So...would you play a headless live?

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GuitFiddle
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So...would you play a headless live?

Postby GuitFiddle » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:29 pm

Honest question looking for honest answers. If you're playing a gig with the band, would you sport your headless in lieu of a more conventional guitar? All of us with these headless guitars love the way they play, it's great how everything just stays out of your way, but would you really strap one on for a local gig? Especially for us taller guys, these things look a little funny hanging off us. Much as we either hate it or refuse to acknowledge it, audiences subconsciously hear with their eyes before the first note is played, and I think it would be hard to create a commanding stage presence while playing a tiny weird guitar. Watching a band break into some Texas blues...or country...or Slayer on headless guitars would just seem...very surreal.

So, for the stage veterans, would you?
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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby ElfDude » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:54 pm

Because I'm in an oldies trio and a classic rock band, I can't really picture myself ever doing that.

Were I in a more modern type band (or even an 80s cover band) I could see me doing it. But not with the bands I'm in now.
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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby Jack'O'Licious » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:24 pm

Well I haven't "gigged" in over 10 years but I have played guitar in my Church Sunday service for almost every Sunday for the last 6-8 years and you can bet your sweet cheeks if I had a headless I would play it the very next Sunday :lol:

I have played both my multiscale DC 8 and my Aries 7 string there and the Aries is quite flashy lol. I have also played my EBMM JP13 several times there and most church goers (that don't play guitar) would never know the difference between any of them haha. Mainly I play my Peavey Strat there now and that's the closest I come to a gig. Once I get my Vader I will for sure take it to church a few times.
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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby GuitFiddle » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:17 pm

I'm not really sure I could do it myself unless I were playing fusion or some technical prog-rock, neither of which are exactly known for creating particularly engaging live shows since they are really musician's musicians and the audience is there for that reason. For some reason I can picture a patron walking up, looking at the guitar quizzically with their head cocked and their brow furrowed, and asking...."Is it broken??" :lol:

I mean...it just doesn't really work outside that!
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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby UnexplodedCow » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:49 pm

I play my headless bass in church every week, as it replaced the P bass I'd played for a couple decades. Two weeks ago I had to cover for guitar, so brought my Z5B for the other guy who plays bass, and I brought my pink Z6X. One person didn't like the looks, particularly of my guitar. I brushed it off, and went forward. Not one person had a bad thing to say about the sound...actually got compliments that week on it. The other bass guy fell in love with my bass; loved the comfort, feel, tone, everything. He's being converted. One boy in the church refers to my guitars as "broken," and gets excited each week to see what I'm going to bring if I'm covering guitar multiple weeks. Sometimes it's my old Guild, or a wild quilted DC127, or a Gretsch, but mostly headless.
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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby Nombrecomun » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:43 pm

GuitFiddle wrote:Honest question looking for honest answers. If you're playing a gig with the band, would you sport your headless in lieu of a more conventional guitar? All of us with these headless guitars love the way they play, it's great how everything just stays out of your way, but would you really strap one on for a local gig? Especially for us taller guys, these things look a little funny hanging off us. Much as we either hate it or refuse to acknowledge it, audiences subconsciously hear with their eyes before the first note is played, and I think it would be hard to create a commanding stage presence while playing a tiny weird guitar. Watching a band break into some Texas blues...or country...or Slayer on headless guitars would just seem...very surreal.

So, for the stage veterans, would you?


I totally would. I'm small so the size is not a problem. Also, considering how small stages can be, I like the idea that I'm not gonna maim another member of my band if I want to move sideways. Add to that how little it weighs in combination with aging(back pain, shoulder pain, etc...).

I understand the issue of look vs music style. I suppose it all depends on what you want to convey. I recall one of the Parker models had like a vintage retro look. I could see a younger player using something like that in a more traditional band and still project some type of modern vibe.

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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:05 pm

Yeah I'm 5'8", an Ibby RG is the biggest guitar that looks "normal"-sized on me. My Kiesel feels about the same size as an SG, and the Strandy just feels compact and high-performance which is cool. I prefer light guitars anyway so these both being super light is appreciated, and they just hug the body really well when you have them on a strap and moving around.

