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What Are Neck Profiles And Why Are They Important To A Guitar Player?

What Are Neck Profiles And Why Are They Important To A Guitar Player?

Haywire Custom Guitars MahoganyTeleNashville3+Roasted maple guitar neck profle sample

Haywire Custom Guitars MahoganyTeleNashville3+Roasted maple guitar neck

What Is A Guitar Neck Profile And Why Is It Important To A Guitar Player?

A Guitar Neck Profile

Guitar neck profiles are important because they contain most of the characteristics that players need to consider when selecting their perfect neck for maximum guitar neck comfort. Every guitar player is different and so are his/her hands. It is not a “one size fits all” world. If it were then you wouldn’t be reading this article. The neck is the part of your guitar that projects from the main body and is the part that the guitar player interacts with most. Therefore feel, grip, sheen, finish depth, width, string gauge, thickness, wideness and fret size all determine comfort and play-ability levels for each player.

thickness, width and fret size all determine comfort

If a guitar neck profile doesn’t feel right the first thought is to find someone to blame. The manufacturer, the salesman, the Luthier/tech, the guitar store. Right?  No not really. How about YOU? As a player you are responsible. It is incumbent upon the guitarist in educating him or herself in the areas where comfort is of major concern.  It is important for the guitar player to be familiar with all of the parts of the neck and which ones specifically affect the comfort level they seek, to become the optimum player they want to be. The term “guitar neck profile” refers to and encompasses the shape of the back of a guitar. (see below: neck in cross section) The profile is often used interchangeably with the term “back shape” of which the “thickness” is an integral part.

“guitar neck profile” refers to the back shape

You can also refer to it simply as “neck shape,” although there are other important neck measurements with which “guitar neck profile” shouldn’t be confused such as; neck width, neck depth and fingerboard radius.The shape of the neck’s cross-section can also vary from a gentle curve to a more pronounced “V” however there is no perfect guitar neck shape for everyone.

Image result for What is a Neck Profile And Why Are They Important?, Standard neck profiles from Warmoth Guitar Products featured in many Haywire Custom Guitars

Standard neck profiles from Warmoth Guitar Products featured in many Haywire Custom Guitars

It’s important to understand, the guitar neck profile doesn’t affect the sound of the guitar itself; rather, it affects your guitar comfort level and that in turn, affects the way you play it, how long you can play it, how your hand feels after you play it and general satisfaction with not having to alter your style because of it and in the instrument itself.  As a result, at Haywire Custom Shop our job is to have the right guitar matched up with the right hands. This accounts for our decision not to offer a “Click and Buy site” for many years as we know that most players are not familiar enough with the parts of the guitar neck profile that really will matter to them immediately and over time.


We prefer to discuss their comfort needs FIRST. Only then will we be on the right track to offer them the best. We want them to have a perfect instrument for their playing style for now and as it evolves. Playing styles may change in the future. At Haywire Custom Guitars we want guitar players to have a guitar they can “grow” with and feel great about playing it.

At Haywire Custom Guitars we’re…….Musicians working for musicians……

So, finally, what does all this mean to the average guitar player who is  considering buying a guitar.  We want to have descriptions that cover all the guitar neck profiles? Everything!  Comfort, sound, feel, speed, action, fatigue and overall feeling of reliability in the instrument are affected by the neck profile.

Because of this there is no perfect guitar neck shape for everyone. There is one for you. We’ll find it.  Your neck profile should make it easy for you to comfortably reach all the frets. Bottom line: Neck profile and neck width is important; so pay attention to what feels right for you so WE can get it right for you because ONLY YOU know what feels right for you. We work for guitar players every day creating perfect guitar neck profiles for you.


About the Author:

Mr. Rick Mariner Owner and Founder and CEO of Haywire Custom Guitars Inc. He is a member of The Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (A.S.I.A.) as well as a guitar player. Rick holds a bachelors degree from University of Md. and a Masters degree from George Washington University. Rick developed his exclusive 8 – Point “Gig- Ready” guitar process that allows for Custom Guitars that are “GIG-READY”. With Rick’s many years of development and guitar set-up experience, Haywire Guitar shop “Builds satisfied players… one Haywire guitar at a time”.

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