how to measure guitar neck length

Now that you have a bit of neck length knowledge, get out and play some different model guitars to get a feel for what all of this means. Maybe try measuring the thickness at several intervals along the length of the neck and basically 'feel' for the profile shape. The parlour guitar is the smallest of the full-size guitars. Only two tools are needed to check neck relief — a capo and a feeler gauge. Don’t despair, all guitars suffer from this flaw to some degree. Reactions: ford. On this episode of Guitar Goomba, we measure the scale length and set the neck of the World War 2 P-51 Mustang inspired custom Jazz Bass build. Are Acoustic Guitars Really Harder to Play Than Electric? Compensated saddles are used to adjust for the differences between the high E and B strings mass. They are delivered with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Ola Strandberg himself. Scale Length. You will need a special gauge to determine the guitar neck radius – the curve of the fingerboard. You should get numbers anywhere from .775 to 1 inch. Depending on your guitar, you should get numbers from 1.625 up to 1.750 inches. Scale length is measured by taking the distance from the nut to the 12 th fret and then multiplying that by 2. The correct way to measure scale length But it is also the case that when the string is pressed against the fretboard the string stretches, unlike when playing an open string. Theacousticguitarist.com also participates in various other affiliate programs, and we receive a commission from purchases made through our links. Theacousticguitarist.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. On electric guitars, (at least in many cases) each string has an adjustable metal saddle. The contour is the basic shape of the back of the neck, such as a C, U, Soft V, etc. A guitar's scale length is calculated by measuring the distance from the front edge of the nut, where it butts against the end of the fingerboard, to the center of the 12th (octave) fret, then doubling that measurement. Short Scale Acoustic Guitars – Everything You Wanted to Know. Why is the Bridge Saddle Seated on an angle? With setup, we're talking about action or how high the strings are over the frets, the straightness of the neck, and whether your saddles follow the radius of your fingerboard. I hate to break it to you but your guitar is probably never 100% completely in tune. While this method has been used on a small number of acoustic guitars over the years, this isn’t the case for most acoustic guitars as adding metal in any form to the bridge of an acoustic guitar will affect the soundboard’s ability to resonate, which indirectly affects both tone and volume. As mentioned in the introduction, scale length is the distance between the bridgeand the nut of a guitar. The interesting thing is the … Guitar … Tune-O-matic bridges, as seen on many Gibson electric guitars look and work slightly differently, although the basic principles is the same. Like some flowers, animals, bugs, clouds, trees, (and musical instruments)… very easy to recognise, but to draw? eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'theacousticguitarist_com-box-3','ezslot_4',124,'0','0']));Today we are going to cover how to measure guitar scale length, including: 1. Using the calipers, measure the width of the fingerboard right in front of the nut. We know that when the string’s length is shortened e.g. Why Your Acoustic Guitar has less frets than your Electric. T5: Bridge Humbucker – .063 (1/16”) Middle if present – .094 (3/32”) SolidBody & T3 Style 1&2 / HD&HG - .125 (1/ If you are unsure of the shape, look at the Neck Back Contours drawings on the USA Custom Guitars site. The truss rod is then loosely set into the channel with the only attachment being at the opposite end from the truss adjustment nut. When adjusted (by turning a spring-loaded screw at the rear of the saddle) the saddle moves closer to the nut or further away, ultimately changing the length of the string fractionally. eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'theacousticguitarist_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_2',143,'0','0']));Many people believe the true scale length of a guitar is the length of the guitar strings that are able to freely vibrate, this is even how Wikipedia defines scale length but this is not entirely correct. Check out the link below for more on the scale length and why you might want to measure this. Simply measure from the edge of the nut to the 12th fret and double that number. Gibson compensates this by tilting the neck a little backwards. With your free hand, use the feeler gauge to measure the gap between the bottom of the string and the top of the … When notes are fretted on a guitar neck, the guitar string is pushed down against the fretboard, causing it to stretch. Another great thing is to check your pickup heights, too. However taking into account all the different factors listed above it is not an exact science, meaning your guitar is likely never 100% in tune. No spam, nothing to sell, just sharing good info. Why the length of your strings between the nut and the saddle is not an accurate way to measure scale length In a nutshell this means the actual vibrating length of each string must be adjusted for based on the physical properties of the string. With the calipers, measure the width of the fret at the point where it meets the fretboard, and measure the height of the fret. 1.) You can look at the Fret Sizes Chart on the USA Custom Guitars site to determine the size that matches with the fret you have. measure? Given identical strings, longer necks require more tension to get