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  #16  
Old 02-09-2019, 03:58 PM
Dino Silone Dino Silone is offline
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A couple of questions: What’s your left hand technique like? Specifically, do you mostly play “classical style”, with the thumb centered on the neck? Or more country-blues style, with your palm around the neck, even using the thumb to fret the 6th string and possibly mute the 5th, with a lot of bending? Do you routinely use one finger to stop two strings, by jamming the finger between the two strings? (Example, playing an “F-form” chord by using the index finger to stop the 1st&2nd strings, the index finger on the 3rd string, and using the ring finger to stop the 4th&5th strings, maybe even with the thumb reaching around to stop the 6th?). For me, anyway, this stuff is easier on 1 11/16”, and also works well enough on 1 3/4, if the neck isn’t overly chunky.

I think looking at the kids who play fat-necked classical guitars can be misleading, since they’re taught to keep their thumbs centered on the back of the neck, never use the thumb to fret the 6th string, don’t bend strings, and don’t stop two strings with one finger (I think...). That makes classical a lot more tolerant of fat necks and wide string spacing. Unless you have big hands, it’s hard to play country-blues finger picking style on a classical guitar.

I’m not going to list what works best for me, since I’m not you. I think we either get a guitar that matches the way we play, or change the way we play to work best on the guitar we have. If you totally love the tone of this guitar, maybe it would make sense to really analyze what you’re doing with your left hand, and think about how to modify it to work on that neck. If there’s no way to do that, the answer is to find a guitar that fits your style better.
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  #17  
Old 02-09-2019, 04:22 PM
Pitar Pitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calstang66 View Post
I have a wonderful 000 with rich, warm tonal characteristics, like for me the Holy Grail of tone. But I can't get used to the wide neck, it measures 1 13/16" but it feels like 3". A "V" shape neck. Owned it a year but don't play it enough.....
* Little kids playing classical guitars with tiny hands do great with wide necks
* Nearly all classical guitars have wider necks and they nearly always fingerpick
* Many small body & parlor guitars, emphasizing fingerpicking, are 1 13/16"
* So it surely seems apparent that wide necks favor serious fingerpickers
* I afraid I will regret selling this guitar, but have considered other 12 fret 000 guitars with 1 3/4" neck

1) is it best to just play mainly 1 neck size, so you get used to it
2) my left hand fingers don't mute a string as often, I like the spacing, but....
3) should I play only this 000 when fingerpicking, for 6 months?
Classical guitars are fitted with nylon strings, as we all know, and the flexibility of nylon has far more give than steel strings. It really isn't a fair comparison to example who can do what with the wider spacing when the strings themselves play such a major role in playability.

If the 000 is a major hurdle to playing you really need to reassess your priorities. When people select guitars and I'm asked for some advice I always suggest playability first, matching tone and then aesthetics after, because the latter will never validate the former. And, if the brand searched turns up nothing than it has nothing to give you. Look elsewhere or, if you have the wherewithal, order a custom build.

Best of luck in the resolution.
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  #18  
Old 02-09-2019, 04:23 PM
Steadfastly Steadfastly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marklm View Post
I have very large hands and wide fingers.

So many variables, the main thing is to feel relaxed and have fun playing whatever speaks to you.
Hand and finger size has a lot to do on the neck width (and profile) that works best for any one player.
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  #19  
Old 02-09-2019, 04:40 PM
rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolegsfngrpickn View Post
Nut width is meaningless for fingerpicking, what you care about is saddle spacing.
IMO nut spacing more important the saddle spacing for fingerpicking. Neck profile and fretboard radius usually the bigger comfort level determiner for me.
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  #20  
Old 02-09-2019, 04:44 PM
nolegsfngrpickn nolegsfngrpickn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
IMO nut spacing more important the saddle spacing for fingerpicking. Neck profile and fretboard radius usually the bigger comfort level determiner for me.
How so? Your fretting hand is feeling whatever is going on at the nut. Your fingerpicking hand is feeling what goes on at the saddle.

If you care more about the comfort of your fretting hand, then nut width is the important factor for you. When someone says fingerpicking, I assume their picking hand is what is more important. Maybe I'm incorrect in that assumption.
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  #21  
Old 02-09-2019, 05:03 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is online now
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Finding the right proportions for yourself s very personal, like underwear.

As can be seen lots of opinions, many contradictory.

In my experience, it takes time and thought to find the right proportions, and standard stuff simply doesn't suit everyone.

Like my pants.
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  #22  
Old 02-09-2019, 06:14 PM
Misifus Misifus is offline
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I play fingerstyle almost exclusively. For twenty-five years, I played classical with a two inch nut. Then I began to order a steel string custom. In the process, my luthier had me play guitars with 1-11/16”, 1-3/4”, and 1-7/8” nuts. After twenty-five years of two inch nuts and nylon strings, I found that 1-11/16” nut was too narrow for me to play comfortably. Oddly, the 1-7/8” nu was too wide, so I settled on he 1-3/4” and it has proved ideal for me. I will say that the difference between 1-11/16 and 1-3/4 is only 1/16”, but that difference was significant for me.
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  #23  
Old 02-09-2019, 06:26 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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I have about a dozen acoustic guitars and 3 of them have 1 13/16" nut widths. I have gotten used to them and don't notice that nut width any longer. If I had a choice, I prefer 1 11/16" nut width, but there are plenty of guitars out there that I wanted because of their tone. I just made myself get used to the differences.

