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For Those Who Find a 1" Rear Contour Tele Neck Comfortable...Why So?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by theprofessor, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I will say - learning to loosen my grip has really helped with the “cramped” feeling more than any neck size.

    I’m mostly self taught and sometimes 30 minutes into a set my hands would be locking up. I was keeping the amp low to manage volume and beating the hell out of the guitar with right hand to compensate. Left hand followed.

    I learned to turn the amp UP and control volume with my right hand by picking more gently. Left hand followed suit by relaxing.

    I still hit and grip too hard I think, but my hands are much more relaxed and no longer cramp/lock. Still working on it.

    I have a 70s Tele Custom with low wife frets. I think they started as medium jumbos but got worn down to where they are about the height of the first gen ‘52 reissue frets, maybe a hair shorter. And 7.25 radius. Just had a level and crown and my shop said I was on the border of whether it would work. Came out great but next stop is refret. Anyhoo, I had them do the level and crown, rather than refret this time, because for some reason the really low, wide frets on a curved board force me to lighten way up or I can’t get notes to ring or bend at all. Isn’t that curious? I’ve always read really tall frets do that.

    Anyway, that’s a long, wide tangent. Point being, for me I used to think the neck size caused cramping but it was really me. No my Dad has had a couple hand surgeries and does need a bigger neck so he doesn’t need to close his hand so much.
     
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  2. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I haven't played Warmoth necks, but I prefer fat necks. I'm not very sensitive to C vs V vs U, though. I notice the difference, with V leading, but am happy with any of them, as long as they're at least .9 at the 1st, and 1.0 at the 12th. I prefer 1.0 at the first, but hard to find...

    Why do I like 'em? I assume it's at least partly to do with cramping, even if I don't exactly cramp up, there's much more leverage with the hand open, than if it's already compressed. Try holding a broomstick between thumb and fingers, let it hang. Now do the same with something fatter, like a rolling pin or baseball bat. With the broomstick, I can see that muscle at the heel of my palm / thumb really working.

    This idea applies to both size (depth), and profile (shoulders). The best neck for me is not only large, but it fills my hand. That's why the soft V, because it must be hand-shaped, at least for me. The fat V on my CS 57 Strat just about disappears in my hand, it's so comfortable.

    I don't think any of this has much to do with thumb-over playing, or thumb-behind. Except if you always play thumb-over, perhaps even when/where it's not as ergonomic to do so, you may have problems getting the fingers around, if you have smaller hands. I tend to switch, only playing that way when it feels the most comfortable, which is usually not higher than the 7th or 8th fret. (So playing a thumb-over E-shape C chord...)

    Your comment about the Warmoth '59... again, I've not played it, but if named properly, and let's assume it is, it'll be smaller than I'd prefer. I have a Collings City Limits (their answer to the Les Paul). I was shopping for an R8 at the time, with the big ol' neck, and ran across this beauty. I have a love-hate thing with LPs, and the Collings was just what I wanted... except it has a so-called '59 profile. Because of course, the MOST famous neck aside from the blackguard U has gotta be the 59 Les Paul. I love the Collings, really, but I do wish it had a neck like a R8, not a R9. The difference is probably just a few shavings here or there, but it's very noticeable when playing.

    I'm right there with you on the Fender 7.25". And I can't believe how much grief I get from people who say I shouldn't care, just shut up and buy an AO. Of my 11 Fenders and T-style builds, only three have flatter radii. Two 10-inch CS Strats, purchased before my tastes had fully developed. And a 9.5 WW AV65 Jazzmaster. I *thought* the JM would be 7.25, it being an AV, but leave it to Wildwood... I really notice the flatness when I play these guitars, and it bugs the crap out of me.
     
