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  • Guitars to Fit Fingers

    Posted by Steve2150 on February 18, 2023 at 7:03 pm

    Are there any guitars made to accommodate large finger tips?

    Very much a “tendertip” here, picking up guitar for the first time. I received a Kona beginner guitar as a gift over year ago, along with a guitar starter book. The book of course, as Tony describes, started off dry and unrewarding teaching chords only. Learning didn’t last long.

    I recently found Tony’s 30 day challenge and am still working in week 1. I just started the chord section and have reached an impasse. While attempting the G chord, I cannot keep my pointer finger from touching the 4th string and muting it. I have tried every trick I can find – flattening my palm, laying it closer to the neck, changing my elbow position, etc. I have attempted just fretting the 5th string, moving my finger any possible way, but I still mute the adjoining 4th string.

    I want to do clean fingerings, so I am hoping to get this without laying on the 6th string at the same time.

    Hence my question. Are there guitars made with wider necks and more spacing between the strings?

    TIA

    Steve2150 replied 1 year, 4 months ago 13 Members · 30 Replies
  • 30 Replies
  • JoeT

    Member
    February 18, 2023 at 8:39 pm

    Hello @Steve2150 and welcome to TAC, yes there are guitars with wider nuts hence a wider neck, that would be a classical guitar. However there are many ways to fret a G chord. Try ring finger third fret low E string, middle finger second fret A string and pinky third fret high E, also know as the three finger G, this particular finger will make transitioning to the C chord a little easier. Hope this helps.

  • JoeT

    Member
    February 18, 2023 at 8:41 pm

    Last sentence typo “fingering” lol good luck.

    • Steve2150

      Member
      February 21, 2023 at 9:35 am

      Thanks Joe_T! I did see that fingering in a book I have . Seemed odd but I will give it a go for sure.

  • Fletch

    Member
    February 19, 2023 at 2:24 am

    Hello @Steve2150… Check out the Seagull range… Some have 1.8 width nuts…. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve got two… 🙂 (There are usually a few knocking around in the used market spaces to…)

    https://seagullguitars.com/product/s6-original/

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by  Fletch.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by  Fletch.
    • Steve2150

      Member
      February 21, 2023 at 9:22 am

      thanks for the tip @Fletch

      • Steve2150

        Member
        February 21, 2023 at 9:37 am

        I checked out your link, thanks! I will definitely be looking in the used market. The write up says the nut is 1.8″. That would be a great help.

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by  Steve2150.
  • David_Leo

    Member
    February 19, 2023 at 5:00 am

    I have “fat” fingers. My first guitar had a 1 11/16″ nut width and I struggled with the same issue. There are many guitars available with wider nuts/necks – 1 3/4″ up to 1 7/8″. The wider nut helps, but you may also try arching you fingers to make sure your fingertip is at a 90 degree angle to the fingerboard.

    • Steve2150

      Member
      February 21, 2023 at 9:25 am

      Thanks @David_Leo. My fingers are a bit stiff but seem to do better the more I practice. I also make sure I do Tony’s stretching exercises especially the fingers. Mine are old and stiff.

  • Loraine

    Member
    February 19, 2023 at 6:48 am

    Hi @Steve2150 x WELCOME TO THE TAC community, and I have one other suggestion, I addition to the wider nut. Keep elbow bent. Try playing classical style or at least elevating the neck of the guitar. Then push elbow in and down a little – which moves your hand down and keeps fingers bent. Then, while you have a good arch to your hand and are playing with your fingertips, try moving your index finger up a little on the low E. So that the pad of the finger moves up and away, then move the index finger up a little on the low E string, essentially Moving the pad off the A string and using it more for the Low E.

    • Steve2150

      Member
      February 21, 2023 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Lorraine. I am not 100% sure I follow, but I’ll see if I can figure it out. It sounds like you are suggesting rolling the index finger up on the side of the tip? I find I have to do that for the C chord to keep clear of the 1st and 3rd strings.

  • Fletch

    Member
    February 21, 2023 at 9:29 am

    I concur with Loraine on the Classical Style… Try it… 🙂

    • Steve2150

      Member
      February 25, 2023 at 3:40 pm

      I have been looking around for classical guitars. I am reading a lot of good things about the Cordoba C5 which is more in my budget. Any feedback on that one?

      • Fletch

        Member
        February 25, 2023 at 5:00 pm

        I know of the Brand Steve… But I only hold my Western Guitar in a Classic Fashion… On an elevated left leg… I find it super comfy and easier to Fret… 🙂

      • Steve2150

        Member
        February 26, 2023 at 10:26 am

        Oh thanks for the guitar position tip fletch. I have a terrible time getting my fingers perpindicular to the neck. My left forearm just doesn’t want to twist that far. I definitely will try your position.

      • Fletch

        Member
        February 26, 2023 at 12:46 pm

        Raise your left foot 6″ – 8″… (buy a cheap $10 foot stool)

        You can just about make out my position out on this Video

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by  Fletch.
        • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by  Fletch.
  • JeffM.22

    Member
    February 21, 2023 at 11:16 am

    @steve2150 The Zager line can be ordered in two different nut widths for wider string spacing. https://zagerguitar.com/ They are hard to find used, but are sold direct to consumer with a free return policy. I think they are worth a look.

