String gauge ...or what?

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Dave-H

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Joined: 09/30/19

Posts: 18

I started my lessons with a Yamaha Electric, and immediately ran into problems. My index finger was too fat to get a clean chord with the Simple C. No matter what I did, i could not get a clean chord. My nylon string acoustic arrived today, and I breezed right through with no issues. The nut width on my acoustic is the same as my Yamaha, so string spacing should be the same. Would string gauge make that much difference?

#1

I started my lessons with a Yamaha Electric, and immediately ran into problems. My index finger was too fat to get a clean chord with the Simple C. No matter what I did, i could not get a clean chord. My nylon string acoustic arrived today, and I breezed right through with no issues. The nut width on my acoustic is the same as my Yamaha, so string spacing should be the same. Would string gauge make that much difference?

manXcat

"It's getting better all the time"♪♪

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 728

Hi Dave-H

To answer your string gauge question immediately, no, or more accurately it shouldn't. String spacing can. See paragraph 5 below.

What size are your hands? Glove size is a reasonable indicator.

Edit: I just searched to check which Pacifica you have. Found it. Post edited in consideration. Given its age & (?) origin, have you had it checked for fretboard level, fret & nut condition, and importantly set up? i.e. action height and radius alignment. Not famil with the C2 suffix, but EG112 was the Alder bodied predecessor to the 012. Being so old, I'd recommend fitting a new fresh set of 9s unless it has been done recently TYK.

New Pacificas come OOTB fitted with 9s. Unless your hands are truly petite, you don't want lighter. If yours was second hand it might be fitted with 10s or questionably set up. Any or a combination of 10s, high action and or a damaged or poorly cut nut might be contributant external factors.

The nut width on your nylon string acoustic is as narrow as a Pacifica? Unusual. What about the string spacing? Contemporary Pacifica string spacing is unusually narrow at 10.5mm as is its nut at just 41mm. There are exceptions, but most acoustics run 11mm or wider IME, with nut of 43mm or wider.

Re first form C chord. Open C is an easier chord, but can seem a bit of a stretch initially. Be sure you're not inadvertently applying excessive pressure to your forefinger during the fretting of the chord flattening out your tip unnecessarily or causing interference inadvertantly through placement angle because of the stretch. Applying more pressure than necessary is a common 'sin' starting out. Mea Culpa.

Pay particular attention to its overall fingering to determine why the forefinger fingered C note in particular isn't sounding cleanly if that's what is occurring.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."

#2

Hi Dave-H

To answer your string gauge question immediately, no, or more accurately it shouldn't. String spacing can. See paragraph 5 below.

What size are your hands? Glove size is a reasonable indicator.

Edit: I just searched to check which Pacifica you have. Found it. Post edited in consideration. Given its age & (?) origin, have you had it checked for fretboard level, fret & nut condition, and importantly set up? i.e. action height and radius alignment. Not famil with the C2 suffix, but EG112 was the Alder bodied predecessor to the 012. Being so old, I'd recommend fitting a new fresh set of 9s unless it has been done recently TYK.

New Pacificas come OOTB fitted with 9s. Unless your hands are truly petite, you don't want lighter. If yours was second hand it might be fitted with 10s or questionably set up. Any or a combination of 10s, high action and or a damaged or poorly cut nut might be contributant external factors.

The nut width on your nylon string acoustic is as narrow as a Pacifica? Unusual. What about the string spacing? Contemporary Pacifica string spacing is unusually narrow at 10.5mm as is its nut at just 41mm. There are exceptions, but most acoustics run 11mm or wider IME, with nut of 43mm or wider.

Re first form C chord. Open C is an easier chord, but can seem a bit of a stretch initially. Be sure you're not inadvertently applying excessive pressure to your forefinger during the fretting of the chord flattening out your tip unnecessarily or causing interference inadvertantly through placement angle because of the stretch. Applying more pressure than necessary is a common 'sin' starting out. Mea Culpa.

