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5 Reasons to Start Playing an Ergonomic Guitar

Are traditional guitars really the way of the future?

Steve Klein sTele

Yes, we all know that if you aren't a true guitarist if you don't play one of the "Big Four" guitars (Strats, Teles, LPs and SGs). Well, I'm here to tell you that is 100 percent FALSE.

In the last five years, the guitar industry has seen a ton of small guitar companies coming in and giving the electric guitar the makeover it deserves. Relatively older companies like Klein Guitars, Keisel Guitars, and Strandberg Guitars have set the foundation for how hip the ergonomic guitar can be, and how it isn't just a "nerdy" piece of gear. Newer companies such as Abasi Concepts and Sankey Guitars have been taking this to a whole new level, in providing a wicked hybrid between tradition and new concepts.

I'm here to tell you why you need an ergonomic guitar, and how it will change your entire life as a guitarist.

1. The guitars needs to be rethought!

Think about it like this. How many Strats and Teles do you own? How many players always go for the Gibson LP when they're looking for a specific tone? ALMOST ALL OF THEM! The electric guitar (as we know it today) has only really been around since 1951 when Leo Fender designed and produced the first Telecaster. That's only 68 years! The electric guitar is not an old instrument. Even though it isn't old, it has been the most popular instrument since it first came out, with it being the main rhythm and lead melodic instrument in small combos since the beginnings of rock and roll in the 1950s.

With that much music being made on an instrument that hasn't changed one bit, the guitar needs to be rethought. Guitarists are stuck in the idea that vintage tone and older sounds are better when really they are what they are... old. This isn't to say that older sounds and vintage tone aren't good, but it is to say that with the world moving forward technologically, the guitar has to become more modern to stay with the times.

Strandberg Boden

2. Musicians can't ignore ergonomics and health!

I know you've heard this one before. Have you ever been in the woodshed for HOURS, only to find that part of you starts to hurt because of playing your instrument? Well... most of that comes from you (check out my latest post on how a technique called "The Alexander Technique" saved my music career). BUT what people don't always think about is that the design of the instrument you play WILL affect how you use that instrument. If you have an instrument that is difficult to reach, doesn't allow for your spine to lengthen, and for you to be balanced when you play, of course, your shoulders will start to hurt when you try to hold the guitar a certain way or to reach for that wicked chord.

The design of the guitar ultimately leads humans to choose poor postural habits. When you switch to an ergonomic guitar, of course, you can still choose to use those poor habits, and you can always use yourself poorly. But these guitars allow you to use yourself more efficiently, and it will become easier for you to play the guitar if you so choose to.

3. Choosing a small company helps the guitar community grow!

This one makes perfect sense! We all know that big electric guitar companies such as Fender and Gibson have been dominating the industry since the dawn of time. We also know that Gibson has recently declared bankruptcy because of poor business choices.

When you purchase an ergonomic guitar from a small town luthier, you can guarantee that you're receiving a quality product. Most of these companies allow you to be in direct talks with them, so you know where your instrument is at every step of the way. I truly believe in supporting these smaller companies, and I hope you do too.

Tosin Abasi with His Abasi Larada

4. Customization

Listen, guitarists love gear. We absolutely love how we can pair specific pickups with different types of wood, with different types of strings to get the exact tone we're looking for. When you're diving into the ergo market, there is no customization option left out for you.

A lot of the luthiers who do orders on a case-by-case scenario, ask you what types of wood you want, what pickups, what fretboard material, so on and so forth. Even larger companies like Keisel are offering complete customization on their ergonomic models. It's actually insane.

5. The Joy of Having an Instrument That Is Yours

This might be the reason I love my Klein sTele. When you get your hands on an ergonomic style guitar, you know that that guitar is yours. When you buy a Gibson LP, you already know that hundreds of well-regarded players are using and have used those guitars. When you buy a Strandberg or a Klein, there are very few players (in the grand scheme) who actually play these instruments. You are one of the few players who is helping the guitar industry to move into the modern age, and that is a beautiful thing in itself.

I hope this list helps you to decide to get your hands on an ergonomic guitar. Whether you buy from a larger company or just one person who's building our of their garage, you're getting a guitar worth getting. Check out all of the companies I've name dropped in here, they're all making KILLER instruments.

What ergonomic guitar do you play? Let me know by heading to my website and shooting me a message. I'm a huge gear head, and I'm always down to check out new gear.

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