Mudcat Café message #989657 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #61506   Message #989657
Posted By: PoppaGator
24-Jul-03 - 12:16 PM
Thread Name: guitar nut/neck size
Subject: RE: guitar nut/neck size
Silly me -- I assumed we were discussing the *other* dimension of the nut, which is down in the neighborhood of 3/16 to 1/4 inch, not an inch and 3/4. If I had read more carefully, visualized the dimensions under discussion and thought about for a moment, I wouldn't have posted my comment/question yesterday -- at least, not the same one.

Having learned to play on a nylon string guitar before switching to a dreadnaught, I'm very much aware of the difference between the wide fingerboard on classical-type guitars and the narrower one on steel-string models. Since I'm not a collector or connoisseur, having owned only the two instruments, I was not really aware of the more subtle differences between nut-widths from one steel-string instrument and another -- I just assumed that there were the two widths, one standard size for classical guitars and the other for all steel-string acoustics and electrics. Obviously I was wrong.

Seems to me that the width at the nut would have more effect on LEFT-hand technique and habits, and have little to do with whether the player is flat- or finger-picking with the right hand. It would be the width at the *other* end, at the bridge and/or saddle, that would be in question in regard to picking styles. The strings are spread a bit wider apart down there at the bottom end than they are at the nut, if I'm not mistaken, and assuming that there are subtle differences between one guitar and another in the saddle width as well as the nut width, I'd suggest that *that* dimension might be considered in relation to right-hand technique.

I can't imagine that it would make a lot of difference anyway, and I'm not sure which dimension would be considered preferable for which style: Is a narrower configuration preferable for flatpicking and a wider one for fingerpicking, or vice versa? Narrower might be better for just-strumming, but flatpickers and fingerpickers both need to strike individual strings as well as chords.