You know you need a 640 scale when...

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
Beth F-R

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by Beth F-R » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:25 pm


I've just read this thread from beginning to end. Some people have posted the dimensions of their hands, so I thought I'd measure my left hand. If I've read the thread correctly, I think I have the smallest hands here, (of those who've declared their hand sizes).

Thumb to pinky = 18 cm
Index to pinky = 14 cm

Index = 6.8 cm
Middle = 7.2 cm
Ring = 6.4 cm
Pinky = 5 cm
Not that this is a "contest' I'd want to "win," but my lh is actually smaller than this:

Thumb to pinky = 18
Index to pinky = 13.5

Index = 6.5
Middle = 6.9
Ring = 5.9
Pinky = 4.4, and it's bent

Put it this way: My ten year old's hands are already bigger than mine. No amount of stretching is going to give me longer fingers, so I'm going for the shorter scale. I also have learned that I like a string spacing of 41 mm, but I do not like a very narrow nut. 50mm seems optimal to me.

Nice to know there are others out there who are "manually challenged"!

Beth F-R

ben etow
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Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by ben etow » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:48 am

Beth F-R wrote:Thanks for the recommendation. I suspect the Joie is probably out of my budget range, though ($3K max).

Cheers,
Beth
Unfortunately you're right... For a cheaper alternative, I would contact Liikanen in Finland. I only tried a (very good) 650, but they seem to propose 640, 650 and 660 scales for a standard price. So I guess they would consider making a 630.
They also had a budget range with a 615 model I tried, which was good too (too small for me though).
I hope you'll find your dream guitar...

Cheers.
Ben

AndreiKrylov

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by AndreiKrylov » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:23 pm

ben etow wrote:
Beth F-R wrote:Thanks for the recommendation. I suspect the Joie is probably out of my budget range, though ($3K max).

Cheers,
Beth
Unfortunately you're right... For a cheaper alternative, I would contact Liikanen in Finland. I only tried a (very good) 650, but they seem to propose 640, 650 and 660 scales for a standard price. So I guess they would consider making a 630.
They also had a budget range with a 615 model I tried, which was good too (too small for me though).
I hope you'll find your dream guitar...

Cheers.
Ben
Why just 640 mm or 630 mm or 615 mm ?
Here on video I play 350 mm :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5JKVyRk-rY

Jay

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by Jay » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:01 am

Adapting from a larger scale to smaller is easy.
The reverse ie going back to 650 after using a 640 mm scale lenght guitar is also something to consider.
The player might not have his guitar with him and be given on to play on wich will probably be a 650mm.

soltirefa
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Location: Southern California

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by soltirefa » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:00 pm

Jay wrote:Adapting from a larger scale to smaller is easy.
The reverse ie going back to 650 after using a 640 mm scale lenght guitar is also something to consider.
The player might not have his guitar with him and be given on to play on wich will probably be a 650mm.
I have found going back to a 650mm from a 630mm actually feels easier, I believe because you get used to playing with less space and then suddenly having tons of room feels really easy. Playing a short scale guitar forces you to place your fingers very exactly, or else you end up making string noise or having an adjacent string buzz as it hits a fretted finger.

Bottom line is that each scale has its advantages and disadvantages. Most people go to a shorter scale to get easier reaches, but oddly enough sometimes a longer scale has easier reaches with certain chords because of the extra space and therefore more leverage you get.

One of the last things I expected when I got my 630mm is that it made me like my 650mm guitars so much more. I like both scale lengths for what they have to offer. There is no magic bullet. Some pieces feel better with one scale length, others with another. When I see discussions where people adamantly insist one scale is superior to the other I laugh to myself. They're both good for different reasons.

simonm
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Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by simonm » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:56 pm

soltirefa wrote: When I see discussions where people adamantly insist one scale is superior to the other I laugh to myself. They're both good for different reasons.
We used to say "horses for courses" but I guess that betrays both my age and background. Haven't heard it for decades.

