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Thread: Impossible? I Like All The Neck Profiles

  1. #1

    Impossible? I Like All The Neck Profiles

    While being as ancient as I am has many disadvantages (for example, I am now completely invisible to women), maybe there's a silver lining to this cloud: I seem to have learned to be OK with an unusual variety of guitar neck profiles. Or was I born this way? Nature or nurture?

    I learned to play on a '65 SG Special with a Slim-Taper neck profile that I've mentioned here before. I've had deep V Martins, C-shaped Fenders, V-shaped Fenders, very fat necks, very thin necks, Taylors and Collings and skinny-as-hell Rick 12 string necks and many more; since 1991, I've owned all of the PRS neck shapes except Wide-Thin, though I now have a Pattern Thin 408 in my small arsenal. All of 'em worked just fine for me. Heck, I've owned a Modulus Graphite bass with a 35 inch scale and a neck so wide that you could land a 747 on it.

    What I've found is that while a good setup is absolutely vital, the neck profile is something I get used to in about a half a second.

    Since this seems impossible given the many posts I read where folks say they can't get along with one or the other neck profiles, I thought, "Maybe there's something unusual about my hands?" So I looked up a couple of facts. The length of the average adult male hand is 7.44 inches. Mine measures about 8, but it's by no means unusually large. It's a little wider, but not by much (and no jokes about size and girth please, ahem).

    So maybe on the larger than average size, but I know a lot of musicians whose hands are larger than mine. And with somewhat larger than average hands, shouldn't I have a problem with a shallower neck? I don't! Nor do I have a problem with a deeper neck. In fact, I hardly notice the difference! This led me to a discovery about myself: size doesn't matter!

    In fact, my friends, I am multineckadextrous!

    While it is true that I may be a freak of nature, I think it's a blessing. Hand me a guitar, and I will be able to play it as badly as I play any other guitar, provided it has a decent setup!

    So, am I alone on this board? Is anyone else multineckadextrous? Or are you all wimpily wedded to one singular sensational shape?

    Inquiring minds want to know the answer to this burning question.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 03-18-2014 at 08:53 PM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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  2. #2
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    HOW OLD ARE YOU ?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by bluefade View Post
    HOW OLD ARE YOU ?
    Let's put it this way; the Romans were still using the ab urbe condita calendar, the Julian calendar had yet to be invented, let alone the Gregorian.

    So no one knows for sure.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    While being as ancient as I am has many disadvantages (for example, I am now completely invisible to women), maybe there's a silver lining to this cloud: I seem to have learned to be OK with an unusual variety of guitar neck profiles. Or was I born this way? Nature or nurture?

    I learned to play on a '65 SG Special with a Slim-Taper neck profile that I've mentioned here before. I've had deep V Martins, C-shaped Fenders, V-shaped Fenders, very fat necks, very thin necks, Taylors and Collings and skinny-as-hell Rick 12 string necks and many more; since 1991, I've owned all of the PRS neck shapes except Wide-Thin, though I now have a Pattern Thin 408 in my small arsenal. All of 'em worked just fine for me. Heck, I've owned a Modulus Graphite bass with a 35 inch scale and a neck so wide that you could land a 747 on it.

    What I've found is that while a good setup is absolutely vital, the neck profile is something I get used to in about a half a second.

    Since this seems impossible given the many posts I read where folks say they can't get along with one or the other neck profiles, I thought, "Maybe there's something unusual about my hands?" So I looked up a couple of facts. The length of the average adult male hand is 7.44 inches. Mine measures about 8, but it's by no means unusually large. It's a little wider, but not by much (and no jokes about size and girth please, ahem).

    So maybe on the larger than average size, but I know a lot of musicians whose hands are larger than mine. And with somewhat larger than average hands, shouldn't I have a problem with a shallower neck? I don't! Nor do I have a problem with a deeper neck. In fact, I hardly notice the difference! This led me to a discovery about myself: size doesn't matter!

