Thick neck or skinny neck les pauls

01GT Eibach

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My niece has tiny hands and I suggested she get rid of her low E string. It's working out well for her.
Well, that idea also famously worked out pretty well for Keef, too, soooo ... In all seriousness, as a suggestion for your niece, maybe she should change to a small-scale guitar, and she can also change the E-string out for a lower-gauge (i.e. same gauge as A-string or just slightly bigger).

 

Lester

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Well, that idea also famously worked out pretty well for Keef, too, soooo ... In all seriousness, as a suggestion for your niece, maybe she should change to a small-scale guitar, and she can also change the E-string out for a lower-gauge (i.e. same gauge as A-string or just slightly bigger).

Yep.. the so called "3/4" size guitars are a feature. Got one for my daughter when she was young.
 

Overture

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I've gone back and forth. I've definitely landed in the thicker is better camp now though. The neck on my 58' reissue is almost comedy it's so thick, I love it.

Here's a picture of my 58' reissue vs a Standard 60's I had that I sold a couple months back

IMG_2858.JPG
 

Wise Guy

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As long as the nuts are the same width, I don't care how deep they are to be honest. I find them all comfortable in their own ways. Although I will say I love my fat 50's neck on my SG Classic, they're all fine to me.
 
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Dilver

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I think there are some pretty significant misconceptions about big necks like “unless you have large hands you won‘t be comfortable on a large neck“ and ”you can play faster on a thin neck”, that lead to a lot of people never even considering or trying a thick neck. Like anything, it takes some getting used to and it’s all a matter of preference.
 

Wise Guy

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I think there are some pretty significant misconceptions about big necks like “unless you have large hands you won‘t be comfortable on a large neck“ and ”you can play faster on a thin neck”, that lead to a lot of people never even considering or trying a thick neck. Like anything, it takes some getting used to and it’s all a matter of preference.
Especially considering many of the 'long fingered' players like Vai, Gilbert etc seem to prefer the thinner neck profiles. I play the same speed on both profiles and neither seem to be any better than the other.
 

GT40

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My LP has an R7 chunky neck and my LPC has a slim D.
I find them both equally comfortable to play but I can consistently play scales, runs, etc. with a metronome measured max speed of 3 or 4 BPM faster on the slim D neck than on the fatter one. For me at least, the slimmer neck is faster so I pick the LPC when I feel the need for speed.

I do spend a good amount of time on the LP though because it's almost 2lbs lighter than the LPC and is easier on my damaged back.
 

palmerfralick

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I have very large hands but always felt like I was fighting my Nocaster neck. On a whim (excellent price) I bought a Traditional off Reverb unseen. It has a very thin neck compared to my NoCaster but my overall playing improved quickly playing the Trad. Now every time I pick up the Trad after playing my other guitars with much bigger necks left hand feels like coming home. Have played many R8's at Righteous Guitars but they just are not for. me.
 

uncajoey

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Thick neck has better tone
Not to be argumentative, but Jimmy Page had #1 shaved down, Beano reportedly was a ‘60, and Peter Green did not like the neck on Greenie. Tone seems to be everywhere BUT the neck. No way to prove either hypothesis, though, it’s not like you can unbolt a Lester neck like a Tele.
 

sonar1

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I may have already shared this (humor me, I’m a geezer):
In my early playing years I wanted the slimmest most supple I could get.
As I aged slim necks started being uncomfortable.
Then I wanted FAT necks.
Now that I’m older EVERYTHING is equally uncomfortable, so I have a variety I can get used to quickly.

HOWEVER , now I have come to greatly prefer they all be the Gibson scale length, even if it’s an old Ibanez, Grestch, etc etc
 

Nintari

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I may have already shared this (humor me, I’m a geezer):
In my early playing years I wanted the slimmest most supple I could get.
As I aged slim necks started being uncomfortable.
Then I wanted FAT necks.
Now that I’m older EVERYTHING is equally uncomfortable, so I have a variety I can get used to quickly.

HOWEVER , now I have come to greatly prefer they all be the Gibson scale length, even if it’s an old Ibanez, Grestch, etc etc
My theory is that our fat-pads on our hands thin out as we which means there's less cushioning. So when we play a thinner neck, there are bigger gaps between our hands and the neck and that creates constant bumping which makes them sore. A fatter neck will bring less of that, so they feel more comfortable.
 

sonar1

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My theory is that our fat-pads on our hands thin out as we which means there's less cushioning. So when we play a thinner neck, there are bigger gaps between our hands and the neck and that creates constant bumping which makes them sore. A fatter neck will bring less of that, so they feel more comfortable.
Makes sense.
The fat pads everywhere else however, seem to be much more durable. It’s not like my chairs need pillows.
 

moreles

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Without going into the actual cross-section (Curve/shape of the neck) I don't think "thick" or "thin" mean much. I've played necks that are "big" in terms of depth but shaped very comfortably so they fit my hand with very minimal contact. I've had thin necks with squarish shoulders that literally rub me the wrong way. I play with minimal hand pressure and my thumb riding lightly on the back of the neck; others play with a real grip and even use their thumb on the low E. No wonder opinions vary so much. The one neck shape I think just sucks,, period, is a thick-ish neck with a V shape. I don't get the point of that one.
 

Wise Guy

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Without going into the actual cross-section (Curve/shape of the neck) I don't think "thick" or "thin" mean much. I've played necks that are "big" in terms of depth but shaped very comfortably so they fit my hand with very minimal contact. I've had thin necks with squarish shoulders that literally rub me the wrong way. I play with minimal hand pressure and my thumb riding lightly on the back of the neck; others play with a real grip and even use their thumb on the low E. No wonder opinions vary so much. The one neck shape I think just sucks,, period, is a thick-ish neck with a V shape. I don't get the point of that one.
The thin necks with the squared shoulders are the worst for me. Feel like it's big/small in all the wrong places. I have a Peavey Vandenburg with that profile and it's the guitar I play the least.
My Dean guitars are another animal with no squared shoulders but has pronounced depth(V profile). Definitely a weird feeling but much more tolerable.
 


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