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So how are your playing chops when wearing your guitar as low as Jimmy Page?

Red_Label

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,205
The bass player in my band thinks he's in the Ramones & his bass is stupidly low. There are certain riffs & songs I have written that we can't do because he can't play them. It's a fine line.
There's rockers. And there's MUSICIANS. Your bass player obviously prefers to be a member of the former group. ;)
 

bob-i

Member
Messages
8,763
Funny how wearing your guitar low/high is more about style than playing.

In the 60s the style was up high, like a bib. I've seen pics of keef rissards with the guitar almost touching his chin, nuge too with the amboy dukes wore the Byrdland up under his chin, Lennon, harrison and many more too. Then pagey showed up low slung and the style changed and suddenly you were a dork if you strapped the guitar up high.

I look like a dork no matter what so I go for comfort. Too high can be restrictive especially for the right hand, too low is not only hard on the left wrist, but the spine as well. Pagey has some major neck and back problems, possibly from the way he plays.

IMHO we need to stop looking in the mirror and strap the guitar where its best for your playing. For me that's with my right elbow at a 90 degree angle.
 

Red_Label

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,205
Yeah but he also has a Phil Lynott tattoo, just wish he took him on as a role model instead !:bonk
Ask him if he's ever watched Phill play his bass or a strat. As I recall, Phil played them up pretty high. Specifically I know that he played the Strat up high.
 

Slunderfungus

Member
Messages
384
My right (picking) hand LOVES a low-slung guitar. My left hand hates it. When I do play that way, I have to hook my thumb over the top of the neck (ala Hendrix) and that limits my ability to play three-note-per-string/wide-interval scales well. Just limits my left-hand control in general. So for me, it's always about trying to find the comprimise spot between left and right hand comfort.

In regards to guys like Page... I have never considered him to be a technically accurate player. He's pretty sloppy (awesome songwriting notwithstanding) as a lead player. Same thing goes for Slash, Joe Perry, etc. It's more impressive to me when I see a guy like Zakk Wylde ripping-off 20 minute flawless solos with his LP slung so low.

Edit: See Doug Aldrich mentioned here as well. Pefect example. The guy is a machine.
Yeah I never thought Page was all that special myself. the so in living and loving was sloppy as hekk. now ritchie blackmore was easily a better player....I Will don my flamesuit
 

mike shaw

Member
Messages
2,214
I guess it would really depend on how long your arms are etc. I've heard Page has really long arms like a monkey.
 

dumbell78

Member
Messages
4,967
I wear mine on the high side, strings are right around my belly button. I have tried the Jimmy Page look and after two minutes changed right back. No way in hell I could play like that, maybe bang out some cowboy chords but that is the extent of it.
 

Alka-Delics

Senior Member
Messages
1,177
I tried, who hasn't? And Visually, it's cool.
I haven't. The 'look' shouldn't matter. The mere fact that you're trying to achieve this because someone else has, just for the visual aspect of it, means you should probably go back to square one of the guitar drawing board. Come on man, get real.

One of rock-n-roll's great mystery's....

Slash is another one...

It's easy easy to understand why they "prop" the guitar on their knee while they're killing solo's..
Slash plays rhythm down low, but cannot play a solid lead without putting his left leg on a wedge speaker and sitting his guitar on that, raising the neck quite close to his face. It's ridiculous.

Page played almost the entire RAH concert like this; bending over so he could be closer to his left hand for leads.



I see it so much and it pisses me off. People sling their guitars down low so "it looks awesome" when playing some basic rhythm, but when it comes to the crunch, they bend over, or do what they can to get closer to the fingerboard. It's a bad habit.

I actually played for years with the guitar somewhat high because of the general consensus that up higher is the "proper" way.

One day I played a buddy of mine's guitar with it slung lower (not at the knees like Plant, but significantly lower than where I had mine)
Plant? I don' think I've ever seen him with a guitar in his hands in a 50 year musical career...

Ergonomics aside though, the flipside is that when it's up too high, you look like a dick.
Not as much as a dick when you sling it low and THEN bring it up to do something useful



Bottom line: doing something that compromises your technique just because it looks 'cool' is lame. So, so lame. There are exceptions like Page who can play anything down there, but people like Slash can't do **** without raising the guitar the level of a normal person.
 

SinkingShip

Member
Messages
189
For me it's more about the music style being played, low guitar is awesome for downstroking riffs, power chords and a certain style of reckless powerful lead playing with plenty of rigth hand action......bring that guitar up to BB height and suddenly the accuracy and power of your downstrokes becomes fiddly and "weak". It's simple physics that you can't get full downstroke attack power with a high guitar as your arm becomes weaker as the elbow angle bends more( full strength comes in a fairly small angle range ), but you can get very conrolled left hand playing and accurate picking. hendrix and SRV seemed to have the best height balance points for power hitting the strings and still in control of the left hand, Stevie's right hand work is THE best I've seen or heard but I think he was pretty strong.

I know no-one ever touches the topic much, but IMO physical strength is a factor in guitar playing.....go do some weights and tell me you don't notice and improvement in all aspects of your playing :)

BTW Pages playing on Song Remains the Same concert is utterly brilliant, anyone seeing slop in that gig is missing the fact that he has just played some of the most incredible solos live EVER, sloppy ??? seriously ??? Other gigs he played terrible, off his face prob, admittedly.

I love all the other greats and all the current hero's, but IMO Jimmy will always be in a league of his own after watching that concert in particular.

Ritchie was a better player than Page agreed, Vai and Petrucci are better again.........Jimmy plays better solo's and music than all of them IMO ;)
 

GT100

Member
Messages
4,126
If you have to do any stretching or certain arpeggio work you can't do it.
It forces you to play a certain way...

Lloyd
 

stratovarius

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,248
Compromising your technique is only part of the problem. You also run the risk of developing tendonitis or other issues.
 

sideman

Member
Messages
2,372
The guitar is supposed to be positioned so that the picking area is right over the player's crotch. That makes the sexuality of it strongest. Page played his too low -
 

drewl

Senior Member
Messages
8,561
In Keef's book he talks about teasing the Beatles for wearing their guitars too high, and then the next time he'd see them they'd be wearing them a bit lower....

I wear mine slightly low, I guess crotch level, that's where it's most comfortable and easiest for me to play, too high is just as uncomfortable as too low.

Edit: looking at those Page pix, his arms are long compared to his body, he's not that tall remember.
I could never play my old bandmates guitar because it hung way too low on me.
He was pretty fat, so his strap had to be longer than usual.
 

SinkingShip

Member
Messages
189
those arms are damn long ??.....and thin, he needed all the down picking strength he could get for the Zep power stuff, and a nearly-straight arm gives you that, a bent arm does not
 




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