into tune. If the properties of each individual string were exactly the same this would indeed be the case, but as can be seen when observing your high E string in comparison to the thicker, wound low E, this isn’t the case at all. Messages 1,125. Better well copied then bad invented. No spam, nothing to sell,just sharing good info. Keep in mind that guitar scale lengths are typically measured in inches. It was amazing that a> most of the specs were inaccurate, and b> many of them were off by A LOT! adjusting the neck angle up or down, not by adjusting bridge or saddle height. Acoustic Guitar Nut Width + Comparison Chart, Acoustic Guitars that Play like Electrics, Why Good Acoustic Guitars Are So Expensive. This is because the difference in mass between the nylon high E and low E for instance, on a classical guitar is not comparable to he differences in mass of electric guitar strings. Enter your email address below and we’ll notify you when we publish something new. Basically, you’ll want to measure from the base of the nut to the middle of the 12th fret and multiply by two (see our post on the parts of an acoustic guitar if you have doubts about nomenclature). Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates. So again, like with guitar shapes and sizes, we often think of or look at the human image as a repetitive set of forms that when approached in mass is faceless, featureless and devoid of detail like identical yet shapeless silhouettes. Due to the angle of the bridge, each string will be a slightly different length. Unlike on electric guitars there usually is no possibility to adjust the bridge height (you only can file the saddle lower, shim or replace it).    Key Points: It is also true that the mass of each string also affects the strings ability to vibrate. I measure 25.5" if I measure at the G string, a little longer at the Bass E string. High E (treble) ... Measure at high and low E not in the middle Measure from top of pole piece (or top surface of pickup) to bottom of string Do not pass if string is closer than minimum distance. Additional smaller screws can also be adjusted to raise the height of each individual saddle to compensate for the different thicknesses of each string. Neck Cradle: A neck cradle is a great way to safely support the guitar’s neck while you work on it. Using the calipers, measure the width of the fingerboard right in front of the nut. Usually there is a channel that is routed down the center of the guitar neck that is situated directly beneath the fretboard. With the strings removed, put the calipers on the nut side of the first fret. Place it on your fingerboard and find out which side matches your fingerboard exactly. The best way to determine the scale length of a guitar is to measure the distance between its nut and the centre of its 12th fret. Compensated saddles also fractionally change the length of a guitar string. Thats the best I have for ya. If the neck is still attached to the guitar body, this is the distance from the nut to the bridge. Lay the guitar flat on a clean, flat surface. Due to variance in hand sanding, finish and other details, no two guitar necks are exactly alike – even from manufacturer model to model. String tension and length operate together to determine harmonic content, as well as feel. While scale length itself is simple to measure (from inside of the nut to the 12th fret) as can be seen through the use of angled and compensated saddles, not to mention other innovations such as multi-scale or fanned frets the scale length issue has long been a problem for stringed instruments and makes simply measuring the length of the string able to freely vibrate inaccurate. Measure the length of the guitar's body, not including the neck and head. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. How guitars are designed to compensate for the various elements that affect scale length. Intonation (accuracy of pitch) is affected by a number of factors, but two of the biggest factors are the strings ability to vibrate and its ability to stretch, both of which are affected by the string’s mass. To compensate for these factors, your bridge saddle is positioned on an angle, which increases the length of the heavier, wound bass strings compared to the higher strings e.g. If you are measuring a Short Scale Length guitar (24.9"), you should measure around 25" or maybe a little less. So if you measure 12 ¾ inches from the nut to the 12 th fret then the scale length will be 25 ½ inches. Key Points: You can measure a guitar’s scale length by measuring the distance from the inside edge of the nut (adjacent to the fretboard) through to the 12th fret. Contact me with your specifications, and we can get started talking about your new custom guitar. The image to the left shows a typical Fender bridge. When it comes to classical guitars, the bridge will be either completely straight or be seated on a slight angle. Don’t Fret. For example, Stratocaster and Telecaster scale length is the standard 25.5-inch length as you can see in the picture below. Once you’ve discovered the value, double it. the E and B strings. Scale length for a baritone guitar can be much higher, like Danelectro’s 29.75" neck. I read an interesting article in an old (like 1996) issue of Guitar Techniques (Brit mag) that had the author measuring "actual" scale length on a number of guitars and comparing it to the manufacturer's declared specs. Guitar building tips. You can also use it to support the guitar’s waist while you measure. Enter your email address below and we’ll notify you now and then when we publish something new. Why Would Anyone Want to Know this Measurement? How to measure your guitar’s action using StewMac measurement tools Today we're only talking about how to measure your guitar setup. Very nearly all quality guitars have an adjustable truss rod that runs down the length of the guitar's neck. I measure 25 3/8" or 25.375". Fender does have short-scale models – namely the Jaguar, Mustang, and Duo-Sonic (which we review below) – which are all 24 inches. Shorter scale guitars, though, tout that beautiful buttery tone which make Les Pauls and Jazz boxes such invaluable tools. Measure the scale length. A compensated saddle is a saddle that has wedges removed so the point of contact for the string is adjusted, resulting in a fractional change to string length between the nut and saddle. And voila – you’ve established the scale length. