Majesty 8

Help: Picking too low?

wojciech

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Joined
Oct 11, 2021
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5
Hi guys,
just received my first Music Man - a JPXI. Stellar guitar and I would like to preserve it as much as possible, however, I feel like I might be picking too low and hitting the pickups or perhaps even the body of the guitar - is the paint prone to being scraped by a pick? How would I go about fixing my technique?
 

racerx

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Mar 10, 2021
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38
Congrats! You probably aren't hitting the pickups when you strum but you might hit the body if you are an aggressive strummer. I'd recommend relaxing and playing lighter and more mindfully. Hitting the strings hard doesn't always mean a heavier/better sound. You can always try to incorporate using your fingers or fingers+picking style to your arsenal to spice up your playing. You can also use your fingers for those Stevie Ray kind of thumps when you need them.
 

wojciech

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Oct 11, 2021
Messages
5
Thanks for the tips guys, I spent a few hours assessing my technique and trying to correct it at the same time, and I feel like I'm in a good place with it at the moment. In a way, it sucks that the guitar doesn't have a pickguard, so I could be more at ease with my picking style, but I'm guessing that's the price for the splendid looks. Do any of you notice wear around the picking area due to this issue, on either the pickups or the body itself, after a few years of even considerate playing? Does it diminish the looks all that much?
 

DrKev

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Jul 8, 2006
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The polyester finish is pretty tough, it's not gonna wear through like an old strat with a nitro finish! It will develop little scratches and marks, just like a pickguard will, but it's only ever visible if you look very carefully under just the right lighting angle. Besides, once you accidentally bang the guitar off the corner of a desk, or drop a screw driver on it, or it falls of a stand, and makes a big mark in finish, you won't care. :)

Remember that changing picking technique is a long process, can be many months if you already been playing for a long time. Your brain will always go back to the old way of doing things because it feels more natural, even if it is objectively worse. So settle in and persevere. You will get there eventually.
 

fbecir

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Hello and congratulations for your new guitar

If you don't play your guitar and you put it in a glass box, there will be no mark.

If you play your guitar, your guitar will have some marks : on the frets, on the fretboard, on the bridge ...
All my guitars have wear marks, you cannot avoid them if you play your guitar a lot.
For instance, on my Morse, the saddles for the low E string and the A string are well worn because my hand is in contact with the bridge when I play. On my SUB, even the metal pickguard have marks where my fingers are.

It does not mean that you do not have to improve your technique if you can !
 

fbecir

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A few examples of wear on my trusty Music Man :

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WW45SnIxckJJGngx-X4BD28DhqS04zF_.jpg
 

wojciech

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Oct 11, 2021
Messages
5
Wow, how long have you had the guitar for? Are these marks on the fretboard holes, or do my eyes deceive me? How deep are they?
 

fbecir

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Wow, how long have you had the guitar for? Are these marks on the fretboard holes, or do my eyes deceive me? How deep are they?

The two first picture are my 20 years old Morse.
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you ... there are holes on the fretboard. It's quite common on old guitars.
It is not a problem for playing.
It happens also on ebony fretboard (I have a 32 years old ESP Horizon Custom, and it is the same story ...).
On maple fretboard, I presume it is also the same (try to google some old telecaster pictures).
 

wojciech

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Joined
Oct 11, 2021
Messages
5
The two first picture are my 20 years old Morse.
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you ... there are holes on the fretboard. It's quite common on old guitars.
It is not a problem for playing.
It happens also on ebony fretboard (I have a 32 years old ESP Horizon Custom, and it is the same story ...).
On maple fretboard, I presume it is also the same (try to google some old telecaster pictures).

That's crazy, I thought holes like that made the guitar unusable, but if you say so... I realize that wear will come with age and the JPXI will likely stay my main guitar for the years to come, but it's hard to accept this fact given its worth and looks... Seriously considering buying another one to stick in said glass box as an art piece and an investment : )
 

jayjayjay

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Feb 18, 2021
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71
That's crazy, I thought holes like that made the guitar unusable, but if you say so... I realize that wear will come with age and the JPXI will likely stay my main guitar for the years to come, but it's hard to accept this fact given its worth and looks... Seriously considering buying another one to stick in said glass box as an art piece and an investment : )

My wife is a professional classical musician (viola) - Almost any pro-level classical stringed instrument, not just 18th c. ones from Cremona, put the guitars we play to shame, price-wise. My wife bought her viola new back in 2005 or so (newly built!), and it cost ten times your average EBMM instrument. And over time, the fingerboards wear down (they're all fretless, of course) and have to be re-planed or, eventually, replaced. For an instrument that's a century or two old, I imagine that the finger board has been replaced several times, seams re-glued, pegs replaced, etc.