Pay particular attention to its overall fingering to determine why the forefinger fingered C note in particular isn't sounding cleanly if that's what is occurring.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."

Dave-H

Full Access

Joined: 09/30/19

Posts: 18

Originally Posted by: manXcat

Hi Dave-H

To answer your string gauge question immediately, no, or more accurately it shouldn't. String spacing can. See paragraph 5 below.

What size are your hands? Glove size is a reasonable indicator.

Edit: I just searched to check which Pacifica you have. Found it. Post edited in consideration. Given its age & (?) origin, have you had it checked for fretboard level, fret & nut condition, and importantly set up? i.e. action height and radius alignment. Not famil with the C2 suffix, but EG112 was the Alder bodied predecessor to the 012. Being so old, I'd recommend fitting a new fresh set of 9s unless it has been done recently TYK.

New Pacificas come OOTB fitted with 9s. Unless your hands are truly petite, you don't want lighter. If yours was second hand it might be fitted with 10s or questionably set up. Any or a combination of 10s, high action and or a damaged or poorly cut nut might be contributant external factors.

The nut width on your nylon string acoustic is as narrow as a Pacifica? Unusual. What about the string spacing? Contemporary Pacifica string spacing is unusually narrow at 10.5mm as is its nut at just 41mm. There are exceptions, but most acoustics run 11mm or wider IME, with nut of 43mm or wider.

Re first form C chord. Open C is an easier chord, but can seem a bit of a stretch initially. Be sure you're not inadvertently applying excessive pressure to your forefinger during the fretting of the chord flattening out your tip unnecessarily or causing interference inadvertantly through placement angle because of the stretch. Applying more pressure than necessary is a common 'sin' starting out. Mea Culpa.

Pay particular attention to its overall fingering to determine why the forefinger fingered C note in particular isn't sounding cleanly if that's what is occurring.

Thanks for the info, manXcat. I had my guitar checked out by a local guitar teacher, and store owner, he's been a local guitar hero for 40 or more years. He said the neck was fine, it had no dead notes, so the frets are good, and said all it needed was new strings. The action height is pretty good. With a capo on the first fret and fretting the last fret, I can barely slip a business card under the strings at the 12th. I think it has 9's on it now, but with my new guitar being nylon stringed, I thought I might need to go up to an 11 gauge set. For info, the G2 in the model number denotes the special finish- Black metal flake, with a black headstock. I do have large hands (a large glove is too small but x-large are too big) and I do have long thin fingers, but with not a lot of meat at the tips. The string spacing on both guitars is 1/4 inch at the nut. I still remember the C major from years ago, and it was a problem on this guitar, too, muting either the G or the E. I have absolutely no problem with it on my acoustic. BTW, thanks for the consideration in answering!

#3

Originally Posted by: manXcat

Hi Dave-H

To answer your string gauge question immediately, no, or more accurately it shouldn't. String spacing can. See paragraph 5 below.

What size are your hands? Glove size is a reasonable indicator.

Edit: I just searched to check which Pacifica you have. Found it. Post edited in consideration. Given its age & (?) origin, have you had it checked for fretboard level, fret & nut condition, and importantly set up? i.e. action height and radius alignment. Not famil with the C2 suffix, but EG112 was the Alder bodied predecessor to the 012. Being so old, I'd recommend fitting a new fresh set of 9s unless it has been done recently TYK.

New Pacificas come OOTB fitted with 9s. Unless your hands are truly petite, you don't want lighter. If yours was second hand it might be fitted with 10s or questionably set up. Any or a combination of 10s, high action and or a damaged or poorly cut nut might be contributant external factors.

The nut width on your nylon string acoustic is as narrow as a Pacifica? Unusual. What about the string spacing? Contemporary Pacifica string spacing is unusually narrow at 10.5mm as is its nut at just 41mm. There are exceptions, but most acoustics run 11mm or wider IME, with nut of 43mm or wider.