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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby canon_mutant » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:30 pm

Ah, come on coach! Put me in . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqY7e4bP9PQ

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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby canon_mutant » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:33 pm

And there's Money For Nothin . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W59BokBrgSU

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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby GuitFiddle » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:09 am

UnexplodedCow wrote:I play my headless bass in church every week, as it replaced the P bass I'd played for a couple decades. Two weeks ago I had to cover for guitar, so brought my Z5B for the other guy who plays bass, and I brought my pink Z6X. One person didn't like the looks, particularly of my guitar. I brushed it off, and went forward. Not one person had a bad thing to say about the sound...actually got compliments that week on it. The other bass guy fell in love with my bass; loved the comfort, feel, tone, everything. He's being converted. One boy in the church refers to my guitars as "broken," and gets excited each week to see what I'm going to bring if I'm covering guitar multiple weeks. Sometimes it's my old Guild, or a wild quilted DC127, or a Gretsch, but mostly headless.


For some reason headless bass seems different...they just seem truncated less than the guitars. Good on you for sporting the pink Zeus!

For some reason, that reminds me of a WAY back time playing with the boys at a pretty big club here in Denver. The bassist, Jeff, has a 5 string Carvin with the giant inline headstock like this (hat tip Kevio/Carvin museum):
Image
Now Jeff is left handed and we're in the zone and pretty animated. Me and the other guitarist Kenny are right handed, Jeff and Kenny are on the same side of the stage. Jeff swings that giant bass around and clips the headstock of Kenny's guitar....which promptly separates from the neck. :shock: :lol: Those thru-drilled locking nut holes do no favors for strength it turns out. Luckily after the initial shock, we all had a good laugh about it - even Kenny. Good times.
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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby GuitFiddle » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:32 am

canon_mutant wrote:And there's Money For Nothin . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W59BokBrgSU


Cognitive dissonance, but it confirms....it's all about the Indian, not the arrow.
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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby wickid » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:56 am

GuitFiddle wrote:I'm not really sure I could do it myself unless I were playing fusion or some technical prog-rock, neither of which are exactly known for creating particularly engaging live shows since they are really musician's musicians and the audience is there for that reason. For some reason I can picture a patron walking up, looking at the guitar quizzically with their head cocked and their brow furrowed, and asking...."Is it broken??" :lol:

I mean...it just doesn't really work outside that!
Image


I cant help thinking - it looks very "key-tar"-ish to me. :mrgreen:
Like in that shot. I don't hear Eddie playing "Eruption", "Unchained", or "And the Cradle Will Rock".
I hear - "The Final Countdown". :lol:
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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby Jack'O'Licious » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:44 am

GuitFiddle wrote:
UnexplodedCow wrote:I play my headless bass in church every week, as it replaced the P bass I'd played for a couple decades. Two weeks ago I had to cover for guitar, so brought my Z5B for the other guy who plays bass, and I brought my pink Z6X. One person didn't like the looks, particularly of my guitar. I brushed it off, and went forward. Not one person had a bad thing to say about the sound...actually got compliments that week on it. The other bass guy fell in love with my bass; loved the comfort, feel, tone, everything. He's being converted. One boy in the church refers to my guitars as "broken," and gets excited each week to see what I'm going to bring if I'm covering guitar multiple weeks. Sometimes it's my old Guild, or a wild quilted DC127, or a Gretsch, but mostly headless.


For some reason headless bass seems different...they just seem truncated less than the guitars. Good on you for sporting the pink Zeus!

For some reason, that reminds me of a WAY back time playing with the boys at a pretty big club here in Denver. The bassist, Jeff, has a 5 string Carvin with the giant inline headstock like this (hat tip Kevio/Carvin museum):
Image
Now Jeff is left handed and we're in the zone and pretty animated. Me and the other guitarist Kenny are right handed, Jeff and Kenny are on the same side of the stage. Jeff swings that giant bass around and clips the headstock of Kenny's guitar....which promptly separates from the neck. :shock: :lol: Those thru-drilled locking nut holes do no favors for strength it turns out. Luckily after the initial shock, we all had a good laugh about it - even Kenny. Good times.