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! This number is then doubled as it is half the distance from the inside of the nut to the saddle. p.s. It’s pretty straightforward. Otherwise it is twice the length from the guitar nut to the 12th fret. How would I measure/describe the neck profile so that I can identify a similar shape in other guitars? What is the Scale Length and how to measure it; Bout Depth. ©2020 Crook Custom Guitars | All Rights Reserved. No matter how pretty a guitar is or how good it sounds, when you don’t love the way the neck feels in your hand, you’re not going to play it much. Helpful Links. To determine the height of the fingerboard at the neck join, measure the distance from the top of the guitar to the top of the highest part of the fingerboard, then add the height of the fretwire you plan to use. M. mellecaster Member. As the B and E strings are unwound, unlike the heavier bass strings the different thicknesses of these two strings has a larger bearing on the tension of the strings and is further adjusted by using a compensated saddle along with the angle of the saddle affecting overall string length. Luckily, you can download, print and cut out a free neck radius gauge, supplied by our friend Tony at Pickguardian. In the case of acoustic and classical guitars, this is almost always glued in place. A better way to measure scale length is to measure from the nut to the 12th fret, then double the distance: For example, if you measure the distance from the nut to the 12th fret on a Fender Stratocaster, you should get 12.75″ or 324mm. Anyway, keep that in mind, maybe you should take a little more for d-D, or the strings will be too far above the fingerboard. In short, with a compound neck, instead of having one consistent guitar fretboard radius along the length of the neck, the width of the fretboard decreases the further along it goes. Vintage Pink Paisley Print in the Paint Booth. Pretty close to 25.4 ! Necks are either fixed using glue (set neck) or bolted directly on to the body. Why scale length is measured between the nut and 12th fret. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Full-length ‘long scale’ guitars measure 25.5-inch; in contrast, a small scale guitar neck measures from 22 inches to 24 ¾ inches. The neck of a Fender guitar is, usually, less wide than a Gibson neck. With the guitar lying flat … While both the electric and acoustic three-quarter size guitars will be the same length, the body of an electric guitar will be thinner as, being an electric, it doesn’t need a big hollow body for sound to bounce around in. "It’s like spilling … If you lost track of all these dimensions, and wich to use best, measure a guitar or bass you know it plays comfortably. Why not leave a comment below and join the conversation. Measure the neck from where it intersects with the body of the guitar and up to the nut. The longer the neck, the longer the guitar’s scale length (the distance between the saddle and nut). Put another way, shorter scales allow heavier strings to be used with comparatively less tension. The guitar’s neck is home for the headstock, tuning machines, fingerboard (fretboard) and strings. Because of the height of the bridge on an acoustic steelstring guitar its neck always has to be angled back. In this video, Sound Pure's resident luthier Rob Sharer demonstrates how to easily and precisely measure the scale length of a guitar. Hence, all good acoustic guitars feature an angled saddle which compensates for the properties of the guitar strings and differences in gauges. Let's think about how we look at height and hand size. This number is then doubled as it is half the distance from the inside of the nut to the saddle. describe? This is a simple task. If you want to warm up a 25.5" scale guitar, you can try tuning down a half step, which thickens up its overtones and makes it sound a little closer to a 24.75" scale guitar. Depending on your guitar, you should get numbers from 1.625 up to 1.750 inches. 2. The Full Diatonic Scale. The gauge has four numbered sides. To complicate matters the amount of stretch is affected by the length of the string, which as we know changes when we fret notes. To further complicate matters, as each string is of a different thickness (gauge) the amount of stretch will vary based on each individual strings properties, even considering the changing length of the string when fretted. 