Musicians with larger-than-average fingers require wide neck acoustic guitars to ensure that they can comfortably navigate the fretboard. Thankfully, some great guitars are specifically designed for this.
Playing a guitar with a standard neck size can make intricate chord shapes a real difficulty for chubby-fingered musicians. In this article, I’ll introduce you to some ideal instruments that provide a balance of playability and tonal quality.
Best Wide Neck Acoustic Guitars
Washburn's history of producing premium acoustic guitars dates way back to the late 1800s when they were founded in Chicago. Over the decades that ensued, they expanded into one of the most beloved instrument manufacturers in the world.
The G55CE is a truly stunning instrument, both in terms of appearance and sound. Designed with a wide neck for ultimate playability, it boasts a unique binding on the lower bout, which comforts your elbow as you play.
Tonally, the G55CER produces an array of warm, immersive sounds throughout the frequency range. The low-mids are especially rich, and the all-koa design ensures a balanced output.
The onboard electronics are provided by Fishman, with their sophisticated Presys+ system. Not only does this pickup amplify the natural tone of the Washburn G55CE, but it also provides you with bass, mid, and treble controls so that you can control the prominence of each frequency band.
Washburn's choice of tonewoods consists of koa for the top, back, and sides, in addition to a mahogany and maple strip section. The smooth, playable neck is made from satin-finished mahogany and is stabilized by a two-way truss rod.
Canadian manufacturers Seagull have been handcrafting quality acoustic instruments for over 25 years. The S6 is one of, if not their most popular guitar. It combines affordability with an exceptional feel and tone.
Much of the celebrated S6 tone is a result of the tonewoods that Seagull have deliberately employed. Firstly, there’s the top, which is made from pressure-tested cedar to promote resonance.
The back and sides are made from triple-layered wild cherry, a tonewood that has become increasingly popular for its warm and detailed sound. The slightly modified dreadnought body style ensures that you can comfortably play the S6 standing or seated.
Then there's the integrated neck, which is set in a particular way that allows for easy transitions between chords and notes. This is combined with a compound curved top, a unique feature that improves the playability even further.
The finishing touches added by Seagull include a tapered headstock which promotes tuning stability, dual-function truss rods for reliable neck alignment, and a TUSQ nut and saddle for enriched harmonics.
3. Guild D-120
Guild's D-120 offers a full-bodied, dreadnought-style projection. The solid all-mahogany body and top promote a rich, powerful acoustic tone that is consistent across the frequency range.
This wide neck acoustic guitar boasts a responsive rosewood fingerboard, which is perfectly suited to technical styles of playing. Whether you prefer to use a plectrum or finger-pick the strings, the D-120 caters to both techniques.
The D-120 starts to flourish when you play rung-out, first-position chords. The long sustain and rich resonance is breathtaking and sounds great when used with alternative tunings.
To ensure that you can glide up to the higher-frets on the D-120, Guild has designed the guitar with a deep cutaway. This allows you to effortlessly access the treble-end without any problem.
Scalloped spruce X-bracing adds to the impressive resonance of the D-120, and the genuine bone but and saddle multiply the benefits. To complete the elegant appearance of this wide neck acoustic guitar, there is a mother-of-pearl rosette soundhole.
4. Martin D-13E
Martin’s expertise in the field of acoustic guitar production cannot be overstated. They’ve proven time and time again that they’re ahead of the curve when it comes to sculpting beautiful, classy instruments.
The D-13E is evidence of this. With a combination of high-class tonewoods, a good onboard electronic system, and several unique add-ons, it is the ideal guitar for large-fingered musicians.
The back and sides are made from siris, a rare type of wood that promotes deep and immersive resonance. Then there’s the classic choice of Sitka spruce for the top, which enhances the projection power of the guitar.
The fingerboard looks and feels wonderful. It features a stunning mother-of-pearl pattern and classy rosette inlays. It is bordered in a multi-stripe rosette, with white binding adding the finishing touches.
Richlite has been chosen as the material for the fretboard, due to its two main qualities – solidity and articulation. The same material is used for the neck, which has a hand-rubbed, vintage finish.
The onboard electronics are provided by Fishman. Their MX-T pickup system is brilliant at retaining the natural tone of the D-13E when amplified, and it also has an inbuilt tuner that instantly mutes the pickup when activated.
When designing the EF740 FS-TT, Takamine set out to recreate the feel and tone of a vintage OM acoustic guitar. They've succeeded in their mission and managed to create one of the best options for guitarists with large fingers or hands.
There are so many praiseworthy qualities of this guitar that it’s hard to know where to start! Crafted with Takamine’s unique Thermal Top technology, it is composed of a fine selection of tonewoods, including a heat-treated solid spruce top.
The heating process that Takamine subjects their tonewoods to extracts all of the moisture from the wood, and therefore, stiffens it, which results in an abundance of resonance and color.
This guitar has a deep OM body design which hones in on the finer details of your playing. It is particularly sweet-sounding in the high frequencies, but also isn't lacking in low-end power by any means.
For amplification purposes, Takamine has used an LTD-2 line driver preamp system. This consists of a buffered circuit that keeps the output clean and amplifies the guitar's tone accurately.
Although the EF740FS-TT is suitable for all styles of playing, it’s especially compatible with fingerstyle guitarists. The body shape, coupled with the comfortable feel of the neck and fingerboard make it ideal for fingerpicking techniques.
6. Yamaha A3R
The wide-necked A3R by Yamaha is one of their finest acoustic guitars to date. It features a distinctively vintage appearance, with specific attributes to ensure the richest and fullest tonality possible.
For example, the newly designed scalloped bracing used on the top and back of this dreadnought acoustic guitar enhances the overall volume in the low-mid frequencies. The top is made from reliable Sitka spruce, which extracts every ounce of resonance from the strings.
Then there’s the solid rosewood back and sides, which combine with the top to create a blend of low-end power and high-end sparkle. The Western-style cutaway design evokes a classic look, while the modern bracing technique creates balance.
Yamaha has chosen their very own SRT2 pickup system to provide the amplification of the A3R. It features a useful blend control, which allows you to balance the output from the SRT preamp with the piezo pickup located underneath the bridge.
Wide Neck Acoustic Guitar Materials
Wide neck acoustic guitars are designed to allow musicians with large hands and fingers the freedom to move up and down the fretboard comfortably. Although the dimensions of the neck undoubtedly impact this, the material that is used for its construction also plays a large role.
The two most common tonewoods used for the wide neck of an acoustic guitar are mahogany and maple. Both of these materials provide a good balance of longitudinal robustness and is easy to shape.
Due to restrictions being put on certain wood types, manufacturers have needed to think outside the box in recent years. That has lead to the emergence of new, more sustainable tonewoods, like richlite being used for some necks.
Having large fingers can make finding the perfect acoustic guitar a big challenge. After reading this article, you’ll hopefully have a good idea of which instruments would be best suited to your playing style.