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onewilyfool

Large necks?Small necks?

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I have found, over the years, that I actually PREFER the chunkier neck of the older vintage guitars, to the more modern necks. Probably because of bad habits, I don't really put my thumb to the back of the neck, but tend to grab the neck with my thumb more or less over the top of the bass "E" string (which I grab to make some chords from time to time) So because I have large hands (and you know what they say about large hands....large hands.....large gloves) the chunkier neck suits my style best, even though I play modern neck guitars too. The largest profile neck I have is the 1923 L-2 round hole archtop. It is HUGE. With a nut of 1 3/4 nut it is a blast to play. More comfortable and the ideal neck is on my '94 L-20 which has a "modified V" and 1 13/16" nut and the guitar is based on the Nick Lucas body style. I've heard that the bigger neck fatigues the hand more and the slimmer neck doesn't and is "faster"....but that is not my experience. How about youse guys?

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I personally like the new necks that Gibson calls "comfort contour" but that's because I began playing a slim neck and, by happenstance, my next few guitars had a slim neck. I think one's preference has to do with the size neck to which one is accoustomed. As for playing "cowboy" style with the thumb drapped over the neck ... well dosn't everyone? At least those of us who are self taught ... just seems natural.

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I hear ya Hoss. I love a big fat neck with either a 1 7/8" or 1 3/4" nut. The wider nuts work well with fingerpicking and the thick necks fill my hand and seem to make it easier to lop my left tumb over the neck to fret some bass notes. As age catches up with me and my hands don't work as well as they once did I find the fatter necks even better.

 

Since most of my guitars were made before the mid-1930s and lack any kind of rods to help keep them straight, they all have Louisville Slugger necks. These things absolutely dwarf the roundback neck on my script label Gibson.

 

The only guitar I have with a hefty soft V neck is a mid-1950s Epiphone flat top. While I find the neck profile real comfy the 1 10/16" nut tends to throw me off a bit.

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I like those big fat necks like the Legend series has. Very slim necks make my left hand hurt. I think the bigger necks also improve the sound of the guitar.

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I like those big fat necks like the Legend series has. Very slim necks make my left hand hurt. I think the bigger necks also improve the sound of the guitar.

+1 yes

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I have the Gibson B25-12N (12 string) with the 2" nut and I like it a lot - the rest of my guitars are fairly standard 1 11/16 and 1 3/4.

 

I did try a J45 Legend a couple of years ago in a shop and was not prepared for the shock! Take a bit to get use to that.

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I have a Gibson F-25 that has a neck just like a classical guitar, 2" nut, flat and 12 fret. I don't know if my hands are especially large - they seem to be in proportion to the rest of my body parts - but I do fret with my thumb, sometimes two strings and just about anything else seems small and cramped. I played a classical guitar and a 12 srting for the first twenty years of playing and was ecstatic to find the F-25, the perfect guitar for me.

I recently scored a Harmony Archtone from 1964 and it has a wonderfully fat neck.

I love 'em.

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I thick the thicker neck profiles = tone + more comfort for the fretting hand. I cannot play a thin, skinny neck and enjoy it. I guess its personal choice.... and playing style and adaptation that makes everyones preferences different. No right or wrong...

Rod

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I like those big fat necks like the Legend series has. Very slim necks make my left hand hurt. I think the bigger necks also improve the sound of the guitar.

I'm with you on this one Jerry, the big neck allows the top to vibrate more, I feel.

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The wider nuts work well with fingerpicking and the thick necks fill my hand and seem to make it easier to lop my left tumb over the neck to fret some bass notes.

 

Uh-huh. Interesting thing, a former picking partner had a preference for thin LP necks but often complained of hand cramps. Tried 'em once or twice, not enough support for me (maybe if I was running a lot of barre chords. But Im not).

Another pal as a custom 000 with a chunky neck, at least as deep as a 42L. Its a dream to play.

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I think the bigger necks also improve the sound of the guitar.
. Interesting that. That 000 my pal has is meatier than most of that breed. Its not braced any different, so the builder says. Might be the neck mass.

