Join Gretsch-Talk Today

Help me find the perfect neck

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by J Bird, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. J Bird

    J Bird Gretschie

    145
    Dec 2, 2016
    Washougal
    Last night I went to a jam and ended up playing quite a bit. I was busy chopping wood (cranking out the rhythm with barre chords), it was tons of fun.

    This morning I can barely make a fist, my left hand is really sore. My 5120 has what I would call a standard U shape, it's fine. But really, I prefer my Committee's neck -- a shallow C shape. For me, the thinner (shallower) the neck is, the easier it is to play. The Commitee also has super sweet low action, too.

    So, I love the big hollowbody archtop with a Bigsby, and I'd like to know which Gretsch models are known for their shallow C shaped necks and nice low action. Also, do luthiers reshape factory necks, is this done?

    Thanks
     
  2. Ebidis

    Ebidis Gretschie

    Age:
    51
    122
    Jul 30, 2017
    Alabama
    My 5420 has what I would consider a pretty thin C neck with low action.
     
  3. J Bird

    J Bird Gretschie

    145
    Dec 2, 2016
    Washougal
    Yeah, sort of, the 5120 does have a nice, fairly shallow U, C, or maybe even D shape. I know some folks need a more substantial neck, me, on the other hand, would prefer it super shallow.
     
  4. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Check out a Terada (JT) made proline. I have a Falcon, a Tennessean (G6119-62HT) and three Jets and they all have pretty consistent neck profiles so if you like one, you will probably like them all. Some would consider the profile to be shallow and slim but it really depends on the player.

    Note that prolines are also made in the Fuji gen Gakki (JF) and Dyna Gakki (JD) factories and these will have slightly different (in my limited experience, deeper and wider) profiles.

    And yes, you can get someone to shave down the neck. Probably best to get a professional to do this. I have a 68 Tele with a super skinny shaved neck.
     
    J Bird likes this.
  5. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Country Gent

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    Try using shapes other than bar chords. Many seasoned players find 3 or 4 note chords work better, for lots of reasons, being easier on the hand as well as the ear. Root, third, fifth and seventh, the Hendrix chord, the Colonel chord etc. Your hand will thank you.
     
    russmack and J Bird like this.
  6. Henry

    Henry Friend of Fred

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I agree with Uncle Daddy. Bar chords are fatiguing after an hour of chopping wood.
     
    J Bird likes this.
  7. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Gretschie

    369
    May 20, 2016
    Australia
    My Duo-jet as a pretty fine and thin neck. Thinner and more shallow than anything else I have kept.

    However, if you are a gigging musician on rythm guitar you really need to increase muscle strength on barre chords.

    3 or 4 note chords are great if you are a lead player or a jazz player. They put you in a better position to play those in between fills, turn arounds and lead breaks. However take a look at the guy playing rythm behind these idols. They will be chunking / chopping away on barre chords for most of the whole gig.

    Neck profile is one part but if you have developed proper muscle strength for all chords you will play all night on anything IMO.
     
    J Bird likes this.
  8. englishman

    englishman Friend of Fred

    Age:
    60
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    It's really a two part problem. #1 you just need to play more and get used to the grind.
    #2 can help for sure. The 6119 Tennessee Rose I had was a really nice thin neck.
    Reprofiling necks can have pitfalls, you don't know how deep that truss rod channel is and it would suck to get into it while shaving the neck.
     
    J Bird likes this.
  9. sleeperNY

    sleeperNY Gretschie

    Age:
    66
    137
    Jun 18, 2008
    central NY
    The only Gretsch That I can remember that has an advertised slim neck is the Duane Eddy model. That was the neck profile that his original 6120 had on it. Of course that model is a bit on the pricey side.

