The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-20-2023, 08:26 PM
Daveyo Daveyo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,550
Default Small hands 1 3/4 nut?

Hello all
I have been playing one and 11/16 nut guitars for a long time
I just picked up Taylor 310
Which I totally love
Except for the wider nut width
Iím not having too much of a bad time with it
But I wonder if thereís anybody out there with small hands like me that plays the one and three-quarter inch nut anyways
Iím gonna try to give it a couple of weeks
If not, Iíll go back to the smaller nut with
Thoughts?
Thank you in advance
David
__________________
Larrivee d03
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-20-2023, 08:38 PM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mohawk Valley
Posts: 8,524
Default

From what I can observe there is not as much a correlation between nut width and hand size as might be expected. There are a myriad of other factors which seem to affect things as well.
__________________
The Bard Rocks

Fay OM Sinker Redwood/Tiger Myrtle
Sexauer L00 Adk/Magnolia
Hatcher Jumbo Bearclaw/"Bacon" Padauk
Goodall Jumbo POC/flamed Mahogany
McAlister baritone Adk/Bubinga
Appollonio 12 POC/Myrtle
MJ Franks Resonator, all Australian Blackwood
Blackbird "Lucky 13" - carbon fiber
'31 National Duolian
banjos, mandolin, autoharp..
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-20-2023, 08:42 PM
Tatterdemalion Tatterdemalion is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Posts: 13
Default

I have small-ish hands ó at least I think I do; I once read about a study of wristwatch-buyers that found most men think they have smaller wrists relative to the average than they actually do, and Iíve always wondered if the same applies to hand size. But anyway I think I have small-ish hands, and I typically find 1 3/4Ē a little more comfortable than 1 11/16Ē. Itís not a huge deal to me either way, and the overall neck carve seems to play a bigger role than just nut width in a vacuum.

If the Taylor feels good in your hands, Iíd say donít worry about it!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-20-2023, 08:48 PM
birdsong's Avatar
birdsong birdsong is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 969
Default

The size and shape of the neck are what affect me the most.

My fingers are small-ish with some arthritis.

