Which Fender Classic Vibe best for playability for small hands?

duganderson

Member
Messages
14
I'm looking at a new or used Fender Classic Vibes. I've been playing acoustic for 30 years but are not good with bar chords, soloing, etc. I have somewhat small hands and they are not very strong, flexible and precise. What is the easiest classic vibe to play (bar chords, soloing, etc.) for small hands. I'm looking to play all styles of electric guitar except metal and plan to use a Peacy Vypyr VIP 1 modeling amp. I'm open to other suggestions of guitars too that are not classic vibes. Thank you! Doug
 

duganderson

Member
Messages
14
Are you saying all of the Classic Vibes are the same thickness, width, shape, frets etc. I know that a few of the models like the Mustang and Jaguar have the shorter 24 fretboard. Any thoughts of the shorter fretboard?
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,400
No no no!!! They do NOT all have the same size, and i have owned every single tele and strat in th CV line and currently have 2. Now note that i am talking chinese, and i am not sure how the new indonesian like compares as size goes but the 2 i've played seem to be the same as thier china counterparts. If you get one i would suggest the Chinese model if you get one with a rosewood neck because they started substituting indian laurel for rosewood in about 2018. Indian laurel may sound just fine but rosewood is the safe bet. Just MO. Anyways, as size goes the 50s tele and the 60s thinline have the biggest neck which is not really big at all. Actually quite thin, but thicker then the rest. The thinnest is the 60s tele with the bound body and rosewood board. I like thin necks but i find that thing just insanely thin and could not deal with it. Thinnest neck i have ever felt. Feels like you're playing a fingerboard with no neck glued to it. The strats all are about the same and in between that crazy thin 60s tele and the 50s tele, probably closer to the 50s tele. I can't tell you what to get but my 2 favs of the whole line is the 60s strat and the 50s tele. Bother great. But coming from acoustic i;d suggest a tele because they are more dynamic and snappy and i think u may feel more at home and more connected with that sound and dynamic. Theres also a new version of the 60s thinline in the indonesian line that i was able to play ate GC recently and i gotta tell you, i think it's a fantastic tele. Seems about the same size as the 50s neck. I liked it so much i keep thinking about selling my 50s to get it because as much as i love mine, I dont need two teles but i really love that new thinline 60s ! Can't get that thing out of my head. Light due to the semi hollow F hole construction, really pretty and the neck is real nice and the tone was nice and snappy.

The new indo line frets are supposed to be a bit different in size and shape but to be honest i didn't notice a difference. And they all have the same radius and scale except that mustang u mentioned. As far as short scales i would recommend not to go there because of the sound. Theres just something about it i think in time you may come to dislike as i and a friend both did when we bought short scale duo sonics a few years back. There are very fe short scale fender style guitars and theres a reason for that.
 

The_Bell

Member
Messages
666
Are you saying all of the Classic Vibes are the same thickness, width, shape, frets etc. I know that a few of the models like the Mustang and Jaguar have the shorter 24 fretboard. Any thoughts of the shorter fretboard?
My advice would be to go full scale and see if you can adjust, as opposed to going short scale for your first electric guitar. Short scale has drawbacks (sound and fiddly intonation IMO). A well set up electric guitar is very different than an acoustic. Worst case, you can downtune and capo 2, or sell.

Old Peavey USA also has a number of models (T15 etc) if you are set on a short scale, medium quality guitar and want to look other than Squier.
 

duganderson

Member
Messages
14
Dazco......thank you for the detailed response.

I just noticed that they make a 70s Strat HSS. I'm curious about that one because it seems like the HSS would allow more variety of sounds. Any thoughts about neck shape and playability of that one.
 

stratman89

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,013
All the CV's I've played have the pencil thin modern C necks, especially the Teles. And this why I won't own them; I have a Baja '50's because I like that big soft V neck.

But you should not have a problem.
I had a CVC Tele and they do have thin necks. it was a great guitar but I sold it after it gave me hand cramps. I think they would be fine for small hands.

I now have a Baja, love the big neck!
 

duganderson

Member
Messages
14
It looks like the just introduced a Classic Vibe Starcaster. It is beautiful but I'm curious about playability compared to the rest. Also, wondering about the variability in sounds and styles it can play with two humbucker for pickups?
 

Fitzer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,029
No no no!!! They do NOT all have the same size, and i have owned every single tele and strat in th CV line and currently have 2. Now note that i am talking chinese, and i am not sure how the new indonesian like compares as size goes but the 2 i've played seem to be the same as thier china counterparts. If you get one i would suggest the Chinese model if you get one with a rosewood neck because they started substituting indian laurel for rosewood in about 2018. Indian laurel may sound just fine but rosewood is the safe bet. Just MO. Anyways, as size goes the 50s tele and the 60s thinline have the biggest neck which is not really big at all. Actually quite thin, but thicker then the rest. The thinnest is the 60s tele with the bound body and rosewood board. I like thin necks but i find that thing just insanely thin and could not deal with it. Thinnest neck i have ever felt. Feels like you're playing a fingerboard with no neck glued to it. The strats all are about the same and in between that crazy thin 60s tele and the 50s tele, probably closer to the 50s tele. I can't tell you what to get but my 2 favs of the whole line is the 60s strat and the 50s tele. Bother great. But coming from acoustic i;d suggest a tele because they are more dynamic and snappy and i think u may feel more at home and more connected with that sound and dynamic. Theres also a new version of the 60s thinline in the indonesian line that i was able to play ate GC recently and i gotta tell you, i think it's a fantastic tele. Seems about the same size as the 50s neck. I liked it so much i keep thinking about selling my 50s to get it because as much as i love mine, I dont need two teles but i really love that new thinline 60s ! Can't get that thing out of my head. Light due to the semi hollow F hole construction, really pretty and the neck is real nice and the tone was nice and snappy.

