Fretboard - wide or narrow?

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Poldy

Fretboard - wide or narrow?

Postby Poldy » Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:15 pm

I played for about 5y on guitar with wide (classic) fretboard, but now I am going to buy "electro" classical guitar, which has narrow (not big difference in size) fretboard...

Guitar is Ibanez GA5WCE...
http://www.guitar.com.au/guitars/acoust ... WCENT.html

Are there any disadventages while playing (fingerpick) classical songs on narrow fretboard?

Thank you.

krist

Postby krist » Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:07 pm

I have no experience with cutaways but I think that classical music must be played at a classical guitar. I am rather onservative by that.
Like I say I have no experience with cutaways: what is the reaon of a cutaway anyway? It's no classical guitar, it's no folk-guitar neither. Waht is it?I know that these instruments are expencive.
So why not invest in a real good classical guitar?

dhwebb

Postby dhwebb » Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:02 pm

The guitar he listed is called a classical guitar, just with an Ibanez twist to it I guess. I would think that the narrower neck might be easier on small hands, but I like my standard width cg. I've also heard that a cutaway can cause issues with the sound the instrument makes.

Not to knock Ibanez at all, but the heart of their products are electric guitars. I think there are better makers of classicals out there for the same price.

Brent

Re: Fretboard - wide or narrow?

Postby Brent » Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:05 am

Poldy wrote:Are there any disadventages while playing (fingerpick) classical songs on narrow fretboard?


Yes. The classical neck is the width it is because that's a width that works very well for the kind of music that is played on this kind of instrument. How's that for circular logic?

Classical guitar music places very high demands on both hands, and the spacing between strings makes a significant difference to the way an instrument feels. When I pull out my Taylor 6-string after having focused on classical exclusively for some time, I almost can't play it. My hands feel constrained.

Partially, it's what you get used to. I think these kinds of cross-over instruments are designed for steel string and electric players who want the sound of the nylon strings, but don't want to make the radical change to a 50mm nut.

Personally, I would seek out a traditional classical guitar if you want to play classical music.

Have you actually played this instrument? How does it feel to you? How does it sound?

Brent

Piper
Posts: 119
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 4:22 pm

Postby Piper » Fri Jun 30, 2006 6:19 am

Hi,

I got a CG with 52/62 mm width,
and my "good one" has even 54/64 mm.
I got a steelstring with a narrow fretboard as well,
and it´s really difficult to change between the instruments.
I just need the space to produce a clear sound.

Greetings!
Piper

Poldy

Postby Poldy » Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:34 am

Yes, I already played this guitar. It is low budget guitar, so there is no big difference in tone compared to other classical guitars in this "budget" class.
The feeling under fingers... I don't know... there is difference.

Now I am confused... I dont' remember, is there everything narrower, or is just fretboard and the spacings are the same... I have to look again.
I will try to search guitar this kind, but with wide fretboard...

lehndal

Postby lehndal » Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:21 am

krist wrote:I have no experience with cutaways but I think that classical music must be played at a classical guitar. I am rather onservative by that.
Like I say I have no experience with cutaways: what is the reaon of a cutaway anyway? It's no classical guitar, it's no folk-guitar neither. Waht is it?I know that these instruments are expencive.
So why not invest in a real good classical guitar?


I have two guitars with cutaway and I wish my Sakurai had a cutaway too. Why? Elementary my dear Watson; my slightly arthritic fingers like it.

And whatever they like, I like too……

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slidika
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:51 pm
Location: Zebulon, NC

Postby slidika » Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:32 am

I have heard from my instructor that: (1) cutaways never ever sound quite as good as full bodied instruments; (2) the main reason for the cutaway is to make it easier to reach the higher frets. My 2 cents -- I am not sure I can hear the difference (I am kinda old, anyway), and I am still meandering around in the 1st and 2nd positions on guitar.
Whenever I am not ready for my music lesson, I call it 'facing the music'.

