What Is the Guitar Nut Width? (Table of Popular Models)

Ever wonder why some guitars feel just right in your hands, while others don’t? A big secret lies in the guitar nut width!

Guitar nut width refers to the measurement across the guitar’s neck at the nut, influencing string spacing and playing comfort.

It’s the space where the strings start near the head of the guitar. Understanding this can help you find the perfect guitar for your hands. Let’s explore the world of guitar nuts and find your best fit!

What Is the Guitar Nut Width?

Nut width in guitars refers to the width of the nut, which is the small strip, usually made of bone, plastic, or metal, located at the end of the guitar’s headstock where the strings sit before they reach the tuning pegs.

This width determines the spacing between the strings at the headstock end of the fretboard, playing a crucial role in how the guitar feels to play, particularly for chord formation and fingerpicking.

Nut width is measured across the guitar neck at the position of the nut. This measurement impacts the spacing between each string, affecting playability, especially for players with smaller or larger hands.

The Most Common Nut Widths for Guitars

Standard nut widths vary depending on the type of guitar. For electric guitars, the common nut width is around 1 11/16 inches (43mm). Being generally used for a variety of playing styles including chords and solos, they tend to have narrower nuts for ease of reach across the fretboard.

Acoustic guitars typically have a slightly wider nut, around 1 3/4 inches (44mm). These measurements can vary between manufacturers and guitar models.

Classical guitars have wider nuts, usually about 2 inches (51mm), to accommodate the wider spacing required for classical fingerstyle playing.

How Nut Width Affects Guitar Playing

Nut width significantly affects playability and comfort. A wider nut provides more space between strings, which can be beneficial for fingerpicking and players with larger fingers. Conversely, a narrower nut can make it easier to form chords and is often preferred by players with smaller hands or those who primarily play rhythm guitar.

Choosing the Perfect Nut Width

When choosing the right nut width, consider your hand size and playing style. Players with larger hands may find wider nuts more comfortable, while those with smaller hands might prefer narrower widths.

Try playing guitars with different nut widths to feel which is most comfortable, especially if you’re playing complex chords or intricate fingerstyle.

For instance, a Fender Stratocaster, popular in rock and blues, typically has a nut width of about 1 11/16 inches, while a Martin D-28, a classic in the acoustic world, today has a nut width of 1 3/4 inches (but had a nut width of 1 11/16 inches between 1939 and 2017). Classical guitars like the Yamaha C40 will have a nut width of approximately 2 inches.

Nut Width Options and Their Characteristics

Nut widths in guitars range from narrow (around 1 5/8 inches or 41mm) to superwide (over 2 inches or 51mm). Narrow widths are commonly found in electric guitars. Wider nuts are typical in classical guitars, catering to fingerstyle playing.

Intermediate widths (around 1 3/4 inches or 44mm) are often seen in acoustic guitars, balancing comfort for chord playing and fingerpicking.

Narrow nut widths facilitate easier reach across the fretboard, beneficial for players with smaller hands or those playing lead guitar. However, they may feel cramped for fingerstyle playing.

Wider nuts offer more room between strings, ideal for classical and fingerstyle players, but can be challenging for players with smaller hands or those who primarily strum chords.

Nut Widths in Popular Guitar Models

Standard Electric Guitar Models

Guitar ModelNut Width (mm)Nut Width (in)
Ibanez RG431.6929
Ibanez AR431.6929
Ibanez AZ421.6535
Ibanez IC (Iceman)481.8898
Gibson SG Special43.0531.695
Gibson Les Paul Gold Top43.051.6949
Gibson Les Paul Special43.051.6949
Gibson ES-33543.0531.695
Gibson Firebird43.051.6949
Gibson Flying V43.051.6949
Gibson Explorer43.051.6949
Fender Stratocaster42.81.685
Fender Telecaster42.81.685
Fender Acoustasonic42.861.6874
Fender Jaguar421.6535
Fender Jazzmaster42.81.685
Fender Duo-Sonic421.6535
Fender Mustang421.6535
Fender Player Lead II421.6535
PRS Silver Sky41.2751.6234
PRS Custom 2442.861.6874
PRS Hollowbody42.861.6874
PRS CE 2442.861.6874
PRS S2 Standard 2242.06871.6543
PRS S2 Custom 2442.861.6874
PRS SE 245 Standard42.861.6874
PRS SE Mira42.861.6874

Standard Acoustic Guitar Models

Guitar ModelNut Width (mm)Nut Width (in)
Taylor GS Mini42.861.6874
Taylor Big Baby (BBT)42.861.6874
Taylor Baby42.861.6874
Taylor Academy 12e42.861.6874
Taylor Presentation Series44.451.75
Taylor Koa Series44.451.75
Taylor 600 Series47.621.875
Taylor 700 Series44.451.75
Taylor 800 Series44.451.75
Taylor 900 Series44.451.75
Taylor GT Series43.661.7205
Martin D-28 (2017 – present)44.451.75
Martin HD-2844.451.75
Martin 000-1844.451.75
Martin D-X9E44.451.75
Martin 0-x1E44.451.75
Martin 000JR-1044.451.75
Martin LX1 Little Martin42.861.6874
Martin OMJM42.861.6874
Gibson J-4543.8151.725
Gibson SJ-20043.8151.725
Gibson Hummingbird43.8151.725
Gibson G-0043.8151.725
Guild M25E44.51.752
Guild F-512481.8898
Guild D-55E431.6929
Guild M-2044.51.752
Guild F-40431.6929
Yamaha A Series431.6929
Yamaha L Series441.7323
Yamaha CSF Series431.6929
Yamaha FG Series431.6929
Yamaha FX Series431.6929

Standard Classic Guitar Models

Guitar ModelNut Width (mm)Nut Width (in)
Cordoba C1 Matiz522.0472
Cordoba Fusion 5481.8898
Cordoba Mini II522.0472
Cordoba C5522.0472
Cordoba C3 M522.0472
Cordoba C7522.0472
Cordoba Friedreich522.0472
Cordoba Esteso SP522.0472
Cordoba Torres512.0079
Cordoba 55 FCE Negra501.9685
Yamaha GC Series52.52.0669
Yamaha C Series522.0472
Yamaha NTX Series481.8898
Yamaha NCX Series522.0472
Godin Arena50.82.0
Godin Collection50.82.0
Godin Concert50.82.0
Godin Presentation50.82.0
Godin Etude50.82.0
Godin Motif50.82.0

Customization and Adjustments in Nut Width

Customizing nut width is a possibility for a custom guitar. It is especially useful for players with unique hand sizes or playing styles. Only consider a modified nut width if you consistently struggle with certain playing styles or experience discomfort.

Try different guitar models to ensure that the issue is indeed with nut width and not other aspects of the guitar’s design. Always talk to your Luthier about your reasons behind your considerations, as experts they can help you to find the perfect solution to your problem.

Conclusion: The Importance of Nut Width in Guitar Selection

Nut width is a crucial factor in guitar selection as it significantly impacts playability, comfort, and suitability for different playing styles. The right nut width can enhance the playing experience, making it easier to form chords, play solos, and perform fingerstyle music.

Explore guitars with different nut widths to find the most comfortable fit for your playing style and hand size. Understanding and experiencing how nut width affects playability can help you make a more informed decision when selecting a guitar.

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