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playability factor

I have only tried an oval hole 14 fret, and never tried a D-hole 12 or 14 fret model. I keep reading the 14 fret longer scale length are slightly harder to play?

Is there any truth to that? I have no issues going between 24.75 and 25 1/2 scale lengths on a Les Paul vs Fender.

Just curious what you long time players of the models have to say about it.


  • WillieWillie HamburgNew Old french mystery, Altamira M01 f
    Posts: 554

    No real long time player: 12 frets since 1 1/2 year, 14 frets since yesterday - but no issues in sight.

  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 381

    Well, you’ll notice the longer scale length a bit. You’ll have to make some longer stretches at times but the main thing is the string tension. Generally speaking the shorter scale allows for a nice slinky low string tension.

    However, string tension can really vary in long scale guitars. I’ve played some that were as stiff as a board whilst others felt much more comfortable.

    A higher string tension can often be a good thing though. Enabling the player to really dig in.

    In the end, you just have to decide what you like.

  • Posts: 3,969

    What was the scale on the 14 fret oval you tried? I definitely felt a difference when I started playing 670mm selmer style, it was alien. Now I prefer it even and I go through an adjustment period when I pick up my strat. I remember taking some straight ahead jazz classes using my Ivanovski and I had trouble stretching my fingers to grab some chord. My teacher said "what's up?" and I told him this guitar has a super long scale. He picked it up from me saying "let me see that" and had trouble himself. That allowed me to laugh and he did too.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Diamond Springs ,CANew Latch Drom F, Eastman DM2v, Altamira m30d , Altimira Mod M
    edited March 30 Posts: 329

    The longer scale length, and conversely, higher string tension really allows you to“ Lay into it“ using rest strokes, to generate some good volume and tone

  • JSantaJSanta NY✭✭✭ Gaffiero Modèle Original
    Posts: 216

    I have not spent any meaningful time on a shorter scale Selmer-style guitar, but having basically only playing this style the past two years, every other style of guitar just feels off to me. I have a beautiful PRS JA-15 that I am selling because it simply feels wrong to me, even though it is a spectacular instrument. Apparently, I just feel at home on the Selmer style, and there was just a point the last few months where I finally accepted that this style is home for me.

    For me, the string spacing, string tension, overall scale length, and rest stroke picking style make these guitars feel dramatically different to me, even though I recognize it is mostly in my head.

  • Posts: 3,969

    @JSanta two years? it feels like you're around here forever.

    I was just yesterday working on some recordings mixing tracks with other people and still after all this time was noticing and kinda admiring the snap these guitars make with single notes. I don't think there is another acoustic guitar type that allows the player to dig into the string like that and the note jumps off like it does. But also, setup is the key here...

    WillieBill Da Costa WilliamsJSanta
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • JSantaJSanta NY✭✭✭ Gaffiero Modèle Original
    Posts: 216

    I am guilty of that! I wanted to start learning the style several years ago, but decided to go back to school, and that go away from me. I've always enjoyed this forum and the members, and of course a deep love for the music.

    But, life gets away from you. What started as an undergraduate degree turned into a doctorate five years later. Oops. I started lessons with Stephane at the beginning of the pandemic and I am on the Manouche path now and couldn't be happier. Really went from being a pantomime on the guitar to being able to read charts and play some solos. It's been a wonderful journey, and this community is fantastic. I've made life-long friends and found a community.

    But back to your point, I do think these are special instruments, and because of their construction and the technique used, allow for really fun and interesting tones that no other type of guitar really nails. Like I mentioned, I think these are wonderful instruments, not just for the Django style swing. I'm listening to some electric Django right now, and I adore the tones he produced with the electric pickup.

    WillieBucobillyshakesrudolfochristBill Da Costa Williamsvanmalmsteen
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