Guitar Neck Thickness: All You Want to Know


When many beginners are learning to play guitar, they look for the factors that will affect the guitar’s sound and playability.

The thickness of the guitar’s neck, which affects the player’s skill, comfort, and overall experience, is one of the main elements that stand out.

Narrower necks make it simple to play fast passages, while thicker neck offers more sustain and a richer tone.

The perfect guitar thickness will depend on your playing technique and personal preferences.

You may prefer a neck with a thinner profile for easier playing if you frequently play a lead guitar.

In case you play a rhythm guitar often, you might prefer a thicker neck due to a deeper tone.

Does The Playability Vary By Guitar Neck Thickness?

Yes, the neck’s thickness impacts the playability of a guitar.

Playing rapid parts on a thick neck is difficult.

On the other hand, a thinner neck is easier to play quick sections on, but it does not support the chords well.

You should test out various guitars to determine the optimal neck thickness.

Examining various guitars will allow you to settle on the one that suits your playing style and preference.

Apart from the thickness of a guitar, other factors affect the guitar’s playability.

These factors include:

Nut Width

The nut width refers to the neck’s breadth at the nut.

You can easily construct fast passages with a narrower nut width while playing chords can be more pleasant with a wider nut width.

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Neck Profile

The neck profile refers to the curvature of the neck.

Some guitars have rounder ones, while others have more flat neck profiles.

Some players find playing with a guitar with a rounder neck profile comfortable.

On the other hand, some may find it easier to play quick passages with guitars with a more flat neck profile.

Fretboard Radius

The fretboard radius is the curve of the fretboard.

A more curved fretboard radius makes it simpler to play quick passages, while a flatter fretboard radius is more comfortable to play chords.

What Should I Consider When Choosing the Guitar Neck Thickness?

When determining the ideal guitar thickness to select, there are several aspects that you must consider.

These elements consist of:

Hand Size

The size of your hands is a key determinant of the type of guitar neck thickness you will select.

You will find reaching the frets on a thick neck hard if your hands are small.

Playing Style

The neck’s thickness determines the ease of playing a particular music.

For instance, a smaller neck makes it easy to play quick sections, while a larger neck may offer superb support for the chords.

Personal Preference

The ideal neck thickness should make you feel comfortable when playing.

You will therefore have to make the proper neck thickness decision.

The simplest method is to try various neck thicknesses to see which feels the best.

How Can I Measure The Thickness Of A Guitar Neck?

Many guitar players, both beginners and experienced, do not know how to measure their guitar’s neck thickness.

You can find several methods to measure the thickness of the guitar’s neck.

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Using a Caliper

You can use a caliper.

Calipers are gadgets that measure the thickness of things in a short time.

Start by taking the guitar’s strings off before using a caliper.

Place the caliper on the neck near the nut, paying special attention to where the strings and fretboard converge.

Now, the caliper will measure the neck thickness.

Using a Ruler

To use a ruler to measure the guitar’s neck thickness, you will need to measure the distance between the fretboard’s top and the bottom of the neck at the nut.

With this measurement, you will know your guitar’s neck thickness.

Touch is the other method for estimating the thickness of the neck.

If you don’t have a caliper or a ruler, this can be beneficial even if it won’t give precise measurements.

Place the fingers on the neck at the nut and assess the thickness to assess the guitar’s neck thickness by feel.

Can I Change The Thickness Of A Guitar Neck?

Now that you know how to measure the guitar’s neck thickness, what happens if you determine the thickness is too much for you?

Most people do not like thick necks as they take away comfort, tone, and playability.

Don’t worry; various ways exist to change the guitar’s neck thickness.

Investing in a new guitar with a different neck profile is one of the greatest remedies for various guitar problems.

Alternatively, you might replace the neck with a thinner one.

This alternative is somewhat pricey.

The second technique involves having the guitar neck reshaped.

This process involves modifying the neck thickness with woodwork.

Some guitarists fear this method because they believe it would degrade their instrument rather than improve it.

Some guitarists, particularly beginners, fear this method may degrade their guitars.

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You have nothing to fear, as it is a common practice.

It is advised that before changing the guitar’s neck thickness, one should do research and consult an expert to ensure the process is done properly.

The wrong process or any mishap done by a technician not qualified to deal with the guitar’s neck thickness might bring more issues.

Can You Sand Down The Neck Of A Guitar?

Yes, you can sand down the neck of a guitar.

Before renovating any guitar portion, speaking with a luthier or technician is typically advisable.

On the other hand, you can proceed and finish the woodworking challenge if you believe you have the necessary expertise.

A few things need to be taken care of before you sand the neck of a guitar.

Remove the guitar strings to make sand down the neck easier and avoid damaging the strings.

Before sanding, assess the neck for any damage or cracks.

If you find any cracks, they must be fixed before sanding.

It is essential to ensure you select the right sandpaper.

The sandpaper should be suitable for the kind of wood that the neck is made of.

You should use the coarsest sandpaper as you move to finer sandpaper gradually.

Now you can give the neck a finishing touch before testing it.

Remember sanding can change the guitar’s tone; hence if you are not experienced, you should take your guitar to an expert.


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