FDP Forum / Anyone played a John Mayer strat & found it hard to play?/ 21 messages in thread.

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Mick Reid

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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Aug 7th, 2016 04:16 AM        

My guitar "coach" has one and I had a play on it last week. I immediately asked him if he had 11's on it. "No, 10's" he says.<br /> He picks up my MIM Lone Star Dlx, starts playing and says "What are these, 9's?" I said "No, 10's"<br /> <br /> We looked at each other and laughed and agreed my LS Dlx was much easier to play.<br /> <br /> The Mayer was certainly playable, but it felt like it wasn't "giving anything away" and I had to really fight for it.<br /> <br /> It's a head scratcher since mine cost roughly 1/4 the price of the Mayer.<br /> <br /> The only thing I could come up with (and I may be delusional) is my vibrato is decked, and the Mayer was setup for up & down action.<br /> <br /> It's a shame because he loves the tone of that guitar but doesn't play it much due to the "fight".<br /> I know the tech he's taken it to and he's very good. (done work on mine before I started doing my own)<br /> <br /> Any thoughts/opinions/experiences?



budg

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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
Aug 7th, 2016 05:43 AM        

I wouldnt be so quick to judge a series of guitars based on playing one. There are so many things that go into how a guitar plays. String height, relief, the way the vibrato is set and number of springs all come into play. The only feature that is unique is the string tree is further away from the nut . To me this would make it easier to play , not harder.<br />



Peegoo

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Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Repeat
Aug 7th, 2016 07:39 AM        

Agree with Bud.<br /> <br /> Two identical-model guitars can feel, play, and sound quite different from one another.<br /> <br /> And when it comes to strings, the gauge is not the only factor. The brand also matters because there are different alloys, etc.



Te 52



Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Aug 7th, 2016 10:14 AM        

Sounds to me like your guitar has a first class setup and his doesn't.



Mick Reid

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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Aug 7th, 2016 04:01 PM        

"And when it comes to strings, the gauge is not the only factor. The brand also matters because there are different alloys, etc."<br /> <br /> Yes, I posted a thread about that exact topic a few days ago...<br /> <br /> Mine are D'Addario and his are Elixer.<br /> <br /> As for set up, at a quick glance (just eye-balling) the relief & string height looked to be pretty spot on with what Fender specs should be and similar to mine. <br /> <br /> I know there are other factors at play and the whole "sum of the parts" philosophy, but I didn't know if the "fight" I talked about was an inherent trait of the JM.<br /> I know some players actually *like* that sort of thing. (not me however)<br />



stratcowboy

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USA/Taos, NM

Aug 7th, 2016 05:25 PM        

Back in the day, you used to hear about this type of complaint with the Eric Johnson signature Strat. Some folks complained about it being a guitar that was too "stiff," etc. Is there still an EJ signature Strat? If so, are those complaints still part of the equation?<br /> <br />



BrentD

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United States

Aug 7th, 2016 06:23 PM        

I think this is in the wood.



Purple Valley

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USA

Aug 7th, 2016 06:26 PM        

The Mayer neck is pretty chunky, and the frets are tall/narrow 6105's. This may have something to do with it.<br /> <br /> But like the other guys, I think it's much more likely to be some quirk with that particular guitar. A lot of factors go into playability--set-up, frets, neck placement, bridge/trem, strings, nut, etc. It would be interesting to have a real set-up pro tweak it and see if it makes a difference.



Mick Reid

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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Aug 7th, 2016 07:19 PM        

"It would be interesting to have a real set-up pro tweak it and see if it makes a difference."<br /> <br /> I'll see what I can do - HAH!!!!<br /> <br /> :^P



Peegoo

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Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Repeat
Aug 7th, 2016 07:30 PM        

The EJ Strat has a sharper break over the nut due to a bigger setback on the headstock. The idea was to eliminate the need for string trees. That does name for a stiffer feel for some players.



littleuch

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Florida

Aug 7th, 2016 07:36 PM        

One of my Strats feels like it has 10's on it with 11's. Aside from a pro fret leveling, it has a nut that was cut lower than is typical. I initially installed the nut, the fret leveling may have been done with that in mind. Either way, vintage frets and radius and it plays like buttah, I tell ya.



