My J-45 pains me

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

  1. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 26, 2003
    Augusta, Maine
    I love how dreadnoughts feel. It's mandolins that hurt. (But they're so much fun, they're ow-worthy.)
  2. unfamous

    unfamous Tele-Meister

    Jul 19, 2009
    North Georgia
    Reaching over that large of a body , yechhh. I have mostly switched to OM size, there's nothing else to be done.
    HappyHwy1owner and mtown like this.
  3. zombywoof

    zombywoof Friend of Leo's

    If my 1942 J-50 and 1961 B45-12 drew blood I would not stop playing them.
    Charlie Bernstein and Stubee like this.
  4. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    I know your problem. I have a 1950 J-45. Love it. But got a frozen shoulder from playing three hours hard without a break at a pub jam. Took me 18 months to heal.

    Sunday, I came back with my 1930 L-1 that has been in storage in the states.

    Same sound, same volume, even more articulate. And plenty of low end on tap.

    My shoulder thanks me.

    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  5. Dobronaut

    Dobronaut Tele-Meister

    Dec 11, 2016
    Leicestershire UK
    I was heartbroken when I had to sell my large bodied Lowden 26 years ago, because of neck and shoulder pain. I ended up with a Martin 00016. I was annoyed at the time, but don't regret it now. Good things can come out of adversity.
    mtown likes this.
  6. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    I have 2 J45s. One is the newer cutaway. Same sound, diff feel.
  7. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia

    Simon and Patrick Mini Jumbo then. Best of both, and more affordable than a J45.
    mtown likes this.
  8. mtown

    mtown Tele-Meister

    Jun 2, 2011
    Fenton, MO
    IMG_0617.JPG Problem solved. No it doesn’t sound like my old J-45 but it’s got its own thing going which I like. The best thing is I can play it without the shoulder problems.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
    younkint, dswo and Stubee like this.
  9. mtown

    mtown Tele-Meister

    Jun 2, 2011
    Fenton, MO
    Here’s some home pics of my Gibson L-00 Studio
    HappyHwy1owner and Stubee like this.
  10. Squiertony

    Squiertony TDPRI Member

    Dec 3, 2018
    Maud Oklahoma
    Taylor GS mini? They sound pretty big but not quite like a dred...
  11. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    La Quinta, CA
    First, let me say, beautiful guitars. Love the vintage Gibby's!

    Second, I started reading this thread and the first thing that popped into my head is illustrated in this photo... a nice 12 fret guitar will get a lot of that bass response you miss from a big dread.

    I am very grateful that I am amid=size guy who barely notices guitar sizes. But, my very favorite acoustic is my little Keb Mo, a 12 fret LG-2 copy. Small parlor, but the bridge is moved back over the sound box and really picks up and projects the low notes beautifully.
    unfamous and mtown like this.
  12. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Thanks and you really hit it.

    A well-made parlor guitar with a 12-fret neck puts the bridge right in the sweet spot. Volume, balance, bass response and sensitivity go way up.

    I have a ‘27 Martin O-28K that does a similar thing to the Gibby, but Martin-style, making me think it’s down to the 12 frets working right on a small-bodied guitar.
    unfamous, mtown and Axis29 like this.
  13. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 30, 2010
    New York City
    Sorry to hear you had to give up the J45, but the L-00 is a stunning and worthy alternate.

    I guess since i haven’t experienced it, it’s hard for me to imagine what it would be about the dread body that would cause shoulder pain versus a smaller body acoustic. Is reaching over the larger body really that much of an adjustment in position/posture?

    I play a concert size, a dread, and a super jumbo, none of which are more or less difficult or painful to play. I’ve had rotator cuff issues in both shoulders in the past, though neither has bothered me in a long while.

    Do you have existing shoulder issues, or is this something that the dread brought out on its own?
  14. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Holic

    Nov 14, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    I have a Gibson/Ward's '36 L-00 style, but ladder braced. It is loud as heck and sounds beautiful, with much of the strong fundamental that makes the J-45 distinctive. It's very comfortable to play. Unfortunately, I believe that a great % of the newer versions of this great guitar suffer from the deadness of so many overbuilt Gibson acoustics. So I can't recommend it blindly, but if you find a good one, I think you would be happy with it. I'm no longer interested in playing whopper-sized acoustics.
    mtown likes this.
  15. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Meister

    Aug 20, 2017
    Federal Way, Washington
    That's too bad about the J45...fantastic guitar! I too have right shoulder problems, and the ONLY acoustic I found I could play comfortably at all, was the Martin backpacker. I still do OK, (so far), with electric guitars, even semi-hollows, as long as they are thin bodied short scaled, ala ES335, ES339, Byrdland, the thinner the better. I for the longest time wanted the king of the flattops, (SJ-200), but I even struggle with shoulder pain a bit with an O shape parlor....not much help, sorry!
  16. mtown

    mtown Tele-Meister

    Jun 2, 2011
    Fenton, MO
    I didn’t have any problems with dreads until I got in my 50’s. I’m 62 now. I had a beautiful D-35 that didn’t give me any shoulder issues. I sold that because I was flat broke and needed tires years ago. I’ve noticed as I get older I can’t play as long as I used to. Oh well I’ll just have to take more breaks. Thanks for your input.
    Chud likes this.
  17. mtown

    mtown Tele-Meister

    Jun 2, 2011
    Fenton, MO
    The thinner bodies do better with me also. After reading up on this it seems to be a pretty common problem especially as we age. Perhaps the reach over the thicker body on acoustics is the problem. Playing classical style seems to help but doesn’t completely alleviate the problem. The smaller L-00 body is definitely better for right now.
  18. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Meister

    Aug 20, 2017
    Federal Way, Washington
    Yep, it's definitely an age/arthritis thing, in order to play an acoustic guitar, you do have to put your shoulder in a unnatural position to use your picking hand properly. With a thin bodied guitar, you can rest your picking arm on top of the lower bout, and still reach the strings pretty good. On a wider bodied guitar, you have to rotate your shoulder more to reach the strings properly....resulting in quite a bit of pain for some of us!
    mtown likes this.
  19. 3fngrs

    3fngrs Friend of Leo's

    Oct 30, 2017
    I had some really bad pain along my right shoulder blade a while back that I'm sure was from the dread size guitar I was playing at the time. Now I'm considering buying a really good acoustic and I'm debating a j45 or d28 but I'm also wanting to spend some time with a 000 before I decide.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  20. HappyHwy1owner

    HappyHwy1owner Tele-Meister

    Feb 7, 2011
    Independence, Mo
    I separated both of my shoulders in a car wreck some 20+ years ago, so I feel your pain! Gave up on Dreadnaughts some time ago and settled on the 000 body size. Have more recently graduated to an OM and am very happy with it.
    mtown likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.