What Are Guitar Neck Profiles and Why Are They 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.
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 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. Probably, 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. They also don’t know much about profiles that really will matter to them immediately and over time. We need to discuss comfort needs FIRST. Then will we be on the right track to offer the best instrument for playing style for now and as it evolves in the future. At Haywire Custom Guitars we want guitar players to have a guitar they can “grow” with. We want them to feel great about playing a guitar they get from us.
guitar neck profile
So, finally, what does all this mean to the average guitar player who is considering buying a guitar with a description that mentions the guitar neck profile? 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. 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.
At Haywire Custom Guitars we’re…….Musicians working for musicians……