Viera

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Santee CA

Poser extraordinaire
Aug 7th, 2016 08:08 PM        

^ Some Strats just have "it". Sounds like yours is one of them. Enjoy it.



stratcowboy

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USA/Taos, NM

Aug 7th, 2016 09:26 PM        

Certainly one of the reasons I use 10s on all my guitars is that I like the guitar to "resist" just a little bit. I find that 9s are both harder for my fingers to "find" and that I also over-play the strings--making for inaccurate note soundings. With 10s on, I get a bit more resistance that keeps my poor technique on track a bit better. Making for better accuracy in note sounding as well as not over-driving the strings (unless I deliberately want to). <br /> <br /> My #1 Strat has a chunky neck and large frets, while my backup Strat (certainly a beauty), has a thinner neck and regular medium jumbo frets--pretty standard these days--making for a guitar that's super easy and relaxing to play. But I feel like I get more tonality and better personal playing out of that #1 even though you'd say it was more difficult to play (barely so...).<br /> <br /> YMMV...



Mick Reid

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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jan 19th, 2017 11:45 PM        

Late update here.<br /> <br /> After referencing this post in another recent one, I thought I'd add this...<br /> <br /> One of the things I suggested to my teacher was that he might want to try decking the trem because doing bends had him (me) really "chasing the pitch".<br /> <br /> He took my advice and he absolutely loves the way it plays now! (still has downward trem action)



Peegoo

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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Jan 20th, 2017 04:49 AM        

GREAT solution.<br /> <br /> "So...the student has become the *teacher*!"



Mick Reid

Contributing Member
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jan 20th, 2017 04:16 PM        

"So...the student has become the *teacher*!"<br /> <br /> I still can't play as well as he does :^(



Viera

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Santee CA

Poser extraordinaire
Jan 20th, 2017 04:42 PM        

"decking the trem because doing bends had him (me) really "chasing the pitch""<br /> <br /> Good advise. I can see that being an issue for some of those that primarily play non-trem electrics. <br /> <br /> To me "chasing the pitch" is part of the charm of using a Strat with a floating trem. With some practice it can cease to be a problem. SRV & others seemed to be able to nail the correct pitch with most of their bends. <br /> <br /> As to the OP: I've never played a JM Strat so I've really been no help, sorry. ;-)



jay1vinton



Hawaii, USA

Perfect is the enemy of good enough
Feb 17th, 2017 05:16 PM        

Indeed, two different guitars of the basic same model can play differently. My 95 AMSTD that recently got extensive neck work, was always a fighter, enough so that I discounted using the guitar in any meaningful way. Now, it's a silk fest.<br /> <br /> My 07 MiM, plays like silk with no fight at all.<br /> <br /> I will report back as it is in the shop now for a complete set up and a bone nut. If it changes it's play ability, it has to be materials such as the nut or a set up.



Modal Magic

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MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Feb 18th, 2017 08:09 PM        

I had an MIM Deluxe Players Strat that I meticulously set-up to Fender specs, which is how I like my Strats, and it was always stiff to play and bending was harder compared to my other Strats. Eventually I straightened the neck and lowered the action a bit more than I normally would and it still didn't change the overall feel. I had it fitted with '9s and it still felt stiffer than my Strats fitted with '10s. Guitars is what they be and sometimes there aint no accounting.



jay1vinton



Hawaii, USA

Perfect is the enemy of good enough
Aug 1st, 2017 05:46 PM        

My MiM came back from the shop set at perfect fender specs, which it was no where near in my awkward screw driver hands....It plays just like it did, but intonates perfectly and there was never any fight at all to begin with, now it plays the same with newer nut and set up. Go figure.



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