#1
I'm one of the whiners who has small hands. Sorry, but it is what it is.
Been looking at Ibanez, ESP, then Fender Mustangs and Jaguars (24" scale length)
Will a shorter neck also mean that the distance between frets are also shorter?
Was slugging away at, "Walk This Way" (Aerosmith) a few days ago, and had a heck of a time reaching out to a higher register with my pinky. Totally impossible, in fact.
#3
Quote by Tempoe
yes they will be closer on the lower frets.

Significantly closer to allow me to pinky-reach more comfortably?
#4
Shorter scale lengths have less space between the frets. I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to as a "short neck" but I'll assume you just mean the scale length.

The scale length is the distance between the nut and the bridge. By necessity, each interval (fret) is a certain proportion of the scale length. The longer the scale length, the larger the distance between the frets.

Neck length is somewhat related but you can technically make a neck shorter without affecting the scale length so it's not really a good measure of what you're asking about.

Quote by pointnplink
Significantly closer to allow me to pinky-reach more comfortably?

Not sure how we can answer that for you. Play a few yourself and find out.
#5
Quote by Roc8995
Shorter scale lengths have less space between the frets. I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to as a "short neck" but I'll assume you just mean the scale length.

The scale length is the distance between the nut and the bridge. By necessity, each interval (fret) is a certain proportion of the scale length. The longer the scale length, the larger the distance between the frets.

Neck length is somewhat related but you can technically make a neck shorter without affecting the scale length so it's not really a good measure of what you're asking about.


Not sure how we can answer that for you. Play a few yourself and find out.

Yeah, I do mean "scale length" as opposed to, "neck length". Thanks for the heads up on that.
I am hopeful that the "intervals" are a smaller distance across, so the next fret up to the body will be easier to reach.
#6
Quote by pointnplink
Significantly closer to allow me to pinky-reach more comfortably?


You trying to play "Walk this way?"

If you have tiny hands, then yes, a shorter scale will get you closer. I have the opposite problem. I have huge XXL glove hands, and the shorter scale guitars crowd my fingers at the upper end of things.

Don't go too short, though -- spend more time adjusting your technique.
#7
Quote by dspellman
You trying to play "Walk this way?"

If you have tiny hands, then yes, a shorter scale will get you closer. I have the opposite problem. I have huge XXL glove hands, and the shorter scale guitars crowd my fingers at the upper end of things.

Don't go too short, though -- spend more time adjusting your technique.

Yep..."Walk This Way". Surprisingly easy, thus far. I know what you mean about fingers getting crowded, especially when playing certain chords up near the nut.
Just looked at some Fender Jaguars and Mustangs. I find Mustangs to be very fuggly.
Big south-of-the-border influence on the look of the Jags. I know I've seen an ESP LTD EC-1000 series with 22 frets.
#8
Don't confuse the number of frets with the scale length. The number of frets has no bearing whatsoever on how close the intervals are. Only scale length. You could have 48 frets on a 25" scale guitar and it will have the same fret spacing as a 21 fret guitar with a 25" scale.
#9
Quote by Roc8995
Don't confuse the number of frets with the scale length. The number of frets has no bearing whatsoever on how close the intervals are. Only scale length. You could have 48 frets on a 25" scale guitar and it will have the same fret spacing as a 21 fret guitar with a 25" scale.

I see what you're saying. Things did get a bit confusing there for a bit.
#10
It's a common point of confusion.
I can see why, it might seem that adding more frets would require squishing the existing ones into a smaller space. In reality, though, the scale length determines where the frets go, and adding more just tacks them on to the end. They don't displace the ones already there.

Think about it this way - if you took a guitar and just wrenched two frets out, would it make the rest out of tune? No, they're still in the same place they were before. Removing those frets would just prevent you from playing certain notes. Same thing with having more or fewer frets at one scale length.
#11
Quote by Roc8995
It's a common point of confusion.
I can see why, it might seem that adding more frets would require squishing the existing ones into a smaller space. In reality, though, the scale length determines where the frets go, and adding more just tacks them on to the end. They don't displace the ones already there.

Think about it this way - if you took a guitar and just wrenched two frets out, would it make the rest out of tune? No, they're still in the same place they were before. Removing those frets would just prevent you from playing certain notes. Same thing with having more or fewer frets at one scale length.

