Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

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Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (Amber) » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:43 pm

I've had my 1993 Plus for around 3 years now and I just don't think the anatomy of my fretting fingers are working with the Ric-style string set up. Fretting on the E, A and D strings and ensuring each string and it's octave are fretted, are making me have to angle my fingers so much that they are dampening the adjacent string.
I never had this issue with traditional set up.
Has anyone else experienced this?
fingers.jpg
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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:56 pm

Maybe a slanted fret model?
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black-yellow-red-white and blue.
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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (scott_s) » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:14 pm

I'm in a similar boat. It's like trying to play guitar with a pack of short hot dogs. My nail beds are just as short on the right side, so I wasn't born to be a classical guitar player, either!

fingertips.jpg

I'd been eyeing a 1993Plus if I ever branched out into 12-string, too. What I do on the 330 is to keep the action relatively low, but wear the guitar high enough so that my fingertips don't have to approach every string from an angle.

A custom nut that brings the paired strings closer to each other might help...
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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (jps) » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:59 pm

scott_s wrote:...fingertips don't have to approach every string from an angle.

This is key to proper playing technique.

Lawrence, do you, perchance, hang your thumb over the neck when playing?
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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (Amber) » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:06 pm

I should clarify, I approach the strings with fret finger straight on. But that only frets the thicker string and not the octave. I can compensate by angling my fretting finger, but then it mutes the adjacent string. (eg A and D)
Here's a very simple diagram.
fingers 2.jpg
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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (jps) » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:35 pm

Nice graphics! :mrgreen:

I have average (I suppose) finger thickness. Never had any trouble with either way of stringing.

Why not restring it in the traditional way? IIRC, Roger McGuinn does that.
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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (scott_s) » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:00 pm

Words are bound to fail me here, but would it be accurate to say that you are focusing on fretting one string of each pair with a fingertip, and then trying to "tag" the other string with the back part of your fingertip? My 12-string experience is limited (sadly nonexistent with Rick 12's), but whenever I've picked one up, I've just tried to center my fingertip on each string pair. That seems to give the most clearance to each side.
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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (jps) » Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:26 am

My Yamamoto MS-12 12-string guitar is strung the trad. way and has a nice, wide 1 7/8" nut width, and a great feeling asymmetrical neck profile, but my bet is you would have other issues with trying to play it. :wink:

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Yamamoto MS-12
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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (admin) » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:46 am

Amber wrote:I've had my 1993 Plus for around 3 years now and I just don't think the anatomy of my fretting fingers are working with the Ric-style string set up. Fretting on the E, A and D strings and ensuring each string and it's octave are fretted, are making me have to angle my fingers so much that they are dampening the adjacent string.
I never had this issue with traditional set up.
Has anyone else experienced this?
fingers.jpg


I believe that reducing the string gauge would reduce the pressure required to fret the instrument and that you may find it easier to fret the string pairs with your 12 string. A hassle to restring but a simple experiment that made 12 string playing easier for me. I have tried 9s and even an Ernie Ball 8 string set that worked very well. Less is sometimes more.
Life, as with music, often requires one to let go of the melody and listen to the rhythm

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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (Amber) » Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:48 pm

Thanks again guys. It's strung with 8s at the moment. I've tried the Ric 10s it came with and moved down to 8s. I've played acoustic and other electric 12 strings. It may just be my fingers' anatomy that's the issue. I don't have much padding on the very tips. Here's a G chord. Any more angle on the middle finger and I'll be touching the adjacent string (A)
fingers b.jpg
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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (collin) » Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:29 pm

Plenty of people have set up their Rickenbacker 12s with the traditional arrangement, octave on top.

It won't have the same sound, but if it helps you play the guitar, then great.

That does require replacing the nut and saddles though, which is reversible if you ever put the original parts back on.
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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (maxwell) » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:28 pm

I, too, agree that changing over to the traditional setup will, at least, improve your situation. You pretty much diagnosed your (and anyone else with similar) problems with the title of this thread. You say you don't have very much padding on your finger tips....

The bony tips of fingers taper off to a relatively narrow shape that is closest to the fingernail. When you fret in this area, I mean in this instance, fret the larger of the two strings, that string will be fretted very easily as it bottoms out "against" the bony finger tip area quickly. The adjacent smaller string isn't receiving enough pressure from the rest of your finger pad to properly fret the string. If you had big, beefy fingers you wouldn't have as much problem. So, if you go traditional, once the smaller string "bottoms out," your finger pad should be able to apply a suitable pressure on the much larger string.

Here's a link to a diagram:
https://external-content.duckduckgo.com ... %3DApi&f=1

Well, that's how I see it. (2 cents.)
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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (Amber) » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:45 am

Yes, I think that's it in a nutshell. The traditional set up on E, Aand D should hopefully sort the situation.
I didn't realise some people had actually done this, so it gives me some reassurance. Cheers.
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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (thark) » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:10 pm

Have you considered trying the wide-spaced nut from RickySounds in the UK? I replaced the nut on my 370/12 a while ago and it made a world of difference for the playibility of the guitar.
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Re: Fretting fingers not suited to Ric-style string set-up?

Postby (Amber) » Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:12 pm

I'll look into that. Thanks. Although, the 1993 Plus has the wider neck. I guess if Rickysounds does one for the 1993 Plus, it might be worth checking out.
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