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  3. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Love this, Moosie! Exactly the stuff I'm looking for. I have an Epiphone Les Paul Gold Top Traditional Pro with the '58-style neck, and boy that thing is a beast! 12” radius, 1-11/16” width at nut, .9345” deep behind 1st fret, 1.027” deep behind 12th fret. It's a fat C. I think the 1-11/16" nut width, combined with the fat rear profile, makes it feel like a big ol' log. But after playing a 7.25" radius comfortably, I find any of the flatter radii harder to play. They simply make me address the fingerboard differently -- and it feels like _quite_ differently.
     
  4. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Definitely me too. I learned on an acoustic and played acoustic primarily for years. I've still not quite gotten used to the extra finesse thing required to play electric well. But boy does turning up that amp help! It's just when you catch a string or something, everybody's gonna hear it! I find it best to turn the amp up so I can play very lightly and also to use my fingers as much as I can, not a flatpick.
     
  5. danpan

    danpan Tele-Meister

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    I don't mind switching from fat to thin, or in between, too much. I must admit, however, most of my guitars have thinner necks. The one thing in neck size I have a real problem with is nut width. All my guitars are now 1-11/16th at the nut. I had a really nice neck that I put on a Strat partscaster with a 1-5/8ths inch width at the nut. I tried and tried to get used to that neck, but finally sold it and replaced it with the nut width I like. How a 16th of an inch can make that much difference to me, I have no idea. I also like a flatter radius. Say, 9.5, all the way up to a 16, but I think that is due to all the "steel" bends I do. I've been a gigging musician for 55 years, so all that said, I have to go with the general consensus, that it's all in what feels the best to YOU. I also prefer Maple boards, but play both. Upshoot? If you have a neck you just can't get comfortable with, no matter your skill level, swap it out!
     
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  6. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've mentioned this before.....I ordered a Warmoth Fatback conversion neck several years ago, with a 1 11/16" width at nut. I liked it so much, I got another when I assembled my latest "build". I measured this one, and found that instead of a full 1" depth, as stated, it was actually .97" depth. Not a huge difference, but just not what I paid for. I've since measured my first one, and it, too, is only .97".
     
  7. FrankB

    FrankB Tele-Holic

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    Try that Soft fat V out...
    THAT is a classic and just evokes things for me.
     
  8. dmarcus30

    dmarcus30 Tele-Holic

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    My 67 has the 7.25 radius and feels cramped to me now. I have been going to bigger quartersawn necks. I have read articles by Lindy Fralin, Gil Yaron, and others about the mass of the neck being a huge part of the tone, up to a point. My parts Esquire has a Musikraft chunky C q-sawn maple neck with RW fretboard and a MIJ 62 reissue 62 Tele Custom body finished in thick poly but the guitar is the loudest acoustically that I own. Plugged in, it has a huge fat sound. I literally can't play a slim C or worse a D neck without cramping up pretty quickly. I don't shred. I'm old school and I need a big neck to hang onto when I bend. Also, FWIW, I can't stand the "tall/skinny" frets, either. Give me medium jumbo or give me death!
     

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  9. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Can you give a specific example or a specimen in particular you're referring to? This Esquire is a '57 hard V, and I liked it a lot. Played it at Gruhn a couple months back.

    57 Esquire 6.jpg
     
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  10. chucker

    chucker TDPRI Member

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    no question lads that ergonomics rules, whether with guitars, guns, motorcycles &c. you have to be comfy or you will hate it. i like a fat neck to slide my palm along. it's totally valid to feel it's inhibiting your speed. we are all built and strung together differently.
     
  11. jayroc1

    jayroc1 Tele-Meister

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    You're hand is naturally relaxed with a big neck which makes chording and bending easier because you're not fatigued from over gripping the neck.
     
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  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Hmmm, published dimensions of wood products.
    Ever measure a 2x4?
     
  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Easy there professor!
    Not everything has to be professorial!
     
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Whaddya talking about?
    CNC machines make things, not people!
     
