You know you need a 640 scale when...

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
User avatar
James Lister
Luthier
Posts: 7395
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:53 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

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

Post by James Lister » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:01 am

OK, I finally gave in and measured mine (no jokes please) at 8 3/4 inches, and I have no problems with a 650 scale (although I have never attempted Bach's Chaconne!)
quixilver wrote:Maximum length of spread from Index finger end tip to Little finger end tip : 16.5 cm
I get that same measurement for my hand - so I think you should be OK with 650.

Having said that, I don't think you lose anything significant in terms of volume/tone with 640 scale - so if you have the option, and think you would be more comfortable with it (or want to attempt the Chaconne), then why not go for 640. Bear in mind though that the distance you will save over your 1st to 4th finger stretch is only about 2mm.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

at_leo_87

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

Post by at_leo_87 » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:52 pm

Fugue wrote:your girly-man hand can't make the stretch in the infamous chord in Bach's Chaconne! (B-flat/F/D/B-flat) :D
what's the actual fingering for this chord. i want to give it a try. see if i'm "man" enough. :D

Kris

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

Post by Kris » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:15 pm

I'd like to join the fun, but I don't have a ruler! :( Second time since joining Delcamp that I need a ruler. Who wudda thunk! :)

John O

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

Post by John O » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:26 pm

at_leo_87 wrote:
Fugue wrote:your girly-man hand can't make the stretch in the infamous chord in Bach's Chaconne! (B-flat/F/D/B-flat) :D
what's the actual fingering for this chord. i want to give it a try. see if i'm "man" enough. :D
B-flat on 5th string first fret
F on 4th string third fret
D on 2nd string third fret
B-flat on first string 6th fret

(Not that it matters for this chord, but the 6th is tuned to D. A far easier fingering is a barre in the 6th position, but since this chord occurs in the middle of a 32nd arpeggio, the first position chord works best to preserve the melodic line.)

Aaron Elkins

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

Post by Aaron Elkins » Fri May 01, 2009 8:25 pm

I have a large hand, but I switched to a 640 Pavan seven or eight months ago and I'm glad I did. It's easier to play, especially if you have physical problems with your left hand. What no one has mentioned is that the shorter length results in slightly less tension on the strings, so they are easier to depress. In fact, I've found that if you want the same tension and brightness you get on a larger instrument with normal strings, you are better off with high tension on a 640.

All that said, it's hard to find much difference between the two. There is no learning curve required. Either one feels quite natural. The only problem--a minor one, quickly overcome--is that with a slightly narrower neck, there's a tendency for the fingers to slip over the edge of the fretboard when playing on the first string.

at_leo_87

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

Post by at_leo_87 » Sat May 02, 2009 6:38 pm

Fugue wrote:
at_leo_87 wrote:
Fugue wrote:your girly-man hand can't make the stretch in the infamous chord in Bach's Chaconne! (B-flat/F/D/B-flat) :D
what's the actual fingering for this chord. i want to give it a try. see if i'm "man" enough. :D
B-flat on 5th string first fret
F on 4th string third fret
D on 2nd string third fret
B-flat on first string 6th fret

(Not that it matters for this chord, but the 6th is tuned to D. A far easier fingering is a barre in the 6th position, but since this chord occurs in the middle of a 32nd arpeggio, the first position chord works best to preserve the melodic line.)
darn! i just tried it. it actually is pretty difficult. guess im lacking some testosterone. :lol:

John O

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

Post by John O » Sat May 02, 2009 7:04 pm

at_leo_87 wrote:
darn! i just tried it. it actually is pretty difficult. guess im lacking some testosterone. :lol:
It's even worse in the context of the piece than in isolation...you have to grab it in a nanosecond!

Kris

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

Post by Kris » Sat May 02, 2009 7:12 pm

Fugue wrote: It's even worse in the context of the piece than in isolation...you have to grab it in a nanosecond!
That's a nasty chord! I can do it, but it takes me a good 3-4 seconds to place the fingers! Somehow I don't think a 640mm scale would make much difference in this case. Maybe a 64mm scale :)

licaptn

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

Post by licaptn » Sun May 03, 2009 12:39 am

Fugue wrote: B-flat on 5th string first fret
F on 4th string third fret
D on 2nd string third fret
B-flat on first string 6th fret
Holy cow! And I thought the stretch in Etude 11 was a knuckle buster.

licaptn

AussieGuitarist

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

Post by AussieGuitarist » Mon May 04, 2009 11:17 am

Ooo, this is fun, What's interesting is how some people have the index finer longer than they're ring finger and visa versa. It certainly affects right hand position, my teacher's wrist on the right hand leans slightly anti-clockwise and his ring finger is the longer, however I'm the opposite.

I think I have big hands, but I'm not sure.
Left Hand:

Thumb - 7.5cm
Index - 9.0cm
Middle - 9.6cm
Ring - 9.4cm
Pinky - 8.2cm

Palm from thumb to pinky maximum: about 24cm.

Wow that's REALLY freaky, my right hand index finger is longer than my ring finger. But My left hand index finger is shorter than my ring finger, anyone else have this?

at_leo_87

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

Post by at_leo_87 » Mon May 04, 2009 4:15 pm

AussieGuitarist wrote:
Wow that's REALLY freaky, my right hand index finger is longer than my ring finger. But My left hand index finger is shorter than my ring finger, anyone else have this?
could this be an illusion created by your long fingernails on your right hand? i just sized up my two hands and my right hand "looks" longer.

hesson11
Posts: 601
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:48 pm

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

Post by hesson11 » Mon May 04, 2009 7:48 pm

You know you need a 640 scale when...


...your 630 scale is just too easy to play.

-Bob

tree-hugger
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:10 am
Location: Wollongong, Australia

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

Post by tree-hugger » Mon May 11, 2009 1:25 am

.. the distance from the tip of your pinky to the tip of your index finger is 14.5 cm at full stretch. Or perhaps even a 630 mm is called for. How I envy the quixilvers and James Listers of this world with their 16.5 cm spans.

George.

User avatar
wazow
Posts: 288
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:15 pm
Location: Warszawa, Poland

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

Post by wazow » Mon May 11, 2009 12:32 pm

AussieGuitarist wrote: Wow that's REALLY freaky, my right hand index finger is longer than my ring finger. But My left hand index finger is shorter than my ring finger, anyone else have this?
I have exactly the same. Although the differences of length between index and ring fingers are not large, so I never noticed this before. Only now when you said this.

Floyd Messina

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

Post by Floyd Messina » Mon May 11, 2009 3:24 pm

My guitar has a 650 scale. To now I never had any problems with it.
Also is the string tension a little higher by a 650 scale. This also has effect on the sound of the guitar.

Floyd

Return to “Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists”