So I have a Larrivee D3, and when I first got it I was very happy with it. But for the John Mayer stuff I am learning that plays a lot up the neck, I think this dreadnought style is impeding my enjoyment. He plays an OM size which is a little smaller and I would suspect a tighter action especially up the neck. Just an excuse or worth looking into ?
Hey Pete! Your enjoyment is the priority here, and so if you think the dreadnought style is putting a cap on your potential then maybe it’s worth looking at alternatives. Just because John (or anyone) uses a certain guitar or style doesn’t necessarily mean you should persevere and force yourself to enjoy and use the same.
I’ve only ever played acoustics with a cutaway, and I can’t imagine it any other way for now. With that said however, I think at least half of the magic comes from a good setup and good strings. My first acoustic was a mid-range Martin, and off the shelf it was good. But then I got it set-up to my taste, and it turned what was a good guitar into a phenomenal bit of kit!
Maybe you want to try a setup, reduce and even out the action from both nut and bridge end, and try a couple different string sets for now?
Thanks Darryl, I have some serious strings Thomastik Spectrums, if I lower any more I will buzz at the nut side. There is definitely more of a high action up around the 7th fret.
I’m not familiar with those strings. I tend to use D’Addario across the board personally.
Regarding the action, that’s common especially in Acoustic guitars. I had my previous Martin set-up by a professional. He did many things, but one key factor was decreasing the height of the bridge to even out the height at the higher frets. Don’t underestimate the power of a set-up. Though, finding the right guy for the job can be tough so make sure you are clear about what you want prior to any appointment To my pleasant surprise, my recent Orangewood Cleo came set up well right from the factory. Some guitars are winners straight from the shop, and some need an extra level of TLC to make them feel the way you want.
Let me know what you choose to do moving forward In addition to gear, you’re welcome to post a video of your struggles (Video Exchange) so I can outline any possible flaws (or successes) in your technique