Balance / weight - how does yours, erm, hang?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by MeMota, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. MeMota

    MeMota TDPRI Member

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    Hi guys,

    I have a question about weight / balance of a tele.

    I have one that's a hair under 7 pounds, big neck, light body. I'm noticing that when I stand to play the neck goes south towards the floor. I have a nylon strap which it slips on due to this imbalance. When I use a leather one it stays in a good playing position better but the weight feels weird on my shoulder, so I prefer the nylon one (a great one from Souldier straps too).

    Getting all experimental, when I hang the guitar from my finger on the smooth strap, it "sort" of balances horizontal, but a bit of jiggling and the neck goes down. No way it's going to balance neck up at all. Same thing happens when it sits on my shoulder - I have to support it with my left hand, or right forearm, which restricts playing somewhat.

    So, how does yours "want" to hang if you balance it on the strap? Horizontal, neck up, or neck heading down?

    I'm more used to strats which perhaps inherently sit better (or am I wrong there and it's more that I've just had better balanced strats?). Is it that tele's just tend to sit horizontal more than strats and I need to get used to a different playing position?

    I've read that moving strap buttons helps but I don't want to change it - FANTASTIC guitar and it's my baby. Shortening the strap doesn't help much, and it's not slung low now. Any higher and I'll look like an 80's bass player. :D

    So, my main question is about how yours sits / balances.... I can get to a "fix" later if it is indeed abnormal.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  2. Ormond

    Ormond Tele-Afflicted

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    Fender B Bender is super - super heavy! So much so that it engages the bender spring when the strap goes on. Now that's is a real functional heavy guitar problem! Goes beyond uncomfortable to screwing up your playing.

    gotta cut down the spring or find a heavier gauge one.
     
  3. all_identaties_taken

    all_identaties_taken Tele-Holic

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    Mine is heavy about 10lbs.
    I have the guitar low below the belt. Which is partly as I have long arms and partly a comfort thing.
    One thing I noticed is that a lot of the Jazz guitarists I've played with who use archtops on short straps and have bad backs. Rock guitarists who play solid guitars low don't.
     
  4. craigoslo

    craigoslo Tele-Meister

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    You can get an extention for your strap button. This changes the center of gravity.
    Otherwise I've built a tele partscaster that weighs 5.75 lbs. It hangs great because I have a suede strap from levy. It's worth the $30 and a sure fix.
     
  5. MeMota

    MeMota TDPRI Member

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    Thanks. Any idea where I can find a strap button extension on line please? Did a google but no joy.

    Ta
     
  6. castpolymer

    castpolymer Poster Extraordinaire

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    My favorite Tele is Rosie. She is a homemade 11+ pound Mahogany girl that hangs very low. I consider a low impact cardio workout if I stand while I practice at home.
     
  7. Rokono

    Rokono TDPRI Member

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    Very interesting topic. 2 of my teles are almost identical in weight, MIM Tele Special and Baja (8.26 and 8.28 respetively) For some reason the MIM Tele Special never bothered my back and until recently I never even thought about the weight. When contemplating buying a Baja and playing one in Rudy's in NYC I was concerned that it would be too heavy. I had to buy online and wound up with what I think is a reasonably mid weight one. Yet the Baja does give me some back discomfort after playing for around 1/2 hour. I am thinking it has to be because of the balance. I have tried different straps and none seem to resolve totally, though a bass player's very thick and padded strap seems to work best. I was told to play with a shortening of the strap to get the guitar higher up. I am now seeing on this thread an opposite opinion i.e to play with the guitar lower down. That is how I have played my other guitars and never had the back discomfort before. Any thoughts on why the problem exists with the Baja would be appreciated.
     
  8. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Tele-Afflicted

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    It's unusual for a guitar to be off-balance like that. Sounds like a good candidate for a Bigsby!

    As far as the low/high issue goes, those rock guitarists who wear 'em low may not have back problems, but they tend to have a lot of wrist and hand problems. Let the guitar hang about where it is when you're sitting - maybe a couple of inches lower - and you won't look like you're in Gerry and the Pacemakers, but you'll be able to play everything you can without difficulty.
     
