Neck Width

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...

Neck Width

Postby Simon Booton-Mander » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:31 pm

Hi All,
Do any of you know of an off the shelf CG that has a wider than usual neck and bigger spacing between strings?

I ask because I am finding it difficult to stop an annoying result of playing some chords. I have very fleshy fingers and if a chord is covering high as well as low strings, the bottom of my 2nd or 3rd fingers touch the string below and it is driving me up the wall as it deadens the string and sounds dreadful.
Kind regards,

Simon.

"Every day I sit down to practice, I do just a little bit more; better, and just a little bit less; badly”.
User avatar
Simon Booton-Mander
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 5:12 am
Location: Briss-sous-Forges, France

Re: Neck Width

Postby arby » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:59 pm

You may be able to gain some room on you present guitar by changing the nut to one with wider spacing, also lowering the action may help.
arby
 
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:45 pm

Re: Neck Width

Postby Aaron Elkins » Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:01 pm

sbooder wrote:Hi All,
Do any of you know of an off the shelf CG that has a wider than usual neck and bigger spacing between strings?

I ask because I am finding it difficult to stop an annoying result of playing some chords. I have very fleshy fingers and if a chord is covering high as well as low strings, the bottom of my 2nd or 3rd fingers touch the string below and it is driving me up the wall as it deadens the string and sounds dreadful.


I have the same frustrating problem...and I don't have fleshy fingers. I don't think thick fingers are the problem, I think it's got to be technique--not coming down on the strings at a 90-degree angle. When I consciously try for that, I do get good results, but it sure doesn't feel natural.

If you want proof that fat fingers don't interfere with clean playing, just look at a video of Andres "Mr. Sausage-fingers" Segovia.
Aaron
User avatar
Aaron Elkins
 
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:16 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA

Re: Neck Width

Postby painter55 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:23 pm

Before spending money on modifying your guitar, or changing your technique to something goofy, I suggest that you have your playing technique analyzed by a professional, who may be able to cure your problem quite easily.

My problem is not fat-fingers, crooked-fingers. I have learned to adapt.
painter55
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:57 pm

Re: Neck Width

Postby daveto » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:42 pm

I have also been curious about neck width and profile. Steel string acoustics and electrics are marketed with a wide variety of neck profiles, depending on players' technique and preference - is there the same variety in off-the-shelf classical guitars? For what it's worth, I am not an advanced player (so the comments on this thread about technique are very useful - thanks!) and my hands/fingers are slim.
Custom Made spruce/rosewood, after 1937 Hauser
User avatar
daveto
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:52 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Neck Width

Postby Mike Spiess » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:05 pm

sbooder - 2-2 1/8" is standard CG nut width I have not seen a commercial made guitar any wider but there are many narrower. Beware of changing the string spacing at the nut as when you play it will be very easy to roll the outside strings off the finger board and that makes an terrible sound. I've tried it.
daveto-Cordoba and Yamaha have many models with narrower nuts 1 3/4"- 1 7/8". The nut on a Fender electric is 1 5/8" the narrowest I own.
You don't stop playing guitar cause your get to old.
You get to old cause you stopped playing guitar.
User avatar
Mike Spiess
Amateur luthier
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:14 pm
Location: St Peter, MN

Re: Neck Width

Postby OldPotter » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:24 pm

Hi
I have only just seen this thread, so apologies if my reply is late. Hanika make a larger version of the standard neck width, I am fairly sure its a special order. If you look at "classical guitars plus" the more expensive Hanika guitars have the option. I have no opinion on the guitars themselves as I have never seen or heard one.
I have altered the nut on my guitar to give a little more room and don't have a problem with strings rolling over the edge. Its a question of how much room there is on the neck and what sort of L.H. technique you have. For answers to that problem you will find more on the Luthiers section.