    • Steve2150

      Member
      February 22, 2023 at 7:33 pm

      Sound expensive, but I will check them out. I see guitars come up in auction houses and it is good to be aware of the good names. I should check pawn shops too. I suspect a lot of guitars show up there.

  • staustin

    Member
    February 21, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    Maybe it’s the fingernails. The nails should be short enough so they don’t touch the fretboard when forming a chord. Otherwise, the nail will touch the fretboard and the finger tip will ‘lean’ into the string below as it tries to press down on the string you are aiming for.

    • Steve2150

      Member
      February 22, 2023 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks for that tip. I do keep them short, but good input.

  • Jbtrekn

    Member
    February 23, 2023 at 5:48 am

    Like Fletch I have Seagull guitars too. The 1.8 nut is lots easier to finger than the very common 1.69 or 1 11/16 nut. Seagull makes great guitars, made in Canada, check them out online. Roger from Brickhouse guitars compares the Artist to the Maritime, good clip. They might be one of the best values made. The cedar S6 has a huge following and Tony likes it. I have a cedar s6 at my home in the Philippines and 1 at home in Mt Shasta CA. I also have an Artist in ca and might be getting a spruce maritime to leave in the Philippines too. Im a Seagull guitar geek. For a more expensive taste Martin makes great guitars with a 1.75 nut, still fairly wide. John

  • BDB21

    Member
    February 28, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    You might consider a guitar with a 1 3/4″ nut. Check out the Eastman PCH series. You will not find a better guitar for the money.

  • N-lightMike

    Member
    March 1, 2023 at 10:32 am

    Hey @Steve2150 ;

    Let me start by saying many professional players use regular guitars even though they have large hands and fingers. A new guitar could make things slightly easier, but it’s hardly the solution to your current problem, so forget that suggestion for now.

    Here’s the “real” solution. As time goes on, things will get easier. Your fingers and hands will get more flexible and you’ll find positions that work better.

    Most people who start, should be doing finger exercises for strength, flexibility and independence.

    Lay your hands palm down on a flat surface with the fingers splayed apart. Then try to lift the fingers one at a time. Do this daily for several months and it will greatly speed up the beginning process of your guitar journey.

    When you can easily lift index, middle, ring, pinky, then go in reverse order. When that’s easy, then lift 2 fingers at a time, index and ring, middle and pinky.

    Now, as for the G chord, when you are fretting the 5th string, you need the 4th sting open. However, you are fretting the 6th string one fret higher, so if you touch that string it doesn’t matter. So the very simple and current solution is to move your finger toward the 6th string. This will help if you can get the correct position. But that’s what I start out saying. You will find the positions that work for you and it will get easier… it just takes time.

    MG 😀

    • Steve2150

      Member
      March 10, 2023 at 8:39 am

      Thanks N-lightMike, I appreciate your input. Someone else responded and described my attitude to this learning process to a “T” – if Tony says put this finger here and that one there, that is the drill. I think I am going to have to break myself of that if I am going to make it.

      I have been watching videos of players and paying close attention to their finger patterns. One guy uses his thumb on the low E string. Just an example of do what works.

      Thanks again for your response.

  • staustin

    Member
    March 10, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    I know that ‘a poor workman blames his tools’ but you said you have a Kona beginner guitar which might not be right for you or might be setup poorly. Take it to a guitar store and show them the problems you are having. They might recommend a setup, or even a new guitar. You might not be ready to buy a new guitar but if they put something in your hands which allows you to play more easily, then you have learned something.

  • BobMallord

    Member
    March 10, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    Hi, I know of nobody who has wider fingertips than me. But your brain will help you get it in time. Whoever designed our brains made them so they would silently work on solving problems one has and diligently practices correcting them. I never thought that I would be able to hold a clean sounding chord but I was wrong. I envy those with tiny fingertips and long fingers. I have neither but I would not give up the guitar I love so I practice and it works. Keep your fingernails trimmed and keep practicing. Your brain will find a way.

  • ScottyMac

    Member
    March 13, 2023 at 8:11 pm

    Spanish guitars are designed with a wider finger board. Try one on for size.

    • Steve2150

      Member
      March 15, 2023 at 5:19 pm

      I just picked up a used Cordoba. It has a full 2″ nut. I am liking the softer mellower sound of the nylon strings too.

  • ChuckS

    Member
    March 14, 2023 at 7:48 am

    @Steve2150, As others said, look for a guitar with a wider nut width. I actually have a 2001 Seagull S6 that I picked up about 2 years ago as a backup and it has a 1.8″ nut, way to wide for my short fingers, thus I now have it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace. Bought it before I knew about all the different specs, etc. The newer S6 models have a narrower nut.

    Very impressed with the overall workmanship of these Seagulls BTW, especially at the low price point, so much so that I picked up another Seagull with a 1 and 11/16ths nut width which works better for me

    Look around and I am sure you will find other guitars with the wider nut widths.

    Enjoy

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