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I could meet a beautiful woman and spend two days straight with her then be asked for some random tech spec and not be able to answer. Some details I would certainly know well, but I'm not a "fingerboard radius man", if that makes any sense.
    On the internet we state numbers over and over and over as if they were highly critical to making music with a guitar.

    There was a time after playing for maybe ten years when I learned numbers and concluded that I needed certain numbers and couldn't work with alternate numbers.
    In my guitar preferences I'm not a neck man or a comp saddles man or a tonewood man or a nitro finish man or even a body shape man.

    In reality I need a guitar to play well and have electronic sound plus mechanical response within a certain range for my playing music to not be hampered.
    That is a dull answer though!
     
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  16. FML666

    FML666 TDPRI Member

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    The Nash in my profile pic has a 1" baseball bat neck that is significantly different from the other 6 guitars I own so it feels weird to me. I've played with the idea of sanding it down or even replacing the neck but I just never get around to anything but contemplation. I'm sure i could get used to it with time but with 4 other "modern C" Fenders and 2 thinner Kiesels I don't see myself spending that much time with it.
     
  17. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Holic

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    Ever since I got into building parts casters, especially with predominantly Warmoth necks, I've liked both their fatback and boatneck profile (baseball and V shaped respectively). That said, my #1 tele (see avatar) was built using an Allparts TMO-FAT tele neck and it's as perfect as my #1 strat which uses the fatback profile neck.

    I would say that I have medium-large hands, and that contributes greatly to the types of necks that fit my hands comfortably.

    That said, I like how my C-shaped necks on the 1996 Gibson Les Paul and Nighthawk I own, as well as the neck profiles found on my Eastman semi-hollows, which have less shoulder. I'd describe it as a medium depth C with "V shoulders".

    I guess I don't necessarily default to one or the other, and having multiple guitars with different neck shapes means that I can pick up someone else's guitar and be able to navigate it relatively easily.
     
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  18. Muku

    Muku Tele-Meister

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    I have built 8 partcasters.
    I have bought 20 strats and teles over the years.

    My favorite for speedy stuff is .850 FULL C with shoulders first fret and nothing over .95 12th fret.

    But i do love, possibly my fave.... .900" slight v to c and again not over .95th fret.


    (although sometimes a USA tele .810" is pretty fun especially on a couch angled).

    Anything over these med/FAT neck preferences you have to look over the fretboard edge to see what's going on.
     
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  19. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Anything Fender that refers to the 10/56 (Oct 1956) neck profile. Any Strat (at least) that is a 57 reissue, with a soft V neck. (I'm specifically referring here to my CS57, but it seems to be a common profile for that period. Wonderful neck).

    Jimmie Vaughan Strat has a wonderful V neck.

    Probably the discontinued AVRI 57 Strat, but I'm not sure.

    So, yeah, 1957.

    The 10/56 is also called 'boatneck', which I think is where that started. There are many interpretations, but the idea is a huge V neck with a slight V ridge, or maybe almost none.
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    So to stop swatting your question around like a bored house cat, I'll answer as best I can!

    I generally prefer a fat neck because there are things that bother me in certain necks and those things are usually found on thin necks.
    The big one is a narrow shoulder which is found on both shallow thin necks and also deep V necks.
    When I do a butterfly vibrato my index finger first knuckle closest to the hand sort of levers against the shoulder of the neck.
    If that surface is narrow it actually hurts against my bony fingers.

    Not many of my necks have this problem but the two worst are one that's a full inch V and one that's a ridiculously thin C modern 7 string neck.

    I also find modern thin necks are a little pitchy because yanking them around with any sort of violent playing bends them so the pitch goes up and down. Up around .85- .90 full shouldered hard maple necks are pretty resistant to flexing in normal playing, and that has a musical result, not just a comfort result. I suppose this may be partially psychological, since I really don't play modern thin necks but find them uninspiring when I try them. A drag to work on too, necks should be rock solid not bendy little toothpicks in pursuit of "fast".
    Psych is real even if imagined!
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
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