Knowing how to measure a guitar neck is essential whether you’re buying a new instrument or trying to adjust your current one.
With just a few simple measurements, you can ensure that your guitar neck fits perfectly and allows for optimal playing.
Nowadays, with online shopping being so prevalent, it’s more important than ever to know how to measure a guitar neck accurately. You don’t want to risk buying an instrument only for it not to fit comfortably in your hands when it arrives.
Moreover, having the right measurements can also help you make informed decisions when choosing between different types of guitars.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps of measuring your guitar neck width, length, and thickness so that you can find the perfect match for your playing needs.
How wide is a guitar neck?
When it comes to guitar neck widths, there are a few key things you should keep in mind.
For electric guitars, necks tend to be narrower than those found on acoustic guitars.
Meanwhile, bass guitars often have wider necks, as they typically require thicker strings.
Finally, jazz and classical guitar necks can vary depending on the specific instrument and style of play.
Knowing these differences can help you choose the right guitar for your needs and preferences.
Electric guitar’s neck width
The width of an electric guitar neck is 1.65 inches at the first fret region or nut. However, this can vary slightly based on the model and type of guitar you’re playing.
To get a better idea of how wide your specific guitar’s neck is, you should know a few things.
Firstly, consider the brand and model of your guitar, as they often have unique neck width specifications.
Secondly, consider what type of music you’ll be playing on your instrument.
If you plan to play fast-paced solos and complex chords, a wider neck may be more suitable for your style. On the other hand, if you’re interested in playing more rhythm-based music or have smaller hands, a narrower neck may be preferable.
Acoustic guitar’s neck width
Neck width measurements for acoustic guitars typically fall between 41mm (1.61″) and 44mm (1.73″) for small to medium sizes, while wider sizes can reach up to 51mm (2″).
These measurements are crucial to ensure a comfortable playing experience and optimal finger placement.
When measuring your acoustic guitar’s neck width, it’s important to acknowledge not only the nut width but also the distance between the strings at various points along the fretboard. This will help you determine if any adjustments need to be made based on your personal playing style and preferences.
Additionally, keep in mind that different manufacturers may have slight variations in their neck widths, so it’s always best to try out a few different guitars before making a final decision on which one feels most comfortable for you.
Bass guitar’s neck width
The neck width on a bass guitar is typically around 43mm (1.69″) to 45mm (1.77″), which allows for easier finger placement and movement up and down the fretboard.
When measuring the neck width of your bass guitar, it’s important to use a ruler or caliper to get an accurate measurement.
Keep in mind that some manufacturers may have slight variations in their measurements, so it’s always best to double-check with the specifications provided by the manufacturer or from reputable sources online.
Also, consider trying out different neck widths when shopping for a new bass guitar to find what works best for your playing style and comfort level.
Jazz and classical guitar necks
Jazz and classical guitar necks are typically measuring around 47mm (1.85″) and 51mm (2″). These necks provide more space between strings, making playing complex chords and fingerstyle arrangements easier.
The added width also allows for better hand positioning, reducing tension and strain on your wrist. This is especially beneficial for players who tend to cramp up or experience discomfort during long practice sessions or live performances.
If you’re used to playing on narrower acoustic guitar necks, it may take some time to adjust to the wider feel of jazz and classical guitar necks, but once you do, you’ll appreciate the added versatility they provide in terms of technique and musical expression.
How long is a guitar neck?
Regarding guitar neck length, different guitar types have different measurements.
Electric guitar’s neck length
The length of an electric guitar’s neck can greatly impact the ease and comfort of playing, making it crucial for players to consider when selecting their instrument.
Generally, electric guitar necks are shorter than acoustic ones, with a standard length of around 25.5 inches.
However, some models have shorter or longer necks depending on the manufacturer and style.
Shorter necks tend to be more comfortable for players with smaller hands or those who prefer faster playing styles like shredding. Longer necks provide more space between frets, which can make it easier to play complex chords and stretch your fingers across the fretboard.
Acoustic guitar’s neck length
Acoustic guitar necks typically range from 24 inches to 26 inches long, with some variations among manufacturers.
The longer the neck, the more spaced out the frets will be, which can make it easier to stretch your fingers for certain chord shapes. However, if you have smaller hands or prefer a more compact feel, a shorter neck may be a better fit.
Another factor to consider when measuring an acoustic guitar neck is its width at the nut and saddle.
The nut is located at the top of the fingerboard near the headstock and determines how much space there is between each string.
The saddle is located at the bottom of the fingerboard near where it meets with the body and affects how high each string sits off of the fingerboard.
A wider nut will give you more room to maneuver between strings, while a narrower one may feel cramped but provide greater precision.
Classical guitar’s neck length
Classical guitars typically have longer necks than acoustic guitars, which can make them more challenging to play for some people.
Remember that everyone’s preferences are different when it comes to guitar neck lengths, so take your time finding what works best for you!
How thick is a guitar neck?
When it comes to guitar neck thickness, you have a lot of options to choose from.
Electric guitar’s neck thickness
The thickness of an electric guitar’s neck is measured in millimeters or inches, with most falling between 19mm to 22mm in thickness at the first fret. However, there are some exceptions such as vintage-style guitars that have thicker necks.
The thickness of the neck affects the feel of your hands when you play and can influence how easily you can wrap your fingers around it to form chords or hit individual notes. A thinner neck might allow for faster playing but may not be as comfortable for those with larger hands.
Conversely, a thicker neck may offer more support for your hand but could slow down your playing speed.
Acoustic guitar’s neck thickness
The thickness of an acoustic guitar’s neck greatly impacts the player’s comfort and playability, making it just as important to consider as with electric guitars.
Unlike electric guitars, which often have thinner necks for faster playing, acoustic guitars typically have thicker necks that provide more stability and support for fingerpicking and strumming.
When measuring the thickness of an acoustic guitar neck, it’s important to take into account both the width and depth. The width refers to the distance from one edge of the fretboard to the other, while the depth is measured from the back of the neck to the front.
A comfortable acoustic guitar neck should be wide enough for your fingers to move easily between chords but not so wide that you have difficulty reaching certain frets.
Similarly, a good depth will allow for a solid grip without causing hand fatigue or strain during long playing sessions.
Classical guitar’s neck thickness
Classical guitarists prefer thicker necks for better stability and support while fingerpicking or strumming, just like acoustic guitars. However, the thickness of classical guitar necks can vary greatly depending on the player’s preference and playing style.
Some classical guitarists prefer a thin neck for faster technical playing, while others prefer a thicker neck for added comfort and control during long practice sessions or performances.
What is your guitar’s neck contour?
The shape of the neck’s contour affects how your hand grips the guitar and how much pressure is needed to play certain chords or notes.
Here are three common types of neck contours:
- C-shaped: This is the most popular type of contour, and it has a smooth curve that fits comfortably into your hand.
- V-shaped: This type of contour has a sharp point at the center of the back of the neck, which provides more support for your thumb and index finger.
- U-shaped: This type of contour has a deep curve that creates more space between your fingers and the fretboard, allowing for easier access to all strings.
Choosing a neck with a comfortable contour will help reduce fatigue and allow you to focus on playing rather than discomfort.
Take some time to experiment with different types of contours before making a decision on which one works best for you.
How to measure your guitar neck?
So, you want to measure your guitar neck? Well, there are a few key points you should know about.
First, it’s important to determine the width, length, and thickness of your neck.
Then, consider the contour of the neck and fingerboard radius.
Finally, take note of the fret size as you measure your guitar neck.
By paying attention to these details, you’ll be able to accurately assess the dimensions of your guitar’s neck.
How to measure the guitar’s neck width
To measure the width, you should do only two things:
- Take a ruler and place it parallel to the strings at the nut.
- Measure from one edge of the fretboard to the other edge on the opposite side. This measurement should be taken at the neck’s widest part, usually around frets 1-3.
This will give you an accurate reading of your guitar’s neck width and help you choose an instrument that fits your hands comfortably.
Remember that different manufacturers may have different widths for their instruments, so it’s important to try out several guitars before making a purchase decision.
How to measure the guitar’s neck length
To measure the neck width, do this:
- Start measuring from the nut (the small piece at the top of the fretboard) to the 12th fret marker (usually indicated by two dots on the fretboard). This distance should be exactly half of the total length between the nut and the bridge.
- Measure from the 12th fret marker to where the neck meets with the guitar’s body. This will give you an idea of how much extra space you have beyond where your fingers will typically be playing.
Keep in mind that different types of guitars may have different lengths depending on their design. For example, a classical guitar may have a longer scale length than an electric guitar.
How to measure the guitar’s neck thickness
To measure the neck thickness:
- Place a ruler or caliper at the nut end of the fretboard.
- Measure from the top edge of the fretboard to the back of the neck, where it meets the body.
- Take note of this measurement and move down towards lower frets, repeating until you reach near where your hand rests while playing.
How to measure the guitar’s fingerboard radius
The fingerboard radius is an important factor in how comfortable and easy it is to play your favorite songs on the guitar. It refers to the curvature of the fretboard, which can greatly affect how your fingers move across the strings.
A flatter radius will make it easier to play chords and bend notes smoothly, while a more curved radius will allow for better string bending and soloing.
Measuring the fingerboard radius can be done like this:
- Get gauges or rulers specifically designed for measuring fingerboard radius.
- Place it against the frets.
- Make adjustments until the tool fits tightly against the surface of the fingerboard.
- Once the tool is snugly in place, note the measurement indicated.
So, you’ve learned how to measure your guitar neck!
Now that you know the dimensions of your guitar neck, you can make informed decisions about what kind of strings, picks, and other accessories will work best for your playing style.
But don’t stop there – take advantage of this newfound knowledge to experiment with different techniques and styles.
Are there any special tools needed to measure a guitar neck?
All you really need to measure a guitar neck is a good old-fashioned ruler!
Of course, it helps if you have a ruler that’s specifically designed for measuring guitars – one with clear markings and precise measurements. And if you want even more accuracy, consider investing in a digital caliper or other high-tech measuring tool.
But at the end of the day, all it really takes is a steady hand and some basic equipment to get the job done right.