10 Best Wide Neck Guitars for Short & Fat Fingers
B.B. King is in the history books as one of the greatest blues guitar players of all time. His iconic guitar licks paired with his warm, leathery vocals distinguished him from the rest.
But do you know what he had to play with?
The guitar is certainly an instrument for all, but if you have bigger hands and fatter fingers, learning how to play can certainly be challenging.
Thankfully, guitar makers have recognized there’s a need for guitars that feature wider necks to accommodate those with bigger fingers.
A wider neck offers more room to shape chords and run solos up and down the fretboard.
There are actually quite a few wide neck guitars on the market today, which can make finding the perfect one for you a little difficult.
We’ve researched the best wide neck guitars across several categories and came up with the list below.
Here are the best wide neck electric and acoustic guitars for those with fat fingers:
Best Wide Neck Electric Guitars for Fat Fingers
- PRS SE Custom 24 – Our Top Pick
- Epiphone Les Paul Custom – Best Value
- Epiphone Les Paul 100 – Budget Pick
- Ibanez RG550 Genesis Collection – Premium Pick
- Gretsch G2622 Streamliner – Best Semi-Hollow Body
PRS SE Custom 24 – The Best Wide Neck Electric Guitar
The PRS SE Custom 24 is one of the best value guitars on the market. It offers professional quality, stunning design, excellent sound and playability all an affordable price.
Read our PRS SE Custom 24 Review
Paul Reed Smith guitars are some of the best in the business. So, it should come as no surprise that they also make one of the best wide neck guitars on the planet.
The PRS SE Custom 24 is an absolutely beautiful guitar at a very solid price.
The nut width measures in at 1.68 inches, which is on the smaller end for wide neck guitars, but still gives you extra room over a standard sized neck for shaping chords. Made of maple, the neck itself is thin, making it a perfect option for those with smaller hands. It’s also silky smooth, allowing for fast, comfortable playing.
Here are some other things we really like about this guitar:
- Looks. This guitar features an impeccable flame maple top that is stunning.
- Build quality. The mahogany body feels extremely solid and the PRS-designed tremolo does a great job of keeping your strings in tune, even if you are bending them like crazy on a solo.
- Versatile pickups. A push-pull knob lets you split the humbuckers into single coils.
This guitar’s wide neck does include 24 frets, which is preferred among a lot of players today.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a hardshell case, which is a bit rare for a guitar at this price point. But it does include a gig bag. Additionally, it will ship with D’Addario .009 strings.
PRS guitars and their distinguished bird fret inlays are top notch — even the ones made in Indonesia.
If you’re looking to upgrade and need a dependable guitar, definitely check out the PRS SE Custom 24.
Epiphone Les Paul Custom – Best Value Wide Neck Electric Guitar
The Epiphone Les Paul Custom is one of the best guitars out there for the price. It captures the look and feel of an authentic Gibson Les Paul Custom at a fraction of the price.
Epiphone has been offering Gibson lookalikes for years. They play beautifully, feel great, and, most importantly, are quite affordable.
The Epiphone Les Paul Custom is no different. And it just so happens to include a wider neck for those with larger fingers.
There are 22 jumbo frets that stretch along this wide neck, giving your larger fingers more than enough room to comfortably shape some chords.
Here’s more on the neck:
- Nut width: The nut width measures in at 1.69 inches, which is certainly wider than standard necks, but not as wide as other guitars in this class.
- Material: The neck is made of mahogany and the fretboard is made of ebony. As a result, the guitar is slightly heavier (mahogany is a heavy wood), but the tone is warm and crisp. Hands can also move easily on mahogany necks.
- Shape. Epiphone describes its necks as a SlimTaper. It’s thinner near the top frets and wider closer to the nut. For those with fatter fingers, this is a great neck shape, as it’ll be easier to play on the smaller top frets, over the Les Paul’s single cutaway design.
One downside of an ebony fretboard on a white guitar is that it can leave black marks near the binding. Some guitar players prefer their guitars to be immaculate. Others will consider those potential smudges from the fretboard as character traits for their guitar.
Sure, Epiphones are no Gibsons, but they’re pretty dang close. The craftsmanship of this guitar is impeccable — especially for the price.
