Please explain the end result of different size neck radius'.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Digiplay, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Meister

    Mar 18, 2019
    Birmingham, Alabama
    My Title says it all :)

    Difference's such as would a Tele neck with a 9.5" radius have a wider neck than a 7.25" one (strings further apart)?

    Difference's I asking about are things like would the 9.5" neck be "better" for people that didn't have slender fingers (I don't :) )?

    If so, then would a 12" radius be better than the 9.5" neck?

    Or are the difference's more akin to the shape of the neck instead of the radius?

    Something tells me I'm opening a can of worm's, but that's ole' Jerry for you :)

    I watched Dirty Harry again last night (for the 75th time I bet :) ), and just like the Bank Robber said in the beginning of the movie................................................................

    Hey, I got's to know!

    Deathray likes this.
  2. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA
    Finally got 2 Tele's in 12 radius..the whole collection of guitars is 12 now. I feel that is more important to me with picking angle. How i consistently hit the strings. The neck sizes don't seem to bother me much. Have em all over the map from thin to baseball bat.
  3. AndyPanda

    AndyPanda Tele-Holic

    Sep 4, 2019
    Bay Area, California
    Radius doesn't have anything to do with how wide the neck is or the spacing between strings. It's just how curved the fingerboard is.

    If you only play lightning fast metal runs and licks you might like a perfectly flat board (infinite radius) or a 10 or 12 or higher radius.

    For chords, because our fingers naturally curve, it is easier to barre with a smaller radius (at least for some of us - depends on your fingers and what you like).
    JustABluesGuy and stnmtthw like this.
  4. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2007
    Peoria, AZ
    As AndyPanda noted, the 7.5 radius boards are considered by most to be easier to chord on. However, they can cause problems with big bends, fretting out. So, boards with 12 or 16 inch radius have been developed. Those flatter boards allow bigger bends, but may not be as easy for chording. I find 9.5 or 10 inch radius boards a good compromise for me.

    Width of the fretboard is independent of the radius of the the board. At least in the widths we would have for a fretboard.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  5. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 16, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Ive played, 16s, 12s, 10s, 9,5s and 7,25s.. my favorite is 7.25s.. however Im okay with whatever the guitar comes with as long as its set up right and to my preferences.

    the "wideness" you feel might be due to the curve of the fretboard.. the flatter the fretboard, the "wider" you feel because, well, its flat..

    Also, the bridge string spacing and nut spacing comes into play..
  6. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp TDPRI Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    big stone gap, va 24219
    a lot of other things really come into play for some people. for some, the back side of the neck, the profile shape, can make a huge difference in playing comfort. also a difference in width at the nut, and at the saddle, can make a difference, and the scale length(24.75 vs 25 vs 25.5). all of these things come into play to either work for you, or not work for you. there are some people who can take hold of anything and play excellent, I'm not one of them. for someone like me, it takes trying a couple instruments over time to learn what works best.
    play as many as you can and take notes, or remember things over the long haul, to see what works for you.

    you may know all this, but here is a good explanation for radius:
  7. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    Just be clear, chording is being referred to as barre chording, or chords with partial barres, or sometimes chords with muted strings. Fretboards with smaller radii are easier to get one finger (like your index finger) to span multiple strings and apply the pressure to make them ring, or rest on top of them to mute them.
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