I've spent some time today trying to learn and memorize the pentatonic blues scale in open D tuning. Either I've got fat finger syndrome or very narrowly spaced strings. So I've got a few questions, if ya'll might indulge me.

Do acoustic guitars tend to have wider spaced strings than electric guitars? I've got my six string now and it's built using parts from another electric guitar but for future builds it might be worth using the neck from an acoustic guitar if they've got wider spaced strings?

Do some electric guitars have wider spaced strings or is there a standard among electric guitars where they're all the same? Other than measuring the string spacings, would there be another tell tale way of knowing that one electric guitar has wider spaced strings than another?

On a slightly different topic, and hence why I'm posting this in here, is there a way of knowing where your plucking hand is in relation to the string you're fretting with the other hand? I'm plucking away at the individual strings to play the pentatonic scale and I can JUST ABOUT keep up when I'm going up and down the strings one after the other but later, when I'm improvising some blues, I just know I'm going to be lost. The one hand not knowing what the other is doing. I'm sure they talk about that in the bible lol

Do any of you have helpful links to youtube tutorials that will give some help with this? I've got the information about where the pentatonic blues scale notes are and I've not got a problem with that. It's the more basic issue of not knowing where I am from one hand to the other and getting lost in there. Maybe a link to some practicing techniques that I can do?

Would I find it easier with fingerpicks? Am I supposed to be using fingerpicks when improvising the blues scale? I struggle with a regular pick the same way I do with using my fingers. Maybe fingerpicks would help?

Where can I find some exercises to do to get from one fret to a hammer-on a few frets down? Are there any finger strengthening exercises I can do?

Loads of questions but I'll stop there for now. Much appreciated, as always.

Bear.

Views: 368

Replies to This Discussion

First, let me say that string spacing is anything but standard. Generally speaking electric guitars can have width at the nut of between 1 9/16" to 1 7/8" That gives string spacing of between 0.260" and 0.312"

Acoustics tend to have nut width of between 1 3/4" and 1 7/8" which would give string spacing of between 0.291" and 0.312"

Classical guitars can have a nut width as much as 2.0" with string spacing up to 0.333".

This may not sound like a lot, but it quickly becomes noticeably. If you have a set of vernier calipers, set them to each of the four spacing to get a real feel for how much we're talking about.

Now, having all that said, most CBG builders make the string spacing whatever they feel comfortable with. I have one friend, a very good builder, that has short, fat fingers. He sets up most of his personal players with string spacing up in the 3/8" to 1/2" area. On a three or four stringer, this is not difficult to do.

I have found that closer spacing of strings can pose a problem, but if I practice carefully, I can work my way up to playing cleanly. It's still fun, however, to take a wide spaced four strings and just bang away and let the strings take care of themselves.

I say, you need wider spacing on your strings, you should do so with a new nut and a little time spent.

Thanks for replying, Tom. I'd like to keep the six string I've just built as I really like it. I might look at a wider fret board and changing the nut out then. Either that or make another build with wider string spacing from a classical guitar neck and a bit lighter than the one I've just built. Or build my own neck. Glad to know that it is fat fingers anyway and not just my ineptitude in playing/learning haha. Of course it's possibly, and perhaps probably, my inability to play too but I'll look on the positive side until I'm totally bald from pulling out the little bit of hair I have left ;)

Thanks again :)

No rules. My two factory guitars are slightly different on string spacing, but my fingers seem to feel it as a very significant difference. You'll have to play some to get a feel for both the scale length and the string spacing your hands prefer. Same goes for regular picks or finger picks - whatever works for you is the right answer. With my long arms and long fingers, I like a long scale and wide neck. That won't be the right answer for everyone though. Oh yeah, practice is probably the most important thing.

Seems like a trip to the store to buy my future guitars rather than online buying then lol. Otherwise it's going to be an expensive lesson in buying them and finding out they're the same issues as this one. Thanks for replying and for the information and help.