Haha! I played bass in a band back from 2004-2008 and 1 night I smashed one of the guitar players right in the mouth with a Warwick 5 string headstock. It was a deathmetal/metal core type of band so I was head banging and swinging quite vigorously. All of a sudden I felt a resistance in my back swing and looked over. He had a huge smile with blood pouring out of his mouth and we just started going right back at the headbanging and swinging lol.

Oh to be young, drunk, and crazy again!
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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby helldorado » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:43 pm

I've yet to see anybody gig a headless that didn't look kind of silly with it. I've seen some of the band videos posted on the FB page and some huskier guys with the headless models and it's just not a good look. :( Especially when they try to do some of the classic guitar moves, it just looks so... "off."

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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby canon_mutant » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:25 pm

Well, that does it! I'm not buying one then. Cannot afford to look silly at my age . . . :wall:

Truthfully, I'm more worried about whether I can get the tone I'm looking for? Per my Vader post, I have this Jeff Beck thing I do with a slide and tremolo currently on my Strat but would prefer low frets and headless. Since ALL the videos I can find are just shredded metal, it may not be the right tool for an old tool? Wish I could play one. About everything ends in option 50 so returns are not what they used to be.

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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby GuitFiddle » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:07 am

canon_mutant wrote:Well, that does it! I'm not buying one then. Cannot afford to look silly at my age . . . :wall:

Truthfully, I'm more worried about whether I can get the tone I'm looking for? Per my Vader post, I have this Jeff Beck thing I do with a slide and tremolo currently on my Strat but would prefer low frets and headless. Since ALL the videos I can find are just shredded metal, it may not be the right tool for an old tool? Wish I could play one. About everything ends in option 50 so returns are not what they used to be.


I wouldn't be too concerned about the tone due to it being headless and generally more compact. The response is a bit different from a headstocked guitar with more mass, but it's not a bad thing - it's a bit faster and stringier. Once you own one it becomes clear why the super technical guys love 'em - the playability and way they get out of way not only allows you to play faster and more accurately (at least for me), it makes you want to do so. For me, when it comes to tone the regular caveats apply - outside of electronics the biggest changes are going to come from construction type, pickup placement, etc. For my money I always prefer bolt-ons to neck-through from a response and harmonics standpoint, but YMMV. One thing to note - the Vader has the loathed 'pots crammed against the control cavity wall' thing that Carvin and now Kiesel has always done (until the Osiris and Vader), which means if you want to play around with electronics you can only use mini pots unless you wield a dremel and go to town. This is why you can't get a Vader with Fishmans. Pretty darn irritating, just something to keep in mind. Personally I'd just dremel the thing if I needed to.

The option 50 thing is another discussion entirely. I've lamented it heavily over the last few years. I don't like it, but it is what it is and I can often see why they've taken that position (though sometimes it makes no sense whatsoever). Even outside of option 50s, you now need to be cognizant of restocking fees. :roll:
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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby texastoast » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:19 pm

GuitFiddle wrote:Especially for us taller guys, these things look a little funny hanging off us.
I am 6'3. I am at the stage where I could care less what others think about how I look. But truth be told when I gig with my multi vader it attacks more attention than detracts. People want to know more about both the headless and why the frets are funny looking.

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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby ioneater » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:30 pm

GuitFiddle wrote:I'm not really sure I could do it myself unless I were playing fusion or some technical prog-rock, neither of which are exactly known for creating particularly engaging live shows since they are really musician's musicians and the audience is there for that reason. For some reason I can picture a patron walking up, looking at the guitar quizzically with their head cocked and their brow furrowed, and asking...."Is it broken??" :lol:

I mean...it just doesn't really work outside that!
Image


I can hear the entire 5150 album in my head seeing Eddie with that Steinberger. I think he made it work quite well. He made some really cool noise with the TransTrem or whatever it was called. I have always liked seeing odd shape guitars that were different than the same old LP and Strat designs with different brand names plastered on them.

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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby Casual Madman » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:33 am

I'm a semi-large dude, so even full-size guitars can look smallish on me.
I'm really kind of keen on the new X-Type.

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Re: So...would you play a headless live?

Postby helldorado » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:58 pm

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