Gibson controls layout/ergonomics

Neon Trotsky

Member
Messages
630
Anyone else struggle with it?

In terms of classic guitar types I've always been way more of a strat/tele guy. I like to make LOTS of minute tonal adjustments constantly tweaking, switching pickups, adjusting volume/tone pots mid-song (to make certain parts stand-out or sound/fit-the-song better).

The way the controls are laid out, it's SOOOO easy to do this sorta thing on a strat/tele - all the controls are right there at your fingertips.

I guess Gibsons are good for the set-it-and-leave-it kinda guys (ie: Neanderthals), the controls are back and down out of the way, but I just find it very difficult to make quick adjustments on-the-fly on my spiffy sleek 335 which I'm really trying to bond with.

Everything's so damn far away, I feel I have to completely break my picking hand placement/motion to reach way back down there to get at those controls, it feels like an order of magnitude difference in time at minimum between vol/tone adjustments on a Gibson vs Fender (for the worse, not for the better lol).

I sorta cheated on the pickup selector switch and twisted it to an angle more like a strat so that it's more inline with my picking hand motion and I can quick swipe it (just pivoting at my elbow like when strumming) instead of having to break play and pull it up or down.

Is it just a matter of what one is used to and taking time to get used to the Gibson layout or is it kinda a design flaw (ergonomically speaking)? What say you?
 

MGT

Member
Messages
1,964
I guess it's a matter of what you're used to. I'm used to tweaking my LP's & flipping the pickup selector mid song/solo. The only thing I have a problem with is the pickup selector on my 339...it feels jammed between the pick guard & volume knobs. I like what Jon Herington did to his 336 & may do that.

If you ever watch Derek Trucks play, you'll notice that he's constantly farting around with the knobs on his SG.
 

Carbohydrates

Member
Messages
3,057
It just takes some getting used to. I learned on a strat shape and it took some time adapting to the LP layout, but my #1 has been an LP for the better part of a decade now so I find that I'm faster making adjustments on it than anything else, especially pickup selection. Just force yourself to make those adjustments on the fly and it'll get faster and more natural.
Lol, triggered brah?
Come on, man.
 

Carltone

Member
Messages
4,781
What's up with those figitty strat players?:D I saw Gary Moore on a strat one time and I swear he adjusted the volume and the tone twice for each one note he played... I just had to start laughing at one point, it was almost comical... here was the scene: ok.... solo time! - 1.) pre-adjust vol and tone back quickly 2.) play note 3.) make face) 4.) re-adjust vol. 5.) make more extra face 6.) let note bloom 7.) re-adjust tone knob 8.) Complete face---- repeat sequence for next 4 minutes with various notes...
I kid, but not really.... it was just like that:) and I love strats!
 

Neon Trotsky

Member
Messages
630
It just takes some getting used to. I learned on a strat shape and it took some time adapting to the LP layout, but my #1 has been an LP for the better part of a decade now so I find that I'm faster making adjustments on it than anything else, especially pickup selection. Just force yourself to make those adjustments on the fly and it'll get faster and more natural.
Hmm, comforting to know actually, that it's just a matter of familiarity.
 

Neon Trotsky

Member
Messages
630
What's up with those figitty strat players?:D I saw Gary Moore on a strat one time and I swear he adjusted the volume and the tone twice for each one note he played... I just had to start laughing at one point, it was almost comical... here was the scene: ok.... solo time! - 1.) pre-adjust vol and tone back quickly 2.) play note 3.) make face) 4.) re-adjust vol. 5.) make more extra face 6.) let note bloom 7.) re-adjust tone knob 8.) Complete face---- repeat sequence for next 4 minutes with various notes...
I kid, but not really.... it was just like that:) and I love strats!
LOL, yeah. Jeff Beck also might be one of the most extreme examples of this sort of thing, but he does it to GREAT effect imo. Nobody coaxes tones out of a strat like him imo.

Also, watch just about any Ritchie Blackmore solo (though I confess I'm not the biggest fan of Blackmore's playing) and count how many times he flips the selector from bridge to neck and vice-versa haha.
 

Neon Trotsky

Member
Messages
630
Oh, I bet you've got the best guitar brain, people probably dream of your chops, you're gonna change guitar tell ya whut.
Hey man, what are you doing here? You're blatantly trying to start an argument. Have you had a really bad day my man?

Just stop right here, calm down, relax, and kindly please take the negative energy to another thread.
 

TubeStack

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,459
I strongly dislike using office-speak like "ergonomics" when talking about guitars.

Anyway, I love Gibson's layout, but I grew up playing an SG. I do find the pickup selector switch on my new (to me) 339 to be in a weird spot. I can find it easy at home, but when playing and singing live it seems to escape my right hand. But I'll get used to it.

As for Strats: the volume knob placement is the #1 reason I've never bought one. Sits right where my right hand fingers rest. Drives me nuts and feels instantly uncomfortable. But I imagine with time, like anything else, I'd adapt. Same with your 335, OP, give it some time and maybe play only that guitar for a while.
 

deytookerjaabs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,221
Hey man, what are you doing here? You're blatantly trying to start an argument. Have you had a really bad day my man?

Just stop right here, calm down, relax, and kindly please take the negative energy to another thread.
Negative, relax? Hey OP, I'm not the fella who started off using the sweeping generalization of "Neanderthals" for anyone with the capability of using a guitar with 4 knobs on the lower bout.
 

Neon Trotsky

Member
Messages
630
...
As for Strats: the volume knob placement is the #1 reason I've never bought one. Sits right where my right hand fingers rest. Drives me nuts and feels instantly uncomfortable. But I imagine with time, like anything else, I'd adapt.
I guess it's all about what you're used to. I love where it sits. I have a very practiced/controlled right hand, don't do a lot of wild swinging. And the volume pot is literally right there at your fingertip
-- you can adjust it with your pinky while still picking notes, not having to move your picking hand (and thus creating a break your playing) at all.

That's how the great strat players are able to do volume swells so well. I can't imagine being able to do volume swells while still picking (on multiple consecutive notes) on a LP/335. But anyone feel free to prove me wrong, I've just never seen it done.

Same with your 335, OP, give it some time and maybe play only that guitar for a while.
Damn good advice. And yeah, I'm gonna start doing exactly that.
 

cap10kirk

Member
Messages
8,401
The switch on a 335, to me, is in the wrong place. That's roughly where the neck volume pot is on my Les Paul. I feel the Les Paul controls are laid out a lot better than a 335's controls, at least for the way I play, I use the volume and tone knobs all the time. While I don't feel that the 335 control layout is ideal, it could be greatly improved, but it's not the worst layout in the world. Much better, to me, than a Strat, where the volume knob is just in the way, or a Tele where the control plate needs to be flipped around.
 




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