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AlexH
05-12-2010, 12:33 AM
A strange advice request...

My Dad (who has never played an instrument in his life... and is now in his 60s) has been staying with us for a few days and has decided that he wants to learn the guitar!

The problem is he has REALLY wide fingers and is struggling to make any kind of chords on my guitars (even on the 12-string which has a wider nut)....

Can anyone recommend a "beginners" guitar with a very wide nut (obviously one option would be to go for a classical type guitar, but I just wanted to know if there were any other alternatives out there...)

Thanks!

daza152
05-12-2010, 01:53 AM
obviously one option would be to go for a classical type guitar, but I just wanted to know if there were any other alternatives out there...)

Thanks!

Thats what I would recommend, I have afriend at work who may be in the same predicament, he is 62 wants to learn and has big fingers we call it his sausages he laughs about it too. but may be he needs to look at classical guitar with the wide nut?

Daza.

bfloyd6969
05-12-2010, 02:38 AM
If the 12 string nut is still to narrow for him, he may just need to go up to a classical width nut of 2"+. I believe that most 12 string nut widths are in the 1 7/8" ball park and the next best would be a classical. There are probably some steel string guitars out there with a 2" nut width, but they would be expensive which is not best suited for a beginner, if he decides to quit on down the road. There are some strings available for classical guitar that are more of a hybrid nylon/steel that he could put on a classical guitar. I believe Thomastik Infeld makes some...

I assumed that the 12 string that he has tried has a 1 7/8" nut width, or thereabouts?

Ivob
05-12-2010, 03:01 AM
Baton Rouge guitar, a model L6 would be good for wide or fat fingers, nut is more than 1 3/4", not expensive for beginners

Kitchen Guitars
05-12-2010, 04:59 AM
The $100ish Yamaha Nylon (here it is a CG60) is the one you want. Steel strings my discourage him till his finger tips toughen up. Tone is good, easy to play, lots of room.
Or you could order a McKnight with a custom neck :D

Be careful with cheap guitars. Most have nasty necks that make fingering difficult and painful. Thats why I suggested the CG, its an exceptional guitar for the money

patticake
05-12-2010, 05:35 AM
seagull original s6 - nice fat 1.8" nut, solid spruce top, great sounding guitar, which is always inspiring. sure, it's not as cheap as some, but they're popular guitars that are easy to sell if your dad loses interest. on the more expensive side, the blueridge br-341 has a 1 7/8 nut, but there may be other cheaper parlors that have the same size.

btw, there's no such thing as a beginners guitar - guitars don't have training wheels, you know ;) you might want to check this out http://www.mccabes.com/usedrent.html

Ivob
05-12-2010, 05:38 AM
well, if his dad wants to play some country songs or some folk i wouldn't recommend a classic nylon guitar...a steel string guitar is more universal, when learning to play guitar he can learn with strings tuned down 1 or 2 steps so that his fingers don't suffer. if guitar playing starts tiring him, he will hardly get rid of the nylon guitar for money

grampa
05-12-2010, 08:32 AM
I don't know what your budget is but my Gibson F-25 is a steel stringer with a 2" nut. They were made in the 60's and show up for sale for a little over a thousand bucks.

ljguitar
05-12-2010, 08:36 AM
...(obviously one option would be to go for a classical type guitar, but I just wanted to know if there were any other alternatives out there...)
Hi Alex
As a teacher I like the classical option.

Actually before any purchase, Id take him to a guitar store and show him how to play a G, an E and an Em and watch how he handles those fingerings.

Ruston
05-12-2010, 09:27 AM
I will also suggest a classical. I recently started on a Yamaha CG111 which is not expensive. I don't have huge fingers but the strings felt very close together until I developed some strength and technique in my left hand. Now it's much easier and I don't have any issues going to a 1 3/4" steel string neck.

I've got a friend with huge fingers that has played for 40 years. He has to make some modifications to how he frets chords but has done quite well.

Badfrog
05-12-2010, 10:07 AM
I'm 6'4" and have some pretty big paws but I play just fine on a 1 11/16" Martin (though I don't dare fingerpick). I recall trying to play D7 or B7 chords and thinking there was no way this was going to happen but it didn't take long till I got comfortable with it. As for the A major chord I actually just use my index and middle finger to get those three strings (works pretty well but I need to work on doing a mini barre on those three with just my index). I can't imagine people with regular or bigger sized digits getting all three fingers to play the 2/3/4 strings on the same fret.

I think chords are certainly difficult for most any true beginner and you're gonig to bump strings and make mistakes. Sometimes it just makes us feel better if we believe it's happening because our finger tips are too big.

I think two things that are more important than the width of the nut are the setup and the type of strings being used. I started out with a cheap Fender using medium strings and a high action. Once I switched to light strings and got the action lowered, I was much better and made fewer mistakes.

Good luck. I hope he finds a guitar that makes him happy and it would be cool for you two to be able to play together in the future.

mattyboy42
05-12-2010, 10:12 AM
i own a couple morgan monroe guitars,the creekside mv-45 is pretty nice with a wider neck for finger picking.

gitnoob
05-12-2010, 10:28 AM
Actually before any purchase, Id take him to a guitar store and show him how to play a G, an E and an Em and watch how he handles those fingerings.

I always thought the A chord was the best fat-finger test. :)

kendallhadden
05-12-2010, 10:36 AM
Larrivee L or OM. For a 1 3/4 nut they seem to have the most space. JMHO

e8n
05-12-2010, 10:47 AM
Start with the classical and after playing for a while (and working on his flexibility a bit) he will probably be able to play just about anything just fine. You just need to get him started on something that he is physically and mentally comfortable with.

Once the brain trains the fingers about "what to do" and he can repeat it over and over, he should be fine with any standard width neck.

-Dave

daza152
05-12-2010, 12:21 PM
I always thought the A chord was the best fat-finger test. :)

Yeah true that is a mean squeeze for most eh? there is another way to do an A chord with large fingers too.

daza.

Badfrog
05-12-2010, 12:41 PM
Yeah true that is a mean squeeze for most eh? there is another way to do an A chord with large fingers too.

daza.


I was saddened when I first tried the A chord. At that moment I thought I was doomed. Luckily I surfed the net a bit and realized there is more than one way to skin a cat.

cke
05-12-2010, 02:34 PM
Hi Alex
As a teacher I like the classical option.

Actually before any purchase, Id take him to a guitar store and show him how to play a G, an E and an Em and watch how he handles those fingerings.

Good advise.

Classical will be affordable, easier on the fingers. Willie plays nylon! Eric played Tears in Heaven and Signe on nylon.

Steel strung with wide nut will be hard to locate and likely expensive. If he learns well, he could invest later.

bfloyd6969
05-12-2010, 07:30 PM
I always thought the A chord was the best fat-finger test. :)

Very true!! On smaller nut widths I need to do the one finger A chord job... :)

AlexH
05-13-2010, 03:11 AM
Thanks for all your great advice... I will print the thread for him and hopefully accompany him on a shopping trip sometime soon!!

fatt-dad
05-13-2010, 06:46 AM
thankfully he's not interested in the mandolin.

f-d