String distance from the next was never something I'd even thought about until I tried the pentatonic scale earlier today. I wasn't even aware it could be a problem having always exclusively used the slide with no fingering and only strums instead of plucks. A real revelation. I guess it's just another reason, and I'm sure I still don't know some of the reasons, why people make their own necks and I might start doing more of that myself now too. One of the beauties of the six string build was buying a cheap guitar and getting the neck and electrics. If I'm having to buy a classical for the neck and all the electrics separately or an electric guitar for the other parts then that's going to figure out a whole heap more expensive. I'll figure a way around and in the meantime I can try some fingerpicks for the right and use the slide for the left (ala a video I just watched on YouTube my Keni Lee Burgess where he talked about using the slide exclusively) and see how I get on. Really interesting to find out that there's more and more to this game than I'd even imagined there could be, or not imagined as they case actually is.

Thanks for the help, Wayfinder. :)

Dagnabbit, more things to consider! A classical guitar neck with nylon strings using a humbucker pickup? Probably wouldn't work since the humbucker works on string vibration? I'm only half joking too lol

I'll consider making necks in future I think. I'm seriously thinking about learning to play for a while and knock the making on the head already, even though I've only just started. I've seen a couple of guitars built by people on here that I'd like to invest in and if I'm going to save for them then I'd need to save money by not making as many myself, if I make any. Small sacrifice though to be able to spend more time playing and also own a couple of pieces of exceptional quality.

As always, your help is mucho appreciated-o.

I'll stick with metal strings because I REALLY like the humbucker pickup sound. Not sure about the neck solution right now but I'll try them there fingerpicky thangs and see how I get on. I appreciate your help, yet again, my little keeper of all things informational :D

As no one responded to the finger exercises, I'll throw one out there.  There are guitarists out there with huge hands that can play anything, but it will take some time to make your fingers do what you intend them to do.  I remember some rather boring exercises that you start on one string and pick the first fret, second fret third and fourth using your four fingers and go up and down 1,2,3,4,3,2,1.  Move around the fretboard to different locations and strings.  Alternate how you fret, maybe the next time do first finger, ring, bird then pinkie - keep changing it up.  Just before you go crazy with boredom go back to the scales.  An accomplished player can play mostly without looking at their hands.  For me when picking notes, sometimes I look at my fretting hand, sometimes the picking hand, once in a while I don't have to look at either but when learning something new I need to look at both! 

Also try picking while holding a chord, that way only one hand is doing stuff, then when that is working start with simple finger movements with your fret hand keeping most of the fingers planted.  The opposite is strumming chords, only the fret hand needs attention.

Mind = blown. There're numbers in there, it's 3:48am and I've just woken up hearing Dani coughing and worrying she was running a fever from having caught my bug. I'm in a synthetic morphine induced zombie thingy and I saw numbers lol. I'll have another look in the morning and do your exercises. Need to get down to the store tomorrow morning and buy me some fingerpicks to see if they help. Probably only a few quid so I'm sure I can raid the piggy bank for them.

Hey, thanks for the help and information, Kigar. No, really, thanks :)

RSS

The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


Discussion Forum

Mindbender (by Stiltwater)

Started by Charred 5 hours ago. 0 Replies

Chord charts for 3 string open tuning

Started by Michael Glenn. Last reply by BUGGSY Sep 25. 20 Replies

Pentatonic scale in GDG tuning

Started by BrianQ.. Last reply by BrianQ. Nov 13, 2019. 4 Replies

Confused with open E scales on a three string. Is there a lack of info for a reason?

Started by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear. Last reply by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear Apr 28, 2016. 11 Replies

The moment it starts to click.

Started by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear. Last reply by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear Mar 28, 2016. 20 Replies

Fat finger syndrome or just need to keep practicing?

Started by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear. Last reply by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear Feb 28, 2016. 13 Replies

Chord charts for 3 string gbe tuning

Started by Michael Glenn. Last reply by Wayfinder May 11, 2015. 5 Replies

Bad habits

Started by PinetreeJoe. Last reply by Tom T Dec 19, 2014. 12 Replies

hi

Started by Mal Chilvers. Last reply by Seasick Mick Aug 6, 2014. 1 Reply

free CBG lessons

Started by Rick McKeon. Last reply by Rick McKeon Jul 14, 2014. 6 Replies

Cigar Box Guitar Ideas for improving.......

