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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Michael K. New Instrument. Hand Problems? (21) RE: New Instrument. Hand Problems? 30 Nov 99

I believe it's the thickness of the neck, not the width of the fingerboard.

I have 2 instruments which are both 1 11/16ths'' width at the nut, one being a V neck and the other being a soft V.

I have no problem of pain playing either one.

I have 2 other instruments, one of which is a 1 3/4s'' with a soft V neck (again no pain or problem playing) but the other one which was a custom ordered instrument has a 1 3/4s'' with a low oval....and I was stupid when I order this instrument with the low oval, having never played this kind of neck. The instrument sounds amazing, but the low oval and additional thickness it adds to the neck, has made it impossible to fingerpick and play further up the neck without enormous hand pain.

Broke down a couple of weeks ago, and took it to my local and trusted luthier. It is currently have the sides tapered and shaved to the specs of a soft V, with perhaps even more tapering. We're not touching the bottom of the neck so as not to interfere with the truss rod and stablity....just shaving and tapering the sides right below where the neck binding ends.

An expensive process, as the neck will eventually be removed for the sanding and refinishing part of it, before being reattached and set up....but it's way cheaper than the hit I'd take if I were to try and sell it. It's only 8 months old and was very expensive.

I just want to make it into something I can play, as effortlessly as my other instruments.

So Rick,you and your friend should consider shaving the necks.....Consider it ''customizing'' the instrument to your hands, if you plan to keep and play it for a long time.

Since my instrument is a custom one-of-a-kind, I was not concerned with ''altering the originality and possibly devaluing it'' as (a) I plan to keep it, and (b) the neck shaving just adds to the individual customization.

The two best necks for fingerstyle (IMHO) seem to be soft V, or low profile.

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