Which neck profile do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mbell75, May 9, 2019.

  1. Modern C/Slim Taper

    4 vote(s)
  2. Rounded 50s/U shape

    2 vote(s)
  1. mbell75


    May 23, 2016
    For years, I have always preferred the more modern, slim shaped necks and flattened out fingerboards on both guitar and bass, up until recently. I think mostly because I had poor left hand technique where I would grip the neck with my thumb either going over or hovering above the E string. I hated larger neck profile because of this, just felt way too big. I started getting pain in my left wrist recently if I played longer than about 30 minutes and had a friend show me a more proper way to use my left hand with my thumb behind the neck and my hand in a more comfortable angle.

    So once I switched up my grip, I found that the slimmer modern necks (especially with smaller nut widths) that I used to prefer were now uncomfortable to play. The edge of the neck just hits my hand in a weird spot now and I don't like it. A few weeks ago I played a Les Paul with a rounded 50s neck and found it very comfortable. So I wondered about the same for bass but no one has any with larger necks in stock around here. So I ordered a super cheap P bass online with a 42mm nut and more of a rounded U shaped neck to try it out and find I much prefer it to the modern C/Slim Taper necks. Strange because I have smaller hands, but go figure. Now I will be looking for more larger necked basses, there just don't seem to be too many outside of going with a custom build. Which do you prefer?
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  2. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    I can and do play many different profiles. I prefer deep V or early 50’s baseball bat D's.
    lizardking837 likes this.
  3. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    This seems to have become a "thing" for me considering the different basses I've been through over recent years.

    I've tried to get along with a traditional P-bass neck, but the 1 5/8" nut width, etc. eventually gets too chunky for me to easily navigate. But lots of 1 1/2" Jazz necks don't have enough meat on the bone to fit me either. Last year I tried really hard to get along with a Bacchus import WL-434 (modern C/slim taper), but eventually my left hand was protesting too much - this was after I had a pro setup done.

    I loaned out my Franken Jazz for several months, which has a Warmoth neck that's apparently become my home-sweet-home. I just got it back yesterday and I'm playing it as cozy as an old pair of sneakers. Yes the nut width is 1 1/2", but the neck widens progressively toward the upper frets and it also has a little extra wood under the fingerboard. I'd call it more of a healthy C profile than a rounded U.

    My other go-to bass is a custom P/J with a nice neck that's 1 9/16" at the nut and a bit of a modern C profile, but there's enough width across the fingerboard and also just enough depth to the wood underneath it that I don't get left hand fatigue like I find with a "skinny J" neck. If I'm shopping for a new 4-string in the future, I might look especially hard for this nut width - hard to believe that it's not a little more common.

    I also have an old '79 MM Sabre, which is just slightly less than 1 1/2" wide at the nut, but it also has more of an old-school U profile. It's a little unique, but sort of compact and comfortable. Just hefty on the shoulder weighing up around 11 lbs. I'm sure that without that depth under the fingerboard it would be too stressful for my hand like that Bacchus I mentioned or perhaps some of the ultra-slim Ibanez necks you've probably seen.
    mbell75 likes this.
  4. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
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