My J-45 pains me

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by mtown, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. mtown

    mtown Tele-Meister

    Jun 2, 2011
    Fenton, MO
    I should have said pained because I just sold it. I loved everything about this guitar except the size. When I test drove it at the store I was blown away with the tone and playability. What I didn’t realize at the time that playing it more than 1/2 hour at a time it would cause pain in my right shoulder.
    I tried about every position including the classical position. It didn’t matter the size just killed my shoulder. I wish there was such a thing as a parlor size guitar with the sound of a dreadnaught. Has anyone else had problems with dreads and aching shoulders?
  2. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Holic

    Jun 14, 2017
    Rome, NY
    That's too bad. The J-45 is such a fantastic guitar. I recently(well six months ago) bought my first dreadnought after playing 000 sized acoustics. It did take me a coupe of weeks to adjust to the size, and did have some shoulder ache, but now it feels comfortable, and can play at length without any issues. I did change the position of my strumming arm.
  3. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    The Gibson B25N has a somewhat smaller body. Would that help maybe?
  4. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    Gibson L-00 is closest to me, I have both.
  5. lewis

    lewis Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    I was at a guitar workshop last weekend. One of the instructors talked about how important posture is when holding your acoustic.

    Things I learned:

    1. Whether standing or seated, before you hold your guitar, find a good posture and then bring the guitar to your body. Especially when seated, don't drape your upper body over your instrument.
    2. Even when you're sitting, use a strap. Your guitar should be on the same part of your body whether you are seated or standing.
    3. Relax, relax, relax...your back, neck, shoulders, wrist, hand etc.

    The instructor referenced the Alexander Technique.

    Sorry to hear about your dilemma, I'm sure it only means there's a better guitar in your future.
    LAGinz and thesamhill like this.
  6. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Holic

    Dec 20, 2010
    Harrisburg, PA area
    I don't know if it's the same issue, but- that happens to me when I try to play sitting down without a strap. I'm too used to playing standing up, and I got used to playing in a way that my right arm comes off the guitar body a lot or something. So now my shoulder gets sore from trying to hold the guitar in place.

    It might be related, but I also find that I play with a lot more upward angle than most other acoustic players. I tend to look like classical players look, even standing up- my guitar neck is 45 degrees up from horizontal, or more.

    edit: @lewis beat me to it and probably said it better than me!
  7. black_doug

    black_doug Tele-Afflicted

    I know exactly what you mean. Had the same problem.

    After a couple of years I reluctantly decided to sell it.
    mtown likes this.
  8. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Same for me with dreadnoughts - that's why I only ever play smaller acoustics any longer these days.
    Unfortunately, my favorite electric at the moment is my Loar LH-300, modded with a CC-style pickup & Bigsby - sounds sweet, looks perfect with my honkytonk / Western swing band, I love the wide, chunky neck - but my right shoulder really starts to hurt after playing two sets with it live...
    mtown likes this.
  9. mtown

    mtown Tele-Meister

    Jun 2, 2011
    Fenton, MO
    Thanks for the great suggestions. I tried all the above without success. It would hurt the next day after playing it. It got to the point where I just didn’t play it. I buy my guitars to play and not look at so I got rid of it.
    lewis likes this.
  10. mtown

    mtown Tele-Meister

    Jun 2, 2011
    Fenton, MO
    I actually took the money from the sale and ordered a Gibson L-00. We’ll see how that goes. I’m sure it’ll be more comfortable minus the volume and bass response
    HappyHwy1owner likes this.
  11. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Good luck. I am seriously lusting after a J45 or J100 right now after playing a 90s J100 at a music store in Austin that was just heaven. But I play a Jumbo 12 string with no issues.
    985plowboy and mtown like this.
  12. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Holic

    Nov 14, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    Sorry about that. I'm lucky not to have experienced any negative physical effects from playing dreads, as I did for years, but I did find them ungainly and just off-putting in a minor way. It's actually possible to find a very loud instrument with a non-dread body, some of them loud by design and some just because the individual instrument happens to produce whopping volume. I replaced my first dreadnought with -- I kid you not -- a '47 0018 of all things, which made it replaceable because the 00 had greater easy volume than the D-style. Of course that's not usual, but it's true in this case. I later got a Collings 0002HCE which is 12 frets to the body, and that is one can really projects incredibly (just play softly, too.) Many 12 fretters have bodies and bracing that make them the mechanical equivalents of dreads. Finally, I also got a '36 Gibson, L-00, which I purchased because it is a particularly loud, fast, and harmonically rich individual instrument. I'm sure this is a result of really old wood and, for this instrument, a light build. (Gibson construction really varies, guitar to guitar, and some, however old, are just dull strummers, so beware). I find these guitars, far more than slightly dinky D-shapes, to be able to do the "cannon" thing. Each one of mine has a tone of its own, but the volume and projection are there, for sure. That's the long way of saying that you can find what you want in a different body size and shape as long as you're willing to search. If you just buy something by reputation, it is likely to let you down. For ex., it would be dumb to get an older 0018 because this one guy had a loud one. But if you found one like mine, you would be happy!
    lewis, black_doug and mtown like this.
  13. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    I feel your pain. My all time favorite dread is the J45 and I play every single one that I see, but I don't play music that fits the gorgeous tones of the J45, so I can't justify the cost.
    mtown likes this.
  14. mtown

    mtown Tele-Meister

    Jun 2, 2011
    Fenton, MO
    I think the end result should be a guitar that inspires you to play more and explore some different music not matter what body size. I came realize if it doesn’t work for you cut your loses and move on.
    LAGinz likes this.
  15. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Meister

    Sep 10, 2006
    Franklin, Texas
    I have a J50 (same as a J45 with a plain top) that is bigger than I prefer. I mostly play sitting down and find a strap useful to keep the guitar in place. I think it helps with shoulder problems.
    I've owned some very nice smaller guitars, B25, 00s and 000s but I prefer the bigger J50. It just sounds 'right' to me.

  16. mtown

    mtown Tele-Meister

    Jun 2, 2011
    Fenton, MO
    Oh I agree the dreads sound great but not enough if I can’t play it without pain. I just hope my shoulder never complains when I play my Tele. That would not be good.
  17. Frontman

    Frontman Tele-Holic

    Jul 10, 2014
    I have a D28, and had some discomfort when I first began playing it. In time I settled into a position which was more comfortable. Necessity is the mother of invention.
  18. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Jan 22, 2007
    I tore both rotator cuffs so badly years ago that I couldn’t even lift a can of beer to my mouth. That was a minor tragedy, but the discomfort when playing a dread was more of an annoyance. I was told I’d need surgery but near daily at home PT with rubber exercise bands has kept it at bay and relieved most discomfort unless I do something like paint soffit for hours on end. Not saying that’s your problem but I do recommend seeing a good PT to see what’s going on.

    If that’s not working I say wait and find an old LG-2, like a beat up early ‘50s model. Not quite the same as a J-45 but mine fills the bill if I don’t need the bass and a good one is very loud.
  19. Larmo63

    Larmo63 Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 1, 2018
    Timbuktu, Earth
    My 00-18 sounds about as good as any acoustic I've ever owned. It's my "go to" guitar, the one that's travelled all over the world with me.

    I think playing it constantly for years has paid off in great rewards to me and sound wise, it appreciates the love I have for it.

    Just bury me with it.
    mtown likes this.
  20. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

    Mar 19, 2014
    Madrid, Spain, EU
    Same for me. Since I got a 00-28vs I am not playing another

    I also have a Gibson dread and i'm not playing it much. No pain, but uncomfortable, but it sounds so good that I am not selling
    mtown likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.