I play guitars that span 4 different nut widths - up to 1 7/8. I can play them all because the necks are comfortable for me.
__________________
~~~~~Bird is the Word~~~~~

Martin D-41, Larrivee L-19; Gibson L-130; Taylor 614-ce-L30; R Taylor 2
H&D Custom OM; Bauman 000
Cervantes Crossover I; Kenny Hill 628S;
Rainsong Shorty SGA; CA GX Player, Cargo;
Alvarez AP70; Stella, 12-string; 2 Ukes; Gibson Mandola; Charango, couple electrics
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-20-2023, 10:21 PM
martingitdave's Avatar
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 10,986
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bard Rocks View Post
From what I can observe there is not as much a correlation between nut width and hand size as might be expected. There are a myriad of other factors which seem to affect things as well.
Agree. I think neck shape makes more difference in terms of hand shape/size. Nut width on a thinner neck seems to just affect people's sense of where the strings should be.
__________________
"Lift your head and smile at trouble. You'll find happiness someday."
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-20-2023, 10:59 PM
Birdbrain Birdbrain is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Denver
Posts: 1,046
Default

I have smaller hands for a man, and for too many years (decades) I thought I must have a narrow-necked guitar. Finally I played a 1 3/4 model long enough to realize that it made me a better guitarist. Finally I was picking out single notes from a chord clearly. I thought I was too clumsy for that, but a narrow string spacing made it harder to avoid fouling adjacent strings. Now, I'm in the process of clearing out anything less than 1 3/4" wide.

Our problem, I think, is that our fingers aren't long enough to arc high above the fingerboard and land straight down. Our fingertips come in at an angle, and even a few hundredths of an inch spacing helps. Just don't expect to be wrapping your thumb for bass notes!

I dimly remember my beginner days when fretting an open G chord seemed a stretch. Your fingers will get more flexible as you play, but they probably won't get any longer.

PS- I look for thin necks, not fat ones. That gives me a little extra reach around to the fingerboard.
__________________
- Tacoma ER22C
- Tacoma CiC Chief
- Tacoma EK36C (ancient cedar Little Jumbo, '01, #145/150)
- Seagull SWS Maritime Mini Jumbo ('16)
- Simon & Patrick Pro Folk Rosewood ('01)
- Godin Montreal Premiere Supreme
- Ibanez Mikro Bass

Last edited by Birdbrain; 11-21-2023 at 12:11 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-20-2023, 11:13 PM
tinnitus's Avatar
tinnitus tinnitus is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Forest Grove, OR
Posts: 1,859
Default

I've seen players with tiny hands play wide necks beautifully, and hulks with monster paws play well on skinny little necks with narrow nuts (and bridges). My own lunch-hooks are extremely medium, but I enjoy the extra room a 1 3/4" nut allows (and a curved radius too, but that's just me).

Play this one for a while and see if you like it better than your other guitar(s). Somewhere down the road, you might find that's the size you want everything to be.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-21-2023, 07:05 AM
fitness1's Avatar
fitness1 fitness1 is offline
Musical minimalist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Central Lower Michigan
Posts: 21,846
Default

I have really small hands and prefer 1 7/8 nuts on steel strings and full 52mm on classical.

What many don't realize is that with longer fingers, the angle of attack is more "up and over" the fingerboard, where with smaller hands and shorter fingers they have to come in on an angle - this is where the increased space between the strings can be helpful.

This is simple geometry and no amount of working on technique will make it better when you have small hands and thick fingers/fingertips.

** Sorry - just realized Birdbrain explained this pretty well above.
__________________
"One small heart, and a great big soul that's driving"

Charis SJ Koa/BC Sitka
Mcknight/Poling GC Koa/Italian
Taylor custom GC Mahogany/Sitka
Loriente Clarita EIR/Engelmann



Last edited by fitness1; 11-21-2023 at 07:17 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-21-2023, 07:19 AM
hairyharris hairyharris is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2023
Posts: 5
Default

I have both 1 3/4 and 1 11/16. A Alvarez and a Martin respectively. The Martin is helping me with accuracy on the strings on both hands. The smaller width also pushes me to fret the streets with my finger tips to avoid muting a string. Yet the Alvarez with the wider nut is easier but I do notice that I'm not on the fingertips as much. I enjoy both withs and use each everyday. Good luck on your search.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-21-2023, 08:31 AM
rbpicker rbpicker is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 41
Default

I used to think that it mattered a lot, until I watched the videos of young Asian children (probably six to 10 years old) playing flawlessly on classical guitars with very wide necks.
After that I quit complaining. It’s the neck carve more than the width for me.
Roger

Last edited by rbpicker; 11-21-2023 at 02:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-21-2023, 08:40 AM
sinistral sinistral is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 2,941
Default

I do think some of it is a function of technique—if one has classical guitar training or plays in a classical style (neck angled higher, thumb more centered behind the neck, no “thumb-over” notes, etc.), then playing on a wider neck with smaller hands is less of a problem. Muiriel Anderson is frequently mentioned as an example. But for most of us who have been playing for a while, our technique pretty much is what it is.

There really is no definitive answer to the question. If you asked 100 people with small hands the question—and first you’d need to define what “small hands” means—making up numbers, 33 would say they prefer 1-11/16” nuts, 33 would say that they prefer 1-3/4” nuts, and 33 would say that they’re indifferent, or that neck shape is more important than nut width, etc. You are number 100—how do you determine which group you’re in? The only way is to try guitars with different nut widths and neck shapes to see for yourself. Similar results could probably be obtained if you posed the same question to people with “medium-sized hands” or “large hands” or “fat fingers,” etc., but with a bit more skew to the percentages.

Last edited by sinistral; 11-21-2023 at 08:46 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-21-2023, 08:42 AM
donlyn donlyn is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,926
Default

Small hands 1 3/4 nut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveyo View Post
Hello all
I have been playing one and 11/16 nut guitars for a long time
I just picked up Taylor 310
Which I totally love
Except for the wider nut width
I’m not having too much of a bad time with it
But I wonder if there’s anybody out there with small hands like me that plays the one and three-quarter inch nut anyways
I’m gonna try to give it a couple of weeks
If not, I’ll go back to the smaller nut with
Thoughts?
Thank you in advance
David
Daveyo,

You might want to try a Taylor short-scale guitar. Still the 1+3/4" nut width, but the short scale, while not that smaller in scale length (a little over a half inch), really is a game changer. I would say it makes a much bigger difference in feel and play than using a 1+11/16" nut width will make. I tend to prefer the 1+3/4" nut widths.

I have both nut widths on my six string guitars and also play a 1+7/8" nut width with my 12 string guitars. My Taylor 412e-R is my short scale guitar. And I fingerpick all my instruments using my nails as picks.

Be well and play well,

Don
.
__________________
*The Heard:
85 Gibson J-200 sitka/rosewood Jumbo
99 Taylor 355 sitka/sapele 12 string Jmbo
06 Alvarez AJ60S englmn/mpl lam med Jmbo
14 Taylor 818e sitka/rosewood Grand Orchestra
05 Taylor 512ce L10 all mahogany Grand Concert
09 Taylor all walnut Jmbo
16 Taylor 412e-R sitka/rw GC
16 Taylor 458e-R s/rw 12 string GO
21 Epiphone IBG J-200 sitka/maple Jmbo
22 Guild F-1512 s/rw 12 string Jmbo

Last edited by donlyn; 11-21-2023 at 08:54 AM. Reason: proof-reading
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-21-2023, 08:45 AM
LezPall LezPall is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Posts: 73
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveyo View Post
Hello all
I have been playing one and 11/16 nut guitars for a long time
I just picked up Taylor 310
Which I totally love
Except for the wider nut width
I’m not having too much of a bad time with it
But I wonder if there’s anybody out there with small hands like me that plays the one and three-quarter inch nut anyways
I’m gonna try to give it a couple of weeks
If not, I’ll go back to the smaller nut with
Thoughts?
Thank you in advance
David
I have very small hands imo. They are both stubby and inflexible. Measured 6.5-6.7 from the bottom of palm to tip of middle finger. I have multiple guitars, ranging from 13/4 to 2 inches; thin necks and baseball bat. Trust me, your hand will adapt. It takes months but stick it out, if you love guitar besides the neck then it’s worth just adapting. If you truly hate the feeling you will know after three months daily play. The only thing that becomes more difficult I have found is thumb wrapping. Chords that span multiple frets are just as difficult regardless of nut with
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-21-2023, 08:45 AM
Rewtx Rewtx is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 28
Default

I have small hands and for a long time I thought I needed narrower necks but after getting an acoustic with a 1.75, I realized it worked better for me. The reason as explained above really make sense once you try it.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-21-2023, 09:09 AM
SFCRetired's Avatar
SFCRetired SFCRetired is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Mid Missouri
Posts: 4,494
Default

I have what I would call smaller hands and play a 1.75. To me the perfect size is Gibsons 1.725. I'm not in love with a 1.75 but not in love with 1 11/16 either.
__________________
Some Martins
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=