IC...so since any xtra frets (from 22-24) are merely tacked on the end of the board, then taking away any frets does not mean dist. between frets will be any less.
I'll still have the same difficulty placing each of the four fingers within each of the first four frets, regardless of scale length or # of frets.
"Comfort necks" (Wizards) apparently only affect comfort, not ease of play.
#12
Quote by pointnplink
IC...so since any xtra frets (from 22-24) are merely tacked on the end of the board, then taking away any frets does not mean dist. between frets will be any less.

Correct. Number of frets has no bearing on the distance between intervals, doesn't matter if it's 5 frets or 50 on a guitar. If you want to go from an open A up to a B, that fret's going to be in the same spot on both guitars.
I'll still have the same difficulty placing each of the four fingers within each of the first four frets, regardless of scale length or # of frets.
Incorrect. What did we just say about scale length? It's what determines how far the frets are from each other. So if it is very short, even a toddler can get four fingers on those first four notes. If it is very long, maybe the guitar is for Shaq. For instance: let's ignore the notes for a second and just look at fret intervals. A mandolin has a very short scale length. An electric bass has a very long scale length. Let's pretend for a minute that we can tune both to the same notes (you could, if you really wanted to). Now, which one can you reach more notes on? The mandolin. Why? The frets are much closer together. Why are the mandolin frets closer together? Because it has a shorter scale length. That's what I'm trying to explain.

To make it very clear, when it comes to how far the frets are from each other there is one measurement you need to care about: scale length. It is exactly what you need to worry about if you need to be able to reach more frets.
"Comfort necks" (Wizards) apparently only affect comfort, not ease of play.
Comfort and ease of play are often the same thing.
#13
Correct. Number of frets has no bearing on the distance between intervals, doesn't matter if it's 5 frets or 50 on a guitar. If you want to go from an open A up to a B, that fret's going to be in the same spot on both guitars.
Incorrect. What did we just say about scale length? It's what determines how far the frets are from each other. So if it is very short, even a toddler can get four fingers on those first four notes. If it is very long, maybe the guitar is for Shaq. For instance: let's ignore the notes for a second and just look at fret intervals. A mandolin has a very short scale length. An electric bass has a very long scale length. Let's pretend for a minute that we can tune both to the same notes (you could, if you really wanted to). Now, which one can you reach more notes on? The mandolin. Why? The frets are much closer together. Why are the mandolin frets closer together? Because it has a shorter scale length. That's what I'm trying to explain.

To make it very clear, when it comes to how far the frets are from each other there is one measurement you need to care about: scale length. It is exactly what you need to worry about if you need to be able to reach more frets.

Comfort and ease of play are often the same thing.
Whew. Got it. I'm actually glad I was incorrect. Thanks for your patience, Roc. You'd make a great guitar teacher!
Now that Fender Jaguar HH Special with a 24" scale length is looking very good.
#14
I've got small hands and short fingers, and I haven't found that the short (24.75) or long (25.5) scale makes any differences at all. I suppose it is a question of practice and the style you are trying to play, but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy a particular scale length based on what I can or want to do. It has its upside - I got a Warmoth neck for a strat a very good price just because it was short scale.
#15
Quote by pointnplink

Just looked at some Fender Jaguars and Mustangs. I find Mustangs to be very fuggly

Pffft! Oh yeah! Well I think you're fuggly! Harumph!!
(jk)
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#16
yes it does and it does help me. not around the 9th fret or higher. 7th fret meh. but doing a 5 fret stretch from index to pinky on a 25.5 for me is nearly inpossible, which affects scales, and some bluesy type riffs. im enjoying a 25 scale at the moment. does it fine. 24.75 is greay but i find it a bit cramped when playing on the really high frets.
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#18
I don't have ginormous hands but they are bigger than average and I actually prefer shorter scale Gibson style guitars. I will admit though when playing at around the 20th fret it gets a bit crowded but I find it a small trade-off for a scale length I am more comfortable with. So I would say just try both and see what you prefer. Also keep in mind that because the scale length also affects the tension on the strings you will get a tonal difference as well.

As for stretching you'd be surprised what practice can do. The main riff for Ballroom Blitz is an absolute bitch even on a shorter scale but after practising I can do it fairly comfortably on a Strat.
Last edited by ThrashingDeath at Oct 9, 2014,