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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope you folks can shed some light on this.

The combo you see below is quite comfortable for me:



But I read an article recently re skinny necks & how awful they are for chording, especially with larger hands.

(I don't think my hands are large per-se, they are long-ish though.)

Yet, I find my tele infinitely more comfortable than my 339 for rhythm work.
I get less fatigued / strained playing rhythm on a thin small neck.
And I find the 339's fatter, wider neck more comfortable for lead - more space for quick finger placement & bends.

I understand "whatever works for ya works for ya" - but this seems contradictory / abnormal off hand, no pun intended.

So what's the generally accepted theory of what neck widths/profiles work best with what sorts of hand anatomy?

I'd also be curious if anyone else plays with a seemingly odd mismatch in this dept.
 

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A 1 3/4" nut width is the narrowest I want to go an 1 7/8" the widest although 2" is better than something narrower than 1 3/4".
 

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Hope you folks can shed some light on this.

The combo you see below is quite comfortable for me:
What is the radius of the fb? A lot of people feel smaller radius guitars are easier to chord and flatter fbs are easier for lead. Some Fenders are as small(round) as 7.25", Gibsons are 12"that might be part of it.

Edit:
From a guitarist’s viewpoint, fingerboard radius has to do with feel and playability and is completely subjective; no radius is better or worse. It’s a personal choice that has to do with fitting your hand and playing style. A rounder fingerboard radius tends to fit the natural, relaxed curve of your fingers, which is great for playing in lower neck positions, chords, and barre chords anywhere on the neck. A flatter radius gives a more consistent and even playing surface, which is great for string bending and moving quickly and efficiently across the fingerboard vertically, especially in higher positions.

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/what-is-fingerboard-radius/
 

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I don't think there's any rhyme or reason to it. Your preferences are going to start forming with your first guitar(s), and they will change as you get older and your needs, tastes and body change.

I have no reason to like 1" boatneck profiles except that I find them comfortable for some reason. So I got one.
 

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the neck profile I struggle with is a "flattened C". That lack of thickness messes me up for some reason, my hand doesn't know what to do, how to float over that empty space on the back of the neck. Aside from those, I can get used to just about anything as far as width goes. Although I do like 1-11/16+ and a short scale. Like Budda said, it changes as I age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What is the radius of the fb? A lot of people feel smaller radius guitars are easier to chord and flatter fbs are easier for lead....
I don't have a gauge, but with a bit of help from Pythagoras, I'm gonna take a guess it's ~10".
Great insights Rozz, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the neck profile I struggle with is a "flattened C". That lack of thickness messes me up for some reason, my hand doesn't know what to do, how to float over that empty space on the back of the neck. Aside from those, I can get used to just about anything as far as width goes. Although I do like 1-11/16+ and a short scale. Like Budda said, it changes as I age.
Right, interesting, thanks.
I'm not sure of my neck profile, but @ 12th it's 2" wide & 7/8" thick at the centre.
 

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I don't have a gauge, but with a bit of help from Pythagoras, I'm gonna take a guess it's ~10".
Great insights Rozz, thanks.
The most common profile on Fenders is 9.5" apparently, so Pythagoras got you pretty darn close. +1 for using Trig to figure out a Geometry problem. ;-)

I was just playing my brothers 1972 (I think) Tele. He brought it over to see if I could set it up a little better. It is a nice guitar, but it has a 7.25 radius and he was experiencing note-choke when he was bending on the higher frets. I got it so you could bend notes without them choking out, but I had to raise the action a bit(which was not what I hoped for) and adjust the string heights at the bridge to follow the radius properly.

Here is a good/short article that is Fender specific:

What Is Fingerboard Radius?
 

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There's also fret size in there too. My squier classic vibe tele has a thin neck with short frets. I have a peavey with about the same thickness neck but taller frets and I find it easier and more comfortable to play.
My Les Paul with 0.84" at the first fret and medium height frets is almost perfect for me.

As for nut width... I recently got a Strat Mini, because I thought I could use it as a travel guitar...except it has a 40mm nut. I can play it but the strings are closer together. I'll give it a try but it's a big change from everything else.
 

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I don't think there's any rhyme or reason to it.
Same here.

I have four dreds that I use a lot and 3 electrics which also get used a lot. All of them have different necks but I switch between them without it having any noticeable effect on my playing.

I like the V neck on my HD28V because the V distributes pressure more evenly than the C shapes and for acoustic that helps because you use more grip strength with them than on an electric however the C necks on my D18 and HD35 are not in any way problematic for me. Then there’s the nut width on my mandolin which is a different ball game altogether but even though I wear a size large glove I don’t find the mandolin too difficult to play.
 

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Insight please. Why?
I have extra large hands and fingers. I also play classic style with my thumb behind the neck, never over the top. My hand size would never allow that style as you need a narrow neck to do so.

When I first started playing I had a hard time playing clean on the guitar I had at the time (1 11/16" nut). I voiced this on a couple of forums and was told to keep practicing and the problem would go away. Well, it got slightly better but definitely didn't go away. So I did some research and found there were guitars with wider necks. After many months of playing with the narrow neck guitar, I got one with a 1 7/8" neck. Problem solved. Bringing this up on a few threads, I found others had the same problem for the same reason as me; large hands and fingers. Martin has most of their models now with 1 3/4" wide necks and Taylor offer many of their guitars with different widths which is the ultimate for a mfr. in my opinion. Alvarez are 95% 1 3/4" as well as many others. Gibson, Fender and Gretsch are mainly narrow. My point is we should never tell a new player what is best for them, rather offer an opinion but leave it as an opinion only and not be adamant that what they say is the only way to go. We don't want to be responsible for frustrating new players and maybe even have them quit because they are led to believe there are no other options.
 
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I have numerous guitars I play and no 2 necks are the same. its a bit of a transition switching between acoustic and electric. I used to complain my hands were too small but after playing for a while I can do a lot of things I could not as a noob.
 

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I hate playing thin necks when I'm doing chords and long periods of rhythm playing. Strains my thumb, I however do tend to play more classical style thumb on back of the neck.
I have a hard V on a tele and it seems to balance a lot out but no way am I shredding on that neck
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I like the V neck on my HD28V because the V distributes pressure more evenly than the C shapes.

I have a hard V on a tele and it seems to balance a lot out but no way am I shredding on that neck

@Wardo , @TDeneka re: V's distributing pressure better. Could you explain that a bit, I'm learning a neck of a lot here.

Edit: I seriously did not mean to type a neck of a lot. I meant heck of a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
...it has a 7.25 radius and he was experiencing note-choke when he was bending on the higher frets. I got it so you could bend notes without them choking out, but I had to raise the action a bit(which was not what I hoped for) and adjust the string heights at the bridge to follow the radius properly..
'Note choke' - I'm guessing that means a fret further on interfering with sustain of a played note? How does a smaller radius neck exaggerate that problem?

(This is really informative, thanks guys. Ask me anything re electronics/pedals & I'll geek out. I set up my guitars myself & am pretty handy with hardware generally, but I'll be the first to admit I don't know enough gear terminology.)
 
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