I'm working on a four stringer... does anyone have any thoughts on neck width?
I measured and found the 1 1/2" neck works mathematically. Un sure if it lends itself to playability.
Up til now I've only made three stringers.
As always thank you for any input.
Hi, it's a matter of taste, and the size of your hand I suppose. I have one strung on a 1 1/2 neck and one 1 3/8, the latter might be my pick, but that's me.
How do you play? If, like me, you're a bit of a fingerpicker, you'll find that 4-strings on a 1 1/2" fretboard is doable, but a bit awkward. You can't physically fit a finger in between the strings unless you're skinner than me, making some techniques more difficult. I've since started tapering my necks so that they're wider towards the bridge than the nut to better accommodate my style of playing.
If you're a plectrum picker … it's not so much a problem. It's a tighter workspace than usual, but not nearly as awkward to play as fingerpicking crowded strings.
I've made several with 1.5" necks. I've decided they are too cramped for me so the next one is going to be 1.75". I love the wide spacing of the three stringers so we'll see how it goes. : )
doesn't 4 strings on a 1"1/2 neck have a better string gap than a normal 6 string ?
Slightly bigger, yes.
Definitely. I have seen tenor guitars with 1.31" necks and a lot of baritone ukuleles with 1.38" necks which are played comfortably by most people finger picking. If you are building or buying one with a 1.5" neck you should have more than enough room for finger picking. You ought to view a few of the post on you tube by Manitoba Hal playing slide ukulele on a baritone. He has large fingers and has no problem and his ukulele I think is 1.5" neck. Check it out. I will try to post a link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdiwHdixFik
"Should have more than enough room for finger picking"... Yeah, if I wore a thumb pick or had a long thumbnail but I don't. I can play the 4th sting with my thumb no problem but my thumb doesn't fit far enough to get under the 3rd string so I end up just brushing it and get no volume out of it. I don't have that problem with my 3 strings.
I checked out the video and while the uke may be 1.5" at the nut it's a lot more than that at the bridge.
Ok. I see what you are saying about that. It appears the St.Blues 4 string also has a 1.5" nut width and the neck looks the same width all the way down and has been stated to be for finger picking also but I guess if you have large hands it would still present a problem. If you make a 1.75" neck you should have no problem at all. Wish you the best.
1.5 inch is my standard four.
The neck on my CBG is running about 1.45" almost 37mm at the nut but, the strings are very close so I feel I just need to move the nails that make the separation and then make a new tailpiece to hold the strings the correct distance apart. I think the neck width is fine for a 4 string for me but, the string spacing is just a little too close. I think it was built more for chording and slide with an open tuning. I would like to be able to do a little more finger picking but the spacing is just a little too close.
That sounds great. I am sure the 1.75" should work great for you. Do you have any plans for the 1.5" neck? After rechecking mine it looks like it has a good bow in it from the 7th to the 17th fret. When I got it about 2 weeks ago it was fine and looked pretty straight. Also, it looks like the neck is really closer to a 1 3/8" instead of a 1.5". Not sure what to do. Trying to contact the builder to see what we can work out.