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I'm like Goldilocks: I've got skinny necks, fat necks, V-necks, round necks, etc, etc, etc. The one I like best seems to be the one I'm playing at any given moment, but they all take some hand adjustment. The one that comes the closest to ideal right now seems to be the one on my 1947 L-7, which is a fattish C-section. The other really nice one is the neck on my '59 Historic ES-335, which is similar in shape to the L-7, but slightly scaled down, and slightly narrower at the nut.

 

I am not crazy about the V-necks or soft-V necks, for some reason: I'm too aware of the shape of the neck in my hand.

 

Out of curiosity, I'm using a digital caliper to take depth measurements of the necks of each of my guitars when I change strings now.

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Have to say one of hte thing I dont like about my 60's Bird is the 1 11/16 nut and also the pencil thin neck profile. On the other hand my SJs' neck is the perfect width and profile for me. Hence Ill take the modern Gibson profile without question.

 

I would never buy a 1 11/16 nut width guitar again, which pretty much means I wont be buying any more vintage Gibsons.

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I tend to like thicker necks... I think....haha still getting my head round all these 1 3/4.....1 10/16...... C cut...... descriptions

 

My hummingbird tv is 1 3/4 i believe ? I like it anyway.. last main guitar ( a Seagul [blush] haha..actually its a very nice guitar/ work horse/ travel box ;for what it is ) has a similar size and my old yamaha's too.

 

Regarding playing with the hook thumb over top.

 

For years I mainly played with thumb in center, I'm self taught and learned how to play from a Woody Mann book on Robert Johnson..and listening obviously. Bob plays a lot of triads using thumb and 3 fingers to pluck ( according to woody ) and the thumb in the center just felt easier.

I found lead and bar chords would cause me cramp tho, so a couple of years ago i changed to trying to play mainly with thumb hooked over and wow..what a difference it has made.

Playing lead especially.... keeping the index finger as a bar and so on. i don't have particularly long fingers or thumb, but my playing has improved much since adopting the technique.

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I also prefer larger to smaller guitar necks. My favorite nut width is 1 7/8 (which is the width of the nuts on my vintage Larsons).

 

I also prefer wider string spacing at the saddle. Right around 1942, Gibson switched from 2 3/8 in. at the saddle to 2 1/8 and I prefer the former, though I play enough different guitars that it doesn't matter to me too much.

 

On the couple of modern guitars I have, I have spec-ed a happy medium: nut width of 1 13/16 and string spacing at the saddle of 2 5/16.

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The neck I like the best is on my Gibson SG. 1 5/8" nut - slim and fast. Guess I just find it easier to play a slim neck than a chunky one. I did play a "banner" era LG that had the fat "V" profile neck that was suprisingly comfortable for me, but I prefer a "C" profile.

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The neck I like the best is on my Gibson SG. 1 5/8" nut - slim and fast. Guess I just find it easier to play a slim neck than a chunky one. I did play a "banner" era LG that had the fat "V" profile neck that was suprisingly comfortable for me, but I prefer a "C" profile.

 

Paul,

 

I just can't get my fingers to fit on such a slim neck.

 

BTW, a Banner era guitar would not have a "V" neck.

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I can handle a wide range of neck profiles, but the really, really skinny ones make my left hand hurt. I tried out a '61 Reissue SG with a really thin neck a while back at GC and it did not take long for my hand to start hurting. That said, moderately skinny, as in Gibson's standard "60s Slim Taper" neck is fine with me. I have also gotten used to chunkier necks, like on my 2007 Les Paul R9 and my J-45 Legend, which at first I thought was absurdly large. Now my only issue with the J-45L is that I do have trouble getting my thumb over it to fret the low E string. I also have a vintage L-00 with the large, heavy V neck that I am amazed I find as comfortable as I do. I have played some vintage guitars with absurdly large necks (larger than my J-45L or L-00) and can't see how anyone other than an NBA player could play them! My favorite neck profile is the one on my CS-356 - a nice medium profile with some flatness to the back of the neck. Very comfy.

 

For me it tends to be easy to switch between necks of different thicknesses. Where I have trouble is switching between guitars with different nut widths. This really tends to throw me. I end up going for a chord and my fingers land where the expect the strings to be, but the strings ain't there!!! This takes me quite a while to adapt to.

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