Hand and wrist fatigue when playing Gibson ES-339

Why is my ES-339 giving me some serious hand/wrist fatigue that I don't seem to get so much on other guitars? All my guitars are strung with the same 10-46 strings and downtuned to E-flat. I thought that the shorter scale of the Gibson would put less stress on my hands compared to my strat guitars. Sometimes when playing the 339, my hand cramps up along the pinky finger side and my wrist aches quite a bit. It usually happens when barring chords for some reason. 
I'm thinking it might be something to do with the scale length , the frets, or the fretboard radius. My strats both have 9.5 inch boards - one with vintage frets, and the other with medium jumbo. The medium jumbo fretted guitar is easily the most comfortable to play, yet it is by far the cheapest - a Chinese partscaster I threw together.
Anyway, just wondering if anyone else had similar issues, and how they dealt with it. Cheers.
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Comments

  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 914
    Which neck version does your 339 have? They were sold with a choice of fat-ish '50s neck or slimmer '60s profile. Is the neck profile of your 339 noticeably different to the Strats? Probably the fretboard radius of the Gibson is greater than the Strats. I had a 339 with sixties neck some years ago and found it pretty comfortable to play alongside my Teles.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2168
    Check the neck position of your Strat compared with your 339. It will be at a different height, angle to the vertical, and angle to the plane of your body. The two styles of guitar hang differently because they are different shapes, and the 12th fret will be at a different position because of its relationship to the strap button. 

    Neck profile can be part of the story. There’s also distance from your body and angle from your chest. These may require you to have your guitar strap longer or shorter to put your fretting hand in a comfortable position. 

    Most people wear a Gibson higher than they wear a Fender. For example, PRS:


    Telecaster:

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  • http://www.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2015/Memphis/ES-339-Studio.aspx

    I have the 'Traditional C' neck with a 12 inch radius. I'm not really sure how that compares to other Gibbys, but it's not very deep. It feels good for an hour or two, then the cramps start. 
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  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 914
    http://www.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2015/Memphis/ES-339-Studio.aspx

    I have the 'Traditional C' neck with a 12 inch radius. I'm not really sure how that compares to other Gibbys, but it's not very deep. It feels good for an hour or two, then the cramps start. 
    Ah, it's the Studio model so disregard my comments about 50s and 60s neck profiles, they only apply to the regular model not the Studio. In that case check the points @Roland mentions. It could be playing position or perhaps just the flatter Gibson fretboard compared to the Fenders. The specs you posted mention a thickening of the neck at the nut end to strengthen the neck joint. Do the hand cramps occur right across the neck?
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  • DeijavooDeijavoo Frets: 3107
    I had this problem after only playing a 339 for years and then getting a WT PRS. The PRS caused all sorts of weird pains in my left hand. It went away after a while.
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  • Jimbro66 said:
    http://www.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2015/Memphis/ES-339-Studio.aspx

    I have the 'Traditional C' neck with a 12 inch radius. I'm not really sure how that compares to other Gibbys, but it's not very deep. It feels good for an hour or two, then the cramps start. 
    Ah, it's the Studio model so disregard my comments about 50s and 60s neck profiles, they only apply to the regular model not the Studio. In that case check the points @Roland mentions. It could be playing position or perhaps just the flatter Gibson fretboard compared to the Fenders. The specs you posted mention a thickening of the neck at the nut end to strengthen the neck joint. Do the hand cramps occur right across the neck?
    The cramp usually occurs when I bar higher up - around the 10th fret where the neck gets wider. I usually have my guitar slung higher up these days, so I can see what I'm doing.  I played slimmer Fender style necks for years , and I use the thumbover the top technique. Would a deeper rounder neck be more appropriate for that style?
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