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nige1968

Big hands

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I have massive hands, and so I play bass not guitar. I'd like to play guitar better, though. Is there a nice electric 6-stringer out there with wide neck & string spacing that I should consider trying out?

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Most readily available guitars have fairly similar fingerboard widths. Modern Fenders and Gibsons are mostly 1-11/16" (43mm), reducing to 1-5/8" (41mm) for some vintage models and some Squiers.

'Wider' nuts are usually 1-3/4" (44mm) - so not much bigger. Super-wides are around 1-7/8" (48mm) and pretty rare. Warmoth do a super-wide Strat neck for bolting onto a conventional guitar but gawd knows what it would cost. Super-wide guitars are pretty rare off the shelf and you'd need to search for them.

Another option might be to buy an electric 12-string (e.g., a Yamaha Pacifica) and get a luthier to fit a six-string nut. That should give you some more space to work in, but it's still a compromise.

Perhaps a better way to look at it is that having big hands brings certain advantages and disadvantages. Stretches and thumb-wrapping are easier on a conventional neck; having big hands didn't stop Gary Moore, Jimi Hendrix and many others from making great music on normal sized fretboards.

On the downside one may have to adapt one's technique a bit when venturing up the neck to where the frets get closer together. Work with what you've got and try out some guitars with the conventional 1-11/16" (43mm) width. Choosing a guitar with a flatter-radius board may help - ie. a 12" radius. The older style narrower 7-1/4" radius boards can feel cramped at times.

Final point: I've got stupidly short, stubby fingers and would love to have bigger hands.

Favim.com-29175.jpg

Hendrix's big hands: Thumb halfway across the board up around the 12th fret(!)

Edited by skankdelvar

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Did someone mention me? :D

I've always had a similar issue when trying to learn guitar in the past. 

I also think there is a big difference between those with long, slender fingers, and those like me with massive ham fists, I find that my paws get in the way of stretching acros frets etc.etc.

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Thanks all for the comments -- oh well, at least I can go back to choosing guitars that look nice without having to worry about being able to play them.

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I have the same issue. I play double bass & have relatively long fingers/large hands, so it's quite comfy.

However I probably play guitar more these days and struggle with the usual 43mm nut width. I've recently purchased a Gretsch acoustic with 44.5 mm nut width and the 1.5 mm difference made a huge errm... difference. It's very comfortable and I find I can play fingerstyle without each finger getting in the way of the other.

So don't discount a small increase (every little helps).

Apparently, ibanez electrics often have wide but flat necks. Unlike some of their basses which are often skinny.

Are there any guitar shops nearby you can try some out?

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The PRS SE range are pretty darn good, and have a 'wide, fat' neck profile. Great for big handed d bass players.

I've had a few of the SE Singlecuts (the ones with the P90's). Great players, great sounds, and seriously good build.

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25 minutes ago, Skybone said:

The PRS SE range are pretty darn good, and have a 'wide, fat' neck profile. Great for big handed d bass players.

I've had a few of the SE Singlecuts (the ones with the P90's). Great players, great sounds, and seriously good build.

Yes to the SE range. Great guitars for very little dough...good call.

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... and another vote for the SE. My pal has an SE custom and it's hands-down the best guitar in its price bracket, IMO.

I'd get one myself but 'I need something with two humbuckers and a wang bar' isn't an excuse which has so far swayed the missus.

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I have an SE, I wouldn't say it was particularly wide. It certainly isn't as wide as the ibanez RGs, which have wide flat and thin necks (and a lot of superstrats that are based on the RG).

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Jeff Beck's another one with huge hands. Guitarist in my band always struggles with strats because he finds the necks too thin. I think Beck had a signature strat with a fat neck so that might be worth looking at. other than that, quite a lot of Les Pauls have a chunky neck.

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Picked up a PRS SE baritone, which I’m finding pretty reasonable. Is the Jeff Beck strat a million billion pounds?

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3 minutes ago, nige1968 said:

Picked up a PRS SE baritone, which I’m finding pretty reasonable. Is the Jeff Beck strat a million billion pounds?

Factory Jeff Beck is a couple of grand, the Custom Shop was about a three and half to four grand IIRC.

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On 19/04/2018 at 04:25, nige1968 said:

Picked up a PRS SE baritone, which I’m finding pretty reasonable. Is the Jeff Beck strat a million billion pounds?

I was going to suggest looking at baritone guitars.  I'm in the same boat and struggle with fretting at the dusty end.  I have plans to one day make myself a couple of guitars with 25.5" or maybe even 26" scale just for the space.  I struggle with 24" scale - what a difference an inch makes!

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