Epiphone Les Paul 100 – Best Cheap Wide Neck Electric Guitar
The Epiphone Les Paul 100 is an excellent guitar aimed at beginners and intermediate players.
For those with fat fingers who are also on a budget, the Epiphone Les Paul 100 might just be the guitar for you.
It features the same nut width as the more expensive Ephiphone Les Paul Custom, but includes cheaper electronics and hardware to help bring the price tag down. That being said, this is a solid beginner’s guitar — especially for those who want to learn how to play on sick looking Les Paul-style guitar.
So, what’s this value-packed guitar all about?
- Mahogany body. This is a great wood for any guitar, no matter the price. It’s solid and helps produce nice warm tones, in addition to great sustain.
- LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge. This is something beginners often overlook because they’re more focused on pickups or design. But a solid bridge can help keep your strings in tune which, in return, will make your playing sound better.
- Slimmer style body. This is based around Gibson’s Les Paul, but the Les Paul 100 actually features a slimmer body. This is also great for beginners because it helps cut down on weight.
Now, let’s talk about the neck. It features the 1.68 inch nut, which isn’t the widest, but it’s bigger than standard necks. The 22 frets are considered “medium jumbo.”
The neck is made of Okoume, which isn’t the best material, but clearly an area where Epiphone is looking to save money. Okoume is a cheaper alternative to mahogany that’s more widely available.
There isn’t a case included with this beginners Les Paul, but that’s not a huge deal.
Ibanez RG550 Genesis Collection – Best Premium Wide Neck Electric Guitar
The Ibanez RG550 Genesis Collection is a reissue of the iconic Ibanez RG 550 from 1987. It's a high-quality Japanese made guitar that features a stunning neon finish, thin maple Wizard neck, and Ibanez V7/V8/S1 vintage pickups.
Read our Ibanez RG550 Genesis Review
Pull out your sunglasses, because our premium pick is crazy bright!
The Ibanez RG550 Genesis Collection is a metal player’s dream and a big reason for its success is it’s incredible, extra-wide and super-fast neck. With a nut width of nearly 1.7 inches, this five-piece maple and walnut neck can handle the biggest of fingers. Additionally, Ibanez’s Super Wizard neck shape is wide, but also thin, to allow easy access to all 24 frets for those lightning fast licks.
What else do we like about this guitar?
- Basswood body. Basswood is a great wood that produces extra warm tones. It’s especially great for distortion, which is why metal and rock players love this guitar.
- Unique pickups. The humbucker to single coil to humbucker combination gives this Super Strat access to a variety of tones. This isn’t just a one trick pony.
- The hardware. This seems minimal in the grand scheme of any guitar, but the contrast of the black metal hardware with the bright desert sun yellow or road flare red paint color looks really incredible.
As our premium pick, this guitar is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum. But it’s certainly not unattainable if you’re an established player looking to upgrade their axe.
Guitar players with bigger hands need something that plays comfortably, and it doesn’t get much more comfortable than the Ibanez RG 550 from the brand’s Genesis Collection. Owners of this guitar call it an “absolute shred machine” and one that fits in your hands — no matter the size — like a glove.
Read Also: Ibanez Guitars Review & Buying Guide
Gretsch G2622 Streamliner – Best Semi-Hollow Body Wide Neck Guitar
The Gretsch G2622 Streamliner is an excellent budget Gibson ES-335 alternative. It is a great value for the money. It has an amazing, solid build quality and decent sounding pickups for the price.
Talk about classy looking. The
The tone is snappy. The Broad’Tron pickups are extremely well balanced, which is important for semi-hollow body guitars. And it can handle everything from heavy distortion for rock to nice clean tones for jazz.
The nut width measures in at 1.68 inches and the frets are designated as “medium jumbo,” which is similar to Les Paul-style guitars. There should be plenty of room for your hands to shape chords and play solos up and down its 22 frets.
In terms of price, this guitar is slightly more expensive than most beginner models, but you wouldn’t be upset saving up a little more and making this your first guitar — especially if you’re craving something with a semi-hollow body. It’s certainly attainable from a price standpoint.
