why did necks go from baseball bats in the 50's to toothpicks in the 60's?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by smitty.west, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. smitty.west

    smitty.west Senior Member

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    i've always been curious about this as it seems to cause a great divide between players. some are diehard 50's chunky guys while others are diehard 60's slim boys. i'm wondering what happened to 'cause this shift in the neck profile landscape from one decade to the other. were the majority of players back then a bunch of wimps who couldn't handle a real (read: fat) neck or...? it's especially interesting to me because both gibson and fender made the move to slimmer necks around the same time. was the demand so great for this from players that they made it a universal standard across their line?

    :munch
     
  2. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    Guys wanted the guitar to play more effortlessly and with more speed. Enough players thought a thicker neck was less facilitating than a thinner neck in this respect.
     
  3. orourke

    orourke Member

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    Because you went from a bunch of ex-WWII commandos to a bunch of skinny long haired baby boomers.
     
  4. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    I have long fingers, so it doesn't really matter to me. But from a marketing standpoint, I'm guessing they wanted to invite women and people with stumpy fingers to play (at that time) the hottest instrument since the jaw harp.
     
  5. studiodunn

    studiodunn Member

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  6. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    I would also think that it had to do with the development of the truss rod.
     
  7. BigBone

    BigBone Member

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    I don't know if its true but this does make sense.
     
  8. JackD

    JackD Gold Supporting Member

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    Who knows, but talk about a stupid move by both Gibson and Fender. I have now gotten hooked on a mid-'59 neck profile (.87- .88 at 1st fret). I have an actual '59 ES-175 and it is amazing. The neck is around 1 11/16" at the nut wide and .87 thick with a soft V. I now have a few custom built guitars (2 Yarons and 1 McKay) with that shape. Feels great and sounds great!!
     
  9. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    Absolutely, it does. The trend actually started in the 1930s; necks continued to get smaller as one manufacturer after another adopted some form of truss rod - Vega around 1934, Epiphone around 1938, Valco around 1948, Kay and Harmony in the '50s... Then rock and roll came around and manufacturers catered to players by building smaller and smaller necks until by the end of the '60s you had some wafer-thin necks.
     
  10. rollyfoster

    rollyfoster Supporting Member

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    Because men went from being red-blooded, steak chomping, crewcut having, dungaree wearing MEN to being long haired, bellbottom wearing girls.

    duh.
     
  11. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Somebody in sales probably said to make them so kids find it easier to play.

    And there is THAT much difference dependent on neck choice?
     
  12. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    i myself prefer slimmer necks, i have smaller fingers!
     
  13. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius Member

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    Hey! That's draft-dodging skinny, long haired baby boomers, bud!
     
  14. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    I totally get there are a large number of guys who prefer today's thin C neck, but I can't find a chunky neck anywhere without going custom.
     
  15. rhinocaster

    rhinocaster Supporting Member

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    Same thing happened to the G string....
     
  16. toomanyamps

    toomanyamps Member

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    Players got much faster and better in the 60s and they went with plain third strings instead of wound. With these changes players came to vastly prefer smaller necks.
     
  17. paulbearer

    paulbearer Supporting Member

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    In 50 *more* years, there'll be a post talking about how back in 2015,
    "guitarists demanded" odd-shaped classical necks on Les Pauls...
     
  18. rhinocaster

    rhinocaster Supporting Member

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    In 50 years, people will be saying that in 2015 dogs couldn't vote and kids will be like....:eeks

    :D
     
  19. stormtrooper

    stormtrooper Member

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    best answer ever.....

    end thread/
     
  20. stormtrooper

    stormtrooper Member

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    that's a great answer too...
     

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