Big fingers and little frets

Mark B.

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Hi All,

Apologies if this has been covered before but how do people get on with the new Les Pauls and their tiny frets? Are you able to bend the stringings?

As the title says I have big fingers and am struggling to bend stringings on the 2022 Standard 60s. The string seems to slip under the finger. Does anyone else have this?

Here are my tiny "Medium Jumbo" frets.


34.JPG
 

hamerfan

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Do you feel that the fingerboard stopps your bendings? This would indicate that your frets are to low.
But my guess is that you lost finger strength. I had a time with very little practise time and not much physical training due to problems with my shoulder and arm. I had similar problems, your mind can‘t. I started working with rubber bands and finger training. I put my out my acoustic guitar and played it more. After some time my electric playing improved, too.
 

ArchEtech

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If these sausage fingers could do it, and they really could do it, then your fat fingers aren’t the problem.

Try Eb tuning and see if that helps. Use 9’s for strings. I have a mix of guitars including 1 with heavy gauge strings that I use for training!
 

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Mark B.

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Thanks for your comments. I have no probem string bending on my other LP's. And am using Ernie .009s.

I usually play for around 2 hours a day so the fingers are ok. Been playing for 39 years, so maybe the fingers are getting old!

Eb tuning is a good idea, thanks for your suggestion.
 

NotScott

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Since they started using their PLEK, Gibson has a tendency to grind the shizzit out of their frets and leave them on the low side. My Beck LP came with very low frets, making it a bear to play, especially for someone like me that uses a lot of string bending. I had it refretted with some stainless Jescar 58118 and it is my best playing Les Paul now.
 

Mark B.

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Since they started using their PLEK, Gibson has a tendency to grind the shizzit out of their frets and leave them on the low side. My Beck LP came with very low frets, making it a bear to play, especially for someone like me that uses a lot of string bending. I had it refretted with some stainless Jescar 58118 and it is my best playing Les Paul now.
Ah, yes the frets are quite rough, like they've been ground down a lot and they fit neatly into the nibs. That must be it.

I've had previous guitars that I've re-fretted with more metal on them than this guitar. I get through frets due to lots of string bending.

Thanks very much for this information.
 

1allspub

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I've owned a lot of Gibson USA LPs manufactured over the past 13 years (nothing older than a 2009 IIRC). But the only new Gibson USA LP I've played in the last 2-3 years (have been more into the Custom Shop lately) was a new 2022 50s Standard at a local GC. Besides the setup being pretty meh, its frets felt just like any of the many others I've owned and/or played over the years. Perhaps the OP's guitar just got especially ground down during the PLEK process. Which wouldn't surprise me because I really think Gibson does not know how to properly operate a PLEK--they just have far too many issues with improperly cut nuts and bad frets.
 

moreles

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For me, it's not a matter of actual playability but more a matter of feel and preference, which are themselves significant qualities. I can play small frets and super low frets and Fretless Wonder frets and small-radius Fender fretboards and the whole range, but I have no idea why, given the zillion guitars existing in the world, I would choose to do so. I'm not even fussy; I just don't get why anyone would want to play a non-conducive setup unless they were actually looking to challenge themselves to break old habits, in which case, great. Small and/or thin frets are, I believe, simply more of an outlier setup than the ubiquitous jumbos (which I prefer), and they are less appealing for how I play, though of course they are perfect for some other players -- though a minority, I think. My favorite next is one by John Cruz on my CS Strat that is fairly slim and non-bulky, perfectly rolled, and fretted with med/jumbo frets on a 9.5 radius. That's a really generic spec -- mainstream -- but executed perfectly. Thinner or higher frets -- not if I get to pick. I'm not Buddy Holly or a Robert Fripp imitator.
 

'Hege

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This hits on a question I have been asking myself lately...

I prefer bigger frets, and I find it more of a chore the lower the frets are. So my 2007 LP Studio gets a lot of play, while I tend to no longer play the Norlin "fretless wonders" (so to speak) as much. I bend a lot. I have big fingers and hands. With lower frets I feel like I am running into the fretboard with my fingertips, causing friction and a dragging sensation.

The $64 question, do I re-fret my vintage instruments to suit my style, or just play the ones with big frets and keep the vintage ones stock? Would it matter value wise in another 20 years when my Daughter has to deal with the pile?

Interesting post OP
 

tincbtrar

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I gave up on the new Gibson line due to the fret issues you are facing. As another poster stated, the plek is going to town.

Going to hold off to see if they chill out with the plek, because if they do, the fretwire being used is perfect for me!
 

ArchEtech

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Get that thing in and have a pro really get the neck and intonation set up correct. No reason that one LP should be stiff then another all things being equal otherwise. Good luck!
 

Latearrival

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Hi All,

Apologies if this has been covered before but how do people get on with the new Les Pauls and their tiny frets? Are you able to bend the stringings?

As the title says I have big fingers and am struggling to bend stringings on the 2022 Standard 60s. The string seems to slip under the finger. Does anyone else have this?

Here are my tiny "Medium Jumbo" frets.


View attachment 609043

I fully get your issue....A while ago, I was soundly ridiculed on here for complaining that the new Les Pauls at the time had medium frets with a very low height of around 1.1-1.2mm if memory serves.....

I wouldn't buy a guitar with frets that low, for the reasons you mention...I had my 2009 Traditional re-fretted when they wore to not much less than that height. I used Dunlop 6105 (tall/Narrow) frets, I think, which are about 1.47mm high...(about the same as unworn stock frets on my guitar).

One thing I find helps with bends is not to set the action super-low! Whilst my professionally refretted and set up LP can cope with a very low action, I find bends a lot easier with a medium action of around 1.8mm on the top strings...

Ignore the juvenile comments about weak fingers, etc. They are completely missing the point!
 
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