why he didn't move the bridge closer to the end pin on the Stratocaster. In point of fact, each successive model moved the bridge farther from the end pin (Jazzmaster, Jaguar, Mustang).

    The bottom line is that until you actually pick up a Telecaster (or any other electric guitar) and learn to play one, you won't understand the inherent and fundamental differences between a guitar and a bass.

    It's just something you really should do before you go creating new problems that weren't there in order to try to correct problems that were never there to begin with.



    .
     
    edvard likes this.

  5. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 23, 2016
    MI

    You're right, which is why you'd be wise to either:

    A) listen to those who do have the experience
    B) gain that experience on your own before second-guessing a design that has literally withstood the test of time more than any other solid body electric guitar in existence, or
    C) both.

    If you're planning on building a Telecaster with a 34" scale length, and you're planning on doing nothing but single note alternating between roots and fifths low on the neck, and you're planning on plucking the strings with your index and middle fingers while resting your thumb on the low E string, it might be worth discussing whether there's any advantage to holding the guitar at a 45° angle and moving the bridge back closer towards the end pin.

    If, on the other hand, you're playing a 25.5" scale guitar with a pick and using the edge of your right hand to mute strings at the bridge, you might have a better understanding of why a Telecaster's bridge placement was designed to coincide with where the picking hand naturally falls, rather than placing it farther back on the body, which would make it awkward and uncomfortable to play, especially for someone with tendonitis.

    Learn to play an F Maj 7 barre chord, maybe something like a Bb dom 7 or a G+#9, and you might have a better understanding of why you probably don't want to hold your guitar at a 45° angle to begin with.

    A bass guitar has a very long scale length. Wearing a bass lower and holding it at a 45° angle helps to lessen the reach needed to access the lower notes on the fretboard, which is where most of the playing on a bass takes place.

    A Telecaster is 8 1/2" shorter, and comparatively little guitar work is done down at the nut end anyway, so trying to reach those lower frets is just not an issue.

    However, there are some chord forms that require some finger stretch and/or awkward wrist angles. Holding the guitar pointing upwards at a 45° angle can make those chord forms very uncomfortable, especially for someone with tendonitis.

    While you will occasionally see a guitarist point the headstock up into the air, usually while clenching their teeth, squeezing their eyes shut and playing an extreme bend high up on the neck, they will only do it for a moment before returning to a more comfortable playing position.

    You'll find that most guitarists hold their guitars at a much lower angle. There's a reason for that. It's a matter of ergonomics.


    .
     

  6. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Age:
    47
    98
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    Thanks for pointing out the depth issue. I've checked and 34mm clearance in the cavity is enough the pots/switches, so 38mm overall body thickness should be fine.

    My target weight? I think my goal would be 6.5lbs. Lightweight but not ridiculously so.
     

  7. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Age:
    47
    98
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    It's interesting but that doesn't really tie in with my experience. I have found that you have to add considerable weight to counter the turning force created by the neck & headstock. Which in my mind makes sense since as we know:

    Turning moment = Force x Distance

    The trouble is that lead weights placed in the control cavity are just too near the turning point. Probably one tenth of the distance the headstock is from the turning point.

    Having said that a guitar hanging on a strap is a difficult thing to model. There is a turning point on your shoulder and also one on your back. So it may be that my simplistic model is....well, too simplistic. If anyone has see any proper modelling of how a guitar hangs I would be really interested to see it.
     

  8. trev333

    trev333 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    I've been using a small 3 way DPTD switch on this Tele for 6 years without any problems...

    one of these would let you use a thinner body and a shallower rout....

    pine dints2.JPG
     

  9. trev333

    trev333 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    This body made from 3 pieces of 5" WRC rafter around 42mm thick, 4 1/2 lbs... with a miteymite neck and stock 2 pin fender tuners... comes in @ 6 1/2 pounds....

    a well balanced guitar.... everyone who plays it wants to keep it... it gets a lot of use....and abuse,,;)

    I had originally set it up with a Mex Fender neck but had used it on another project by the time it came to finish this one, so I used the MMite neck..... a few years later I had another Mex neck here so I swapped in back into this body to try it.. and found out straight away the Fender Mex neck was too heavy....and it did neck dive.... I swapped the MMite one back on and there was my old guitar back..... and there it stays.... :)

