Downsizing neccessity

I am in a bit of a quandary . I have an Alvarez Ag60 acoustic which I love but I have not been able to play at all for the last 4 months due to fretting arm injury (rotator cuff -basically cannot stretch/ lift my arm). I have been looking on YT at various alternatives such as Taylor Baby BT2 or GS mini. I am hoping the shorter scale will help with my shoulder. To add to the problem I am a lefty and there just isnt anywhere remotely close by for me to try one so will have to buy from a retailer with returns policy.
Bit of a longshot but I am wondering if anyone here might have had a similar problem as I`m not ready to give up yet. Any help appreciated
PS Am currently working through grade 2

I don’t have lefty specific recommendations, but I to have crap for shoulders.

What has worked for me is playing smaller body 12 fret to the body guitars. Classical guitars are commonly 12 fret body joins, although mine is not short scale (25.9” or 660mm). My steel string is short scale (24.75”) and 12 fret 00 size guitar (smaller than OM or classical, larger than parlor).

Additionally I play them in a classical position. This brings the head stock of the guitar up near your ear (right for you, left for me) at a moderate to steep angle. With this set up, my shoulder is almost completely relaxed and does not need to make any large or strained movements.

Most regular “long scale” guitars are 25.5” scale and short scale may be 24” to 25”. So the neck length difference will only be 1/4”-3/4” different and won’t help your shoulder as much as the 12 fret neck join.

So, lefty 00 12 fret neck join short scale. Look for a lefty Eastman E10-00 or E20-00 (not the slope shoulder, it is 14 fret). It will be a rare bird.

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Thanks --food for thought before I buy anything

I’ve played smaller guitars in guitar shops, and yeah, the mini guitars don’t require your fretting arm to move as far out (I played GS mini and others, not Baby Taylor). It’s a really minor difference though, and you could also simulate a similar difference by playing standing up with a strap or rotating your hips when seated.

Rotator cuff injuries though, I’ve had those before - they don’t tend to get a lot better without rehab. I hope you’re seeing a physio and doing some band-work rehab exercises :slightly_smiling_face:.

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@jkahn yup plenty of rubber stretching. They are discussing surgery now -yikes

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Tom I hope your injury repairs quickly so you can return to playing ASAP.

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Well–I went ahead and a Taylor GS Mini (mahogony) duly arrived today… can`t believe how much easier on the dodgy fretting arm this is. I may now be able to get back to learning after my 4 month hiatus.
Got a great bargain too–used but looks brand new , set up and complete with hard case and spare strings for less than half of new price :smiley: Got to love online shops sometimes, they said to try it and see or return it.


Is it your fretting arm that has the injury or the strumming arm?

@AndyTake2 --Yes its fretting arm. Easier to reach first fret on this.

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I should have read your post properly - you mention it twice :crazy_face:

Just take it steady, do any stretches your physio (assuming you have one) has recommended, and if necessary, play somewhere else on the fretboard - shoulders are a PITA when it comes to guitars.
Enjoy your new guitar :slight_smile: