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How much is nut-width and neck-width a worry for finger-style playing?

Discussion in 'Social' started by icarus74, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. icarus74

    icarus74 Guest

    As a mid-life learner of Acoustic Guitar, my collection is extremely humble and comprises of 2 beginner-level (i.e. laminated, entry-level range) steel-string acoustic guitars - both of which are cut-away, and a Yamaha C40 entry-level nylon-string full-size classical guitar (that by the way has the best sound) that is not cut-away.

    As I'm beginning to play a bit more fingerstyle and would like to do so on steel-string guitar as well, I've thus been looking (for a good 5 months now as evidenced by a related question in the past) for wider-nut steel-string acoustic-electric guitar, but with at least solid top -- since that is all I think I can afford.

    I think I might've found a decent guitar that checks many boxes (solid body, excellent pickup etc.) but still a 43mm nut. Have got few reports of the guitar being very nice sounding and a pleasure to play. However, I am torn between putting my money on another 43mm (which otherwise is a step-up for me in all other ways), or waiting somemore time to find a 47-48mm, which seems to be extremely hard to find, where I live.

    Thus, the question -- How significant is the real effective difference between a 43mm nut and a 47-48mm nut width guitar, after all it is just about 1mm extra between each string, compared to the one with 43mm nut ?

    I find playing (fingerstyle) my current entry-level Yamaha F310 with 43mm nut-width, somewhat cramped now, i.e. after playing the 52mm nut-width Classical guitar for a while. I notice lack of clarity (muddy sounding), more mistakes with inadvertent neighboring strings being muted (thanks to both left hand and right hand) or mis-struck on the narrower neck (i.e. 43mm nut) -- but perhaps it is because I am returning to the 43mm neck guitar after several months (of playing the Classical guitar, almost exclusively), and I am still very much learning.

    Will 43mm nut width guitar be a life-long handicap in playing clean, good sounding, finger-style and thus should be avoided ?

    Edit-1: Here is an interesting youtube video sharing poster's views on appropriateness of wider neck for finger-style playing. The problem that the poster refers to, is one of the problems I am facing with my left (fretting) hand fingers, i.e. the pads of the fingers seem to touch the next/lower string, there by causing some muting/buzzing.

    Edit-2: After reading around this subject a bit, I tend to think that industry is using inconsistent terminology. For example, the definition of Nut-width in may places is noted as the distance between lower-E and higher-E (6th string and 1st string) at the nut. However, here is what I measured just now on 2 guitars:

    • Yamaha C40 (Classical): 36mm, 43mm, 50mm for eE, NW, BW respectively
    • Yamaha F310 (Steel St): 42mm, 52mm, 60mm for eE, NW, BW respectively

    where eE is distance between lower-E and higher-E at the Nult, NW is Nut width, BW is Bridge Width (but distance between lower-E and higher-E at the bridge).

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