Re first form C chord. Open C is an easier chord, but can seem a bit of a stretch initially. Be sure you're not inadvertently applying excessive pressure to your forefinger during the fretting of the chord flattening out your tip unnecessarily or causing interference inadvertantly through placement angle because of the stretch. Applying more pressure than necessary is a common 'sin' starting out. Mea Culpa.

Pay particular attention to its overall fingering to determine why the forefinger fingered C note in particular isn't sounding cleanly if that's what is occurring.

Thanks for the info, manXcat. I had my guitar checked out by a local guitar teacher, and store owner, he's been a local guitar hero for 40 or more years. He said the neck was fine, it had no dead notes, so the frets are good, and said all it needed was new strings. The action height is pretty good. With a capo on the first fret and fretting the last fret, I can barely slip a business card under the strings at the 12th. I think it has 9's on it now, but with my new guitar being nylon stringed, I thought I might need to go up to an 11 gauge set. For info, the G2 in the model number denotes the special finish- Black metal flake, with a black headstock. I do have large hands (a large glove is too small but x-large are too big) and I do have long thin fingers, but with not a lot of meat at the tips. The string spacing on both guitars is 1/4 inch at the nut. I still remember the C major from years ago, and it was a problem on this guitar, too, muting either the G or the E. I have absolutely no problem with it on my acoustic. BTW, thanks for the consideration in answering!

Dave-H

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Joined: 09/30/19

Posts: 18

I think I may have found at least part of my issue. The neck radius is almost twice the radius of a Fender (13.75" compared to 7.25" on a strat). This makes for a much flatter fretboard.

#4

I think I may have found at least part of my issue. The neck radius is almost twice the radius of a Fender (13.75" compared to 7.25" on a strat). This makes for a much flatter fretboard.

fuzzb0x

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Joined: 04/02/13

Posts: 368

Originally Posted by: Dave-H

I think I may have found at least part of my issue. The neck radius is almost twice the radius of a Fender (13.75" compared to 7.25" on a strat). This makes for a much flatter fretboard.

Strats come in a few different radiuses necks sizes, 7.25 is the Fender vintage 50's-60's style radius most now come in a more common radius of 9.5 what model strat do you have?

Radius can make a huge diffence on how the guitar feels so it's worth looking into it a bit more and finding the one that works for you.

#5

Originally Posted by: Dave-H

I think I may have found at least part of my issue. The neck radius is almost twice the radius of a Fender (13.75" compared to 7.25" on a strat). This makes for a much flatter fretboard.

Strats come in a few different radiuses necks sizes, 7.25 is the Fender vintage 50's-60's style radius most now come in a more common radius of 9.5 what model strat do you have?

Radius can make a huge diffence on how the guitar feels so it's worth looking into it a bit more and finding the one that works for you.

Dave-H

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Joined: 09/30/19

Posts: 18

I have a Yamaha, hence the 13.75" radius. I had tried out a Squier Strat in a store and had no problems fretting the first fret, but I cannot cleanly fret the first fret on my Yamaha.

#6

I have a Yamaha, hence the 13.75" radius. I had tried out a Squier Strat in a store and had no problems fretting the first fret, but I cannot cleanly fret the first fret on my Yamaha.

manXcat

"It's getting better all the time"♪♪

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 728

Originally Posted by: Dave-H

I think I may have found at least part of my issue. The neck radius is almost twice the radius of a Fender (13.75" compared to 7.25" on a strat). This makes for a much flatter fretboard.

I wrote a response yesterday Dave-H but didn't post as diplomacy isn't my social strength when it comes to placating preferred belief vs logic and things I'm confidently aware of. Best let people develop awareness through their own journey of discovery.

That said, You've started, but are stumbling over the wrongly identified obstacle.

The problem you're experiencing as I perceive it from the info you've provided is on balance of probability a consequence of two factors primarily.