    Cream top Tele sept '12.jpg

    WRC tele raw 1.jpg
     

  10. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Age:
    47
    98
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK

    Mr Green while I appreciate your comments and insights :)rolleyes:) I fear you may be missing the point. Leo designed instruments that were mass produced. I'm designing an instrument for me, and I can build it any way I like. Leo seems to have had an incredible ability to design instruments that were suitable for the widest possible range of players - it's hard to think of any other consumer product that is essentially unchanged from 50-60 years ago. It's had staying power precisely because his designs are fine for most people. So I don't doubt his genius. I do though, doubt his ability to design an instrument suitable for me. I think I've tried (apparently unsuccessfully) to illustrate this point by noting that for me I don't find having the strap button at the 12th fret on a Precision bass is enough for it to balance the way I like it to balance. On my own Precison I have gone as far as to add a strap pin extension so that it is level with fret 10.5, and I have replaced the tuners with ultralites. For me it now balances perfectly. Though I don't doubt that for most people they would hate it. I have tried to use this fact to illustrate the fact that when it comes to balance, I am more demanding that most people. And that is likely to be the case with any guitar that I build.

    So while I don't doubt that Leo did think about the position of the bridges on each of his instruments, I very much doubt that he did it with me in mind. I am after all a market size of one, and indeed a market that didn't exist until 20 years after he first sat down with paper and pencil.

    As for ergonomic playing angle I can't help noticing that classical players have their neck at a 45 degree angle. As do lots of other guitar players - Hank Marvin being an obvious example. And you think you know better than me what angle I should play the guitar at?

    And you think that I first need to go away, learn the guitar, and then, and only then, having paid the dues necessary for me to be able to consider altering one of Leo's God-given, heveanly-ordained designs?

    So frankly, before you accuse me or my views of being asinine my advice is that you think about it from my point of view. I am a guitar builder. I build guitars. I want to build a Tele. I want to make it the best Tele possible for me. So what would you do? Shut your mind and simply build a Tele as Leo ordered that thou shalt? If so you aren't much of a builder.

    So can I suggest that if you have something positive to say, then I would very much like to hear it. Guitar builders are in general an open and sharing lot. That's what makes us fun people at parties......
     
    RogerC likes this.

  11. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Age:
    47
    98
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    Thanks Trev for sharing your experience of a neck-diving Tele. I'm glad though that in the right combination of neck/body that it's a keeper!
     

  12. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Age:
    47
    98
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    It's not really relevant to the current discussion, but in case anyone is interested here is the build I am currently working on. It's a copy of the Fender AE (fretless) Precision. The scale is 33" and I've got the bridge near the end pin. I've had to re-work the lower horn to allow upper fret access. Once I get back from what is laughably called a vacation (there is surely nothing less relaxing that being on holiday with an 18 month old....) I'll get some finish on it and it'll be done. Then we'll see whether Leo's ghost strikes me down for altering one of his designs to make it more suitable for me......

    http://basschat.co.uk/topic/309847-fr-ae-precision-build/
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017

  13. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Age:
    47
    98
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    Green, just to labour the point, here is another fine upstanding gentlemen who admits to having a Tele with neck dive. And he likes to play with the neck up at an angle? Impossible! And he extended the strap pin so it was level with the 12th fret? And that solved the neck dive issue?!? But that's not possible! That would never work. Leo never did such a thing. So no one else should ever do it. He has displeased the Guitar Gods.....

    Garruchal, many thanks for your post. It's very interesting. You have come up with an ingenius solution. One I've never come across before. I've got some 'prototype' bodies in the workshop....ok, ok, I've got some scrap bodies in the workshop, fine pieces of wood that I have ruined beyond repair that I'll try this technique on. Great post, thanks very much.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
    RogerC likes this.

  14. mtorn

    mtorn Tele-Meister

    394
    Nov 29, 2016
    Portland, Oregon
    Wow, who would have thought that this topic could get so heated?

    Neck dive CAN be an issue with guitars, even though it's seldom as bad as on a bass. As one who has built about 5 guitars and 5 basses, I feel that I have a pretty neutral opinion.
    I totally agree with the OPs right to design and build whatever he wants. But it's odd for someone who is worried about neck dive to choose to build a design with a short upper horn like a Telecaster. Wouldn't it make more sense to build a clean-slate design, something that addresses all those special needs?
    And I agree that Leo's design and marketing genius isn't sacred, and decades later a person's individual needs and tastes may not agree with every choice Leo made. But then, again, why a Telecaster?

