Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by petit bouche, Jun 19, 2021.

  1. petit bouche

    petit bouche Newbie

    Jun 19, 2021
    Hello All,
    Have bought a lovely 5420 and trying to learn some thumbpickin'. I play gypsy guitar professionally, but not used to wrapping my thumb around for the bass. Getting used to it but am bending the strings slightly out of tune on those chords, {not very big hands}. I have 11s on all my guitars but thinking 12s may be less bendy? I dont mind extra pressure because im used to quite intensive playing. Would appreciate any advice. The forum has been very useful to date as i am left handed and have installed a Bigsby and set up accordingly, (i have built afew guitars so set up good)
  2. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    Strings are cheap.....Try it.
    petit bouche, Henry and Waxhead like this.
  3. JC higgy

    JC higgy Gretschified

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Welcome to GT ,and congrats on the new geet!
  4. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Welcome friend . Thought for a minute you were talking about 12 string guitars . Lots of love here for them here on the forum
    TSims1 likes this.
  5. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Can’t hurt to try bigger strings, but you may also concentrate on exerting less pressure with that thumb. Most people exert too much pressure when they play(myself included)when you need only enough. Easy does it. Anyways - let us know if you find improvement down the 12’s road, should you choose that path.
    Henry, Robbie and blueruins like this.
  6. dougmon

    dougmon Synchromatic

    Jan 9, 2013
    This struck a chord with me. My playing improved a great deal when I realized I was maintaining a death grip on the guitar, and as a result I learned to relax my fretting hand.

    I'm aware though, that this might not be the case with you -- I would try 12s and see if they make an improvement.
    blueruins likes this.
  7. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    I went the opposite direction. I use 009 sets now and went for a very light touch. My left hand is now much more relaxed and will not hurt after long periods of playing.
    Robbie, new6659 and slickfaster like this.
  8. GretschPraise

    GretschPraise Gretschie

    Jun 26, 2017
    Tampa Bay
    12s on a short scale guitar feel like 11's on a regular scale. Go for it, I think you'll be surprised.
  9. Fat Bastid

    Fat Bastid Gretschie

    Jan 16, 2021
    I'm using some 12/52 GHS BOOMERS on my Gretsch, but I'm also currently tuned
    D/G/C/F/A/D and have just switched to these round-core strings as my old preference
    of heavy gauge Dean Markley Blue Steels don't work well with the Bigsby..
  10. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
  11. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Agree with this 100%. A couple of years ago I remember my bass player telling me he was waiting for the day I snapped the neck of my guitar in half because of the “death grip” I’d put on it when I got wound up at a show.
    petit bouche and s360guitarist like this.
  12. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Agree. I find going with slightly lighter gauge strings makes me exert less pressure and as a result fewer times I inadvertently bend strings out of tune/pitch.
    petit bouche and loudnlousy like this.
  13. s360guitarist

    s360guitarist Electromatic

    Feb 17, 2010
    St. Louis
    Yup. I press down too hard when I get going. I generally need a longer scale guitar so there is more tension and I use 12-56's on the Tele and Pyramid 13-52's on the Jet. I also find that the smaller the fret the better. If I have taller frets then that accentuates going sharp. I chalk it up to learning big cowboy chords playing acoustic rock/punk before picking up an electric. A 40 year bad habit is hard to break...
    Henry and TSims1 like this.
  14. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Exactly - don't know why people don't just do it :D:p
  15. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    This. You will have less hand fatigue, your intonation will be better, and imo the guitar tone will be better.
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