Do guitar necks have sweet spots?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Bergy, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Holic

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    Every once in a while I’ll hear a guitarist refer to the “sweet spot” on a guitar neck. Kinda got me to thinking... how do you describe that? Is it even a thing? If so, how much does it vary from one neck to the next? How much could one expect two guitarists to agree on the sweet spot of a particular neck?

    The best I can tell: at the 12th fret the string has the most slack. When you play in that region the strings are a bit looser feeling and the sound is a bit warmer. If you move your fretting hand towards the nut, the tension stiffens a bit and the tone gets colder and more piano like. Sometimes you’ll see country guitarists picking right next to the saddles to maximize the effect. Where you decide to place either of your hands has a pretty large effect. It seems more like a personal preference to me than is implied when you call it a sweet spot.

    If I prefer a warmer sound and a looser action... maybe I oughta spend more time playing in the 10th position or so and experiment with moving my picking hand closer to the neck.

    I realize some necks might have a really good stretch of fretwork which might act as a sweet spot of sorts...or a compound radius might have a region where the radius fits your hand a little better. That is also a sweet spot of sorts, but not quite what I’m talking about. I’m thinking of a sweet spot in more of a general sense along a theoretical fretboard.

    Am I thinking way off here? Anyone have strong opinions on guitar neck sweet spots?
     
  2. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I suppose there are spots where the neck feels particularly good in your hands, but I'd think it's down to a variety of factors. String tension, height, whether you're playing licks or chords or what, neck shape, neck thickness, fretboard radius, how low the guitar is slung (or how high the neck is when the guitar's on your leg), neck angle while playing, and your subjective feelings about all of the above.
     
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  3. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, there are certain songs that sound better on certain guitars, it's probably more to do with the key.

    Probably not just the neck, the whole guitar.
     
  4. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    Never heard of that. Sounds like baloney to me.
     
  5. Maroonandwhite

    Maroonandwhite Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I do like a blues scale on the 12th fret when I want to really hear the single coils work.
     
  6. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe they just mean the spot on the neck they feel most comfortable repeating their licks on?
    My CV tele has a sweet spot up around the 10th, 11th or 12th fret d string (cant remember exactly which fret and the guitar is stored in its case. Hold that note with light vibrato and it takes on a life of its own. Weird but pleasing overtones. This happens even when unplugged. Its great and I wish all my guitars would do it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  7. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not sure this is about sounds, because it can't have anything to do with how it feels in your hands. We're talking two different things...
     
  8. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Holic

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    It may be referring to places where the guitar resonates enough to feedback easily. The first note of Purple Haze comes to mind. Dunno.
     
  9. esseff

    esseff Tele-Holic

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    My first Lite Ash Telecaster felt really comfortable around the 5th fret, so much so that I changed my favourite key from E to A. The second Lite Ash was good but not as much as its predecessor. Maybe someone mis-sprinkled the mojo dust in the factory.
     
  10. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    My Gretsch sounds better after the third fret. Maybe feels better is a better term. I think some guitars might suit certain positions better - might be a nut thing, might be a fret thing, might be a scale length thing, with resonances from the body etc...

    But I can’t say for sure.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  11. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I hunk a lot of guitarists blend the two. Look at the number of overdrives that essentially sound the same as each other yet have staunch defenders.

    Maybe I should not enter into these things.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  12. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Meister

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    Sounds like "another forum" BS to me. :twisted:
     
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