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Thread: Big Fat Necks... Who likes them?

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    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Big Fat Necks... Who likes them?

    Was just reading an interview with Mark Knopfler in which he stated his preference for large necks and big frets. He stated how he feel he plays better / faster on a guitar with a larger neck than a more svelte one.

    I have to say, this is my experience. Not always the case though. I owned a guitar with a large neck years ago and hated it but something seems to have changed over the years and these days I prefer something that fills out my hand more. I've mentioned before how much I like the Bernie, but the thing that really does it for me is the neck profile. It's almost perfect save for the slightly small frets.

    I've also got an SE C24 with a wide thin neck and yet I find myself struggling to like it in the same way. I do play it - and it's a great guitar, but I don't get the same joy from playing it as I do with the larger necked Bernie. With the Bernie playing feels much more natural, more effortless.

    So how many of you prefer a larger neck? Any of you found you've changed preference for neck shapes / sizes over the years?

    It almost seems counter-intuitive to me as I've got average sized hands but I just don't get on with skinny necks...
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    Senior Member captdg's Avatar
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    I have small hands like that stupid burger king commercial.. I would love to be able to have my thumb come back and over the fretboard..One good thing about fat necks is I find that I dont miss-pick a string from being close together as much...Does this make sense?

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    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captdg View Post
    I have small hands like that stupid burger king commercial.. I would love to be able to have my thumb come back and over the fretboard..One good thing about fat necks is I find that I dont miss-pick a string from being close together as much...Does this make sense?
    I can understand that. When I had my tech fit the Tusq nut on my Bernie he widened the string spacing. I've got fat fingers so that helps!

    It's interesting... I've got a cheap Yamaha Pacifica that I used to love. Had it for a while and I used to enjoy playing it but i'm finding my hand cramps up when I do these days. It feels tiny at the nut end. Almost child like.
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
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    A Top (and Heart) of Gold Goldtop's Avatar
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    I love a big neck on a guitar. Some might call it a HUGE neck. In all the years I've been into guitars, I've only found a few whose necks were even close to being big enough for me. One was a G****n LP, and the other was a Stripped 58 with the Pattern neck carve. I tried a Bernie once and I liked the neck on it, but it could have been a little bigger to suit me.

    I don't know if it's been proven or not - or if it even could be - but to me the neck makes a huge difference in the sound and tone of a guitar. And not just in the materials, but the dimensions themselves. Much more important than some might think, at least IMO.

    I'm not a technician-type player by any means. I'm more of a slower, bluesy, feel player, so a big neck isn't a problem for me, in spite of the fact that I have ugly, stubby fingers.

    Lloyd
    Last edited by Goldtop; 05-10-2013 at 09:31 PM.
    'Did you ever get down on your hands and knees and beg a potato to get fat?' - Ezra Craddock

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    A Top (and Heart) of Gold Goldtop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikegarveyblues View Post
    I can understand that. When I had my tech fit the Tusq nut on my Bernie he widened the string spacing. I've got fat fingers so that helps!
    I guess I do too Mike. When I first watched your video of the Bernie demo, I kept thinking 'my fingers look like his'. That's NOT to say that I'm anywhere near the player you are; I just mean we both seem to be a bit 'digitally challenged'.

    Lloyd
    'Did you ever get down on your hands and knees and beg a potato to get fat?' - Ezra Craddock

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    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldtop View Post
    I guess I do too Mike. When I first watched your video of the Bernie demo, I kept thinking 'my fingers look like his'. That's NOT to say that I'm anywhere near the player you are; I just mean we both seem to be a bit 'digitally challenged'.

    Lloyd
    Ha, ha! You're not wrong!

    I remember when I first started playing in my mid / late teens. I was convinced the reason why I couldn't play was because there was something up with my hands. Every pic of a guitar player seemed to show someone with long, thin digits playing ridiculously complex chords!!!

    That said, on some very rare occasions I have come across some pieces of music that i'm physically unable to play. There's a chord Joe Satriani plays in some song that I can't stretch to for love nor money.

    Interesting reading replies, particularly #10 and #11. Perhaps there's much more to it rather than the obvious.
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
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    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
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    Senior Member gush's Avatar
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    I have huge hands and like wide fat necks. Only my Mccarty has one, my other two do not but I get by just fine.