Regards Tim
"When I was younger, I could remember almost everything, whether it happened or not." Mark Twain
OldPotter
 
Posts: 1155
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:31 pm
Location: Channel Islands

Re: Neck Width

Postby Mousey » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:27 pm

Today I realised that both my nylon strung guitars are about 48mm at the nut.
I seem to remember being aware of this when I got them. I think I thought that since my hands aren't huge, my fingers are skinny and I play other guitars too I'd be better off doing this but I've been having problems touching strings other than the ones I'm playing during scales. Time to get something a bit more standard!
Mousey
 

Re: Neck Width

Postby jazztubes » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:56 pm

I thought I had that problem too - but sitting down for two weeks with nothing but the Giuiani finger exercises and going very slowing and paying attention to my position cured that problem. If you don't have a teacher, it would be worth even one lesson. I have big wide fingers.
"Bach.... should be interpreted, not locked up in a dusty case in a museum with some comb a dead Queen wore in her hair 300 years ago" Organist Virgil Fox
jazztubes
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:20 am
Location: North Beach, NJ

Re: Neck Width

Postby Cary W » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:39 pm

Some makers offer guitars with wider necks...seems to solve some difficulties for players. A local maker who does this: http://pages.videotron.com/jbabic/index_home_en.html

You can even see him playing his work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbWzxzwB3iA
2008 Yamaha GC31C Indian/cedar D'Addario EJ46
User avatar
Cary W
 
Posts: 4442
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:12 pm
Location: North of Montreal

Re: Neck Width

Postby rojarosguitar » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:45 pm

Look at all those oud players who play chords on the oud and sometimes have really fat fingers - and the spacing is much tighter than on the guitar, and no frets at all ...
I agree, somebody with experience and knowledge should watch you playing and help you with correcting some basic left hand techniques.

best wishes

Robert
sbooder wrote:Hi All,
Do any of you know of an off the shelf CG that has a wider than usual neck and bigger spacing between strings?

I ask because I am finding it difficult to stop an annoying result of playing some chords. I have very fleshy fingers and if a chord is covering high as well as low strings, the bottom of my 2nd or 3rd fingers touch the string below and it is driving me up the wall as it deadens the string and sounds dreadful.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...
User avatar
rojarosguitar
 
Posts: 2277
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:24 pm
Location: near Freiburg, Germany

Re: Neck Width

Postby Silverbach » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:43 pm

Just saw this while having a Delcamp walk-about. I have an old Barnes & Mullins Sevilla with a width at the nut that's just a shade under 55mm. Bought it off the auction site at a very good price. The extra width has been very helpful while I work on improving my left hand fingering technique. I noticed a Sevilla listed the other day with a wide neck. They turn up now and then. Nice old guitar and good enough to learn on.

S
IMG_1746_2.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post. Log on to the forum and post a few messages to get permission to view these files.
User avatar
Silverbach
 
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:12 am
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: Neck Width

Postby Mousey » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:12 pm

The only situation where I'd prefer a wider string spacing is when I reach for particular things with my little finger. My slightly small hands might be better suited to a narrower neck overall but I'm going to try a wider one for a while and see how it goes.

I'd very happily go to a good, experienced teacher to help me work out if my hands sitting position etc are correct. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure I wont find one near me.
Maybe I should consider going down to London semi regularly for the odd lesson.
Mousey
 

Re: Neck Width

Postby Mousey » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:06 pm

By the way..
As well as neck width what are peoples thoughts on neck thickness? My guitars are have quite thin necks but I've been visiting my parents and whilst trying a very cheap old guitar with a very thick neck I actually felt a bit more comfortable. Usually I end up slightly twisting my wrist about to keep my thumb from creeping over but with a thicker neck it naturally seems to sit just as method diagrams suggest.
I'm considering buying a Yamaha CG201S which is described as having a thinner neck so some opinions on this would be really helpful.
If that all makes sense....
Mousey
 

Re: Neck Width

Postby James Lister » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:51 pm

Mousey wrote:As well as neck width what are peoples thoughts on neck thickness?


I make mine 21-22mm thick at the nut, and 24-25mm just before the heel. There is sometimes an assumption that the thinner the neck, the easier it is to play, but there does seem to be an optimum thickness, below which the player experiences more left hand strain, and that optimum varies from player to player (mostly related to hand size I presume). You need to try some guitars with different neck thicknesses (and perhaps shapes), to find what works best for you.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK
User avatar
James Lister
Moderator & Luthier
Moderator & Luthier
 
Posts: 5201
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:53 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Next

Return to Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 12 guests