    In fact, my friends, I am multineckadextrous!

    While it is true that I may be a freak of nature, I think it's a blessing. Hand me a guitar, and I will be able to play it as badly as I play any other guitar, provided it has a decent setup!

    So, am I alone on this board? Is anyone else multineckadextrous? Or are you all wimpily wedded to one singular sensational shape?

    Inquiring minds want to know the answer to this burning question.
    I'm in your camp my man. Each neck has its own quality and beauty about it. I get along fine with all of them and they seem to get along fine with me
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  5. #5
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    Wide thin or pattern thin for me. I have small girly hands, for the record.

  6. #6
    I don't think age necessarily has anything to do with it. I'm 30 and I get along fine with just about any neck profile. As a matter of fact, I'd hate to limit myself to one because then it'd be like having multiples of the same guitar to a degree. Sure, I prefer certain neck profiles (my favorite varies between the PRS wide-thin and the ESP George Lynch U profile), but I have all sorts and play them all equally badly.

  7. #7
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    A friend once described my hands as "Billy Barty hands". But all of the PRS neck profiles work for me. About the only thing I can't tolerate is a really fat neck.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SausageofPower View Post
    I don't think age necessarily has anything to do with it. I'm 30 and I get along fine with just about any neck profile.
    Then multineckadexterity must be nature, not nurture.

    But I'll bet you're not invisible to women yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post
    About the only thing I can't tolerate is a really fat neck.
    As a person with a really fat neck, I can't tell you how hurt I am by that remark.

    If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh?

    Time for me to see the neckadontist.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 03-18-2014 at 09:58 PM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  9. #9
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    I'm with you, Les. I get along with any neck profile. The only neck I haven't liked is the 12 string "way too narrow" Ric neck. On a 6 string, no prob.

    On a related note, I just played one of those Washburn historic series small bodied blues acoustics. It had a super narrow, but super sharp v neck. I mean, the v came to a point. You could crease paper on that sucker!

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    Iam with you les neck size doesn't matter hell at my age Iam happy to get my hands around something

  11. #11
    Senior Member AP515's Avatar
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    I'm happy with most any neck that isn't stuck to a Tele. Not that I wouldn't like one, I just haven't found one that works for me. Not sure why.
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  12. #12
    Junior Member TheRockGuitarGuy's Avatar
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    I, too, can get along with most neck shapes/sizes. Now I know why - because I'm multineckadextrous! Great post!

  13. #13
    Senior Member veinbuster's Avatar
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    The neck doesn't impact me much, except that I find it difficult to play classical music on a very narrow neck.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Whitecat's Avatar
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    Don't like wide-thin/pattern thin but doesn't mean I can't play on it, it just feels odd/like there's some neck missing and they wouldn't be my first choice. The other two I find interchangeable (not from a feel perspective but that I am equally at home on both). So two out of three ain't bad, amaright?

    What's pissing me off lately is that there's an influx of pattern thin necks at UK dealers. Even a recent fairly large Custom 22 order by a well-known retailer seemed to all have the P/T optional necks on them. I guess it's popular, but it's keeping me away. Oh wait, that's a good thing, says my wife.
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  15. #15

    Iíll Take a Large

    I can play them all but vastly prefer wide fat necks. They are just more comfortable for my large hands. My fret hand tends to fatigue sooner on a thin skimpy neck. Plus wider necks allow me to get my fat fingers into the chords more cleanly. My í51 Nocaster, í58 LP R8, and PRS ME have the most comfortable profiles for me. I have and play a Strat with a thin, narrow mid 60ís neck but much prefer the others.

    I never understood thin necks except maybe for people with smaller hands. A thin neck does not add any speed for me. I also believe that more mass in the neck contribute to things like wood stability, tone, and sustain. I have actually sold a few nice guitars over the years because the necks were too thin for my taste.

    But in the end it is just a personal preference.

