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Discussion Starter #1
I have a really dumb question but I don’t know who to ask....so here goes.

I just purchased a new Taylor 314CE guitar. Sound is amazing and the body size is a nice fit. One of my complaints on my last guitar ( Martin DX1RAE) was the body was too big for me. When I bought the Taylor 2 days ago I played every guitar in the store (under $3000.00) and the only 2 I liked was the Taylor 314ce and the Gibson J45. I chose the Taylor because the body seemed to be a better fit. I never considered the neck in my decision.

HOWEVER.... now i have the guitar home I am finding it’s hard to play. Just a note that I am just learning but I can play some basic finger style tunes (I.e John Prine stuff).

Now I am trying to determine if the scale on the neck of this particular guitar is too large for me. Is this something that could be the case? I mean are the spaces between the frets different or is all this standard? Could the action just be to high? It looks like the strings are a little high off the frets. Can these be lowered and will lowering them help with the playability? I know the scale length on the J45 is 24 3/4 while the Taylor is 25 1/2. Will this make a difference? Is this a big difference. The scale length on my Martin was 25.4!

What do you all think? Am I thinking too much? Is it just because it’s a new guitar and I just need time to adjust? Is the neck on this guitar larger than most making it harder to play? Will adjusting the action help?

I am thinking about returning it and getting the J45 instead because I think the neck is smaller making it easier to play. I’ll have to deal with the body being too large I guess!
 

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Sounds like you might benefit from a small body guitar with a shorter scale length.

But either way, learning play and training your hands takes a lot of work.

Difference between scale length is noticeable to me but it isn't something that matters much although I prefer the Martin scale length with 13s because it's not as loose feeling.

Set up is important but you'd need to have someone look at it to see if it's a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I definitely won’t give up. But picking out a guitar has been painful.

I tried smaller bodied guitars in the store. For example the Martin OMCPA4 but I didn’t like the sound or tone. Seemed too small.

I guess I will get them to adjust the action to see if that helps. If not I guess I will return the Taylor and get the Gibson J45. Oy!!
 

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I would take it to a guitar tech and have it set up which includes lowering the action at the saddle. The nut slots may not be cut deep enough either which can make it harder to play. Common in a new guitar. Deepening the slots would be also included in a set up. And when it's all said and done, a lighter gauge of strings for now may help but mention that to your tech when you get it set up.
 

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If the guitar is altered, they may not take it back. When I buy a guitar I expect it to play easily with no effin around. No exceptions. Never had a "set-up". Never had a "modification". Return immediately and get something that is perfect for you. My two cents.
 

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Definitely try lighter strings and lower action. Unless you have very small hands, the scale should not be a problem. I use super light strings (10-48) on my acoustics and find they sound great.
 
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I was a Strat player for many years. My knuckles on my fret hand were sore all the time. I started playing Gibson and the knuckle pain went away. Switched back to the Strat and pain returned. Back to the Gibson, pain is gone. I ordered a 24.75" Strat conversion neck from Warmoth.

Strat = 25.5"
SG = 24.75"
 

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Definitely try lighter strings and lower action. Unless you have very small hands, the scale should not be a problem. I use super light strings (10-48) on my acoustics and find they sound great.
Same here. It made a huge difference for me.
 

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How does the neck compare to the Martin you had? What's the difference in the string height, spacing and gauge?
 

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Could it be as simple as tuning? Hanging on the wall at the store is was tuned down half a step and now it has been tuned to standard?

Try tuning down and playing, if it’s as good as it was in the store get lighter strings.

Or play electric;)
 

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What are we trying to resolve, i.e. what does "finding it’s hard to play" mean? Does it mean fingers cannot stretch across frets or difficult to press strings ("note that I am just learning") or space between strings ("I can play some basic finger style") or .... there needs to be a more precise description of the problem. The suggestions to date, although helpful, may not solve the problem. Since the guitar was played during the selection, one would expect this one was played the most....so it must have "felt good" earlier. If the decision is made to return the guitar, I would...
1) explain to the music store the specific reason(s) the guitar is difficult for you to play
2) store staff should then direct you to guitars which are closer to the "feel" you like
3) really play the guitar options with the variety of music you play...(maybe some picking, strumming, finger picking..etc..)
4) the whole guitar has to feel comfortable (of course along with sounding great). If an instrument does not "speak to you", it is not the right one
5) you mentioned that the Gibson was not chosen because of body size..so forget choosing this one, you will not be comfortable playing this body size during long sessions. The discomfort will get you back to the forums again.
6) Bottom line is that you are absolutely happy with the instrument. Choose well, as instruments sometimes outlast marriages, it is going to be one of the few constant things in your life. (sorry if offended anyone with this)
....just my 6 cents worth...
 

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Taylor 312ce. Smaller body, shorter scale length 312ce

I tend to prefer 11-52s. I like the flexibility. 13s are not my thing. I think 13s should be shot.
 

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I use 13s on all my dreads and 12s on my telecaster - there are few things more exilerating than being shot at and missed ... lol
 

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Get a set up at a reputable shop. I bet you anything that’s the issue: bridge height, neck relief, nut slots.

And despite what someone posted on this thread, you can definitely return a guitar after having it set up, if you still aren’t happy with it.

(Scale length makes a difference but nowhere near as big a difference as setup can make.)
 

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Yeah...get it set up. I wouldn't suggest a setup at a L&M myself, but that's just personal experience. I picked up a 12 string a Month and a bit ago which was tuned down. Noticed it was a bit high on the action so I took it in to a local Luthier. To my surprise he didn't shave the saddle, he shaved the bridge itself (I'm fairly new to acoustic playing so I wasn't aware this was a thing.) Picked it up and it plays 10x better now, and it played really good from the get go. But if your new and having an issue with stretching your fret hand fingers, a smaller scale length will help as well.
 
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