#1
I have particularly small hands and have been in the search for a guitar with a thinner neck.

I currently own a Yamaha FG730S and I find it is rather harsh on my fingers, and recently I started playing a few songs that I have found incredibly difficult on my fingers and nerves with the Yamaha and was hoping to find a guitar with a somewhat thinner neck and maybe lower action.

My budget is around $200-400, maybe $500 if it'll seal the deal, and I would really prefer to upgrade to an electric acoustic if possible. If anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate it!

(Also I don't mean width, but thickness)
#2
Sorry to bullshit this thread but i saw mattrach (youtube him) doing one video with an acoustic guitar with squier neck on it ...
Gear:
-Squier Bullet Strat

DUNLOP CRY BABY

-Peavey ValveKing 212
#3
Well, I have an Ibanez AEL20E and I dig it. A lot of people will say it doesn't have a full enough sound cause the body is a little thinner, even though it's a jumbo, but I still love it. It's electric with an on board tuner which is awesome, and it's sharp lookin'.

But mostly importantly, it has a thin, easy to play neck, which I find great. And it's right in your price point.

You shouldn't shop for guitars based on action height, really. 'Cause that's something you can always have changed.

Here's a review of the Ibanez: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/acoustic_guitars/ibanez/ael20e/index.html

Rock on.
"Because hoes don't trust anyone.. especially me."
#4
My first instinct is to tell you to suck it up since acoustic guitars generally have heavier gauge strings. They naturally take more pressure to play cleanly. My second thought is that maybe you should get the guitar set up with low action.

I would generally advise against an Ibanez acoustic because they are not particularly well built instrument, but if you like 'em then go ahead with that.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#5
Quote by captivate
My first instinct is to tell you to suck it up since acoustic guitars generally have heavier gauge strings. They naturally take more pressure to play cleanly. My second thought is that maybe you should get the guitar set up with low action.

I would generally advise against an Ibanez acoustic because they are not particularly well built instrument, but if you like 'em then go ahead with that.


Small hands paired with a thick guitar neck is hard to "suck up". You may legitimately need a guitar more suitable for your size. But I agree about having the action changed.

I think Ibanez acoustics get a worse rep than they deserve. Anyway it does fit your specs, but it all comes down to personal feel.

Cheers.
"Because hoes don't trust anyone.. especially me."
#6
And I thought my FG730S had a thin neck (at least compared to the Martin)
I'm dancing in the moonlight
It's caught me in its spotlight
Dancing in the moonlight
On this long hot summer night


Martin D-28
#7
what do you mean, the neck is hard on your nerves? if your fingers are hurting, you probably need to have the action lowered or you're pushing too hard on the strings - which is often the case if the action is too high. or perhaps you're pushing harder than you need to, which can cause nerve damage in the long run. if your wrist or arm are hurting, that could be a matter of some concern, and is probably due to incorrect posture. it can lead to worse problems, like carpal tunnel, so you'd want to sort this out. i owned a yamaha fg730s for a month, and the narrow neck caused me to hold it at an odd angle (i'm classically trained originally) that caused wrist and elbow problems. switching to a guitar with a wider neck solved my problem.

your hand size doesn't really come into this. i'm 5' 3" with hands that are small for my size, so i have very small hands, and i prefer and play best on a wider neck. the yamaha fg730s does have a narrow neck - it's 1 11/16" wide. i play 1 7/8" by preference or sometimes 1 3/4". most likely practice is what will make the neck easier to play - i see 6 year old kids at guitar center playing comfortably on the same neck size as your yamaha. btw, it's the same width neck they use on their mini dread, the tiny guitar.

blueridge guitar necks are a little less big around and also have the 1 11/16" nut, as well as very good tone, so perhaps you'd prefer one of them
http://www.maurysmusic.com/inc/sdetail/blueridge_br_43/52951/80419

also i've written to aria, rogue and luna in the past, and they all make guitars with 1 5/8" nuts, which is as thin as a factory made guitar neck gets.

i wouldn't recommend the ibanez AEL20E as it has cardboardy tone, low unplugged volume and also has a neck that's no narrower than the yamaha.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Last edited by patticake at Jul 3, 2011,
#8
So you're saying finger pain could only be caused by playing incorrectly or having the guitar incorrectly setup?

It's not possible that the song I am playing has chords that are beyond the limits of healthily/safely fretting wth small hands? The song is Neon by John Mayer.. tabs are at the top of this page pic: http://imaguitarist.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/neontab.gif

You know, I have never encountered any major problems with the neck size until I started learning John Mayer's songs. I know he has big hands, but I don't want to believe that difference in hand size really shouldn't keep me from playing his songs altogether :\
Last edited by Rizzice at Jul 3, 2011,
#9
i have small hands and I play short scale guitars, you might want to look into that

the thinnest neck you'll find will only be a few mms thinner than what you have, a shorter scale could be around .75 inch shorter
#10
Quote by Rizzice
So you're saying finger pain could only be caused by playing incorrectly or having the guitar incorrectly setup?