  16. #16
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    I'm going to dispute this term before it gets added to the dictionary - I propose ambineckstrous!

    Ha.

    But seriously, I've not felt a PRS neck I didn't like. Have played some Gibsons that were too big, and a Ric that had a really deep "D" shaped neck that I didn't care for at all. And I also haven't found a Tele neck that I like.
    -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.

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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Woollymonster View Post
    A thin neck does not add any speed for me. I also believe that more mass in the neck contribute to things like wood stability, tone, and sustain.
    I've usually preferred larger necks, too.

    I can't say whether the Pattern Thin neck on my new 408 is faster than the one on my former Sig Ltd. It's very comfortable, but so was the Pattern.

    I don't notice a difference in tone or sustain between the two neck profiles on the two guitars.

    Maybe in theory I'd get something a bit different, but two guitars is too small a sample size for me to reach any conclusion about differences in tone between the two profiles.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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  18. #18
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
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    I have had a guitar for about the last 25 years or so, and just recently took a random orbital sander to the neck -followed by careful hand-sanding to complete smoothness and a contour I like- and immediately fell in love with it all over again. I learned on a Squier HM-3 Strat, if anyone knows what that is. One of its characteristics is a very thin, fairly wide, flat fretboard. My second guitar (the one I sanded) was almost unplayable to me for several months after I got it simply because its neck had a slightly thicker, more nearly U-shaped (squarish) profile; now it is a decent approximation of the shape of a PRS wide-Fat neck, and much more playable. Oh, I got used to the original neck profile in time, but was never quite comfortable with it.

    I have a Pattern-necked PRS as well as a Wide-Fat; I find the Pattern-necked machine's neck's slight "V" a bit disconcerting -esp. at first- but it is also useful for the extra leverage it can give me in certain positions; I find the difference helpful overall if a bit odd-feeling compared to what I'm used to, but the difference is so slight as to be fairly easy to adapt to; I like it, all in all. So, a plus for the Wide-Fat for being so flipping comfortable, and a plus to the Pattern neck for being a useful adaptation.

    As for the question, is it unusual to be so comfortable with such widely varying neck profiles, I think that you are at the far end of the adaptability scale in that regard, whether through native talent, training, experience, or some other factor. Count yourself lucky... or skilled.
    Last edited by Felix; 03-19-2014 at 09:31 AM.

  19. #19
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    Hey Les,

    You are very lucky, and I urge you not to think about it anymore! For 10 years or more, I was exactly the same way. Unless a neck was really thin and made the strings really close together, I could adjust to anything in seconds. I never even NOTICED or thought about the neck/shape/size. Thanks to the internet, I started paying much more attention to these things, and now i am useless on a thin neck. (probably because I am older, I now DO get cramping much fatser on a smaller neck) I also do feel for the most part (not always) larger necks sound better (woodier and meatier) than the same guitar with a smaller neck. Good for you though, the less you think about things, the better you play. The best guitars and amps you do not even notice IMO. They just get out of your way, and add zero resistance to the thought/note production signal path.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Tag View Post
    Hey Les,

    You are very lucky, and I urge you not to think about it anymore! For 10 years or more, I was exactly the same way. Unless a neck was really thin and made the strings really close together, I could adjust to anything in seconds. I never even NOTICED or thought about the neck/shape/size. Thanks to the internet, I started paying much more attention to these things, and now i am useless on a thin neck. (probably because I am older, I now DO get cramping much fatser on a smaller neck) I also do feel for the most part (not always) larger necks sound better (woodier and meatier) than the same guitar with a smaller neck. Good for you though, the less you think about things, the better you play. The best guitars and amps you do not even notice IMO. They just get out of your way, and add zero resistance to the thought/note production signal path.
    I think partly it's that I play with a pretty light touch. So my hands don't cramp. And I also spend a lot of time on keyboards, so maybe the "cross training" keeps the fingers limber. Who knows?

    As one of our forum members remarks, these are first-world problems!
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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