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Are "shred" guitars easier to play, or harder

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I know that's a strange question, but for some reason i have it in my head that "shred" kind of guitars, like a kramer or something are generally easier to play, or lighter on the fingers and whatnot. Is that true, or does it really depend more on how you adjust the string height, etc.

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I think a lot of it has to do with the neck profile, balance and overall weight. I like the Jackson neck profile, 25.5" scale length and extra-jumbo frets, but have played LP copies with shorter scale, smaller frets and totally different neck shape that were also very comfortable. I just wasn't accustomed to playing on something so different, so although the comfort was fine, I found it more difficult to play on. My brother has a couple of "shredders" and more traditional guitars as well. He has a really nice Guild that he had refretted with larger frets, but the headstock is huge and makes the guitar so neck-heavy that he can't play it comfortably for long periods of time.

 

I think it's just a matter of what you become accustomed to over time.

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No. The stereotypical shredder guitar tends to come setup from the factory with lighter gauge strings and lower action than your average Gibson (bar the Les Paul Custom which always seems to have outrageously low action). The people who then buy these guitars tend to keep them strung and setup for low action and light gauge strings but you could really setup most guitars to be like this.

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No. The stereotypical shredder guitar tends to come setup from the factory with lighter gauge strings and lower action than your average Gibson (bar the Les Paul Custom which always seems to have outrageously low action). The people who then buy these guitars tend to keep them strung and setup for low action and light gauge strings but you could really setup most guitars to be like this.

 

Then there's always the question of whether or not light gauge loses tone... but with shredders it might not matter because it's probably going to be a higher tone anyway. I usually play with 10's, so I'm in the middle. I'm thinking about trying some 9's just to see if it's any lighter on my hands. I don't want to put much effort into playing (that came out lazy sounding).

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I don't really think so. I have an Ibanez with a Prestige Wizard which is the prototypical shredder neck...flat fingerboard, extra jumbo frets, and a thin, wide profile. My G&L's neck does have a 12" radius (still not as flat as the Ibanez), medium-jumbo frets, and is about the size of a baseball bat. It's huge. They're both set up at the same shop with the same gauge strings and they both seem to play equally fast. I think much of it has to do with string gauge and action. But obviously if you're trying to shred on a 7.25 radius it won't be quite as easy as on a 16" with big frets.

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I'd say easier in terms of relative tension on the strings and action - I have a mij rg570 that is the lowest slinkiest non-buzzing guitar I've ever played - it causes me more fatigue in the long run however due to the super thin neck profile, so in that sense, it's more uncomfortable to play - I'll probably sell it, I no longer care for the style of music it's best suited to - it's a full on shred guitar that is most at home when paired with over the top distortion where the intrinsic tone qualities of the guitar don't matter; i.e., metal

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My personal experience has been that ANY guitar that is properly setup to the player's preference is going to be easy for that particular player to play. Maybe not so easy for another player but for the player that it's setup for it should be easily played well.

 

So even though I wouldn't necessarily say shredders are easier to play I will say this: Shredders are generally made to be played with very low action and since it's a lot easier to raise the action than lower it, it is much easier to setup a shredder to the preference of more players.

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Shred guitars tend to be easier to play single note runs because of the flatter radius fretboard that is a touch wider, and the neck is thinner.

 

A rounder radius tends to be easier on full chords. A fuller, rounder shaped neck is great for people who like to really grip the neck, but it's hard to fly with a "grip!" Though some people do.

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they're easier to play (with easy being a relative term of course). some are easier, and some aren't, but overall, theyre tailored towards lead playing (floyd roses, flat boards, big frets, low action, etc)

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Shred guitars usually have thinner necks. There's a lot of personal preference in choosing which neck is best for you, but there are also some general rules that apply to necks. The danger of too big a neck is obviously that you can't reach notes as easily. The danger of having a too thin neck is that your hand is more prone to cramp if the neck is too thin for you because you have to flex your thumb muscle more to keep a proper grip on a thinner neck. Between those two extremes, it's pretty much all personal preference as far as I'm concerned.

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I know that's a strange question, but for some reason i have it in my head that "shred" kind of guitars, like a kramer or something are generally easier to play, or lighter on the fingers and whatnot. Is that true, or does it really depend more on how you adjust the string height, etc.

 

It all depends on your style of playing, what you're accustomed to, and what you prefer. Personally I love thick ass Gibson necks, and my Strat neck feels awkward as hell to me. When I want to shred, I go for my SG first. :thu:

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Then there's always the question of whether or not light gauge loses tone... but with shredders it might not matter because it's probably going to be a higher tone anyway. I usually play with 10's, so I'm in the middle. I'm thinking about trying some 9's just to see if it's any lighter on my hands. I don't want to put much effort into playing (that came out lazy sounding).

 

The 9's will be lighter on your hands and they do sound thinner to me. lighter guage strings make for easier bending which is primarily why I use them on my RG. Plus, the high output pickups make them sound huge anyway. But I use 10's on my strat for better, thicker, more full sound.

 

I think the term "shred guitar" is stupid. I play everything on my RG and not because I only have one guitar. I have three but still play all style on my rg and it sounds great to my ears.

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I can't play "shred" guitars. I prefer massive necks and hardtails (tune o matics). I have articulation issues due to some posture issues with the thinner necks.

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I know that's a strange question, but for some reason i have it in my head that "shred" kind of guitars, like a kramer or something are generally easier to play, or lighter on the fingers and whatnot. Is that true, or does it really depend more on how you adjust the string height, etc.

 

 

In a way...yes. They generally have a lighter weight, with thinner necks, and leave the factory with light guage strings and very low action. So with that said, they only require a 'light' touch.

 

It all really comes down to what tone one likes and what techique one likes to use to determine what type of guitar/setup is right for them.

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I think it depends. A lot of traditional guitars can have similar features to "shred" guitars. Low action is a setup issue. Lots of traditional guitars can have fairly large frets and flat fretboards (like my G&L). Shred guitars typically have thin necks, but that's a personal preferance / comfort issue and I wouldn't say thinner=easier to play. It's even harder to compare "shred" guitars with a 25.5" scale length to something with 24.75" - Jem setup with 9's vs. Les Paul with 10's.

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