#1
I'm doing barre chords and I've noticed that playing barre chords on a budget guitar (FG700s) with thick strings that isn't even set up yet is nearly impossible to play barre chords on, especially for someone like me who has short fingers. I don't have those insane piano fingers that a lot of people have. My fingers look more like Kerry King's small ass fingers. With that said, what's a good acoustic with a thin neck? Max I'm willing to spend is $800. I'm leaning toward Gibson, Taylor, or Martin guitars, but have no clue which model is actually worth checking out.
#2
Well, since as you say, "the guitar has thick strings, and hasn't even been setup yet", why on earth do you think the neck is the problem?

Acoustic neck are pretty standard. You can only make them so thin, due to string tension.

I suggest getting the guitar setup, and putting a lighter string set on it.

Quite frankly, none of the brands you mention are "notorious" for thin necks. In fact, the average Martin might actually be thicker. Taylor necks play very well, but they're certainly not pencil thin.
#3
I agree with Cranky...Have the instrument adjusted. You will notice a world of difference.

Other than that, if you really have GAS.....Just play a wide variety. Neck feel is more than just width; the "profile" of the neck shape, the finish... All have their place in what we think of as comfortable or "slick".
#4
I play both Martin and Taylor and the necks are great.

Someone I respect a great deal as a guitar player suggested Zagar guitars. The only issue I have with them is unless you can get to their location where they make/sell the guitars the only other choice is to buy over the phone or online.

Me personally I will never ever buy a guitar that I can't try/play first hand.

This is in addition to the previous comments for what they say makes perfect sense.
***************Sig***************
Taylor 314 & GS Mini & Martin LX1
#5
Let me clarify: Apart from the guitar not being setup and having thick strings on it, my hand can't properly play barre chords on it because ny fingers aren't long enough. With that said, you guys said there's no other guitar brand that's known for making thinner necks?

And is there another place I can get a setup other than GC? They charge $85 for a damn setup.
#6
Quote by Granata
Let me clarify: Apart from the guitar not being setup and having thick strings on it, my hand can't properly play barre chords on it because ny fingers aren't long enough. With that said, you guys said there's no other guitar brand that's known for making thinner necks?

And is there another place I can get a setup other than GC? They charge $85 for a damn setup.


There are tons of places, but you are asking like we know where you live and what is in your area. I have a mom and pop music shop that was open before I was born (and I am 41) and they are still around and they modify and do setups all the time. But do you live in my area? See the issue here? Yes, you are in Cali, but Cali is a big place. Plus lets say you are living in LA, I find it hard to believe you won't find a reputable person/place in LA.

Also I try to avoid GC BUT they always are the place that have what I am looking for. But since I have 3 within reasonable driving distance I can be at least picky on which one I go. Latest GC visit was to try and buy my traveling guitar. For setups, to me they are like computer techs. You never know what you will get. But with a mom and pop shop that has a reputation (good one that is), now that is a better way to go and for that I would pay $85 or more knowing it was done by someone that can do it right.
***************Sig***************
Taylor 314 & GS Mini & Martin LX1
Last edited by fingerguy at Sep 10, 2015,
#7
i'm 5' 3" with small hands, and i can easily barre across the neck of every yamaha FG guitar. in fact, i prefer a wider neck and find it easier to barre.

a set-up is essential if you're having problems, and i wouldn't even consider guitar center. i've met a couple good techs at the guitar centers we shop at and tons who were pretty much clueless. you don't mention where you live, so it's hard to suggest a luthier - most have indie shops.

unless you're significantly shorter than i am, i'm guessing that either technique/form or high action is the problem. try extra light strings for a quick fix - it should help some, but overall chances are you'll need the easier playability low action can bring.

btw, the yamaha FG necks are slender necks - 1 11/16" across the nut. i play 1 3/4" to 1 7/8" nut necks.

one last thought - how high up the neck are you trying to barre?
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#8
Quote by Granata
Let me clarify: Apart from the guitar not being setup and having thick strings on it, my hand can't properly play barre chords on it because ny fingers aren't long enough. With that said, you guys said there's no other guitar brand that's known for making thinner necks?
Allow me to clarify. The standard neck width for acoustic is 1 11/16". If you're a metric person, it falls between 43 & 44mm. Not only is that width standard, it's also pretty much the narrowest you'll find. Now, unless you want to dredge up some goofy Gibson from the 60's, some of which had necks as narrow as 1 9/16", you'll take everyone's advice and get the guitar you have setup properly.

Quote by Granata
And is there another place I can get a setup other than GC? They charge $85 for a damn setup.
Well, you know what I always say, "life sucks and then you have to do it yourself"!