Frances McMahon

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by Frances McMahon » Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:45 am

Interesting stuff here.
I went to a concert recently where the guitarist was a brilliant young lady with the tiniest hands. I asked her if she played a 650mm scale guitar. She did! I guess at the end of the day, it's what you get used to.
I started playing with a 3/4 size guitar with a scale of 615mm. It was great to start off with, as the stretches are easier, but so hard to avoid string buzzing at the higher registers! My thumb to pinky is 22cm, so it was time to graduate. The 650 is perfect. I have also played a 664mm scale without too many issues.

mymintpark
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:46 pm

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by mymintpark » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:04 pm

Lots of big hands on this Forum! - I wonder if most of these are men’s hands? Women seems to say that they are women (as am I :). My stretch is 20cm / 16cm, amongst the few smaller ones here. I always thought I have big hands but apparently not. And I have just ordered a Cordoba Dolce 7/8 w 63cm and 50mm fretboard, which what got me onto this Forum and very i teresting discussion from years ago but fresh as a daisy. Hopefully a little less straining with the new guitar then the full size with 65cm and 52mm.
Better late than never ~—<•>

Scott Phillips
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:16 pm

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by Scott Phillips » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:31 am

mymintpark wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:04 pm
Lots of big hands on this Forum! - I wonder if most of these are men’s hands? Women seems to say that they are women (as am I :). My stretch is 20cm / 16cm, amongst the few smaller ones here. I always thought I have big hands but apparently not. And I have just ordered a Cordoba Dolce 7/8 w 63cm and 50mm fretboard, which what got me onto this Forum and very i teresting discussion from years ago but fresh as a daisy. Hopefully a little less straining with the new guitar then the full size with 65cm and 52mm.
My stretch is 22cm/17cm. The individual finger lengths are 8/9/8/6 all in cm. Yes I am a man, but my pinky is short. I have played 640, 650, currently playing 655, and don’t notice any effects, until I play a guitar longer than 660mm. My electric guitar is 610mm/24 inches. However the neck is 1 and 1/4 inch thick at the zero fret, and the nut width is 49mm, which is big for an electric. I can’t play my wife’s 3/4 (610mm) classical guitar due to the 48mm nut. Too skinny. The string spacing is really close.

celestemcc
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by celestemcc » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:18 pm

This also has effect on the sound of the guitar.
The difference of 10mm, or even 24mm, doesn't necessarily make for a lack of volume though... I play a 640 scale Connor that has greater volume and better tone than my '78 Ramirez 1a (and it's not a double-top). One difference is spruce vs cedar... but the point is that smaller scale guitars can easily sound just as big and full.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

SleepyheadRooster
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Location: Oregon

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by SleepyheadRooster » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:02 pm

...when I get the email saying my 640mm GV Rubio Estudio is completed. Today!

I haven’t measured my hands, but I’m 6 feet tall. I’ve played steel string all my life, and I sit in the singer/songwriter position witt the guitar on my right leg - the wrong leg for proper classical guitar technique. The little bit shorter scale length is easier in terms of stretches. I can play 650mm, but since I’m playing classical guitar for me own pleasure I prefer a more comfortable scale (and slightly narrower nut with).

I’m excited to get my guitar! Soon!

Cheers
Best,
Chuck

ashepps
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by ashepps » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:05 pm

I love my 1986 Asturius 630mm, it has a full body and the great sound to go with it. So much better for me, since I sold my 663mm 2 years ago.

Thinking back, since my hands are small I might have liked the 615 even better!

Alan
Last edited by ashepps on Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Alan Sheppard
1986 630mm Asturias JM-15 Spruce
1955 650mm Framus SL-32R
2015 650mm Yamaha SLG110N

GuitarsWeB
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Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:55 pm

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by GuitarsWeB » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:09 pm

Who was the maker of your old 663mm guitar?

ashepps
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Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:06 pm
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: You know you need a 640 scale when...

Post by ashepps » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:32 am

I just made a correction to my above post, my guitar is a 630mm not 640mm and full size body. It is about an inch or so shorter than my 663mm.

The 663mm was a very nice and top of the line guitar when purchased. It was a 1974 Yamaha GC-20D handmade by Toshio Kato. It had Jacaranda back and sides, Honduras Mahogany neck and a Japanese cedar top with lots of purfling. I was truly sorry to see it go. In my opinion, the sound was fantastic, but it was too big for my small hands. It was also old on this forum, perhaps that information is still available. It would be about two years ago.

Alan
Alan Sheppard
1986 630mm Asturias JM-15 Spruce
1955 650mm Framus SL-32R
2015 650mm Yamaha SLG110N

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