The secret sauce to the tone of the
So, if you’re looking for a semi-hollow with a wider neck and one that can handle multiple genres, the
Best Wide Neck Acoustic Guitars for Fat Fingers
Wide neck guitars aren’t only reserved for electric guitars. Here’s our top picks for acoustic guitars:
- PRS SE Angelus A50E – Our Top Pick
- Yamaha FG800 – Budget Pick
- Takamine GD93CE – Best Value
- Taylor 814CE – Premium Pick
- Cordoba C5-CE – Best Classical Guitar
PRS SE Angelus A50E – The Best Wide Neck Acoustic Guitar
The PRS SE Angelus A50E is one of the best value electric-acoustic guitars on the market. It produces a warm and rich sound and on it's own and its Fishman GT1 under-saddle pickup allows it to be plugged into an amplifer with is ideal for live performances.
PRS Guitars tends to be known for its robust collection of electric guitars, but the company actually has an impressive lineup of acoustics as well.
The PRS SE Angelus A50E is our top pick for a wide neck acoustic. Equipped with a Fishman pickup that’s ready to amplify its crisp acoustic tones, this PRS is designed for a current player looking to upgrade as opposed to a beginner who may or may not continue with the instrument. The price is not cheap, but it’s definitely attainable.
Here’s what we really like about this guitar:
- Wide neck. Measuring in just under 1.69 inches, this PRS acoustic is prime for players with larger fingers. The company actually describes its neck shape as “wide fat,” which might be all the convincing you need. With a neck this wide, you’ll have no problem chording and soloing up and down the ebony fretboard.
- Authentic acoustic tone. PRS borrows from Martin’s playbook with an X-brace bracing, but mixes it up with some classical guitar designs. The result is a top that’s extremely resonant and an ultra-reflective back and side that can produce a powerful tone. Add in the authentic bone nut and saddle and you have an acoustic that can really cut through, no matter your playing style.
- Electronics. We’re really impressed with the Fishman pickup system. The company, after all, is one of the best in the business for amplifying acoustic sounds, so it should come as no surprise that PRS opted to put it on its guitars. The pickup senses vibration under the saddle, which helps in cutting down on feedback. There’s also controls in the soundhole for tone and volume to help you dial in your perfect tone.
If you 1) have larger fingers and 2) have considered if there are other options outside of Martin and Taylor for higher end acoustics, don’t sleep on the PRS SE Angelus A50E.
Yamaha FG800 – Best Cheap Wide Neck Acoustic Guitar
The Yamaha FG800 proves that a great acoustic guitar doesn't need to cost a fortune. It has excellent playability, tone, and overall build quality all for an entry level price.
You want to learn how to play guitar, but you have concerns if it’s even possible because you have larger hands and fingers. What do you do?
Well, you owe it to yourself to at least check out the
- Neck width. This acoustic has a nut width of over 1.69 inches, making it plenty wide for the biggest of fingers. And with only 20 frets, yamaha has really stretched the area where you can fret and shape chords.
- Value. Owners of this guitar are amazed at the quality it provides. You don’t expect much from beginner guitars, but the Yamaha dreadnought is made with a scalloped body (great for durability!) and features quality chrome die-cast tuners. Owners say the guitar does a great job of staying in tune and tackling all sorts of genres and playing styles, including fingerpicking.
- Quality. Cheaper guitars sometimes come with cheaper frets. You won’t have to worry about shaving these frets down as they are silky smooth.
Now as a beginner guitar, it certainly isn’t perfect. The action is higher on it. And the nut out of the factory is a little higher. Some owners have reported shaving it down slightly in order to lower the action of the guitar.
If you’re a guitar newbie with bigger hands, don’t waste a lot of time looking for your first acoustic. Go with the
Takamine GD93CE – Best Value Wide Neck Acoustic Guitar
Takamine has always been a brand where you can find ultimate value. It’s not too expensive, not too cheap — and you can really develop your playing ability on it.
The Takamine GD93CE has several great qualities, including its wider neck designed for players with fatter fingers. The nut width on this guitar is 1.68 inches, but there are only 20 inches in order to keep those frets wider. If you’re primarily a player who sticks near the bottom of the neck playing basic chords, this won’t be an issue at all. In fact, you’ll find this guitar extremely comfortable and playable.