Started by Joe Cribb. Last reply by Pete Turner May 22, 2014. 3 Replies

3 String Theory Charts and Tab Sheets

Started by Swamp Dawg Primal Music. Last reply by Joe Cribb Feb 4, 2014. 11 Replies

Keys please?

Started by Patrick Curley. Last reply by Joe Cribb Feb 4, 2014. 5 Replies

U2's Wild Honey

Started by Rob Uker. Last reply by James Myers Jul 31, 2013. 1 Reply

tuning a 4 string

Started by Marcus P. Clarke. Last reply by Michael Recchione Feb 10, 2013. 1 Reply

To use....or not to use, thumb and finger picks?

Started by Keith Stanford. Last reply by Patrick Curley Jan 5, 2013. 3 Replies

songs to learn for a begginer.

Started by howling. Last reply by Patrick Curley Jan 5, 2013. 30 Replies

Movies = BLUES GUITAR

Started by Keith Stanford. Last reply by Patrick Curley Jan 5, 2013. 9 Replies

Blog Posts

Leonard Cohen Life

Posted by Keith Rearick on October 7, 2021 at 11:18am 0 Comments

CBGer’s Lament

Posted by Ghostbuttons on October 3, 2021 at 12:11am 0 Comments

Sasquatch!

Posted by Mark E. Martinsen on September 29, 2021 at 8:39pm 3 Comments

Prototyping with a big ol' wine box

Posted by Ben on September 23, 2021 at 4:00pm 0 Comments

Mr. Bells

Posted by Stephen Cohen on September 4, 2021 at 12:30pm 0 Comments

Latest Activity

Chuck Hunsinger commented on 3 String Blues's photo
Thumbnail

who can relate???

"That's funny! And yes I can relate."
1 hour ago
Doug Thorsvik commented on Uncle John's photo
1 hour ago
Doug Thorsvik commented on Uncle John's photo
Thumbnail

New CBB. 5 string banjo

"Lookin’ good Uncle John! You are getting the maximum mileage out your fret purchases.…"
1 hour ago
the anonymous pick posted a photo

smokable swamp witch guitar

Yup , you can actually smoke this one . faux volume knob is a cover FOR THE COB PIPE , . mouthpiece…
1 hour ago
Chuck Hunsinger posted a photo

IMG_20211026_192544

My first attempt at a bottle neck slide
2 hours ago
Chuck Hunsinger commented on 3 String Blues's video
Thumbnail

Home on the Range - Acoustic Box Guitar

"Wow! Very nice, very tastefully done. I love the way you play, thanks for sharing that!"
2 hours ago
Doug Thorsvik commented on Poorness Studios's video
Thumbnail

Adding an External Speaker Jack to the Orange Crush 12 (or any guitar combo amp)

"I am getting close to being motivated to do something with my Danelectro HoneyTone amp. I already…"
4 hours ago
Charred added a discussion to the group How to Play a Cigar Box Guitar
Thumbnail

Mindbender (by Stiltwater)

Can Mindbender, by the band Stillwater, be done on a three-string fretless guitar?…See More
5 hours ago
Doug Thorsvik commented on Uncle John's video
Thumbnail

Execution Day

"You nailed the setting Uncle John! I could easily place you at Airway Heights Corrections Center…"
5 hours ago
Charred joined Cigar Box Nation's group
Thumbnail

How to Play a Cigar Box Guitar

Playing tips and secrets. Tunings. Primal music theory.See More
5 hours ago
3 String Blues commented on 3 String Blues's photo
Thumbnail

who can relate???

"I am not changing all of them, just the ones kids can see on the website."
6 hours ago
RON NORTHCUTT commented on 3 String Blues's photo
Thumbnail

who can relate???

"Don't change them one bit. Let the dogs smoke. Or whatever else Dave had them doing.…"
6 hours ago

Music

© 2021   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->