+1Joe de V wrote:Remember the often mentioned phrase by guitar teachers "Not One Size Fits All". The market place idea that you should select your guitar based on age and or height is a mistake that have created a lot of discouragement to new guitar students everywhere.
You play the guitar using your hands/fingers and these are the key factors in determining what scale length is best suitable for a player.
Finger dexterity is compromise when you have to "strain" in reaching multiple frets particularly when playing chords.
Remember that the distance of the fingers between the pinky and the index and or thumb is a bit shorter when you are playing. The often used measure of the spread hand should be modified to allow for this one factor - My spread hand measure is a slightly wider than when I actually need to play the fret-board.
In my own personal experience I can play a longer period of time in comfort / less finger fatigue /when using a shorter-length scale than when using a 650mm scale.
Interesting what you write. My 664mm guitar (Hermanos Conde 1968) also has a wider than average nut width but the neck is very comfortable indeed and the fretboard has a very slight radius (it's only noticeable when you put a straight edge across the fingerboard). It's those small things that can make such a difference to playability.celestemcc wrote:I'm 5'2" and a woman, and played a Ramirez 1a for years; it's more than just the scale. It's a combo of the very wide, dead-flat fingerboard, and thick neck. My university guitar teacher said it was like "playing a two by four"! And yet I played it... until I realized years later that it was just getting in my way. I decided to get a 640 scale guitar with an elevated and radiused fingerboard, with a much more comfortable neck profile....
Absolutely right, JohnB. In fact over the years I had the back of the Ramirez' neck planed slightly to thin it, and had a new nut made which set the strings more closely together near the 1st-string side of the fingerboard, and had the saddle slightly lowered. Later, when the guitar needed new frets, I had a luthier make a new radiused fingerboard before installing frets. That alone made a considerable difference -- but in the long run, the scale was just too much. Ironically when I got the 640 guitar, I actually overshot frets a wee bit for a while; I had to learn I could use far less strength and a much lighter touch! I guess there's only so much one can adapt. The change to shorter-scale was well worth it.It's those small things that can make such a difference to playability.
Sheer cussed determination and the bravado of youth, lol. I loved that guitar (I still own it). My teacher wanted me to get a smaller-scale Kohno -- this is back in 1978 -- but I was just smitten with the sound of the 1a. Happily my new guitar sounds different, but just as wonderful.I just wonder how people with smaller hands are able to fly on a 664.
I guess Chopin's snail mail social media lacked the clout to put him right.Michael.N. wrote:Early pianos had narrower keys. I think even Chopin played on such a piano, perhaps what they term a 7/8th's keyboard.