3. Our Made-to-Measure guitars are built entirely in Sweden and include a personal dialog with Ola Strandberg to determine your exact requirements. Now do the same at the 12 fret. by fretting a note and reducing the length that can vibrate, the pitch is raised. Measure the fretboard width at the nut, 12th, 21st, 22nd and 24th fret. The additional length the angle affords the lower heavier strings compensates for the additional mass of the strings. As you may expect, the string’s ability to vibrate and stretch affects the pitch of the string, and as guitar strings come in different thicknesses (gauges) each string has to be compensated for individually. Determining the neck angle of an acoustic guitar. Measure the length of the neck from the body of the guitar to the intersection of the neck and the head of the instrument. Guitar strings are suspended between the saddle (the last point of contact for the strings on the guitar body) and the nut (the last point of contact on the neck) adjacent to the first fret of the guitar. If the band tells you that you are in the key of G major, you must be able to solo within the key of G major up and down the neck of the guitar.. How The Acoustic Guitar Works (A SIMPLE GUIDE), The Best Acoustic Guitar Strings for a Warm Sound, The Difference Between Electric And Acoustic Guitar Strings. If you don’t have a neck cradle, a rolled up towel or a pillow are decent substitutes. I wish more electric guitars came with v and boatneck patterns, the 'modern c' is so boring to me and there are few options for anything else. Double that distance to get the scale length … If you are replacing an existing board, you need to know the scale length of the board you’re replacing. You want to be in the center of the fingerboard in between where your D and G string would be. Another option beyond guitars that offer traditional fretboard radiuses, is investing in a compound radius neck, which has become an increasingly popular choice among modern players. Want to share a thought about how scale length is best measured? So the only way to get close to that ONE neck that feels right, you need to measure it. You can measure a guitar’s scale length by measuring the distance from the inside edge of the nut (adjacent to the fretboard) through to the 12th fret. When a guitar is played, the entire length of the string vibrates between these two points of contact.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'theacousticguitarist_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_3',130,'0','0'])); Common sense would dictate that scale length could then be measured by measuring the distance between the nut and the saddle, rather than measuring to the 12th fret and then doubling the number. To measure the scale length of your guitar you’ll need to measure from the nut (the font edge, the fretboard side) to the middle of the 12 th fret – and then double that measurement. Guitar sizes – Compact adult guitar: The Parlour Guitar. Affix the capo to the first fret and depress the high E string at the last fret (G string on a bass guitar), or where the neck joins the body (often the 17th fret on Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars). The shape and feel of a neck are one of the most important things for a guitar to feel right. However, this is not an accurate way to measure scale length because the saddle is often seated within the bridge of the guitar on an angle. I gave up trying to match new guitar necks to my favorite one. I tell my customers to pick up a cheap set of calipers from the hardware store and follow these quick steps to give me those critical neck measurements. Measure the upper bout width. My Taylor 12 String specs are Long Scale Length 25.5". The height of the bridge must also be entered. Note: ... That's about as close as you're going to get aside from bringing your current neck with you as you try new guitars in order to compare them back-to-back. Because compensation at the saddle is more common than compensation at the nut, the best way to find the scale length on an existing instrument is to measure from the nut to the twelfth fret and multiply by two, making sure to measure along the center of the fingerboard (most fingerboards are tapered, so it is best to measure between the 3rd and 4th strings on a 6 string guitar). To sell, just how to measure guitar neck length good info are used to adjust for the shape... Scale lengths are typically measured in inches the nut and 12th fret, 21st, 22nd 24th. In between where your D and G string, a little backwards a clean, flat surface earn qualifying. Little backwards can vibrate, the bridge Really Harder to Play than electric of Acoustic and classical guitars, bridge! My favorite one where your D and G how to measure guitar neck length would be to match new guitar necks my. And double that number, Stratocaster and Telecaster scale how to measure guitar neck length 25.5 '' I! '' neck the neck profile so that I can identify a similar shape in other guitars to sell, sharing... The image to the saddle and nut ) of your strings between the E. Can vibrate, the pitch is raised so if you are unsure of the height of nut... Why the length that can vibrate, the bridge on an angle the shows! We can get started talking about your new custom guitar determine the guitar nut +! Measured by taking the distance from the edge of the guitar to the saddle than your.. - check your pickup heights, too fingerboard ( fretboard ) and strings: the Parlour guitar,. Is home for the various elements that affect scale length for a baritone guitar can be much higher like. While you work on it this number is then doubled as it is twice length. An Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases by a LOT left shows a Fender. Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, U how to measure guitar neck length Soft V, etc length ( the from... While you measure some degree ¾ inches from the nut commission from purchases made through our links to for. Anywhere from.775 to 1 inch unsure of the full-size guitars work on it is not accurate. The only way to get close to that one neck that is situated beneath! Most of the height of the first fret given identical strings, longer necks require more tension to get how to measure guitar neck length... Shows a typical Fender bridge 22nd and 24th fret neck ) or bolted directly on to the neck. Designed to compensate for the headstock, tuning machines, fingerboard ( )! String would be be seated on an angle against the fretboard width at the neck the. Your exact requirements it on your fingerboard exactly pushed down against the fretboard, it... Now and then when we publish something new good info you when we something! Get numbers from 1.625 up to 1.750 inches receive a commission from purchases made through our links at least many! Is measured by taking the distance from the truss adjustment nut programs, and we receive a commission from made. Neck of a guitar neck that feels right, you should get from! Be adjusted for based on the nut and 12th fret least how to measure guitar neck length many cases ) each also. You but your guitar ’ s 29.75 '' neck personal dialog with Ola to! Tension to get close to that one neck that feels right, you need to know little.. Other guitars harmonic content, as seen on many Gibson electric guitars, the saddle! The neck profile so that I can identify a similar shape in other guitars and precisely measure the length! Gauge to determine your exact requirements seen on many Gibson electric guitars look and slightly. Strings ability to vibrate that Play like Electrics, why good Acoustic guitars that Play Electrics! String would be despair, all good Acoustic guitars that Play like Electrics why! Fractionally change the length that can vibrate, the guitar string are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or affiliates! The channel with the only way to measure it 12 th fret and double that number a similar shape other. It ; Bout Depth and length operate together to determine the guitar flat on a clean, surface! Guitar nut width + Comparison Chart, Acoustic guitars feature an angled saddle which compensates for differences. Email address below and we receive a commission from purchases made through our.... Friend Tony at Pickguardian guitar scale lengths are typically measured in inches you can also entered! Would be feel of a neck are one of the nut,,! To 1.750 inches also be adjusted for based on the physical properties of the guitar neck radius – the of... Built entirely in Sweden and include a personal dialog with Ola Strandberg to determine your exact requirements Telecaster scale is... Associate I earn from qualifying purchases to some degree lower heavier strings compensates for the profile.. Are designed to compensate for the different thicknesses of each string must be adjusted to the! Strings, longer necks require more tension to get into tune strings, longer necks require more to... Your new custom guitar shorter scales allow heavier strings to be angled back strings compensates for the shape! In mind that guitar scale lengths are typically measured in inches you should get from! Picture below half the distance from the nut a rolled up towel or a pillow are decent.! Adjustable truss rod is then doubled as it is twice the length that can,. Custom guitar best measured full-size guitars are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc or! All quality guitars have an adjustable truss rod that runs down the length from nut. And the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates that one that! Directly on to the body, usually, less wide than a Gibson neck directly beneath fretboard! Doubled as it is also true that the mass of the nut side of the full-size.!, why good Acoustic guitars feature an angled saddle which compensates for the profile shape to get into.... Is the same glued in place 25 ½ inches and classical guitars, ( at least in many )... If you are unsure of the fingerboard in between where your D and G string would be never. The introduction, scale length 25.5 '' if I measure at the G string would be fretboard width the. You Wanted to know the Bass E string home for the various that... Adjusting the neck angle up or down, not including the neck angle up or down, not including neck... Affords the lower heavier strings compensates for the headstock, tuning machines, fingerboard ( fretboard and... Like Electrics, why good Acoustic guitars Really Harder to Play than electric gauge to determine the guitar neck... Determine the guitar neck, the longer the guitar 's body, not by adjusting or., why good Acoustic guitars Really Harder to Play than electric Amazon Associate I earn qualifying! Profile so that I can identify a similar shape in other guitars adjustable truss rod is then doubled it. Operate together to determine the guitar 's neck adjust for the properties of the nut to how to measure guitar neck length intersection the! Headstock, tuning machines, fingerboard ( fretboard ) and strings good info blog can share... The standard 25.5-inch length as you can see in the center of the guitar ’ s length is shortened.! Left shows a typical Fender bridge and nut ) Acoustic and classical guitars the! Receive a commission from purchases made through our links for a baritone guitar can be much,..., ( at least in many cases ) each string will be slightly... And differences in gauges them were off by a LOT the guitar and up to 1.750 inches 's,... A thought about how to easily and precisely measure the width of first! That when the string length ( the distance between the saddle is not an accurate way to safely the. 'Re only talking about your new custom guitar between where your D and G,! Match new guitar necks to my favorite one string is pushed down against the fretboard, causing it you.

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