Les Paul = back pain!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by reversedelay, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. reversedelay

    reversedelay Member

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    I'm a pretty young guy, but I have a history of back problems. I got a beautiful Les Paul a few years ago, but every time I play it standing up with a strap, it just kills my back. I own and love SGs, so my question is, if I pop the same Classic 57s that are in my Les Paul into an SG, how close will that get me to the sound of my Les Paul?

    Other tips about mitigating back pain are also welcome!

    Cheers
     
  2. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    I played a heavy 77 LP custom for years, I have severe neck pain all the time, radiates down my right arm through the shoulder to my index finger.

    These days I play light guitars, under 9 LBS is my rule. When my neck is acting up I go for very light. Saturday after a bunch of yard work, I took my Hamer Vector (V) which I haven't weighed but It feels like a feather.

    Don't treat this lightly, keep your upper body muscle tone in good shape and don't suffer through pain, it's your body telling you something, listen to it.
     
  3. Raymond Lin

    Raymond Lin Member

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    How heavy is your LP? They vary from 8lbs to like 14lbs.

    Other than getting a thicker and wider strap, play sitting down.
     
  4. Pax

    Pax Gold Supporting Member

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    The Les Paul purist crowd may poo-poo this, but I've always looked for chambered LPs when I buy one. Nothing at all against solid body LPs, but I like the tone of chambered just fine; in fact, more than fine. I also like being comfortable when I play guitar. That and a 3 1/2 wide, padded strap do wonders for mitigating weight. My rule to begin with is nothing over 8lbs.
     
  5. reversedelay

    reversedelay Member

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    It's in the 12 lb range. I'm using a thin Ernie ball strap so that may be part of the problem.
     
  6. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    Wider straps help, and I mean 3" or more. There are other special straps that help with this sort of thing, but the best thing you can do probably is exercise. I'm a believer in working every muscle group but you should work your abs, back muscles and shoulders at least I'd guess.
     
  7. tazzboy

    tazzboy Supporting Member

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    Have you consider looking into Chamber Les Pauls?
     
  8. thekaiser

    thekaiser Member

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    Gibson makes a strap that's essentially spring loaded and it makes my Les Paul feel just as light as my SG. As far as using the same pups, no, your SG will still sound like an SG and not your LP. I have a 57 in the neck of both my Gibsons and the SG can't get anywhere near as bright and clear as the LP does.
     
  9. reversedelay

    reversedelay Member

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    I think mine is "weight relieved"!

    Is that what you mean when you say chambered?
     
  10. reversedelay

    reversedelay Member

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    Thank you! You just saved me time and money. Much appreciated.
     
  11. ixnay

    ixnay Member

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  12. Tim Plains

    Tim Plains Member

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    '61 reissue SGs have '57 Classics and are a dime a dozen. Go play one to see how it compares.
     
  13. reversedelay

    reversedelay Member

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    Ok so I did a little research. I have a Classic Custom LP which is traditional weight relieved. And apparently still too heavy for me!
     
  14. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    If it's 12lbs, that's pretty heavy. I had a 14 lb Classic that was unbearable.

    Probably the best playing/sounding HB Les Paul I've owned was a chambered Historic '58 RI.
     
  15. ixnay

    ixnay Member

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    Are you sure about the weight being 12 lbs? Most traditional weight relief Les Pauls I've owned or played (several dozen) were in the 9-9.5 lb range. I did have a 2003 LP Custom that was just shy of 11 lbs, so there are some heavier ones out there...
     
  16. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    Yes, 12 lbs is too much for extended periods of time. My Doubleneck only weighs 14, but I never play more than 2 songs in a row on it.

    Limit your time on it, get a wider strap, you should be ok.
     
  17. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    Just pop it in and see ... only takes a matter of minutes.

    I think it will sound pretty similar, the voicing actually might be a little better, a little more balanced. I went heavy strat to light weight strat with a Voodoo '59 ... liked it better in the light weight strat. Smoothed it out a little.
     
  18. Fndrbndr

    Fndrbndr Member

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    My LP is on the light side, but I bought a wide padded strap for it before the guitar even arrived. So far so good.
     
  19. vintage66

    vintage66 Member

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    +1 for a wide padded leather strap-makes a world of difference if you haven't tried it. Mine's about 11 lbs, I have a wide padded Levy's and a Moody's, both are great for that. They actually feel weird to me with a light guitar, like it's overkill, but they make the guitar seem lighter.
    Not sure it will help with back pain, since it's obviously not really lighter, but it helps with shoulder pain and general fatigue.
     

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