Guitar with slim necks?

Guitar with slim necks?

Hello there,

So after almost a year of my brother playing guitar, I *finally* decided to give it a go when he wasn’t around… Re-tuned it to DADGAD and now I’m in love.

SOOOOO. YEAH! Problem is, the neck is just too wide for my hands so I definitely want something slimmer without compromising… err. sound I suppose? Volume? I really don’t know what I’m talking about since I don’t know too much about guitars so yeah back to the question…

Can anyone reccommend a good guitar with a slim neck?

Thanks in advance!

Cheers,
Armand

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Neck width problems? Welcome to the world of guitar playing! I know a guy who takes a flat file to his Strat necks!

I think you you’re new to it, and need to let your hand become accustomed to playing an acoustic’s neck. As far as acoustics go, there are varying neck shapes/widths but they’re all pretty fat, and and compared to a fiddle they’re monsters. Keep playing with what you’ve got and the problem will likely go away. Then you’ll know what you really want/need in a guitar neck.

What are you playing on now? Since you’re inexperienced with guitar models, if you *need* to buy something then my best (only) advice would be to go to the store, check out your price range, and try the neck widths until one works. It’s sort of like buying shoes.

Then come back and wind everyone up over something guitar-related.

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

When I was young I tied to learn on a guitar my father found at a bus stop (I hasten to add that he handed it in to the police, and we were allowed to collect it once they’d held it for six months without anyone claiming it). I found the whole thing very difficult because I couldn’t form a chord without muting the strings on either side of my fingers. Years later I borrowed a friends guitar and could play it immediately because the neck was about twice as wide - it felt like there was a complete finger’s width between strings. To say that all guitar necks are pretty fat is simply wrong in my experience. I was subsequently told that the one we found may well have been for Spanish music, where apparently a thinner neck is beneficial. I’ve certainly seen beginner’s models with very chunky necks, which made forming some chords difficult even for me (I can span twelve notes on a piano, so my finger’s ain’t short). Definately keep shopping till you find the one that suits you.

Eno

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

these ones are no good acoustic but if you ever take to the stage these are the bees knees
http://www.elmusic.co.uk/images/products/large/godin_a6.gif


Godin A6 are known for their sleek thin necks it feels like the fingerboard on a fender strat, for acoustic some takamines have nice thin necks

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Seagul have a slim neck (not the birds though)

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Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Play a quality guitar with any size neck. Eventually you will find it easy to play and neck-width not an issue at all; in fact the least of your guitar concerns. The neck is not "too wide for my hands"… you just need to practice. No worries:)

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Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Sorry Farr, I disagree with you re guitar neck size - it depends on the individual, their playing style, and other variables, eg whether that person has a little bit of arthritis - very common in musicians hands. I know this from my own experience - if I try to do some of the stretches I’m used to doing on a guitar with either a wide fingerboard or a thick neck (especially a thick neck) - within 5 minutes I’m having problems with joint pains. Have you looked at any of the Tanglewood guitars? Good tone, excellent value for all-wood "hand-crafted" instruments, and comfortable to play. I recently bought a Tanglewood TW73 , which is a small-bodied instrument, and I’m very, very impressed with it so far.

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Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Hi Armand.
If your just beginig, Tanglewood do a fantastic guitar, its god really nice action and a slim enough neck, shouldn’t be too hard for you, has a lovely tone too.. and a maple fretboard.
Its the best value guitar i’ve ever seen, i bought one myself cause its a great deal.
Its a Tanglewood ‘Seagull’. (not a seagull Guitar)

John B

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Squiresfan

There is indeed a Tanglewood Seagull,
however I was referring to THE Seagull guitar (http://www.seagullguitars.com)

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Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Have a go at playing a 13-course lute. That puts everying else into its proper perspective.

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Is the problem the fretboard width or the neck thickness ?

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Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Good afternoon!

I would recommend a baritone ukulele.
I use one for backing at a South London session and it has many advantages over the dreaded six-string devil.

(i) They have a thin neck (and four strings!) and may be suited to the old fiddle playing chaps.
(ii) They are cheap!
(iii) They are quiet and subtle but can hold down a beautiful groove and blend in mixing perfectly with the boxes left hand playing and the pipes’ hoovers
(iv) They also add a rhythmic interest that does turn the whole shebang into a hand drum clinic
(v) This is due to nylon (or ideally gut strings) and no plectrum
(vi) Only conventional tunings are worthwhile (none of your DADGAG nonsense!)
(vii) You have to learn “proper chords”
(viii) They are small & light to carry around
(ix) The bottom string is a D and can play lovely drones and simple chording above it. This means the second fret is an E which is also perfect for an awful lot of stuff (Eminor and its derivatives). The next string up is a G and the second fret there is an A.
(x) If you get a tenor the bottom string is a G (and the above applies but a fourth up for G and Am et cetera…).
(xi) I sometimes take the baritone and the tenor to sessions (a spin off of smallness & lightness).
(xii) You can wear a blazer and boater and play jazz in a punt authentically.
(xiii) It can sound very harp-like when playing
(xiv) It has a slight banjo-like ambiance for the background wash of the session (as opposed to the horrid clang-clang of the metal strung six-string devil)
(xv) They always have a certain Stanshall-ness that can usually raise a smile!

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

I have guitars with all types of necks. One old favorite has a wider than usual one, but is flat in back, making it really easy to play. I have come to like the standard Martin type neck the best for my hand though.

To make playing easier as a beginner, I would get something with a really standard generic neck, Seagull, is good, a Martin style neck is copied all over the place, very common. I would either get extra light strings, it will make things easier, they don’t sound as good, but you can change them later. If that doesn’t do it, lower them a half step below pitch, and they are real easy to play. If you have to play with others, capo at the first fret (just under it).

