Steel string acoustic designed for finger style?

Funkfish

Member
Messages
31
I'm looking to pick up an acoustic guitar for finger style playing. I've played alot of finger style on nylon acoustics which is great because the distance between the strings is greater than on regular acoustics I've played. Do they make steel string acoustics setup like this as well? If anyone has any recommendations I'd really appreciate it!
 

Lewguitar

Member
Messages
5,665
I doubt you'll find anything with a nut wider than 1 3/4".

Look for an OM or 000 size.

Martin, Eastman, Blueridge, Taylor...
 

Robert Sands

Member
Messages
354
Yes, there are acoustics that are wider than 1 3/4. Not many but they are out there. I know that Martin has some models that are wider. As far as tone that is up to the player to decide what tone speaks to them. A great place to start that journey would be by trying a Lowden. Another would be a Goodall. Yes, expensive choices. But what a benchmark you would have to judge others.
 

Tommy Biggs

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,335
Martin OM-21 is a great choice if you like some clear, articulate, bright tone. Wider neck, smaller body.
The late, beloved Stan Jay demoing one:
 

royd

Member
Messages
2,037
yes, there are a few guitars out there with 1 7/8 fingerboards which are not quite as wide as a nylon but close. 1 3/4 is typical for a higher end acoustic steel string (vs. 1 11/16 for an electric).

Check out Lowdens... their nuts are a tiny bit wider than 1 3/4 and they are known as wonderful fingerstyle guitars.

here's a nice fingerstyle video and there are scores of others available.

 

RustyAxe

Member
Messages
3,012
Martin OM-21 is a great choice if you like some clear, articulate, bright tone. Wider neck, smaller body.
The late, beloved Stan Jay demoing one:
I have one of these of these Mandolin Bros customs ... awesome guitar! 1 3/4" at the nut, and 2 5/16" string spacing at the bridge. It's a complement to my D-18GE, which has the same specs (but with a mod-v neck).

The Martin 000-28 Norman Blake model measures 1 13/16" at the nut. As does the Martin 000-18 Norman Blake. Yes, once you look for more than 1 3/4" nut in a steel string acoustic you're gonna have to get spendy.
 
Last edited:

Tommy Biggs

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,335
I screwed that up - and pasted in the wrong link. sorry for the head fake...
Here's the OM-21 clip.


 

Robert Sands

Member
Messages
354
A search of Pierre Bensusan will let you hear a Lowden played by the master. Not to slight anyone else, trust me. There is just such beauty and magic in this man's playing.
 

DRS

Member
Messages
11,734
I have a Larrivee SD 50 with a 1 7/8 nut. Very nice for fingerstyle. Slope shoulder dread. Great tone, too.
 

jimpridx

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,534
I also have a 1 7/8" nut and a 2 3/8" string spacing in a Stephen Kinnaird CS build. I originally bought the guitar used for its lush and rich tone while not knowing if I could adapt to the wider neck, but I found that I really like it for fingerstyle playing. Almost any small custom shop luthier can build one to your specs. They can be a bit pricey when purchased new, but some nice ones can be found on the used market.

 

DRS

Member
Messages
11,734
Larrivee has the following with wider 1 13/16" nuts
SD 50
SD 60
000-50
000-60
LSV-11 (24 11/16" scale)

They are available from $1500-2500 used. All are solid wood and well made in the USA.
 

great-case.com

a.k.a. "Mitch"
Messages
5,748
OP: Slightly wider spacing is just one of the attributes of a classical (nylon string) guitar that make it a nice finger style instrument. When you enter the broader world of fingerPicker's you will learn that a different distinction is also considered.

Steel String FingerStyle guitars are typically distinguished by the wood used for the top. Cedar and Redwood are softer than Spruce and they ring better when excited by isolated tones. The cost is that they do not chord as broadly as a Spruce top acoustic. Strumming a 7th on Redwood sounds muddy compared to a nice Spruce, but plucking any individual note on the Redwood (or Cedar) will demonstrate that it rings better than Spruce. Subtle but in the long haul, you'll appreciate this distinction.

Huss and Dalton make an awesome fingerPlucker's steel string guitFiddle. Their cedar top(s) rings forever. Expensive but worth every penny. On the left below, my Lowden D-30 has a slightly wider nut and bridge stance, but not quite 1 7/8" BUT it is Sitka Spruce. I hope to get the Cedar version soon.



Having crossed the unwritten boundary* I expect to be rained on by the tone wood monsters who troll in on any inference that some peoples ear's simply haven't yet heard the subtleties of various woods.

* search on: tone, tone-wood and/or does wood mater, or better yet: Charlatan claims he can tell the diff with just his ears.
 
Messages
6,128
For me Lowden is the top of the heap for finger style, although I've only played 3. Larrivee also make great instruments with a really wide finger spacing, my brother has one and it's a great sounding and playing guitar. I like cedar tops for finger style. Spruce seems more dynamic, but it doesn't have the same depth to the midrange.
 

fretless

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,514
The Seagull S6 has a wider than average nut for sure and is great for fingerstyle playing. A great choice if you're on a budget, but still made in Canada.
 




Trending Topics

Top