While the neck and fretboard are wide for shaping chords, the neck itself is thinner, which makes it good for those with fatter fingers, but smaller hands. You’ll have no issue reaching around the entire neck.
The bridge design is one downside of this guitar as it can potentially muffle string response, but that’s not a consistent issue across the board.
Another nice bonus of this guitar is its pickup system. Takamine included its proprietary preamp system with built-in tuner, which is extremely convenient. The system itself does a nice job of amplifying acoustic tones, but can sound a bit too electronic depending where you set the preamp. Take some time to dial in your tone if you’re playing in a live setting, like a bar or with a worship group at church.
There isn’t a case included with this Takamine, which is pretty typical for Takamine, but if you’re in the market for a mid-level acoustic, this is the one.
Read Also: Takamine G Series Guitars Review & Buying Guide
Taylor 814CE – Best Premium Wide Neck Acoustic Guitar
Taylor is without a doubt one of the best acoustic guitar brands on the planet. And the Taylor 814CE is the best they have to offer. It's not cheap, but it's one of the best acoustic guitars on the market.
There are certain guitar brands that when you hear the name, you know you’re about to see a quality product. Taylor is one of those names and the Taylor 814CE might just be one of the best sounding, nicest looking wide neck acoustics you’ll ever set eyes on and potentially play.
Yes, this is a premium guitar in the truest sense of the word. Not everyone will have a budget for this acoustic, but if you do, you certainly won’t be disappointed.
The Taylor 814CE features a grand auditorium style body with a single cutaway for easy access to the upper frets.
In terms of the neck, it features an ultra-wide 1.75-inch nut, making it one of the widest necks on this entire list — acoustic or electric. That width does limit the number of frets to 20, however.
Like we’ve said, everything about this guitar is premium to the max:
- Body material. This Taylor is made of a special Tropical Mahogany, which produces extremely warm sounds perfect for an acoustic guitar.
- Fingerboard: It’s more than ebony — it’s West African Ebony, which is extremely high quality. The smooth fretboard allows easier movement and it’s more comfortable to shape chords on if you have larger fingers. Also, when you’re playing and moving up and down the neck, this fingerboard gives you that delightful acoustic neck squeal sound.
- Electronics. Taylor’s in-house pickup system for its acoustics is simply outstanding. It focuses on amplifying the already spectacular acoustic tones as opposed to trying to make those tones sound better through electronics.
Simply put, if you have a large sum of money to purchase a Taylor, go and do it right now. You won’t be disappointed.
Cordoba C5-CE – Best Classical Wide Neck Guitar
The Cordoba C5-CE is versatile nylon string acoustic-electric guitar that sounds great and is a dream to play on.
Classical guitars are actually the most ideal type of guitar for players with fatter fingers. The nylon strings are spaced further apart and the neck is significantly wider than standard neck widths.
To that end, the Cordoba C5-CE is our pick for best classic guitar. With a nut that measures in at 1.96 inches, your larger fingers won’t have a chance to get in the way of other strings as you work through songs.
Most classical guitars are simply acoustical, but the Cordoba includes onboard pickups by Fishman, which do a great job at amplifying the nylon strings.
Now, as a classical guitar, you are limited to genres. Don’t expect this to sound amazing if you want to play traditional campfire songs or any acoustic rock tunes. Learning to play on a classical helps you understand the notes along the fretboard and really hone in on chord shapes and transitions.
That doesn’t mean you can’t develop your own unique tone, but you certainly have more versatility with a standard acoustic that features steel strings.
If you’re committed to purchasing a classical, though, you can’t go wrong with Cordoba. The glossy finish really makes it shine. And the overall quality really is amazing. Many owners have reported staying loyal to the brand because of that quality and have purchased several different Cordoba guitars.
Are Wide Neck Guitars Easier to Play?
Wide neck guitars are easier to play if you have bigger hands and longer fingers. If you have smaller hands, you’ll want to stick with a standard size because it will be more difficult to form chord shapes on a slightly larger neck. The same is true for those with big hands and long fingers who are trying to play on a standard size neck. There just isn’t enough room to easily shape chords.