Not really the ONLY reasons behind pain, but they are certainly the two most prominent ones out there. Having incorrect technique is a rather common thing with the guitar, especially if you're self-taught. I taught myself for years without any pain at all in my hands, but after someone showed me a few things that were wrong with my technique, it made playing in general easier.

A good set-up on a guitar can be fairly inexpesnvie, depending on where you live. Before you go to the lengths of buying a brand new guitar, you might want to consider taking it in and looked at. You might find that with a set-up, all of your issues go away.

Also, don't be afraid to take a look at how you play and ask people about it. For all we know, your technique may be spot on, but there's never anything wrong with asking how you can continue to improve your playing.
"Here I sit, beneath a lonely line."

~iband48's signature
#11
Quote by patticake
..or perhaps you're pushing harder than you need to, which can cause nerve damage in the long run. if your wrist or arm are hurting, that could be a matter of some concern, and is probably due to incorrect posture. it can lead to worse problems, like carpal tunnel, so you'd want to sort this out.


Good advice.

Be careful and aware. I've heard carpal tunnel is pretty prevalent in guitar players. :\
"Because hoes don't trust anyone.. especially me."
#13
Quote by iband48
Not really the ONLY reasons behind pain, but they are certainly the two most prominent ones out there. Having incorrect technique is a rather common thing with the guitar, especially if you're self-taught. I taught myself for years without any pain at all in my hands, but after someone showed me a few things that were wrong with my technique, it made playing in general easier.

A good set-up on a guitar can be fairly inexpesnvie, depending on where you live. Before you go to the lengths of buying a brand new guitar, you might want to consider taking it in and looked at. You might find that with a set-up, all of your issues go away.

Also, don't be afraid to take a look at how you play and ask people about it. For all we know, your technique may be spot on, but there's never anything wrong with asking how you can continue to improve your playing.


Thanks for all the responses everyone.

I learned guitar with a teacher for about a year, and then I am self taught from there, so it's very possible my technique is flawed.. is it possible to correct these habits without a teacher? I have been playing for probably 3-4 years total.

And I was just a little hesitant on a $70 setup in my area (supposedly a pretty good one) for what is now a ~$250 guitar, but I will probably get it setup this week.

EDIT: I dropped by a GC today and tried out another FG730S and it felt so much nicer to play. I really hope a setup will get my FG feeling the same..
Last edited by Rizzice at Jul 3, 2011,
#14
I'm sure that it will. A good set-up will change an instrument almost completely. I do my own set-ups, after quite a while of watching and learning from a lot of the local techs, and I'm almost obsessive about my guitars now.

As for correcting any errors in technique, its something that can easily be fixed on your own if there are those around you willing to help. I know quite a few that aren't willing to give any tips at all unless their getting paid, which you may run in to on occasion. But there are plenty of kind musicians out there willing to share knowledge.

Check out a few books, even a few videos on YouTube can be good resources. From all of my experience, its very small changes that have to be made. It could be the angel of your wrist, the pressure you're applying to the strings, the way your hand approachs the neck, etc. But its just small things that will require a bit of attention during your usual practice.
"Here I sit, beneath a lonely line."

~iband48's signature
#15
Quote by FirstDegree
Small hands paired with a thick guitar neck is hard to "suck up". You may legitimately need a guitar more suitable for your size. But I agree about having the action changed.

I think Ibanez acoustics get a worse rep than they deserve. Anyway it does fit your specs, but it all comes down to personal feel.

Cheers.


I have short and stubby fingers, too. I sucked it up.

Anyone can get used to an acoustic. It just takes a time.


On a side/slightly off note, I have carpel tunnel syndrome, but it's in my strumming hand due to using my computer too much.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#16
if one song or a group of more challenging songs are giving you trouble, perhaps you're not giving your fingers a chance to adapt/stretch. just like any other muscles, your hand and finger muscles need time and an appropriate amount of practice to adjust.


takamine usually have a 1 11/16" nut, just like the yamahas.

Quote by ethan_hanus
Takamine, they generally put thin necks on their guitars, the neck on my EG334SC feels strangely similar to the neck on my Squier, which I love, cause I don't have to adjust to the different necks when I switch guitars.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#17
Yes Patticake i just measured my taki's with a micrometer and they are 1 11/16" nut.

Gee it would be a lot easier if you people went metric. Cheers