Learn how here: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html
#9
Quote by fingerguy
...[ ]....Someone I respect a great deal as a guitar player suggested Zagar guitars. The only issue I have with them is unless you can get to their location where they make/sell the guitars the only other choice is to buy over the phone or online...[ ]....
Please do yourself and the rest of us a favor, and don't publish misinformation like, "go where they make/sell ((Zager guitars) them".

Mr. Zager's guitar are all Asian imports. He certainly goes out of his way to allude to the fact they are made in the US, but it's just his bullcrap. So, unless you're up for a trip to China or elsewhere in the far east......, you're not going to listen to them "where they're made".

Nothing against Asian imports mind you, but Zager's high pressure and deceptive sales tactics have been a bane to the industry for many, many, years.

They tell me the Martin factory in Nazareth PA is a fun day...
#10
Quote by patticake
i'm 5' 3" with small hands, and i can easily barre across the neck of every yamaha FG guitar. in fact, i prefer a wider neck and find it easier to barre.

a set-up is essential if you're having problems, and i wouldn't even consider guitar center. i've met a couple good techs at the guitar centers we shop at and tons who were pretty much clueless. you don't mention where you live, so it's hard to suggest a luthier - most have indie shops.

unless you're significantly shorter than i am, i'm guessing that either technique/form or high action is the problem. try extra light strings for a quick fix - it should help some, but overall chances are you'll need the easier playability low action can bring.

btw, the yamaha FG necks are slender necks - 1 11/16" across the nut. i play 1 3/4" to 1 7/8" nut necks.

one last thought - how high up the neck are you trying to barre?


Interesting. So a setup is definitely mandatory? And I live in San Bernardino, California. GC is not an option when it comes to a setup because like I said, $85 setup on a $200 guitar? Yeah, not happening. Tried looking around for a shop that's trust worthy but I found nothing. And I'm playing on the 1st fret. After the fifth it's pretty easy, but an F on the first is a guaranteed muted 1st string and semi-mute on the other strings.
#11
Quote by Granata
Interesting. So a setup is definitely mandatory? And I live in San Bernardino, California. GC is not an option when it comes to a setup because like I said, $85 setup on a $200 guitar? Yeah, not happening. Tried looking around for a shop that's trust worthy but I found nothing. And I'm playing on the 1st fret. After the fifth it's pretty easy, but an F on the first is a guaranteed muted 1st string and semi-mute on the other strings.
I'm curious as to why a shop need be "trustworthy", to repair a guitar, which by your own assessment, isn't worth fixing anyway?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 11, 2015,
#12
Quote by Captaincranky
Please do yourself and the rest of us a favor, and don't publish misinformation like, "go where they make/sell ((Zager guitars) them".

Mr. Zager's guitar are all Asian imports. He certainly goes out of his way to allude to the fact they are made in the US, but it's just his bullcrap. So, unless you're up for a trip to China or elsewhere in the far east......, you're not going to listen to them "where they're made".

Nothing against Asian imports mind you, but Zager's high pressure and deceptive sales tactics have been a bane to the industry for many, many, years.

They tell me the Martin factory in Nazareth PA is a fun day...


Man you are cranky. Well I don't bother myself with small details like that. But if it makes you feel better this is why I thought it was made in the US (not that it matters).
http://www.zagerguitar.com/index.php?event=public.contact
http://www.zagerguitar.com/index.php?event=public.store.guitars.videofaq
http://www.zagerguitar.com/

I do and want to make a trip to the Martin factory but I also don't want to make that trip and not leave with a guitar so that will have to wait. Taylor is the other stop I would love to make, and I also really want to go to Nashville for a few days and check out the sites.
***************Sig***************
Taylor 314 & GS Mini & Martin LX1
#13
Quote by fingerguy
I play both Martin and Taylor and the necks are great.

Someone I respect a great deal as a guitar player suggested Zagar guitars. The only issue I have with them is unless you can get to their location where they make/sell the guitars the only other choice is to buy over the phone or online.

Me personally I will never ever buy a guitar that I can't try/play first hand.

This is in addition to the previous comments for what they say makes perfect sense.


I think Zagar guitars are based out of Nebraska, so at least it's an evenly long haul for folks on the coasts
#14
BTW I checked and I spelled it wrong. It's Zager.
***************Sig***************
Taylor 314 & GS Mini & Martin LX1
#15
Quote by fingerguy
Man you are cranky. Well I don't bother myself with small details like that. But if it makes you feel better this is why I thought it was made in the US (not that it matters).
http://www.zagerguitar.com/index.php?event=public.contact
http://www.zagerguitar.com/index.php?event=public.store.guitars.videofaq
http://www.zagerguitar.com/
Well isn't this part of what a described as, "questionable business practices", or something along those lines? And I'm not cranky, I generally try to dispense the unvarnished truth, which many people interpret as "cranky".
Quote by fingerguy
BTW I checked and I spelled it wrong. It's Zager.
Trust me, everybody here knew who you meant!