The new indo line frets are supposed to be a bit different in size and shape but to be honest i didn't notice a difference. And they all have the same radius and scale except that mustang u mentioned. As far as short scales i would recommend not to go there because of the sound. Theres just something about it i think in time you may come to dislike as i and a friend both did when we bought short scale duo sonics a few years back. There are very fe short scale fender style guitars and theres a reason for that.
They basically all have small modern C necks.
 

LBXPDX

Member
Messages
1,103
I sold a guitar to a guy that was going to put on a 24” neck as he thought smaller necks and shorter scales would work better with his smaller hand size. I had him try 8 or so different electrics of mine to get an idea of different neck shapes. The one that was the easiest and most comfortable for him was a long scale K-Line with a 10” radius board and a full U shape neck. Most people think skinnier is easier, but a full neck generally causes you to put your thumb in the correct place, in the middle of the neck, which actually gives your fingers more room to play with, whereas a skinner neck generally causes one to place their thumb closer to the shoulder if not have it hang over the the neck.
Just some food for thought.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,400
Dazco......thank you for the detailed response.

I just noticed that they make a 70s Strat HSS. I'm curious about that one because it seems like the HSS would allow more variety of sounds. Any thoughts about neck shape and playability of that one.
Yeah, and i played one but not the HSS, the SSS. They're not bad but of the 3 indonesian CVs i've played so far that one to me seemed to be lesser quality than the chinese line. Not bad but not as good. Also, just for FYI, all the squiers are routed for HSH. So if you ended up with a SSS and wanted to change it to HSS, all you'd have to do is get a humbucker and a $10 chinese pickguard off ebay.
 

Corvid

Member
Messages
325
I sold a guitar to a guy that was going to put on a 24” neck as he thought smaller necks and shorter scales would work better with his smaller hand size. I had him try 8 or so different electrics of mine to get an idea of different neck shapes. The one that was the easiest and most comfortable for him was a long scale K-Line with a 10” radius board and a full U shape neck. Most people think skinnier is easier, but a full neck generally causes you to put your thumb in the correct place, in the middle of the neck, which actually gives your fingers more room to play with, whereas a skinner neck generally causes one to place their thumb closer to the shoulder if not have it hang over the the neck.
Just some food for thought.
I have to offer a counterpoint and note that I find thin (and also narrow) necks to be easier to play than thicker and wider necks. Everybody's different and just from anecdotal evidence, it seems hand size has less to do with preference than people initially think (although obviously there's a physical limit at some point where a given guitar will simply be too big or small for a given set of hands).

Obviously, OP should try some guitars before they buy to figure out what feels best to them.

By the way, OP, take a look at the Yamaha Pacifica 112V and 120H, or any of the Pacificas above those. Their necks are a bit smaller than most other guitars in that price range, in a good way, in my opinion. Also, Pacificas are just great quality.
 

Mojo Shinn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
414
To the OP - no way around it - you'll have to try a bunch of different necks with different dimensions to find your preferences. Some players with small hands prefer short scale guitars (and can do a wider nut width); some like 25.5" scale, so they look for shallow necks; and still others like guitars with a narrow nut. Fender has tons of different neck shapes, widths, and depths... it's a lot of research, searching, and experimenting... but it's the only way to get the right neck for YOU. I, personally, like Fender necks with vintage nut width - narrow - at 1 5/8" (the depth of the neck is not as much a factor for me). If you have access to Music Man guitars, check those out too... lots of smaller players enjoy the ergonomics of MM guitars - and MMs have a narrow, 1 5/8" nut... you may find, like I did, that the narrow nut is the elusive factor in playability you are looking for.
 
Last edited:

Angstwulf

Member
Messages
960
I have small hands. Like those of an unusually large baby’s. I went on a guitar store safari in search of my perfect neck and made some personal observations.

Everyone will respond to different necks, but some food for thought:

Scale length for most of my playing had some impact on basic bar chords but not by much. It made chords and progression like shuffles or nutty Andy Summers chords with wide finger spreads possible on the lower frets. I love a 24” scale for that and will one day get another Jaguar. (My one sell off that I regret for this very reason).

But if I could make the chord on a 25.5 inch scale already then it did’t feel all that different on a shorter scale.

String gauge and neck shape made a greater impact on comfortably playing harder chords. I thought a thinner neck would help but didn’t.

A thicker rounded neck was more comfortable.

A neck with a more pronounced V gave me different ways to anchor my thumb which would help depending on the chord shape.

While your results will clearly differ it may help your search to try neck types you did not previously consider.

Good luck.
 

duganderson

Member
Messages
14
Thank you EVERYONE for your thoughts. I took your advice and spent a lot of time trying out a lot of guitars at Guitar Center. I think I like the Classic Vibe Mustang the best. Question about the CV Mustang. It's only got two pickups and does not seem to have as many controls over the pickup and sound. Will this guitar play the variety of sounds and styles that other guitars like a strat or Strat HSS will play? I'm interested in all styles (blues, rock, folk, country, etc.---everything but metal). I'm planning to get a Peavey Vypyer VIP 1 amp
 

LBXPDX

Member
Messages
1,103
Thank you EVERYONE for your thoughts. I took your advice and spent a lot of time trying out a lot of guitars at Guitar Center. I think I like the Classic Vibe Mustang the best. Question about the CV Mustang. It's only got two pickups and does not seem to have as many controls over the pickup and sound. Will this guitar play the variety of sounds and styles that other guitars like a strat or Strat HSS will play? I'm interested in all styles (blues, rock, folk, country, etc.---everything but metal). I'm planning to get a Peavey Vypyer VIP 1 amp
No
 




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