If you're going to play an instrument, eventually it will need to be serviced. And while I do think my guitars are works of art, more than that I think it would be a shame to just put them in a case or hang on a wall and never play.
 

Stephen

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Jun 29, 2009
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Spielberg, Germany
My wife is a professional classical musician (viola) - Almost any pro-level classical stringed instrument, not just 18th c. ones from Cremona, put the guitars we play to shame, price-wise. My wife bought her viola new back in 2005 or so (newly built!), and it cost ten times your average EBMM instrument. And over time, the fingerboards wear down (they're all fretless, of course) and have to be re-planed or, eventually, replaced. For an instrument that's a century or two old, I imagine that the finger board has been replaced several times, seams re-glued, pegs replaced, etc.

If you're going to play an instrument, eventually it will need to be serviced. And while I do think my guitars are works of art, more than that I think it would be a shame to just put them in a case or hang on a wall and never play.

This.

Very much this.

Guitars, as any musical instrument, will wear. Some of that wear will bring it closer to it's owner and the music the owner plays. That might be called the instrument's sweet spot, at least for a while. Some time after that, the sweet spot turns into worn down and eventually unplayable, even for the owner.

Now it is time to repair the instrument and the skill and wizardry of the chosen luthier will make all the difference: does the owner slip back into a pair of well worn in shoes or does he have to learn to walk again?

Check out Willy Nelson's guitar "Trigger" and the work done to it, if you are ready for some rather dramatic wear and tear. :)
 

Mace13

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Apr 22, 2019
Messages
99
For what's it worth, here are some photos of my single owner JP XI which is nearly 10 years old and used a lot home, band practice and gigs. It was sent to EBMM once for some service (nut replacement) and they may have polished it up a bit (I remember a scratch on the bridge cover was no longer there after I received it back from EBMM).

At any rate, the finish is really good and seems to hold up well. You have to get the light just right to see the scratches in the "pick guard" area. From most angles you can't even see the scratches.

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wojciech

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2021
Messages
5
For what's it worth, here are some photos of my single owner JP XI which is nearly 10 years old and used a lot home, band practice and gigs. It was sent to EBMM once for some service (nut replacement) and they may have polished it up a bit (I remember a scratch on the bridge cover was no longer there after I received it back from EBMM).

At any rate, the finish is really good and seems to hold up well. You have to get the light just right to see the scratches in the "pick guard" area. From most angles you can't even see the scratches.

View attachment 38371
View attachment 38372

Wow, that looks way better than I thought it would. I think I might have been influenced too much by the condition of whatever the model JP himself uses in the Budokan recording - it's quite worn, although I think that's to be expected with his style and intensity of gigging/practice.
On a related note, how do you maintain your guitar? How often and what do you use to clean it?
 

Chtorist

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Aug 10, 2018
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3
Pick can't damage paint that much. But I love guitars that you look at and you see that it was played hard. :D
 

Mace13

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Apr 22, 2019
Messages
99
Wow, that looks way better than I thought it would. I think I might have been influenced too much by the condition of whatever the model JP himself uses in the Budokan recording - it's quite worn, although I think that's to be expected with his style and intensity of gigging/practice.
On a related note, how do you maintain your guitar? How often and what do you use to clean it?

I regularly wipe it off with a dry microfiber cloth. I use the wonder wipes once in a while. I assume Petrucci plays his guitars WAY more than I do.
Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if EBMM did some polishing up on the body when I sent it in for the nut job 3 years ago. So that may be why the scratches aren’t so visible. I know they removed/polished an easily visible scratch on the bridge cover (I didn’t ask for any polishing/cleaning but they did, which was nice).
 
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