Quote by fingerguy
I do and want to make a trip to the Martin factory but I also don't want to make that trip and not leave with a guitar so that will have to wait. Taylor is the other stop I would love to make, and I also really want to go to Nashville for a few days and check out the sites.
If you ever do go to Nazareth, there's a "behind the scenes tour", in addition to the standard tour, you should look into that.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 11, 2015,
#16
Quote by Granata
Interesting. So a setup is definitely mandatory? And I live in San Bernardino, California. GC is not an option when it comes to a setup because like I said, $85 setup on a $200 guitar? Yeah, not happening. Tried looking around for a shop that's trust worthy but I found nothing. And I'm playing on the 1st fret. After the fifth it's pretty easy, but an F on the first is a guaranteed muted 1st string and semi-mute on the other strings.


sounds like your nut may be cut a bit high if you can't barre in the lower registers but higher up the neck it's easier. higher up the neck is also where the neck is fatter btw. or the those thick strings aren't dropping down into the nut slots because the nut was cut for thinner ones. what gauge are you now using?

short fingers has nothing to do with it. unless you're playing cowboy and have your thumb rolled over the top of the neck. are you saying that your index finger is less then 1-11/16" long? that's interesting.

new martin, taylor, or gibson ain't gonna happen for $800. maybe used though.

get the thing set up for $85. it's a lot cheaper then the $800 you're willing to spend to make the guitar go away.

here's a bunch of shops in and around san bern:
http://www.yellowpages.com/san-bernardino-ca/guitar-repair
Last edited by ad_works at Sep 11, 2015,
#17
I'm an average sized guy, about 5'11", with normal sized hands. I don't know how "thin" the neck on my Taylor is, but it's highly playable and comfy.
#18
Quote by ad_works
sounds like your nut may be cut a bit high if you can't barre in the lower registers but higher up the neck it's easier. higher up the neck is also where the neck is fatter btw. or the those thick strings aren't dropping down into the nut slots because the nut was cut for thinner ones. what gauge are you now using?
Well, that's part of a proper setup. Keep in mind, earlier, I linked one of the better setup guides on the web, without attracting any interest on the part of the TS.

Further along the thread deteriorates into another "I can't do an F barre chord at the 1st fret" complaint. Which strings buzz when the TS tries this noteworthy feat of physical acumen, is of not even peripheral interest to me.

I have the unfortunate habit of reading posts for subtext and innuendo. Trust me, there's plenty in the OP. I wasn't going to involve myself with this thread, but it was late, nobody else did, and my lack of self control reared its ugly head.

When you come right down to it, the concept that the TS, "isn't willing to fix the guitar, believes his (or her) fingers are too short, but is all too willing to spend $800.00 on another guitar, should have been the first and last post to this thread.

For me, the question nags, "is this just a ploy to strong arm someone else into buying the TS another guitar"? The syntax of the OP is quite juvenile, at least IMHO).

Personally, if I didn't have, or didn't want to spend $85.00 to have the guitar setup, I would learn how to do it in a big, big, hurry. But, that's just me. I'm as preoccupied with the care and maintenance of a guitar, as I am playing it. I'm not an "artiste", who can't or won't attend to such issues, and it looks as though my dreams of a half dozen roadies, has "left the building", so to speak.

So, I'm trying to make this a, "no harm, no foul", observation, as what I have read into something. It may have absolutely no connection to what was intended, whatsoever.


Quote by ad_works
short fingers has nothing to do with it. unless you're playing cowboy and have your thumb rolled over the top of the neck. are you saying that your index finger is less then 1-11/16" long? that's interesting.
See above.

Quote by ad_works
new martin, taylor, or gibson ain't gonna happen for $800. maybe used though.

get the thing set up for $85. it's a lot cheaper then the $800 you're willing to spend to make the guitar go away.
Unless the shop you buy one of these brands from is willing to throw in a setup at the time of purchase, you're might wind up paying the $85.00 on top of the cost of the guitar anyway.

As I said earlier, the premise this topic is somewhat mystifying, as well as wildly incongruent.

With that in mind, I wish the TS all the best, as I have tried my best to render assistance.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 11, 2015,
#19
unfortunately it's possible you may have to pay around that. and honestly, most free setups aren't really setups at all, just a little truss rod adjustment. my husband does all our setup work in his shop, so i haven't had to worry about a luthier in a while. next time you're in santa monica, you could check with mccabe's to see what they charge for a set-up.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#20
I have a Jasmine which sounds really good for a cheap guitar. That being said the thin neck is the one thing I don't like about it. I played a telecaster for 25 years and I miss it. It had a nice round thick neck.