Cigano GJ-15 Playability

conradconrad Toronto, CanadaNew
Hi, friends, okay, I know it's a cheap guitar... but I'm wondering why it feels like my fingers can't move on it. Is it the frets? Or should I switch out strings on it? It came with I think Parisiens? There was a packet of those included, so I just assumed they're the same. Anyway, I did have to move the bridge back out of place, about half a cm to get the intonation correct. Luckily that's an easy modification. So what do I need to do? It's quite good for such a cheap guitar, I must admit, but if you want to play at any speed, I find it very difficult to navigate. The bass strings have no response, but I know that's typical of some Selmer guitars. Anyway, are there any thoughts? I know that a fret level and a new bridge are suggestions, but I'd like to explore less drastic/expensive alterations. I'm literally a young student. The guitar's made for me! haha

Thanks, guys!



  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator
    Posts: 1,018
    in order to get the bass strings to respond you need to use the correct playing techniques. it will come in time.... just practice a lot.

    make sure you buy the gypsy jazz strings with the .11 weight on the high-e string. since you have a 12-fret D-hole, you need the slightly heavier guage.

    yeah, just have the frets dressed a little and it will probably play a little smoother and will not break/cut as many strings.

    also, its hard to believe that you had to move the bridge that much to get the intonation correct. really hard to believe. i would take a second look at it.
  • conradconrad Toronto, CanadaNew
    Posts: 23
    Hi, Thanks, djangology!

    Okay, I did notice some buzz and shakiness on the E string at times, so there must be 10's on there now especially because the other set included are 11's. I'll pop them on.

    And nope, I swear I moved it that much, just measured. But I've seen many photos of Selmer-styles with that alteration right up through the years it seems. Unless there is something else going on with this guitar? I WILL say that the bridge is only 8 or 9/16" tall, which is less than the custom made offered bridges I see around at 11/16, 13/16, and 15/16.

    And the basses... yep I need to practice no doubt, but I've had an American Dell Arte in the past and I know what it's supposed to sound and feel like. But, then again I might just have exposed my unreasonable expectations for this guitar in that last sentence! Cigano's all I could afford now... haha

    One more curiosity... since I never thought about it before... At least on this guitar, even though it's a cheap compensated bridge, it seems as if Selmer bridges are designed in a fashion to produce a gentle slope down from bass to treble. That is to say, the strings are not on the same plane. Is this an invention to facilitate the downstroke technique, or is this a flaw in my particular bridge's workmanship? Nonetheless, it's possible I simply never noticed it on any other guitar. I certainly never examined a guitar this closely before.

    Anyway, thanks a tonne, man. I will have someone look at it and try a different brand of strings, maybe. I won't complain any more though, sorry...

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