17" May Be Too Much On My Falcon

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
21,925
Monkey Island
Fulminate all you want. I love 17" bout guitars and own a few. My Black Phoenix is one, if not the prettiest guitar I have, but the bout size and depth are simply a no go.
5 years ago I got a Frozen shoulder, first left, 2 years later on the right. Could hardly put on my clothes, lift a cup of coffee, or wipe my behind. To illustrate, I'm a pretty average build guy, but in 5 years my shirt size went from XXL to L/XL. My arms are doing OK(sorta) again, but I can't push it. Lift something like a small bag of groceries and I'm paying for it for the whole week. No tnx!
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,608
Where the action is!
I don't know how I'd get along with a 17" full depth guitar. I know that I'm good with a 17" x 2.25" guitar. And I know that I'm good with a 16" x 2.75" guitar. 17" by 2.75" sounds kind of big, but maybe not too uncomfortable. But I know that I don't like anything much over 3" deep for performing standing up. The front of the guitar kind of feels too far away from me.
 

G5422T

Country Gent
May 24, 2012
4,073
usa
I played bluegrass pretty much exclusively on a D28 for many years so my Falcon's size isn't really an issue.

That's me too. My D35S is a good sized body with a long scale.

Picking up my previous White Falcon or present Phoenix just isn't an issue.
 

Pine Apple Slim

Country Gent
Dec 14, 2011
1,908
North Alabama
Im only 5'7" and a slightly overweight 175lbs and the Falcon is no problem.
The only too big guitar I ever owned was a humongous Guild acoustic bass.
Still, I would have tolerated it if it was loud enough without amplification, but Mastertone banjos, Martin dreds, and F5 mandolins totally drowned it out so I had to get an upright.
 

sgarnett

Synchromatic
Apr 14, 2020
945
Kentucky
Personally, wide lower bouts 16” to 17” is what works best for me, with depth 3” or less (ideally 1.75” to 2.5”) is what works for me.

I still have glorified drywall anchors in my shoulder from getting most of the tendons reattached after a workplace accident, and a nerve issue in my forearm that is extremely sensitive to the dimensions.

I used to make the mistake of playing through the pain, tingling, and numbness. “Play until my fingers bleed”, as Bryan Adams put it. Well, it turns out that pain is a warning sign that you are doing something wrong.

Eventually I was forced to stop playing completely for several years when extending my arm felt like sticking my hand in an electrical outlet. It took years after that to work back toward playing at all. I sold off some guitars I really enjoyed because playing them would bring back the warning signs within minutes.

So no, I don’t intend to “get over it”. Been there, done that, learned from it.
 

BCRatRod73

Synchromatic
Sep 1, 2020
747
Mississippi
Personally, wide lower bouts 16” to 17” is what works best for me, with depth 3” or less (ideally 1.75” to 2.5”) is what works for me.

I still have glorified drywall anchors in my shoulder from getting most of the tendons reattached after a workplace accident, and a nerve issue in my forearm that is extremely sensitive to the dimensions.

I used to make the mistake of playing through the pain, tingling, and numbness. “Play until my fingers bleed”, as Bryan Adams put it. Well, it turns out that pain is a warning sign that you are doing something wrong.

Eventually I was forced to stop playing completely for several years when extending my arm felt like sticking my hand in an electrical outlet. It took years after that to work back toward playing at all. I sold off some guitars I really enjoyed because playing them would bring back the warning signs within minutes.

So no, I don’t intend to “get over it”. Been there, done that, learned from it.
If you need a guitar that doesn’t weigh much look into a Guild Starfire II. I have one and it’s light as a feather.
 

Jalexander

Electromatic
May 3, 2022
27
Canada
Eh, I don't think I'd mind, to be honest. I can say that with confidence since I've played full-size acoustic dreadnoughts slung way down low alà Johnny Cash.
I never thought of Cash as a low-slung player. He usually kept his dreads up in his armpit so the vocal mix would pick some of the sound up. He’s also have the neck out straight almost like a shotgun barrel in his line of sight. Then sometimes he’d tuck the body behind his arm to strum up the fretboard to get the chicka rhythm part of the boom-chicka-boom sound. Check out the classic San Quentin footage on YouTube.
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
18,715
Petaluma
I played bluegrass pretty much exclusively on a D28 for many years so my Falcon's size isn't really an issue.
Imo the issue is which size dimension affects playing. I understand that a typical dreadnought is about 16" wide, narrower than a Falcon. However, I suspect that body depth is much more important to comfort and feel, so the deeper body of the dread matters more. That has been my experience.

So I would expect a falcon at 17" to feel very similar to a 6120 16" with the same body depth.

Imo one of the attractions of a smaller body size is marginally better upper fret access, as the body is also proportionately shorter.
 

Duo Slinger

Country Gent
Sep 11, 2020
1,178
California, USA
I never thought of Cash as a low-slung player. He usually kept his dreads up in his armpit so the vocal mix would pick some of the sound up. He’s also have the neck out straight almost like a shotgun barrel in his line of sight. Then sometimes he’d tuck the body behind his arm to strum up the fretboard to get the chicka rhythm part of the boom-chicka-boom sound. Check out the classic San Quentin footage on YouTube.
Oh sure. But I'm thinking the length in the classic flip off photo.
 

Lou Coppolino

Gretschie
Jul 23, 2022
361
Howell, NJ
Im only 5'7" and a slightly overweight 175lbs and the Falcon is no problem.
The only too big guitar I ever owned was a humongous Guild acoustic bass.
Still, I would have tolerated it if it was loud enough without amplification, but Mastertone banjos, Martin dreds, and F5 mandolins totally drowned it out so I had to get an upright.


I'm 5'7" too and a fat 184 lbs.

When I was 39, I was a 138 lb stick figure.

When I went to the gym, it was instant poundage.
 

dspellman

Gretschie
Jul 4, 2020
339
Los Angeles
That's me too. My D35S is a good sized body with a long scale.

Picking up my previous White Falcon or present Phoenix just isn't an issue.
Friend of mine is tiny, but we decided that what fit her best was a big guitar with a smaller waist. The Taylor 814ce worked really well, but the Martin D35 did not.
 


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