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Narrow neck guitars / Guitar action.


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#1 OFFLINE   glendalecamper

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 06:43 PM

Hi there, ive got a few questions about the guitar neck width and action. Basically, at the moment i have a very cheap classical guitar, but i am looking at upgrading (anything would be upgrading :) ) I think my guitar had a wide neck - or at least thats what im hoping cause i find barre cords difficult (who doesnt) but also I find it physically impossible to use my thumb to fret the e string while fretting any others. My fretboard is 5 cm at the nut (2 inches for you non-metric folks) and the neck is about 2.5 cm thick at the nut (1 inch). Also what is considered to be a low action. Mine is about 2.5 mm at the nut. Many thanks for any input. cheers phil

#2 OFFLINE   allthumbs

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 07:30 PM

Classical guitars aren't meant to be played with a thumb over. Pretty much any steel string is going to have a narrower neck than a classical. Your best bet is to go to a music store and try as many different brands as you can till you find a neck that is comfortable.
Read the guitar tech forum for string hight and action.

#3 OFFLINE   Jean

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 03:44 AM

allthumbs said:

Classical guitars aren't meant to be played with a thumb over. Pretty much any steel string is going to have a narrower neck than a classical. Your best bet is to go to a music store and try as many different brands as you can till you find a neck that is comfortable.
Read the guitar tech forum for string hight and action.

I use the thumb over alot on my classic, sounds fine... GC perhaps you could 1/2 drop the tuning, it makes barre chords much easier, try Guitar Pro 5 for the tuning or maybe Power Tab?

Anyway, good luck!:thumbup1:

Jean
"happiness is... a new guitar"

#4 OFFLINE   Jean

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 03:47 AM

I might add that I have a thin necked Yamaha, it's very nice to play- bar chords and thumbing is easy and the action is quite nice, all together a very nice picking guitar- the strings may be a bit hard to fret if you have bigger hands...
"happiness is... a new guitar"

#5 OFFLINE   glendalecamper

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 04:44 AM

thanx for your responses - i suppose you need to find a balance between finding a narrow neck for bar cords and thumb overs (not sure if they have a proper name :unsure: ) and something with a wide enough fret board that I dont mute adjacent stings when playing - looks like i need to make a visit to my local guitar shop. Just one more question, can you put nylon strings on an 'accoustic' not classical guitar.
cheers, phil

#6 OFFLINE   Jean

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 11:58 PM

A guitar with pins you mean?

Yes, it is exactly the same,
just make sure all the stings have ball ends, :)

Ultimate-Garage-Band would be the one to ask about guitar brands, I'm allthumbs on that! ;)

Cheers,

Jean
"happiness is... a new guitar"

#7 OFFLINE   allthumbs

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 08:48 AM

glendalecamper said:

thanx for your responses - i suppose you need to find a balance between finding a narrow neck for bar cords and thumb overs (not sure if they have a proper name :unsure: ) and something with a wide enough fret board that I dont mute adjacent stings when playing - looks like i need to make a visit to my local guitar shop. Just one more question, can you put nylon strings on an 'accoustic' not classical guitar.
cheers, phil
You make it sound like a thumb over is a required part of playing guitar. Most players don't do the thumb over. There has been much discussion on this site about it. Do a search for the threads. Your hands will be faster and more flexable without it but, it is a matter of taste so go with what works for you after you have weighed the pros and cons.

#8 OFFLINE   737blues

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 03:33 AM

All thumbs is giving you good advice glendalecamper, using your thumb over the top of the fretboard is not a requirement. Many players started doing it after they saw the likes of Jimi Hendrix using that technique. It looked pretty cool but Jimi had big hands and probably found it very easy to use his thumb. In actual fact it's not a good habit in terms of ergonomics. If you find it difficult or painful to do, it may be partly to do with the profile of your guitar neck, but it's far more likely to be nature's way of telling you that you're overstretching your hand. I don't think detuning is really very helpful as a means of achieving a good full barre chord either guy's. Probably good positioning of your thumb behind the guitar neck will be more helpful. :)

John

#9 OFFLINE   Neilsonite

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 03:58 AM

Hi, just wanted to say allthumbs and John have given you some really good advice!

Also, while it may be technically possible to put nylon strings on a steel-string guitar, I'd recommend against it, as they are completely different types of guitars with different tension requirements... I don't know that it will permanently damage your guitar, but I doubt it will sound good! If you're after a lighter feel on a steel-string guitar, I'd suggest some extra-light strings instead... :)

James

#10 OFFLINE   glendalecamper

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 08:08 AM

thanks all for your advice - the main reason i asked about the thumb over move is that i have seen some guitar lessons on the net in which they seemed to use the thumb over technique a lot - but if it aint necessary, ill focus on other things. I will still get a new guitar though, as I initially bought a cheap one just in case i didnt like playing - needless to say im now absolutely hooked, and its time to indulge myself. And a big part of why im hooked is kirks lessons and this brilliant forum - so again many thanks,
phil

#11 OFFLINE   737blues

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 08:49 AM

Oh, Yeah! It's always a good time to buy a new guitar. Have fun. :)

John

#12 OFFLINE   dave b

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 11:42 AM

if you try to fit nylon strings to a guitar designed for steel stings you will find that the slots in the nut are to narrow for nylon and will have to be re cut, also many shops wont stock ball end nylon strings due to low demand,best to choose one type or another, guitars i mean, and just live with the virtues and vices of each.
dave b

#13 OFFLINE   dave b

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 11:53 AM

steel strung guitars have a much narrower neck making chords easier.
but the strings are closer together making fingerpicking trickier,
classical guitars have a wider neck, hence chords are harder to reach, but they have a bigger gap between the strings so you can get your fingers in, because of course they are designed to be played with the fingers.
decent players can handle either type, i just wish i was one of them
dave b





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