Neck size on an acoustic guitar can be a tricky thing. For those wanting a particular type of neck, it's often hard to find a certain or to even know what to look for. What number do you pay attention to on the spec sheet?
When it comes to finding acoustic guitars with wide necks (or thinner necks) the number we need to be looking at is nut width.
But how do you search acoustic guitars by nut width?
Most of the time you can't, which is why we put together lists like this one, to make it easy to find guitars with a particular property that you can't search or filter by on other websites.
On this page, we're listing some of our favorite acoustic guitars that have a wide or wider than average neck.
But for this list to make sense, we need to cover some basic information about acoustic guitar neck size. Those who want to just take my word for it can jump to the list below for easy browsing.
The Numbers We're Looking For
What constitutes a "wide neck" in an acoustic guitar? To start, let's establish the more common neck sizing, or what we might call the median size.
Typically, we see two sizes:
By far, these are the two most common neck sizes if you're looking at nut width (more on that below). We want to find acoustic guitars that go higher than this, targeting at least a 1.8" nut width.
Understanding Nut Width
But what exactly is nut width?
On an acoustic guitar, nut width is measured at the base of the fretboard right before the first fret. That little piece separating the fretboard and the headstock is call the nut.
Here's a diagram that highlights the nut in blue:
From that point, we can get an idea of how wide a guitar neck is by looking at its starting width. If you pay attention to this number as you browse guitars, you'll notice that certain types of acoustic guitars will tend to have wider necks than others.
Wide Necks in Classical Guitars
The best example of this would be classical guitars with nylon strings.
Classical guitars - by far - tend to have the widest necks, with many measuring a two-inch nut width. If you don't want a classical or nylon string guitar, this is something you need to watch out for and simply avoid them.
On the other hand:
If you want a classical guitar (or at least don't object to it), they are easy to find with a wide neck without much looking. Most of them, by design, have a significantly wider neck.
Guitar Brands with Wide Necks
As a consequence, most guitar manufacturers that make classical guitars tend to have wider necks. Specifically, we'd note the following:
Other brands that tend to fluctuate a lot include Taylor, Takamine, and Ibanez, though they aren't necessarily known for their classical guitars.
Our list isn't comprehensive, but we've got some of the most popular models, starting at a 1.875" nut width and going up from there. As expected, a lot of these are classical acoustic guitars, since they commonly have a wider neck.
Cordoba Fusion 12
Cordoba GK Pro Negra
Cordoba C12 SP
Which guitar has the widest nut?
The Cordoba C10 and C12 are both at 2.04" nut width, which is the widest we've ever seen. However, it's likely there are other six-string classical guitars out there with a a similar measurement, perhaps even slightly wider. As far as mainline acoustic guitar retail is concerned, Cordoba classical guitars have some of the widest necks.
Why play a guitar with a wide neck?
What's the benefit of playing one of these guitars?
Certain guitar players prefer a wider neck because of how it feels, which is just an issue of preference. However, players with larger hands or larger fingers might also prefer a wider neck because it's easy to fret notes on the fretboard.
It gives you more vertical room, making it easier to navigate from string to string. This is particularly important in classical guitar styles that rely on a lot of vertical patterns and movements.
This small amount of added space between each strings frees you up and gives you a bit more room to work with.
It's a small difference, but you can definitely feel it when you play an acoustic guitar with a wide neck.
Here's a quick summary of the benefits:
- Easier for larger hands/fingers
- More room between strings
- Makes string to string movement (vertical movement) easier
- Ideal for classical styles or faster playing
Are wide neck acoustic guitars easier to play?
Does this mean wide neck acoustic guitars are always easier to play?
Because it depends on how you want your fretboard to feel.
If you want quicker horizontal movement (up and down the fretboard), we'd recommend going with a thinner neck.
Here are some things that are easier with a thin neck:
- Chord progressions
- Horizontal scale patterns
- Fretboard reach
In contrast, these things are easier with a wider neck:
- String to string movement
- Vertical movement
- Playing single notes
- Playing complex chords
So it's not that one is necessarily "easier" than the other, but that they make certain processes easier and more functional. It just depends on which processes you want to focus on.
Anything to add?
Do you know of another acoustic guitar that should be included in this list? Remember, the cutoff for what we consider a wide neck is about a 1.8" nut width, so anything above that is fair game. We're particularly interested in acoustic guitars that are not classical guitars.
If you know of something and want us to include it in the table, feel free to drop a line in the comments section below and I'll take a look.
General questions about the guitars already included can go in the comments as well.
We'll see you there.