All guitar strings do not have the same spacing. E-string spacing is referred to as the standard string spacing, and it implies the distance between the center of the outermost strings. The E-string spacing is what you would find on so many guitars today, and it doesn’t matter whether they are acoustic, classical, or electric guitars.
On some guitars, you will find a different string spacing. Some guitars come with a wider string spacing, and they are referred to as wide neck guitars. Guitarists with large hands appreciate this type of guitar, or guitarists that prefer playing chords at wide intervals. There are several reasons why a guitarist measures string spacing.
It could be for a pickup or bridge replacement, and knowing how to measure string spacing yourself saves a lot of effort, time, and money. Upgrading your bridge components or bridge itself requires you to have a good knowledge of string spacing, as it also tends to affect string selection. As you already know, string spacing implies the space between guitar strings.
Guitar With Strings Further Apart
One of the questions that comes to mind is why do manufacturers make guitars with strings further apart? The sound a guitar produces is influenced by the distance between strings, and it also makes the guitar very easy to play. Playing chords might end up being difficult, or sounds produced might be twangy if guitar strings are positioned too far apart.
Here are some popular guitars with strings that are further apart;
- Ibanez Artwood AC340
- Ibanez Artwood AC340CE
- Ibanez AWFS3000CE
- Martin DJR-10E Streetmaster
- Martin D-13E
- Martin CEO-7
- Martin OM-28E
- Yamaha FGX800C
- Yamaha FG850
- Yamaha LL 16 ARE
- Fender Player Telecaster
- PRS SE Custom 24
- PRS SE Custom 24-08
On the other hand, sounds produced by a guitar might sound muddy if the strings are too close. A guitarist might also find it difficult to play single notes if the strings are too close, so it comes down to a guitarist’s preference or finding what string spacing you are comfortable with. How much space do you think is ideal to be between guitar strings?
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How Much Space Should Be Between Guitar Strings?
Trust me when i say there is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on the player’s preference. There are guitarists that prefers playing with close strings, while other prefers strings that are further apart. Guitars come with different string spacing, and this is based on the pickup that is being used. A traditional Gibson bridges has a 50mm string spacing, while that of a Fender Bridges lies between 52mm to 55mm.
If you want a Gibson Bridges with a wider string spacing then the guitar must have a wider nut of 54mm or 2.125 inches. If you intend playing a Fender-style Bridge guitar then you have to select from a nut width of 57.15mm to 55mm, or 2.25 inches to 2.16 inches. Furthermore, the Taylor guitar provides guitarists with twi string spacing options to choose from.
The Tsz has a 57.15mm or 2.25 inches nut width, while the Baby Taylor comes with a nut width of 54mm or 2.125 inches nut width. Another problem so many people have with string spacing is not knowing how to calculate them. You can calculate string spacing by simply subtracting the number of spaces between the first set of strings and the last set of strings.
The spacing on an instrument depends on the player as there are several factors that come into play when deciding which spacing is right for you. The instrument make-up, playing style, and the size of the player’s hands are all factors that comes into consideration when deciding what string spacing to make use of. The best way to find out what works for you is by experimenting with various space settings.
There is nothing more important when it comes to guitar than feeling it, so trying out several string space setting will help you find the right string space that fits your hand and your playing style.
Importance Of String Spacing
It is necessary that you double check the string positions against the fretboard if you do not follow the rules of string spacing. This is done by measuring one end of the string to the fret you want the string to be positioned. Move the string one way inward if the measurement is more than the string spacing mark displayed on the fretboard.
There are so many reasons why the rules of string spacing should be applied.
- Spacing has an effect on the sounds produced
- It affects routing of pickups
- It has an impact on overall guitar feel
- It also has a negative impact on how the guitar is played by increasing tension in strings, and causing strings to vibrate
Pros And Cons Of Wider String Spacing
- It makes hitting wrong strings difficult
- Fingerpicking is very easy
- Guitarists find it easy to play with a pick
- Wider string spacing is perfect for guitarists with thick fingers
- Wider string spacing is difficult for guitarists with small sized hands
- You will feel alien playing wider string spaced guitars if you are used to playing guitars with regular string spacing
Is Guitar With Wide String Spacing A Good Option for You?
Wider string spacing will help you a lot if you hit wrong strings all the time. It is the best option for guitarists with large hands and thick fingers as it provides you with a lot of room to play with. Playing the guitar feels smooth using a wider string spacing, so you should be encouraged to play a guitar with wider string spacing if you have tried it out before. You can only tell if its ideal for you only when you give it a try.
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String spacing on guitars have a massive impact on how you play the guitar and how it feels playing the guitar. Swapping or building parts on a guitar also requires you to have a good idea of string spacing, but there are so many players that do not know the importance of string spacing or how to measure spaces between strings on a guitar.
All of these should no longer be a problem for you provided you pay attention to every piece of information detailed in this post.