Scale length and neck width versus hand size

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
Laudiesdad69
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Re: Scale length and neck width versus hand size

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:24 am

dfl3tch3r wrote:
Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:01 am
I read this thread with great interest.
My thumb to pinky is 210mm max and my index to pinky is 165mm absolute max.

I do not own a 640mm scale CG but I have tried a Cordoba Parlour and wasn't impressed in as much as ease of play (Just my opinion).
At my current level I'm not playing pieces which demand such huge stretches but I do find some things noticeably difficult on the current 650mm scale; for instance I find Barre quite tough, along with a couple of stretches in Maria Gavotte quite challenging. I have to work hard to play clean.
I'm not sure but maybe a light tension string may make Barre easier and also maybe clean up the odd buzz here and there for hard to reach thus poorly fingered notes? Or maybe it's my technique ha ha.
We see players like Jennifer Kim, Liying Zhu and Kyuhee Park all playing 650mm scale guitars and all appear to have small hands/finger spans.
Maybe they're able to gain better stretches through better technique I'm sure!
So before I consider an additional guitar/short scale I'm wondering if a combination of lighter gauge strings with lower action and narrower nut, and more practice of course, might make all the difference?
What model of classical do you play? My pinky to index is the same as yours, and I find my 650 difficult on big stretches. I played a 640, and actually preferred it for stretches, bit didn't like the 50mm nut. I currently play a Ramirez 4NE. It's a 650. A 640 allows me to make the stretch from the first fret to the fifth fret. Currently I am not close enough to the fifth fret to get a good sound. My next guitar will likely be a 640.

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dfl3tch3r
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Re: Scale length and neck width versus hand size

Post by dfl3tch3r » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:04 pm

I play a Paulino Bernabe M15...I swapped out the bridge for 1mm lower action which helps a little for the not quite up to the fret notes!
I'm thinking I should maybe buy a luthier made 640mm with a 52mm nut.
Last edited by dfl3tch3r on Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Guildford_Gas
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Re: Scale length and neck width versus hand size

Post by Guildford_Gas » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:27 pm

Hi

As a newbie to the forum and wondering whether a shorter scale might suit me this thread starting back in 2011 interests me greatly. I am (was? since retired) a statistician so that makes it interesting as well I have played guitar for over 50 years off and on and back in my 20's & 30's played mainly classical style and am returning to that now.

At the moment I am just trying to put together a few pieces to compare when going to investigate a shorter scale and maybe a slimmer necked instrument.

Having looked at a lot of the measurements people have submitted, I'm beginning to feel like a bit of a freak.

Thumb to pinky is around 195mm which, although at the smaller end of the spectrum (and allegedly suggests a 640mm scale), isn't that unusual. Index to pinky however is only around 125-130mm tip to tip. I have always played a 650mm scale length, but it can be a struggle. I can manage F on string 6 to A on string 1 just about but at any volume other than pp I get buzzing and doing anything with the other fingers is just not on.

The stack of middle to pinky is nearly 40mm and I think the 52mm nut is probably a must.

I think I will tune down a semitone and play with a capo for a while - that seems to be the best advice I have gleaned.

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dfl3tch3r
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Re: Scale length and neck width versus hand size

Post by dfl3tch3r » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:29 am

I don't know what my hand stats were when I started playing back in March 2016 but my index to pinky 165mm absolute max in 2017 is now a very comfortable 170/175mm. I only just re-measured in order to respond to this thread!
I personally don't want to get hung up on the finger measuring thing because when it comes to actual playing it might be both disheartening and slightly misleading.
Last edited by dfl3tch3r on Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

nmshu1
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:16 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Re: Scale length and neck width versus hand size

Post by nmshu1 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:51 am

My left hand span is about 185-190, I prefer to my 630 guitar for daily main practice. I have 7 guitars here (all solid wood) in total.

For ease of play:

The proper scale/string length is important. Nut width and nut spacing are important too. The saddle spacing is important too. The strings action is important too. The neck shape is important too. The strings' tension is important too...

Many factors affect playability / ease of play.

These are my current experience. When you play difficult repertoire, excellent guitar and ease of play become important...
2014 Otto Vowinkel Concert 650; 2013 Córdoba C9 650;
2015 Paulino Bernabe Torres 645;
2015 Juan Hernandez Torres 640; 1986 Sweet Tone 640;
2016 German V. Rubio Concert 635; 2016 German V. Rubio Estudio 635;
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 630

nmshu1
Posts: 362
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:16 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Re: Scale length and neck width versus hand size

Post by nmshu1 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:28 pm

My index-to-pinky distances:

140 mm

I prefer to 630 guitar with nut width about 50, string spacing at nut about 40, string spacing at saddle about 56.
Neck depth at nut about 21.
2014 Otto Vowinkel Concert 650; 2013 Córdoba C9 650;
2015 Paulino Bernabe Torres 645;
2015 Juan Hernandez Torres 640; 1986 Sweet Tone 640;
2016 German V. Rubio Concert 635; 2016 German V. Rubio Estudio 635;
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 630

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