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    Senior Member clcwarlock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldtop View Post
    I guess I do too Mike. When I first watched your video of the Bernie demo, I kept thinking 'my fingers look like his'. That's NOT to say that I'm anywhere near the player you are; I just mean we both seem to be a bit 'digitally challenged'.

    Lloyd
    I thought the same thing at experience PRS when I saw Bernie play in a session. His finger are just like mine.

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    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    With PRS...I started with wide thin...then went to wide fat for just about everything.....even custom builds by other luthiers I had the necks carved to wide fat dimensions...with the exception of my most recent one which is somewhere in between wide thin and regular....eventually with PRS I tried regular and pattern regular and fell in love...perfect necks for me....that being said I get along with all PRS carves.


    I don't consider myself a huge neck guy...but as long as its not baseball bat size I can get by....width and radius I find I am more sensitive to rather than depth...

    you know the more I think about it...the more the whole package matters...longer scales I prefer smaller narrower necks...shorter scales....fatter profiles don't bother me as much.
    Last edited by Dirty Bob; 05-10-2013 at 08:46 PM.
    -Bob

  10. #10
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    I prefer the thinner necked guitars. The larger necks cause me to have a lot of wrist pain for some reason. The pattern thin neck on my custom 24 is the most comfortable neck I've ever played.
    Jeff

  11. #11
    Senior Member captdg's Avatar
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    Steve Martin, a damn fine Banjo player used to say he like women with no necks. something about they not being able to turn their head.. Why did I just blurt that out?

  12. #12
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Wide Fat is the only neck for me.

  13. #13
    Senior Member yankeebulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    Wide Fat is the only neck for me.
    I'm with JFB on this. I can tolerate Pattern but W/F is where is at.
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    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    I have small hands, but I still get along with the wide-fat really well. But the baseball bat neck that can be found on LP's is a bit much for me. I dig the wide thin too, they're both nice.
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE 30 Head/Cab

  15. #15
    I hate them. I have small hands and get along much better with a regular or wide-thin.

  16. #16
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    I like 'em all. My first PS was wide thin, since then, I've had most of them. I also like baseball bat-sized necks on old beat-up Teles. I just play differently and use the different guitars for different purposes.

  17. #17
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Not a real big fan, but I like the W/F on the Gucci Top. The whole guitar reminds me of my old LPC's but without the annoying bits.

  18. #18
    Wheels cjmwrx's Avatar
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    I used to be a thin neck guy. But, my hands were cramping on longer sessions. Fat neck solved that. My hands are bigger than I think they are.

    PRS is the only guitar I prefer a fat neck. Then again, the last year, they've been all I've played minus my Strat from now and then.

    Had a LP Std with the Asymmetrical neck and I just could not get a long with it. I could play it just fine, but it never felt comfortable.
    Last edited by cjmwrx; 05-11-2013 at 03:20 AM.

  19. #19
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjmwrx View Post
    I used to be a thin neck guy. But, my hands were cramping on longer sessions. Fat neck solved that. My hands are bigger than I think they are.

    PRS is the only guitar I prefer a fat neck. Then again, the last year, they've been all I've played minus my Strat from now and then.

    Had a LP Std with the Asymmetrical neck and I just could not get a long with it. I could play it just fine, but it never felt comfortable.
    Yep, that's my issue with smaller necks now. Cramping, particularly with barre chords. Thankfully, I don't have that issue on my WT SE C24 or my Strat. Can't quite place my finger (Bad pun?) on what it is with the wide thin I don't get on with. Seems like those fractions of an inch make all the difference these days.

    On the other hand, scale length difference doesn't bother me a bit. I can go between my 24.5 scale Bernie and the 25.5" scale Strat (Both loaded with 10-46 strings without any issue.
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

  20. #20
    i love me some wide/fat. i rarely play with my thumb on the back of the neck. rather, my thumb wraps around and i clamp all my chords. yet for some reason i can play the DGT carve the same way.
    (513 / P22 / McShootout / DC 245 Ted / DGT / DC22 / Santana / Cu22 Rosewood / 408 Rosewood / SAS / Cu22 Semi hollow / Mira korina / HBII / SE Angelus Custom / SE Mushok) >> {Archon, C, H, Dallas}

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