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  #1  
Old 05-12-2010, 12:33 AM
AlexH AlexH is offline
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Default First guitar for an "older" beginner with fat fingers...

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!
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:53 AM
daza152 daza152 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexH View Post
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.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:38 AM
bfloyd6969 bfloyd6969 is offline
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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?
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:01 AM
Ivob Ivob is offline
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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
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:59 AM
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Kitchen Guitars Kitchen Guitars is offline
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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

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
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:35 AM
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patticake patticake is offline
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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
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:38 AM
Ivob Ivob is offline
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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
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:32 AM
grampa grampa is offline
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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.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexH View Post
...(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, I’d 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.

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Old 05-12-2010, 09:27 AM
Ruston Ruston is offline
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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.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:07 AM
Badfrog Badfrog is offline
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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.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:12 AM
mattyboy42 mattyboy42 is offline
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i own a couple morgan monroe guitars,the creekside mv-45 is pretty nice with a wider neck for finger picking.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:28 AM
gitnoob gitnoob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Actually before any purchase, I’d 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.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:36 AM
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Larrivee L or OM. For a 1 3/4 nut they seem to have the most space. JMHO
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:47 AM
e8n e8n is offline
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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.

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