Does the position of the volume knob on a Strat bother anyone else?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Andrew., Apr 25, 2016.

  1. Andrew.

    Andrew. Member

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    Lately, I've been practicing my alternate picking (and some economy as well) and for the longest time I couldn't figure out why I could play faster, cleaner, and with less effort on my Les Paul when compared to my Strat. Now I know why - it's the frigging placement of the volume knob on my Strat.

    The reason is because I prefer to anchor my pinky while playing, especially when I'm running up and down the neck at faster speeds - that anchor (at least for me) is key. I also like to rest my hand right on top or close to the bridge - this means that my pinky needs to rest in a certain position. On my Les Paul, my pinky rests on the pick guard just to the right of the bridge pickup. On my Strat, that same position (while resting my picking hand on/near the bridge) is where the damn volume knob is. So, with the Strat, I'm forced to rest my picking hand away from the bridge in order to find room to rest my pinky. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but it instantly makes me a sloppy player when trying to play faster.

    I guess it's just that I need to get used to it (that's what I've been trying to tell myself anyway), but every time I go back to my Les Paul and play like butter I realize that maybe it really is just a ****** place to put a knob on a guitar (for the Strat).

    Anyone else feel this way?
     
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  2. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

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    nope, i love it there
     
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  3. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    Doesn't bother me at all. Neither does the middle pickup. But I got started out on strats, so...
    -
    Austin
     
  4. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    Nope... it's exactly where it needs to be.
     
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  5. TTBZ

    TTBZ Member

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    Yep I hate it. I'm always conscious of my picking hand when i play a strat and I feel a bit "cramped" or restricted playing it. If I ever get round to fixing up my strat I'm getting a custom guard with no 3rd hole and running either a master tone or just one for the bridge.
     
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  6. Hamer95USA

    Hamer95USA Member

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    Hey Andrew.,

    I have the same problem when I play my Fender Japan Strat. I have to be careful where I position my right hand/ pinky and not lower or shut off the volume knob while playing. On my Floyd Rose Classic Strat, I had a custom Warmoth pickguard made for me with only the 5 way switch and bottom tone control drilled out for me, which eliminated the middle tone control & volume knob holes. I measured where I wanted to locate the volume knob, copying the spacing from an Ibanez RG-570 guitar that I used to have, which was further away from the bridge pickup, drilled the hole, and wired the pickguard afterwards.

    Guitar George
     
  7. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    For many years I removed the plastic knob, which of course defeated the whole purpose for it being located there. Went to Music Man for their simpler lower placement of their two knobs. Came back to Fender after using a Jazz lll for a few years improved my technique, keeping my right hand more controlled. Eventually went back to a bigger, thinner type pick and only once in awhile will slip into my old picking position and technique, but most of the time I now avoid hitting the volume knob by accident, but still enjoy the easy pinky adjustment. It's sometimes still a pita though.

    So I'd say, either adjust your technique or modify the guitar. I almost never use the neck pickup tone and can easily eliminate it and move the volume down to that position.

    Bottom line is, there are ways around it, if you like playing Strats enough.
     
  8. Mikhael

    Mikhael Member

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    Yep. Wrong place for me. I always end up rewiring for a master volume and tone, and get rid of the knob closest to the bridge pickup. I've used either a carriage bolt, or a glued-on piece of pickguard material to cover the hole, and then I'm fine.
     
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  9. xjojox

    xjojox Tardis-dwelling wanker Gold Supporting Member

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    Can't stand the placement of that knob! I don't do the pinky swell thing so to me it's just in the way. Some of my strats only have 2 knobs and I like that better.

    There are some other reasons for the difference in technical approach to a strat vs a LP though, IMHO.
    The big upper horn on a strat shifts the guitar further to your right, so that changes your wrist position. My wrist falls into a more comfortable place on a LP, PRS, or tele as a result. A strat just hangs differently. Even sitting down there is a subtle difference. But I love the sound and feel of a strat so I adapt.
     
  10. cram

    cram Member

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    blessing and curse. There are times where i have inadvertent contact that knocks the level down or even off when I have it down low.
    I absolutely love having it there for my pinky to manage while playing. I really have to pay attention to manage the 4knob of my LP. I have to think about the selector and then if they're split and then go for that (or those) knob(s).
     
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  11. kidmo

    kidmo Member

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    Big time, took it out. One volume one tone
     
  12. redgold

    redgold Supporting Member

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    My solution was to order a pickguard from warmoth with only two bottom controls drilled. Then I drilled a third hole in line with the other two existing holes. This position moved it just far enough away from the pickup to give me the room I wanted and I can still reach it for pinky swells.
     
  13. hobbyplayer

    hobbyplayer Member

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    This.

    It's useful having it here for some things, but generally speaking I find it makes me "claustrophobic."

    I much prefer the Tele and LP controls.
     
  14. Powderfinger

    Powderfinger Gold Supporting Member

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    I've always been a bit baffled by all the people who have a hard time with the positioning of various controls on various guitars. I just turn the correct knob. :dunno
     
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  15. metropolis_4

    metropolis_4 Member

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    I learned to play on a strat, and it was my only electric for a long time.

    I guess it never bothered me because it was normal for me and I developed my playing around it.
     
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  16. RJLII

    RJLII Member

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    It did on my first Strat ('90 Am Std), as did the location of the middle pickup. That Strat was stolen in '08. I found another one last year (CS 60th Anniversary '54 Reissue) and neither is an issue. I intentionally retooled my right hand technique in 2010 to facilitate better transitions from strumming to single notes and back, and found when I got the new Strat I don't hit either one any more.
     
  17. handtrix

    handtrix Member

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    Bothered EVH.
     
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  18. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Actually, Volume pot location is the main reason I prefer a Strat. If it bothers you just plug that hole and go to one tone and one volume in the other holes. I work the volume a lot. Tone changes on 10 (for lead) Rhythm tone better at 8 . If your pot is too easy to turn replace it. I had one brand new one that would turn if you breathe on it!
     
  19. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    never had an issue with it
     
  20. scott

    scott Member

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    Hate it, the switch position too.
     
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