One, is simply lack of finesse fingering at your current phase of progress. Pilot error in other words. You know the solution to that. The other is not contributed to by the Pacifica's radius, but the string spacing.

Squier and Fender Strats and Teles come in a few radiuses, neck profiles and nut widths. 7.25" is vintage. Traditional is 9.5". More predominant today, modern Strats and Teles are generally 12". Pacificas are flatter at 350mm or 13.75". Remember the nut width is only 41mm on a Pacifica, 42mm on contemporary 12" radius Squiers and Fenders, plus all of these are non-compound radius fingerboards.


String spacing on Gibsons, Squiers and Fenders is pretty standard at 11mm. The Pacifica is narrow at 10.5mm. This is the specific aspect which likely be causing you a problem with larger hands, not the radius. I have both 12" Tele and 13.75" Pacificas among others inc HB SC Custom (LP clone), Manson Tele (compound radius) owned an Ibanez lawsuit SG once in the 70s with a trad neck, and own and play several acoustics wirh string spacing ranging from a narrow 10mm through standard 11mm and even wider in the Classical., and so know from hands on experience.

If you have large hands, the stretch will be easier, but the narrow string spacing exacerbated by the narrow nut might be a challenge. Pacificas require more accurate tip placement and hand form for this reason. If your fingers are slender, it shouldn't present a problem, and is more likely 'pilot error'.

That said, guitar necks can be a love 'em or hate em exercise. Pacificas are a superb guitar, especially for average to smaller hands, but large hands not challenged by a stretch will prefer something with more generous real estate IME.

The extra ½ cm string spacing does make a significant difference. 12" (305mm) vs 13.75" (350mm) radius is neither here nor there really. I switch between both every other day without issue. Neck profile can, but that's not going to challenge accurate finger placement with larger hands. It might with a chunky neck and small hands, but not the other way around.

Try an Epi,Gibson, Squier or Fender with wider nut and string spacing. I suspect they'll be a better fit for you than a Pacifica. Radius is also a matter of individual fit and preference. I wouldn't personally consider anything less than 12" radius for me any more than I would a chunky vintage C neck, whereas with large hands they probably would feel quite comfortable for you. You really need to try them all on for fit.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."

#7

Originally Posted by: Dave-H

I think I may have found at least part of my issue. The neck radius is almost twice the radius of a Fender (13.75" compared to 7.25" on a strat). This makes for a much flatter fretboard.

I wrote a response yesterday Dave-H but didn't post as diplomacy isn't my social strength when it comes to placating preferred belief vs logic and things I'm confidently aware of. Best let people develop awareness through their own journey of discovery.

That said, You've started, but are stumbling over the wrongly identified obstacle.

The problem you're experiencing as I perceive it from the info you've provided is on balance of probability a consequence of two factors primarily.

One, is simply lack of finesse fingering at your current phase of progress. Pilot error in other words. You know the solution to that. The other is not contributed to by the Pacifica's radius, but the string spacing.

Squier and Fender Strats and Teles come in a few radiuses, neck profiles and nut widths. 7.25" is vintage. Traditional is 9.5". More predominant today, modern Strats and Teles are generally 12". Pacificas are flatter at 350mm or 13.75". Remember the nut width is only 41mm on a Pacifica, 42mm on contemporary 12" radius Squiers and Fenders, plus all of these are non-compound radius fingerboards.


String spacing on Gibsons, Squiers and Fenders is pretty standard at 11mm. The Pacifica is narrow at 10.5mm. This is the specific aspect which likely be causing you a problem with larger hands, not the radius. I have both 12" Tele and 13.75" Pacificas among others inc HB SC Custom (LP clone), Manson Tele (compound radius) owned an Ibanez lawsuit SG once in the 70s with a trad neck, and own and play several acoustics wirh string spacing ranging from a narrow 10mm through standard 11mm and even wider in the Classical., and so know from hands on experience.