  9. Mr. E

    Mr. E Tele-Holic

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    I really dislike this, I think guitar manufactures should worry more about fixing this problems rather than adding new colors, bridges, upgraded pickups, etc. All the things they’ll add won’t be enjoyed when playing an unbalanced weight problem. I have a thinline copy that also has that problem and I really want to fix it by adding a bigsby but I’m short on cash.
     
  10. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not really sure what my tele weighs, but it's relatively heavy, which I like. Guess I spent too many years playing bass, because light-weight guitars just feel strange to me. But, as far as balance, it's perfect.

    Do you wrap a dally from your cord around the back of your strap? That would probably help, not to mention keeps you from kicking the plug out. Another option is go wireless and fix the sender to the bottom of your strap as a counter-balance.

    Juistin
     
  11. craigoslo

    craigoslo Tele-Meister

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    I've seen them on you tube but can't find one now. It's bassically a narrow washer that is an inch or so long. You put your strap button on top with a long screw through both. It brings your straping point on the upper shoulder of a tele, to the same point as a strat.
     
  12. OlBlueHair

    OlBlueHair TDPRI Member

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    I built a tele from the guitarfetish kit that has a body that weighs like 2 pounds. It is TOO light. I have the same problem...the headstock wants to go south. I think also because not only is the body light but the hardware is very cheap and light as well.
     
  13. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

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    The Nylon Strap is more than likely your problem, as you stated above...to me they are Totally Useless, unless of course you normally wear a Shirt made of Velcro, or something equally Nubby.......;)
     
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  14. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    yeah its the strap. My Tele weighs 7lbs, the neck with tuners only weighs 1.5lbs, so to be unbalanced the body would have to weigh like 1 lbs.
     
  15. jamester

    jamester Tele-Holic

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    It's all about the balance point of the strap; on a Strat, the strap goes to the 12th fret, whereas on a Tele it's like the 15th. Those three frets or so make all the difference on where the balance point is, and therefore Strats will always be better balanced.

    But that's not to say that a Tele can't be balanced; my beloved is medium-weight and balances perfectly with no neck pitch. However, I've had both lighter and heavier Teles which were both 'neck heavy', go figure...
     
  16. Encinitastubes

    Encinitastubes Tele-Meister

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    I just use a really wide strap; seems to make balance not an issue.
     
  17. smokerjoe34

    smokerjoe34 Tele-Holic

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    My #1 hangs perfectly and weighs a hair over 7 lbs. !! It's a 98' Am. std. ash body with Fralin pickups and I just love it Soooooooooo much !!! It's a workhorse and gets gigged 3 to 4 times a week.....I also use a very wide strap and think that helps a lot like others have stated ??
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  18. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

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    My 2007 blond Baja weighs 8.8 lb. I use a Fender Nylon/cloth strap. I have never complained about the weight because the strap is at least 2" wide and that guitar sounds so good, I don't want to put it down.

    On the other hand my Gibson ES-347 weighs more and I notice it more, despite the wide leather strap I use. I think the tele is well-balanced, in comparison.
     
  19. MeMota

    MeMota TDPRI Member

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    Thanks guys, interesting responses so far.

    I have actually thought of buying the heaviest cord I can find and wrapping it around a couple of times. Also considered some lead fishing weights in the control cavity, but I don't think I'll get much in there. Not a fisherman... so not sure how heavy lead is for a certain volume.

    Wireless is a good idea but not an option for me... I'd look a bit stupid as I'm a home player! I do like gadgets though...... :)

    Good point about where the strap button sits (15th fret vs 12 on a strat).

    Is a guitar hanging horizontal "wrong"? Should it always sit up about 45 degrees? In my curiosity I google image searched (for something like "performer with tele") and however I searched got about a thousand images of Bruce Springsteen (as you might expect) who seemed to have it horizontal, but is that unusual?
     
  20. Ormond

    Ormond Tele-Afflicted

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    My B bender is a little over 10lbs...lotsa metal in there.
     
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