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  1. #1

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    I currently have a classical guitar (Pavan CP-30) but am interested in getting classical with cutaway and electronics to use for both jazz, pop and classical repertoire. Since I am already comfortable with the classical neck, I was wondering if I should stick to a guitar with a standard classical neck (roughly 2" wide and flat) or if there is an advantage to getting a "crossover" guitar with a narrower (48mm neck) and a radius? I know that some players use their thumb to fret the sixth string, which would be difficult with a wide neck, but other than that, is there any disadvantage to the classical neck?

    Thanks,
    Alan

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    If you're staying with nylon strings, get what you're used to.

  4. #3

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    If you're buying sight unseen: As far as I'm concerned, there really isn't any advantage to a smaller neck if you're already used to a standard classical neck. You might actually find a smaller neck to be cramped and uncomfortable, particularly with chords.

    If you can play the guitar before buying: You never know though. Sometimes we think we like one thing until we try something else, and end up liking that else thing better.

    Your decision is as clear as mud.

  5. #4

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    48mm neck

    Regards
    Kris

  6. #5

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    I would stay with what your used to, it takes a lot of work to be able to play a classical guitar, and jazz played on it sounds

    great, in the right hands!....L.

  7. #6

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    Here's Romero Lubambo playing a guitar built by my good friend (and fellow Sebastopol resident) Richard Prenkert. Richard builds his cutaways with the same neck dimensions as his regular classicals, 52 mm width and 650 mm scale length. Obviously, a more narrow neck is not necessary (though it helps to have hands like Romero):
    .

  8. #7

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    you can use either a classical guitar, or a nylon string guitar designed for intended use (jazz or latin, and improv).

    if you do the latter, a 2" wide neck is a compromise. the classical nut width is slightly wider of course. a cutaway ain't bad, a slightly radiused fretboard - and - a pickup all help the cause. (see Buscarino Cabaret.) I notice the difference between my Buscarino and my classical. the right hand in particular does not have as much room for the strict classical right hand motions. but then the Cabaret is made for finger-style jazz, not classical.

    a lot of guys use classical guitars for finger style jazz and jazzy latin stuff of course. but some jazz chord voicings can be a lot to handle on the full width classical neck. and you may need to bring your volume over other noisy musicians, singers, and diners too.

    look at Gene Bertoncini's hands when he plays. he's not using strict classical positioning. its more relaxed. you'll see the same when watching many other jazz/latin players. (like Lubambo above)

    you can never have too many guitars.
    Last edited by fumblefingers; 06-16-2013 at 11:15 AM.

  9. #8

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    In music school one of the best guitarist's came from a classical background so his friend made a classical-like neck for his telecaster. It looked strange this flat, wider than normal neck on a tele, but I played it and it was really comfortable. So I agree with the others stick with what your used to.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  10. #9

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    what are some examples of nylon string, cutaway, with pick-up guitars under consideration here? (I realize the Cabaret is a bit rich for some budgets).

  11. #10
    My intended repertoire will be primarily finger-style jazz, latin and pop, with some intermediate-level classical pieces thrown in.
    Perhaps a 1-7/8 - 2" wide neck with slight radius would be best. Unfortunately, the the local classical guitar store doesn't carry any crossover classicals, they only carry "serious" classical guitars.

    Any preference between spruce and cedar tops for fingerstyle jazz?

    -Alan

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers View Post
    what are some examples of nylon string, cutaway, with pick-up guitars under consideration here? (I realize the Cabaret is a bit rich for some budgets).
    Some of the guitars that I am considering are;

    Cervantes Crossover 1R (48mm radiused fingerboard)
    Cervantes Crossover 2 (52mm raised fingerboard)
    Alhambra 7P CW E2
    Alhambra CS-3 Crossover (48mm fingerboard)
    Kenny Hill Player Cutaway
    Kenny Hill Player Fingerstyle (48mm fingerboard)

    I am sure there are others out there that I should be considering as well.

    Alan

  13. #12

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    Check out the Lowden S32J

  14. #13
    If you want to play jazz on a nylon string..(I have a Takamine TH90 cool tube preamp with the standard
    classical FB width that works for my playing style too), you might check out the Chet Atkins CEC by Gibson.
    Chet Atkins did play some classical spanish music and he helped Gibson develop this signature model.
    Sting also uses it in his Fragile song..that is him playing the Chet Atkins CEC btw..

    Chet and Mark Knopfler


    Chet playing a Jazz Standard Autumn Leaves on a classic (Nashville style). This was circa 1978 before his
    Chet Atkins CEC Note the thumb pick. Nice harmonics at the ending.


    and of course Sting with Fragile...on the Chet Atkins CEC...it's got some reverb on it for that concert hall reverb sound.
    Last edited by Daniel Kuryliak; 11-08-2013 at 03:16 PM.


  15. #14

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    By the way, there is no such thing as a "strict classical position".

  16. #15

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    The Gibson Chet Atkins is a real dog, like the Gretsch Van Eps 7-string. Expensive junk.

  17. #16

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    [QUOTE=alanfaber;336488]I currently have a classical guitar (Pavan CP-30) but am interested in getting classical with cutaway and electronics to use for both jazz, pop and classical repertoire. Since I am already comfortable with the classical neck, I was wondering if I should stick to a guitar with a standard classical neck (roughly 2" wide and flat) or if there is an advantage to getting a "crossover" guitar with a narrower (48mm neck) and a radius? I know that some players use their thumb to fret the sixth string, which would be difficult with a wide neck, but other than that, is there any disadvantage to the classical neck?

    Thanks,
    Alan[/QUOTE
    Only your own comfort can determine that. In general, arched, narrower fingerboards benefit the plectrum player far more than the classical-style player, but some classical guitarists are finding that a slight arch on a wide neck works well for them. If playing for a good tone, with nails, having a flat "surface" means more control, easier free-strokes, etc., but, there are lots of different approaches, and the lost important and obvious thing to remember is that WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT.

  18. #17

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    If you're used to the standard 52mm neck of a Classical Guitar, it will be a difficult initial transition to 50mm/48mm or less, simply because you are able to play complex chords cleanly with no string/finger issues that you would have on a smaller neck(less room)--especially if you have large hands(which I do). Also, if you like a big, full, rounded sound, where you can manipulate tonal colors easily, the standard Classical Guitar is the way to go. I've been playing CG's, exclusively, for the last 20 plus years and have recently pulled my 1966 Gibson ES out of retirement and have been working it into my daily practice routine. It feels like I'm playing a different instrument . . . and it is since the sound is different! So, try both and determine which sound YOU prefer. You may, like me, want to play both. It's all about your ears. Good playing . . . Marinero