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Old 03-16-2013, 10:42 AM   #1
Skysc
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Radius and fast playing ?

is the radius really a factor for fast playing . manufacturer that use 13.5 , 14 radius always write FOR FAST PLAYING .

my agile has a 13.7 radius , my les paul has a 12 i believe . i can feel the difference of the flatter board but does it play faster ??? i couldnt tell difference !!!

is there a reason why flatter raidus are suppose to play faster ??? or its just a myth ??
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:09 PM   #2
Soccerguy
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I have never read anywhere that any radius is for faster playing. It's a comfort thing.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:28 PM   #3
takachan
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Yeah the radius thing was a huge topic back in the 80s.
Basically the famous shred necks on guitars like Ibanez, Kramer, Jackson and bc rich have a neck radius of 14"-16".
Because sweep picking requires your fingers to flow across the fretboard vertically instead of moving down the fretboard, it requires to have good spacing between strings.
On a side note, it's shocking to see malmsteen do his fast sweep picking and shredding on a stratocaster, but with some research, you will find out that his neck radius is a bit wider than traditional strat necks (Sorry Fellas).
Sweeping, multiple string tapping, string skipping, tremelo picking. Scientifically having more space between strings allows you to do these things a lot easier.

So in the end, yes it is a comfort thing.

Last edited by takachan : 03-16-2013 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:39 PM   #4
mattrusso
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When people say "fast" referring to a guitar neck, it's really just their opinion. I personally think the neck on my Gretsch is "fast", but you might not.

The main issue with neck radius seems to be bending strings. The general consensus is that a smaller radius allows for easier chord fingering but a larger radius makes bending notes easier. Personally, I don't really buy this. It's way easier to bend notes on my Strat (9.5" radius) than on my D'Angelico, (12" radius) but I prefer the D'Angelico for difficult chord fingerings. This seems to be the opposite of how most people feel, but I'd be willing to bet a lot of you would agree with me.

Most "shreddy" (Ibanez, Jackson, etc.) guitars that advertise having a "fast" neck come with a larger (or sometimes compound) radius, (supposedly for easier bending) so that could be where you got that impression from.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:52 PM   #5
Tempoe
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As far as the bending goes, I think a larger radius will allow lower action before the bending string chokes off, so ultimately it will bend further at the same action.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:45 PM   #6
MrFlibble
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"Fast playing" and "speed" are marketing terms that you should never buy into.

Speed and precision only come from comfort. When you practice, what are you doing, really? You're making your muscles more comfortable with a particular action until they can perform it quicker, smoother and more consistently. If your hand isn't comfortable with something then it can't move properly.

What makes a neck comfortable varies from person to person. Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan both had huge hands. They could tear up a 7.25" radius fretboard with tiny fretwire, large strings and high action. Slash and Doug Aldrich can shred a thick lump of mahogany and rosewood like nobody's business. Steve Vai and Joe Satriani are speed demons on 17" radius, paper-thin necks with huge wire. Eric Clapton likes V necks; Paul Gilbert likes D necks. You can hand any guitar to Prince and he'll make it scream.

Just try a bunch of guitars. Find what feels best in your hands. Don't worry about what neck people on the internet tell you is the best for them. Don't pay any attention to what the manufacturers tell you is the best neck for you. Just play lots of guitars and when you find one that immediately feels right in your hands, stick with it.


Lots of people will tell you that you need an Ibanez neck in order to play well. They'll tell you that an ESP or Schecter neck is 'thick', because they've never tried an actually thick neck and have no idea what one really feels like. They'll say you need a flat radius and huge fret wire.
If I pick up an Ibanez guitar I can't even play powerchords without my hand cramping up in under 20 seconds. Give me a standard Telecaster or Les Paul and I'm good to go for hours.

Different strokes for different folks.
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