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I bought my S6 about 3 months ago, and have since developed fairly mild tennis elbow (or re-developed, to be accurate - I've had it before). I find that it gets painful more quickly using the S6 than it does with my classicals or the Ibanez AM 73. I find that finger-picking, with the fine muscle control it requires, gets uncomfortable after about 20-30 minutes with the S6, vs. double that with the others.

I'm wondering if anyone has had the same type of problem moving from a small-bodied guitar to a dreadnaught. The depth of the S6 pushes my left hand position forward, causes the guitar to be at an angle to my body rather than straight across, puts my left arm and wrist further out from my body, and changes the angle my wrist wants to assume. All of this seems -  repeat, seems - to exacerbate the problem. I play sitting - no strap - with the left leg crossed over the right...

If anyone's got any ideas re what's happening, or what I can do to correct it, please let me know. I would hate to have to part with the S6 - or the money required to get myself an S6 Folk. I'm using a tennis elbow strap (it works), following my old physio regime and taking an anti-inflammatory, but any further help would be appreciated.

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Replies to This Discussion

I recall a somewhat similar problem w/ 'bio-mechanics'...for lack of a more accurate a bass player who was an acquaintance of mine. Continual performance while standing in cramped quarters caused him to change the angle of the neck and shift how the bass weighed on his shoulder. He did some on-line searching and apparently found some info from physical therapists (I presume)....took some adjusting his style, but the problem resolved. Perhaps stretching exercises may help...good luck. These repetitive motion 'injuries' may be common among musicians, so check the internet. JB

Way back last year we had a similar discussion and I think it was Wayne or Brian that sold his D size Seagull and bought a folk or something like that.  The discussion was on the unofficial site so it may have been longer ago than last year, but in any case changing body sizes helped the afflicted member and allowed comfortable play.

It was Brian. I still have my Dread with no physiological problems, I will admit that compared to my Artist Mahogany Folk, the Portrait CW feels like I'm hugging a washing machine when I play it, but I do love the brightness and volume the Dread body provides.

Different tools for different jobs (and rooms)

I am only 5 foot 5 inches tall, and for my body size, My S6 folk is way more comfortable than my S6+ Spruce Dread. As well, my Godin 5th Ave Kingpin is much more comfortable than my Folk, because the body depth is less.


My suggestion.... Keep a lookout for a used S6 Folk. I picked up a used  mint condition S6 Folk + Tric case for $200. Keep your S6 though. You can not beat the volume of a Dread at kitchen parties.

Thanks again, folks - I'm going to have a  look at a used '01 S6+ Folk later this week - the asking price is a little rich, but we'll see how the guitar feels, and take it from there...

Your experience is one reason I sold my S6 (that and I found I didn't like the wider nut), but otherwise it was a fine guitar.  Its deep shape made it less comfortable than my Taylor 210e which is a full size dread.  After selling the S6 I did get an Entourage Grand Rustic which is a parlor size, and I didn't have a parlor size before.  It's much more comfortable for me than either the S6 or the Taylor, but of course it doesn't have the full size sound.  I haven't shopped for dreads in awhile, but I'll bet you can find one that "fits" better than the S6, which does have an odd shape.  If you want to keep the S6, which it sounds like you do, maybe David's suggestion will work for.  I only wanted you to know you weren't alone with the problem.  And I just hate to think that you have to be on drugs to play the S6!!  (even if it is just Advil or something) 

Thanks, Walt - I really appreciate you sharing your experience. I love everything about the S6 - the sound, the action, the wider nut...except the pain...

My first go-round with tennis elbow came from chainsaw use  - doctors in Newfoundland outports call it chainsaw elbow - and like a youngish fool, I tried to 'work thru it' - bad mistake! Before I quit being stupid, I couldn't lift a coffee cup with my left arm, let alone a chainsaw,  it knocked me out of the canoe for almost the whole summer (not good - I'm a water baby), and took a good six months to heal properly once I wised up. That involved the strap, physio, anti-inflammatories, and finally, having to get steroid injections  in the elbow, which is no fun at all, but worked wonders. I don't want to go back there, no sir...

So I'll try the S6+ Folk, and see how it goes - my classicals are more comfortable to play, and I'm hoping the S6 Folk is the same size and shape. If it works out,  the lady who has it and I will have to talk price...she's asking just $50 less than a new S6 Coastline Cedar Folk sells for locally - granted, there is a hard case with it, but I already have three of those :->))

You're welcome, BG.  You probably know you can go online to the various mfgrs' Websites, including Seagull, and get the dimensions of their guitars.  Might be helpful in narrowing down the choices.

Mini-jumbos are shallower-bodied, too...if I had it to do again, I'd really think about the Performer Mini-Jumbo rather than the Performer dread I have...
Check out the Giannini Craviola as well - extremely comfortable to play...

Re the Craviola - lovely, but around here, Florida, you're doing well to find a

Appreciate the reply - merci..

Blackback Gull,

I had an issue with "golfers' elbow", inside elbow pain, rather than tennis elbow, outside elbow pain. I was practicing gypsy jazz rhythm about 3-4 hours a day. I think my issues were related to mechanics, rather than my guitar, though. However, deep massage on the associated pressure points and stopping any guitar playing for about six weeks alleviated the pain. I got a couple of good resource texts on pressure points, and did some self-therapy. A good certified massage therapist might offer some relief of the pain.

Here are a few links on the subject...

Trigger Point Therapy

Hope all works out for you.

Many thanks - much appreciated.

So far, thank the deity, it's very mild - only hurts a little  when I play too long - so I'm taking it easy, doing short sessions, etc. So far, so good - and it's a great excuse to go look at the S6 Folk...  :->))


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