The differences between a standard neck and a wide neck seem minimal on paper, but it makes all the difference in the world when you’re actually playing. If you have big hands, you should go with a wide neck guitar.
How to Choose the Best Wide Neck Guitar for Fat Fingers – Buyer’s Guide
Materials & Build Quality
Build quality is important for any guitar, including wide neck electrics and acoustics.
There certainly isn’t a holy grail type of material, but you do tend to see some similarities in the guitars that are hailed as some of the best.
Maple necks are extremely dependable and allow your hands to move nicely. If your hands are already a little slow because of fat fingers, a smooth maple neck can help speed things up.
In terms of the body, you can’t go wrong with mahogany. It’s solid. It produces a warm tone. And it’s the perfect weight for a guitar.
Nut width is the width of the guitar’s next taken at the nut, or the very top of the fretboard.
A standard guitar nut width measures between 1.6 inches and 1.73 inches, so you’re going to want to find a guitar with a nut width of at least 1.75 inches. Many wide neck guitars measure in slightly larger at 1 ⅞” or even 1 and 23/32”.
For guitar makers who want to build a wide neck guitar, it’s not as easy as simply making a wider nut. The spacing of strings for peak tonality need to be a certain distance apart.
And while a wider neck of 1.75 inches doesn’t seem like much more than 1.6 to 1.73 inches, it’s actually a huge difference for your chording hand.
Neck Shape and Thickness
While nut width gives you the space on the fretboard for fatter fingers to shape chords, neck shape and thickness can make playing more comfortable for your entire hand.
Typically, if you have a larger hand and fatter fingers, you want to gravitate toward a thicker, C-shaped neck.
The complete opposite is true if you have skinnier hands. You’ll want an ultra-thin C-shaped neck to ensure you can wrap your hand around it with ease.
There are some situations, though, when you have small hands with fat fingers. In that case, you don’t want too much depth on your neck. Go for the skinnier neck.
Any body style will do for guitar players with fatter fingers.
Most players who have larger hands prefer a body with double cutaways because it makes it easier reach the top frets when they’re soloing.
Other than that, though, anybody — no matter what their fingers look like — can play a guitar with any body style.
When shopping for a wide neck guitar, you obviously want an axe that’s playable. That means you need something that 1) sounds great, 2) is comfortable in your hands, and 3) is versatile.
Jazz players are cool with a single floating humbucker on their archtop. Strat lovers prefer the three, super-clean single coil pickups. Metal players demand power through some intense humbuckers. You can’t go wrong with a pair of all-around humbuckers if you’re not sure which genre your music plays into.
Comfort comes down to neck width and depth. For fat fingers, you need an extra wide neck. IF you have smaller hands, but fat fingers, you need a neck that’s not only wide, but also thin so you can wrap your hands around the fingerboard.
A versatile guitar is especially important for beginners who are still finding their sound.
We wouldn’t recommend buying a classical guitar, for instance, if you may want to play the blues. We’d also not recommend getting an electric guitar geared toward metal if you’re really into learning how to play jazz.
For electric players, find something in the middle with a pair of humbuckers and a tone knob. If you want an acoustic, go for a dreadnought-style body.
Wide neck electric and acoustic guitars are available for purchase for a wide range of budgets.
If you’re a beginner, stick with the budget models, like Yamaha, to ensure you want to stick with the guitar. You can always upgrade to a nicer guitar at a later time. Remember: If you want to buy an electric, you’ll also have to spring for an amplifier to hear what your guitar sounds like plugged in.
If you’re an established guitar player and have been itching to upgrade your axe, you can spend anywhere from $500 to $2,000 and go home with a quality instrument that sounds great.
Having fatter fingers isn’t a death sentence for your guitar-playing aspirations. Even if you struggle to shape basic chords, you can train your fingers to eventually stretch in the right way to be able to tackle those chords.
Thankfully, some of the best guitar makers in the business have extra-wide necks to help those who are dealing with fat fingers.
As you practice and train those hands to work with your fingers, you’ll be shredding in no time.