    But really, it should only take an hour of someone's day to pop by a music store, and pick up 5-6 Telecasters. They aren't exactly rare. If you find zero neck dive on all of them (as is generally the case), clearly there's not much to worry about.

    The upper-horn-to-the-12th-fret rule of thumb you see on basses doesn't really apply to guitars. There are many factors:

    The neck is shorter (most important, as you know).
    The headstock is smaller.
    The tuners are lighter.
    The strings are lighter (!)
    The neck isn't as frequently made of really heavy woods, like wenge, bubinga, purpleheart, as it is on basses.
    The body on a guitar, especially a Telecaster or Les Paul, often has more heft on the bridge side of the balance point.
    And remember, when sitting, the strap button locations won't make a difference. Instead, the lower "swoop" between the upper and lower bouts is now the pivot point.

    But OF COURSE you can move the neck and bridge further inwards as much as you want (probably even join at the 12th fret!). But:
    It would quickly look goofy, especially since we are so used to seeing the normal Telecaster proportions.
    It reduces high fret access.
    It moves the bridge to a place where picking and muting may become awkward and less ergonomic.
    You would have to devise a new pickguard scheme.

    Speaking of goofy, at least personally I think the 45 degree angle requirement is silly.
    I really don't think that whatever benefit might get on your left hand would make up for the weird angle you'd have to hold your picking hand at. That angle might work for classical fingerstyle, but if you want to play electric guitar in a way that produces "electric guitar sounds" - picking, muting, chicken picking, etc, you'd quickly get into ergonomic trouble.
    Also, of course, it would look silly and you'd embarrass your daughter.
    Btw, I looked up a masterclass video of Hank Marvin. At least sitting, he holds his neck at most 10 degrees over horizontal. You know, like a normal person.
     
    Mr Green Genes likes this.

  15. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    There's nothing wrong with wanting to use light wood for a body. Check out paulownia (empress) wood.
     

  16. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Age:
    47
    98
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    Ha ha it's true! I certainly never did. I was thinking of building a guitar. I prefer the look of a Tele to a Strat. I'm on vacation so can't get to a shop to try them out so in the meantime I thought I'd come and say hi and throw a few ideas around. I thought I did it in an informal and amusing way.....
     

  17. Garruchal

    Garruchal TDPRI Member

    Age:
    50
    50
    Nov 29, 2013
    Seattle
    Never knew that neck angle was such a big deal. I appreciate everyone's opinions, particularly when they are strong opinions. Believe me, I'd rather look cool and have my guitar low and parallel to the floor. That tends to give me tendinitis. So I take my cue from the centuries of lute, vihuela, classical, flamenco and many jazz players, and tilt my neck up. Tendinitis is gone, speed is higher, no problem with the right hand hybrid-picking I like to use and who am I kidding; I'm not going to look cool anyway.
     

  18. Artunes

    Artunes Tele-Meister

    Age:
    61
    176
    Mar 9, 2016
    Oshkosh, B'gosh
    Can some of you please take pictures of yourselves with your Telecasters to show this guy that neck dive on a Tele is not an issue. Put them at 45 degrees and let go of the guitar. If it stays at 45, then good. If it dives to horizontal, then the OP has a point.
     
    Bugeater281 likes this.

  19. Bugeater281

    Bugeater281 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    191
    Nov 30, 2016
    Omaha
    I should do it with my tele, it's an oak body so it'll probably sit at a 90 degree angle. The OP obviously knows everything, not sure why he's asking all the members on here questions. We obviously don't know what we're talking about. I read his build on the other site (nice looking bass too). He said he doesn't care about weight so long as the guitar doesn't neck dive, but here he's saying he needs a light body, no exceptions. I don't think he truly wants advice. He's got his ideas and wants to stick to them. I'm getting a troll vibe from him.
     
    Mr Green Genes likes this.

  20. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Age:
    47
    98
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    I genuinely don't know how to reply to this. The bass I'm building will shape up to be just over 6.5 pounds.

    I really have ruffled people's feathers. I've been on Talkbass and Basschat for years. Never had a single issue. Never in a million years was it what I wanted or expected :(
     

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.