    Jim
     
    J Bird likes this.
  10. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    Having had a bunch of pro line Gretsch's from Falcon, 6120's,Duane Eddy, Jets, and various other Gretsch models probably at least 10+ different Gretsch guitars over the years. The Jets seem to me to have the thinner faster neck. For myself liking thin fast necks the new Hagstrom necks can't be beat. The downside is Hagstrom will need upgraded with new wiring and pickups after that they rival in Gibson, Gretsch, or Guild I have ever owned. I now own three Hagstroms that I upgraded. If you get a chance to play one you may fall in love with the neck. Same thin neck profile is on each Hagstrom. The Tremar system is smooth and every bid as nice a Bigsby. You have to click the numbers on the pic to see them.
     

    Attached Files:

    J Bird likes this.
  11. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    Winnipeg
    Thin necks can cause as much or more pain than thick necks. People who like thick necks often call them comfortable baseball bats.

    You need to play with the least amount of pressure possible and be relaxed. This also means you need to not grip harder with more emotion. You have to learn to think like you're going to squeeze down and not do it.

    There is a video I just saw a few weeks ago, I'm trying to find. But, you don't gain anything by having more than the least amount of pressure that makes the string play cleanly. Putting your fingers close to the frets helps.

    This is a similar video...


    There are certain chords I used to play, like G-type chords with a bar, which are just physically bad chords. Now if I play them for any amount of time my hands ache. Don't play with pain. Stop!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  12. speedicut

    speedicut Country Gent

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    Both of my Duo Jets have thin comfy necks also, way different than my 5120
     
  13. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    My 6119 has an average to thin neck. My 6128 has a somewhat soft V-neck.

    My strat has the thinnest neck I own - super thin. It also causes more soreness later.

    It's not always the thinness of the neck as the size of the neck relative to your own grip.

    I don't have large hands by any means and I find most guitars fatiguing after playing barre chords. But my 6128, having the thickest and least c-shaped neck I own, is my most comfortable guitar.
     
  14. emitex

    emitex Gretschie

    468
    Aug 21, 2014
    NYC
    The best necks I ever played were Hagstrom, Ovation and Mosrite.
     
  15. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Country Gent

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    I could never see the point of a v neck. It's not like I even have a v shaped hand.

    Nanoo nannoo!
     
    wabash slim likes this.
  16. Henry

    Henry Friend of Fred

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I've never played a V neck for more than 20 minutes and o my on a couple occasions but to me the V neck has a very interesting feel as it can give the impression of a thin or thick neck depending on the grip.

    If you have curved "C" hand with your thumb on the back of the neck, near the V tip, no conract to your palm, it feels bigger and for me reduces the cramping that can experience with very thin necks and a heavy hand.

    However, when you grip the neck with fuller co tact with your palm, the V tends to nestle into the V between tour thumb and other fingers, and because the neck is not rounded, it feels smaller in the hand.

    I am curious to hear how others experience V necks.
     
  17. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Age:
    49
    Dec 19, 2011
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    If you like a thin neck I agree with the others who mentioned Hagstrom. They use a H expander truss rod that allows them to make extremely thin necks. Too thin for my liking, I tend to like a beefier neck, but if that's your thing worth checking out.
    cd62a72f-f65c-40d7-b072-45d707753de8.JPG

    Bonuses. Hagstrom Trems are the smoothest I've ever tried.
    Minuses. The humbucker pickups I had in my Tremar Swede where extremely dark.
     
    JumpinJagFlash and emitex like this.
  18. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    Hagstrom Trems are the smoothest bigsby type trem I have ever played as well. The pickups need changed for sure I put Gibson Classic 57 in the Swede and Gibson P94 in the Viking and Buddah custom p94 in the HJ800
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  19. J Bird

    J Bird Gretschie

    145
    Dec 2, 2016
    Washougal
    So much food for thought. All these posts are great.

    Three things, right now, that aggravate my left wrist:
    Playing guitar, I can't stop.
    Riding motorcycle, it's summer, are you kidding?
    Work, I'm a bread baker.
     
    russmack likes this.
  20. englishman

    englishman Friend of Fred

    Age:
    60
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    Another reason 2 out of 3 of my bikes have a foot clutch.