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  #24  
Old 02-09-2019, 06:44 PM
John K John K is offline
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My favorite guitar for everything is a 1965 J45 with 1 9/16" nut width. To each his own.
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  #25  
Old 02-09-2019, 07:34 PM
Steadfastly Steadfastly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misifus View Post
I play fingerstyle almost exclusively. For twenty-five years, I played classical with a two inch nut. Then I began to order a steel string custom. In the process, my luthier had me play guitars with 1-11/16”, 1-3/4”, and 1-7/8” nuts. After twenty-five years of two inch nuts and nylon strings, I found that 1-11/16” nut was too narrow for me to play comfortably. Oddly, the 1-7/8” nu was too wide, so I settled on he 1-3/4” and it has proved ideal for me. I will say that the difference between 1-11/16 and 1-3/4 is only 1/16”, but that difference was significant for me.
It is the difference between fretting cleanly and not so clean. Only people that require the wider fret board truly understand this. Players with skinny fingers and regular size hands usually have no idea how much easier it is to play with a wider fret board.
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  #26  
Old 02-09-2019, 10:29 PM
calstang66 calstang66 is offline
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thank you for all the comments and help. I can't decide what to do, but I'm leaning toward selling my 000 with the 1 13/16" nut width, just because of the way it feels to me. I will give it a few more weeks and try to accept it. I enjoy playing my other guitars more, due to the comfort. It appears there is a mixed preference here from fingerpickers, and 1 3/4" has plenty of fans.

To answer a few questions: my left thumb is no way near to classical styled position down in the middle of the neck, it's high up near the 6th string, my hands are medium, finger length average, the guitar scale length is 25.5", I'd say the string spacing is wide at the nut and at the saddle. The strings also seem loose to me tuned to standard tuning, I have extra light polywebs on it.
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  #27  
Old 02-10-2019, 12:47 AM
Joe Beamish Joe Beamish is offline
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Default Fingerpicking vs Nut Width

I got a Santa Cruz OM almost a year ago. Marvelous sound. I bought it in spite of the 1 3/4” nut width. Like you, I preferred the old 1 11/16” width of all my other previous guitars, acoustic and electric. And that’s the width that virtually every one of my favorite players, almost all finger style guys, some of them endowed with monster hands and fat fingers, played — extremely well. They didn’t seem to require the wider necks that the market has turned to, for whatever reason, for midsize guitars. Like some of those guys, I often fret two strings with one finger, as in the open E and open A chords, so I can use other fingers to fret elsewhere. The wider neck made this more difficult for awhile.

But I love every other aspect of my axe. I’m used to the neck now — it took ages, even though I play nearly every day. It doesn’t hurt my hand or anything. Doesn’t cause any soreness or discomfort. Doesn’t keep me from being able to play anything that I could play before.

Whenever I visit the guitar shop, I do indeed notice how nicely the old 1 11/16” necks feel, pretty much in all shapes. Why did the market have to fiddle with a good thing? But I never see another guitar remotely in the same price range or less that makes me want to trade off my OM. In short, it sounds too good.

So I’m stuck with the neck, and I’ve embraced it with gratitude. It just took me awhile.

Last edited by srick; 02-10-2019 at 04:11 AM. Reason: Removed masked profanity
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  #28  
Old 02-10-2019, 04:18 AM
TOPDOGJIM TOPDOGJIM is offline
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Diffenitly the 1 3/4” neck without the V. I have 2 of each.
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  #29  
Old 02-10-2019, 05:12 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calstang66 View Post
I have a wonderful 000 with rich, warm tonal characteristics, like for me the Holy Grail of tone. But I can't get used to the wide neck, it measures 1 13/16" but it feels like 3". A "V" shape neck. Owned it a year but don't play it enough.....
* Little kids playing classical guitars with tiny hands do great with wide necks
* Nearly all classical guitars have wider necks and they nearly always fingerpick
* Many small body & parlor guitars, emphasizing fingerpicking, are 1 13/16"
* So it surely seems apparent that wide necks favor serious fingerpickers
* I afraid I will regret selling this guitar, but have considered other 12 fret 000 guitars with 1 3/4" neck

1) is it best to just play mainly 1 neck size, so you get used to it
2) my left hand fingers don't mute a string as often, I like the spacing, but....
3) should I play only this 000 when fingerpicking, for 6 months?
There is absolutely no correlation between nut width and fingerpicking. In fact there's no such thing as a 'fingerpicking' guitar.

Period.

If it doesn't feel comfortable in your hands, it's NOT comfortable in your hands.

It's really that simple.

Putting it out to committee will only delay the inevitable.

Listen to what your body tells you. Pay attention to YOUR OWN observations whenever you pick up a guitar.

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  #30  
Old 02-10-2019, 06:33 AM
Dronfield Dronfield is offline
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I originally learned classically 35 years ago, and as a result have always played fingerstyle, on either acoustic or electric guitar - never felt comfortable using a plectrum.

When i bought my first steel string acoustic i didnt know about different nut widths etc, i just chose the guitar that felt comfortable to me.

It was only through coming on forums like these that i gained knowledge re nut, bridge spacing etc.

Whether it is the placebo effect from reading what guitar best suits fingerstyle, i do find that i now prefer 00/000 size with 1 3/4" nut and 2 1/4" bridge spacing.

Re neck, i still tend to position my thumb halfway across the back (occassionally use thumb for 6th string) and so am more comfortable with a C rather than V shape.

Rich
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