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  #1  
Old 05-01-2011, 01:12 AM
Lafayette Lafayette is offline
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Default Narrow Neck Classical

A new friend of mine (in his late thirties) is interested in learning to play guitar. He is a complete novice.

At my place he tried out three different guitars: a cheap Yamaha folk guitar, a Baby Taylor, and an old, cheap Takamine Jasmine classical. He prefers the classical, because the strings aren't as painful as the steel string guitars.

His problem is his hands are small. I could tell just by watching him that in the future, even with lots of practice and finger stretching exercises that a two inch neck will be a hindrance to his playing and enjoyment. And of course, he wants a bigger body guitar. He wasn't too crazy about the Baby Taylor.

Can any of you suggest a narrow neck nylon string guitar with a body bigger than a Baby Taylor? Do they still make guitars that are bi-stringual?

Lafayette
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2011, 02:10 AM
Placida Placida is offline
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R Fernandez sells some pretty nice Classical guitars with narrower than standard width necks. 52 mm is that standard width; they offer 48 mm widths as well.

http://www.fernandezmusic.com/R.Fern...ar_Models.html

Here's a Yammie at Musician's Friend, 48 mm:http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/p...tar?sku=621048

And, a more affordable Cordoba Fusion, 47 mm: http://www.amazon.com/Cordoba-Fusion.../dp/B001RTTCPC
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Old 05-01-2011, 04:34 AM
earwighoney earwighoney is offline
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I think your friend may be better of with a narrow neck'd guitar. I'd recommend a OM steel string guitar but buy a pack of ball end nylon strings and replace the strings.

Another route to potentially explore could be electric guitar; which for the best part of the time have the easiest necks to play. For the beginner too, light strings could make a difference too.

For someone with 'very' small hands I'd recommend a 24" scale electric guitar like a Jaguar (Fender or Squier)

The Taylor GS Mini also has a shorter scale, a steel string guitar but once again it is possible to replace the strings with nylon ball ends.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:16 AM
brad4d8 brad4d8 is offline
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Many makers market hybrid nylon guitars, narrower neck than a classical, aimed primarily at steel string players who want the nylon sound. They often differ from a true classical with 14 frets to the body instead of 12 and often cutaway. I'm not familiar with the Fernandez somebody mentioned, but both Yamaha and Cordoba have good reputations. Fender had a couple of Korean made models that were pretty good and may be less expensive than the others, but I don't know if there are any current models. I had one for a while, solid cedar top, RW B&S (not sure if solid or laminate). No one would ever mistake it for a concert classical, but played nicely and had a pretty decent sound, especially plugged in. Depending on where you are, you can probably find a few for your friend (and you) to try if there's a big box store near you.
Good luck in your hunt,
Brad
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:21 AM
john bange john bange is offline
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Guild makes 2 narrow neck nylon string guitars...solid wood and elect p/u...1 3/4 nut width
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:58 PM
Play2PraiseHim Play2PraiseHim is offline
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Try Cordoba, Fender, Ibanez, or Yamaha. They all make a crossover nylon string with a radiused fingerboard and narrow nut width at low to medium price points.

LaPatrie might also be a good choice. Some models have radiused fretboards but maintain the wide nut width. I find with my small hands that a radiused fretboard is more essential than a narrow nut width.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:49 PM
Tommy Tommy is offline
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Ten bucks says that if he's going to play classical guitar music that he will 1) be sorry that he bought a narrow neck, and that 2) he'll sooner or later go out and buy a standard 2" neck.
What's all the fuss about small hands anyway? There are ten-year-olds out there playing the most complicated classical stuff. Take a look on utube.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:55 PM
FingerFlicker FingerFlicker is offline
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Tell him to tough it out. He should get a guitar based on the style he wants to play. His fingers with strengthen, but not if he quits playing because he's not playing the music he enjoys.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:04 PM
DJ in FL DJ in FL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FingerFlicker View Post
Tell him to tough it out. He should get a guitar based on the style he wants to play. His fingers with strengthen, but not if he quits playing because he's not playing the music he enjoys.
10-4 on this reply...better to go this way in the long run unless you are buying a REALLY inexpensive (aka, "CHEAP") guitar at the start...bad way to start IMHO.

Good luck. Practice, Practice and yes you guessed it...practice!

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  #10  
Old 05-08-2011, 07:56 AM
limnephilidae limnephilidae is offline
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It sounds like he's really after a steel string dreadnaught, jumbo, or GA style; if he liked that large body steel sound then he isn't likely to be happy with a classical. Steel strings are tough on everyone when they first start out. Given that my job unfortunately involves no manual labour, my hands were very sore the first few weeks of learning. I'm surprised you didn't say that it was part of the learning curve.

Callus building is part of the package. Are you going to recommend that he use a capo for barre chords when gets to that point too?
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