You might find with a super slim neck, down the line, esp for fingerstyle playing, you will eventually want something a little wider.

You need to build up some different left hand (assuming you are a righty) and arm muscles than you likely use on fiddle, just practice and it will happen. Things will be easier after that.

As a last resort, if you want to spend some extra money, a luthier can adapt the neck for you or retro-fit it with a new neck to your specifications.

Try a Bouzar

I was a similar situation - tried guitar and ended up aggravating my tendonitis. Then one day I tried a bouzouki at a session…

Now my day-to-day instrument is an 8-string bouzar built by David MacDonald of Huntersville, North Carolina. It has a guitar body and an octave mandolin (23" scale) neck. Easier on the hands than a regular guitar neck by far, and it sounds much more like a rich 12-string guitar than a bouzouki.

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

FiddlinViolin, DADGAD? After all the fine EADGBE playing you have been exposed to over the years at Wards? I am shocked, shocked…………..

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Armand,

Guitar neck THICKNESS and guitar neck WIDTH are 2 different issues. From your post, it sounds to me like you are talking about guitar neck THICKNESS, but I am not sure, and have witnessed and experienced discussions in which participants were confusing the two.

Guitarists frequently have strong preferences concerning both neck thickness and neck width. I don’t believe that their is a "right" answer, other than what works well for each individual. Personally, I like very thin necks. My primary instrument is a nylon string Parker Fly, which has a very thin neck. For acoustics, my wife has a Taylor steel string which has a pretty thin neck, definitely thinner than my Takamine, as we re-discovered last night when switching the same capo bar from the Takamine to the Taylor. Godins do have pretty thin necks, are excellent guitars and although primarily used as electric acoustics, have better volume than many electric acoustics. I believe that I read that Emerald Guitars, which are acoustic, use a Parker neck, which would be very thin. All of these guitars are somewhat pricey.

Hope this helps………

Best always,
Tom

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Beg F

Didn’t mean to cause confusion there. I wasnt disagreeing with you, just emphasising that there was no relation to the seagull brand guitar you were on about and the tanglewood seagull :)

John B

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Good afternoon, Armand

What you want to do is play a classical guitar (i.e. the kind that uses nylon strings) for a while, then switch over to a steel-string. The difference in the width of the neck, well, makes all the difference.

Cheers

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

It depends on what you mean by "wide" - as in the reach from the frets to the back of the neck (where your thumb might be) or as in the distance between the two E strings? If it’s the first one, Yamaha’s have quite slim (in that sense) necks, although they are a bit of an odd shape (kinda D-ish shaped!!) If it’s the second issue, different guitars have different widths, and one which is intended for strumming will have closer strings than one intended for fingerpicking (or flatpicking).

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

While not really an ITM-style guitar, Ovation guitars tend to have narrow and thin necks — more like an electric guitar. I own both an Ovation and a Martin…like’em both, but tend to lean toward the Ovation as the favorite.

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Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Hi John B, I realise that, no worries.

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Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Martin offers a variety of neck profiles, if you order through their custom shop. It costs only a little extra. But first try lots of instruments.

After you’ve played a while, you’ll refine your preferences.

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

As an aside , anyone got any recommendations for LOUD acoustic guitars?

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Aye pickerman, you must be after a Loud ‘un…;-)

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Re: Guitar with slim necks?

That is, a Lowden, I mean.

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Re: Guitar with slim necks?

I don’t know where you could find one today, but I’ve owned an Epiphone Cortez Model D since about 1966. It was manufactured prior to Gibson buying the company. It has a remarkably slender neck(both in terms of width and thickness). This is the first thing everyone notices when they play it it. Its the first guitar I owned, and I’ve played a lot of other guitars and I have found nothing even close in terms of ease of playability.

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

Try playing a bouzouki, i like them better than guitars

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

For a L O U D acoustic….. foleyguitars.com

Ed Foley in Andover NJ makes the loudest monsters I have ever heard. They have great tone though too, look gorgeous, even the simplest ones.

Don’t be scared off by the prices at the site, these are very retail and he has less fancy models that sound just as good. He also gets used ones back on trade ups and I know he has a few right now. He has one sunburst dread that is literally the loudest guitar I have ever heard in my life … and I have been obsessed with the things for 43 years, and it is I think $2300. He also has one OM that George Jones owned right now. I have a used one hanging there as well, but very pricey, one of the heavily inlaid models.

Ed’s guitars are truly among the best I have ever played, he really is a master luthier.

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If you end up looking at Seagulls and Tanglewoods then you would probably be better checking out Simon and Patrick. I am sure some Tanglewoods are nice enough but the ones I have tried have been quite dodgy. Seagull are also a decent make but I find S&P to be more comfortable guitars to hold and are certainly excellent value for money with a good bass end. Shop around though and you will find what best suits you. Ovations certainly have one of the thinest necks going on an acoustic but they sound quite trebley and lacking in soul to me. Taylor’s (my current guitar) have quite thin necks and are very comfortable to hold. It depends how much you are willing to spend though. Simon and Patrick certainly offer a better quality guitar than the Big Baby Taylor. Anyway I am rambling so I am going to click "post" and shut up.

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

I have a Lowden F-25 with a cedar top that’s very loud. It also has enough edge on the tone to help cut through the mix. I also have a small-but-deep-bodied guitar made for me by my buddy, David Morris, that’s almost as loud.

Re: Guitar with slim necks?

And I would love a Lowden but dont most of them have a wide neck and probably too prohibative a price for learning on