Why the current obsession, by some, of the weight of a guitar?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Digiplay, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    I never thought about this topic until I joined this forum. I evaluate my guitars for sound. The ones I have kept (electrics) have usually been average to heavy in weight. My old Les Paul is a 9 pounder, and I never thought about it. I have a great sounding CV50s Tele that also weighs in at around 9 lbs. I play all my gigs standing up.

    But...
    at 71 years of age, 156 lbs, with arthritis in my back, I too have come to appreciate my lighter guitars. I don't think they sound better though.
     
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  2. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    Maybe a postage scale
     
  3. 1955

    1955 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Partly because a lot of folks in the guitar-buying/playing age are physically weaker and don’t get as much exercise as they did in past generations. There are also a lot of physical ailments as people get older.
     
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  4. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I started to care about weight in 1979, when my main guitar was a 17-pound doubleneck. :eek:Sitting down to play didn't help much—after several minutes the weight cut off circulation to my leg. I really miss that guitar but I don't really miss it.

    I have heavy and lightweight guitars, I love 'em all. I do think the notion that heavier guitars necessarily sound better is a myth.
     
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  5. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’m 71. I’m a homebody. I haven’t weighed my amp or any of my guitars. My Telecaster feels heaviest but not enough to bother me. My SG is the lightest, but that doesn’t make it my favorite. I have no idea what my Express 5:25 weighs but it slides across the floor OK. What matters to me is that all of my guitars sound good to my ears when I plug them in and play them. Through the amp. The only guitar where I care about it’s sound unplugged is my Simon and Patrick Showcase Rosewood. And come to think about it, that one’s about the same weight as my SG, not that weight matters.
     
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  6. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

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    In my early playing years, of the 1980s, I played a buddys Walnut strat.
    From then on a lighter instrument was a preference.
    The same cant be applied to amps tho.
    A Music Man w 12”EV was my go to amp for 25 yrs
     
  7. Drew617

    Drew617 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I had a VCF when I was 22 and on active duty, 18 years ago now. I know other people with spine injuries who've had things much worse, so far I'm mostly functional and happy if I don't let myself get too fat. But I've found that some of the dumbest, seemingly insignificant things make the difference between "unremarkable" and "miserable for three weeks" for me. Plus or minus a pound on a guitar hung over one shoulder for three hours is definitely within the scope of those things.

    A couple caveats:

    • I've had heavy guitars that resonate and sustain, and heavy guitars that do neither. I've had light guitars that resonate and sustain, and light guitars that do neither. IME, I don't find these correlations as valid as a lot of other people seem to.

    • As a casual seller of my own gear, I find that fussing over the weight of a $300 guitar is a very reliable indicator of a pain in the ass buyer I don't want to deal with. I'm sure some are legit and I don't mean to exclude anybody, appear classist or anything else, but in that scenario I'm a private seller here only to recoup hobby budget. It's not my livelihood, and I'm deeply into avoiding wasted time, having to eat return shipping because of somebody's unreasonable expectations, so on.
     
  8. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    I'm 61 years old now, and in pretty good shape.

    That said, my back gives me problems.
    And the lighter I can get my guitars, amps, and gear, the better.

    That is all.

    :)
     
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  9. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    I now listen to what my lower back herniated vertebrae tell me... lighten the load if you intend to still play a full night gig standing!
     
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  10. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    Once you get older, have a bad back, and THEN come across a light guitar (s) that sounds great- you never want to go back!
    Danelectro power!
    20201203_173946.jpg
     
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  11. LesTele

    LesTele Tele-Meister

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    I actually prefer a heavier guitar due to the enhanced tone. Hence my non weight relieved Les Paul
     
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  12. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

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    isn't caring about people caring about weight sort of the same?
     
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  13. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I volunteered to play bass for a couple of hours about eight years ago; my bass weighed 12.5 lbs. I was bedridden and out of work for a week. Now I don't own a guitar or bass over 8 lbs. Sold my heavy amps too.

    It's not a fad, it's not a mystery - it's that a lot of us are getting old and our backs can't take a heavy guitar. I've owned plenty a boat anchor, some of my favorite guitars, and if I was still able to sling one I would.
     
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  14. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

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    I’m well into my 50s. I’ve been playing for about 40 years, and I’ve played a lot of guitars for a lot of hours. When I was younger, I didn’t care about weight, but now lightweight guitars are more comfortable, more fun to play for longer periods of time, and they sound every bit as good as heavier guitars.
     
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  15. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes, as I got older and started getting a sore shoulder I started liking guitars that were a little lighter in weight. Then I started using a stool instead of standing for so long. Both worked in my favor. I have a brass bodied resonator, hell I have to sit on a cushioned chair with a back to play that thing! But truthfully I remember my '78 Les Paul BB and that thing was a chunk even compared to my bass.
     
  16. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use the package scale at my local post office.
     
  17. jonnyfez

    jonnyfez Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I love that places like Sweetwater and Wildwood show photos of the exact guitar you're ordering along with it's weight. I've been on the hunt for a Jaguar. They tend to be on the heavier side 9+ pounds. No thanks. Lighter guitars are more comfortable and therefore more fun to play.
     
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  18. TeleBrew

    TeleBrew Doctor of Teleocity

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    Any time I sell a guitar I automatically put the weight in the listing, because inevitably somebody will ask if I don't.
     
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  19. sloppychops

    sloppychops Tele-Holic

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    Weight wasn't a huge deal for me until I broke my left collarbone. It was never "set" properly and a guitar strap lies right in an area that starts to hurt after about 30 minutes of wearing a guitar. So, I prefer guitars 7.5 lbs or under.

    Before I buy a guitar, I need to know what it weighs.

    Not sure if it's the most accurate scale around, but I use a Rappala digital fish scale.

    Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 6.50.11 PM.png
     
  20. Matt Sarad

    Matt Sarad Tele-Afflicted

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    You can't say anything about your wife
     
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