If you have large hands, the stretch will be easier, but the narrow string spacing exacerbated by the narrow nut might be a challenge. Pacificas require more accurate tip placement and hand form for this reason. If your fingers are slender, it shouldn't present a problem, and is more likely 'pilot error'.

That said, guitar necks can be a love 'em or hate em exercise. Pacificas are a superb guitar, especially for average to smaller hands, but large hands not challenged by a stretch will prefer something with more generous real estate IME.

The extra ½ cm string spacing does make a significant difference. 12" (305mm) vs 13.75" (350mm) radius is neither here nor there really. I switch between both every other day without issue. Neck profile can, but that's not going to challenge accurate finger placement with larger hands. It might with a chunky neck and small hands, but not the other way around.

Try an Epi,Gibson, Squier or Fender with wider nut and string spacing. I suspect they'll be a better fit for you than a Pacifica. Radius is also a matter of individual fit and preference. I wouldn't personally consider anything less than 12" radius for me any more than I would a chunky vintage C neck, whereas with large hands they probably would feel quite comfortable for you. You really need to try them all on for fit.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."

Dave-H

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Joined: 09/30/19

Posts: 18

manXcat, thank you for your thoughtful detailed discussion. At 64, and after 4 divorces, my feelings are beyond being hurt. I understand as a newbie I may not be getting placement right, but no matter how carefully I fret the the note I still get muting on the adjacent strings with this guitar. I don't get that on my acoustic or other guitars I have tried. I might overcome it as I progress but I am doubtful at this point. I am doing nicely with my acoustic now. I am thinking of selling my Yamaha to buy something more playable by me. I like the guitar, but I am not married to it. I will look for a guitar better suited to me. I will let your advice guide my choices. Thanx!

#8

manXcat, thank you for your thoughtful detailed discussion. At 64, and after 4 divorces, my feelings are beyond being hurt. I understand as a newbie I may not be getting placement right, but no matter how carefully I fret the the note I still get muting on the adjacent strings with this guitar. I don't get that on my acoustic or other guitars I have tried. I might overcome it as I progress but I am doubtful at this point. I am doing nicely with my acoustic now. I am thinking of selling my Yamaha to buy something more playable by me. I like the guitar, but I am not married to it. I will look for a guitar better suited to me. I will let your advice guide my choices. Thanx!

manXcat

"It's getting better all the time"♪♪

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 728

Originally Posted by: Dave-H
I will look for a guitar better suited to me.

Hi Dave-H

Good idea. If you're not comfortable with it, swap it over. You've possibly read me say in posts on more than one occasion how crucial I think fit is. I've certainly come across experienced players before who like everything about Pacificas, but can't get along with their necks. As iterated I suspect it is that tight string spacing and narrow nut that's presenting the issue for your fingers. I'm the same with Dreads. No matter how much I want to love mine, and try to, I can't. That body size just doesn't fit.

It's really noticeable how much roomier my Tele 12" radius, 42mm nut, medium jumbo frets, 11mm string spacing, 10s on a 25.5" scale feels to fret than my Pacificas.

Bottom line. Try 'em all on until you find an axe which fits you like a comfortable shoe/glove.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."

#9

Originally Posted by: Dave-H
I will look for a guitar better suited to me.

Hi Dave-H

Good idea. If you're not comfortable with it, swap it over. You've possibly read me say in posts on more than one occasion how crucial I think fit is. I've certainly come across experienced players before who like everything about Pacificas, but can't get along with their necks. As iterated I suspect it is that tight string spacing and narrow nut that's presenting the issue for your fingers. I'm the same with Dreads. No matter how much I want to love mine, and try to, I can't. That body size just doesn't fit.

It's really noticeable how much roomier my Tele 12" radius, 42mm nut, medium jumbo frets, 11mm string spacing, 10s on a 25.5" scale feels to fret than my Pacificas.

Bottom line. Try 'em all on until you find an axe which fits you like a comfortable shoe/glove.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."