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Richard Judge
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 3:46 pm
Location: England UK

Postby Richard Judge » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:29 pm

My guitar has a narrow fret board (much narrower than the one in your picture) but I am hoping to get a wider one.
The narrow board causes my fingers to catch the strings and encourages use of finger 3 instead of 4 on the left hand (Laziness I know).

Poldy

Postby Poldy » Sat Jul 01, 2006 7:27 am

I found similar model of this guitar, which have wide fretboard.
But then, I also need sound efect, and for that money I can buy nice "clasic" classical guitar :D with far more better sound...

I have to sleep over it, but I think I will buy standard CG.

jnicholas

Postby jnicholas » Sat Jul 01, 2006 7:38 pm

My first guitar was a takemine with a narrow neck and a cutaway. I bought it without knowing any better but it was the only guitar I played for a long time. I later majored in classical guitar and after a year they told me to get a traditional classical. At first I was a little offended. After all I was playing the material well and I didn't have much money.

Once I got a traditional guitar though, I saw the difference really quickly. It was actually a easier to play in most ways. The narrow neck of my old guitar had been making a lot of the more intricate pieces much more difficult. The sound difference was night and day and my new guitar wasn't hi-end at all.

That said, I think my guitar neck was narrow even by cutaway standards, almost as narrow as a typical electric guitar. I think many current cutaways are wider and might create the same problems.

It is also worth noting that the guitars of Sor and Giuliani's generation were smaller, they even played by rolling the thumb over the neck to fret the 6th string like blues players do. But even Sor is hard to play on my old guitar so I'm guessing other factors still come into it.

kampf

Postby kampf » Sun Jul 02, 2006 5:59 am

Brent said

"Yes. The classical neck is the width it is because that's a width that works very well for the kind of music that is played on this kind of instrument. How's that for circular logic?"


Correct me if i'm wrong as i don't claim to be an expert, but it was my understanding that the wide neck width and size on the traditional CG guitar is that way to prevent the neck from warping producing fret buzz.

I don't think most traditional CG nylon/gut stringed guitars in the past had metal stabilizer bars in the neck like some new ones do now which is why the necks are getting smaller in diameter and width in the modern age as the use of these stabilizer bars increases.

kampf.

Brent

Postby Brent » Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:22 am

kampf wrote:Correct me if i'm wrong as i don't claim to be an expert, but it was my understanding that the wide neck width and size on the traditional CG guitar is that way to prevent the neck from warping producing fret buzz.


I don't claim to have the complete answer, either. Certainly, the wider neck adds stiffness and better resists bending. Speaking only from a structural point of view, though, a thicker neck would much more efficiently resist bending than a wider one - in the same way that floor joists are installed on edge for maximum strength.

What I can say is that I find the wider neck much more comfortable to play when I'm playing the intricate pieces in the classical repertoire.

Brent

spiderjames

Postby spiderjames » Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:49 pm

I believe the guitar must fit the player to allow him/her to produce the best performance. Jnicholas made an interesing point. Most all of the native guitar composers of the 19th century such as Sor, Aguado, Coste etc... played on guitars much smaller than modern classicals. These guitars varied a lot in dimensions with nut width in the 45mm range or smaller in many cases. I have one with a 40 mm nut width, a bit too small. The scale also varied dramatically and supposedly the luthier would try to match the instrument to the size of the performer. Many of these guitars sound beautiful and are IMHO often more balanced between bass and treble than the modern instruments, particularly modern cedar top guitars. I find all pieces to be easier for me to reach on a shorter scale guitar with a slightly smaller neck width 45-46mm.

Poldy

Postby Poldy » Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:53 am

Last weekend I tried all three kinds of guitars - classical (52mm), acoustic (46mm) and electric (40mm)...

In my (amateur) opinion I think that you can easely play barre, chords and solo (over one string) on narrow fretboard, but when it comes to more "complex" classical songs, you definately need more space with left hand - it is almost impossible for me to pull off 3. string and don't hit the 2. string on narrow fretboard.


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