Measuring the nut width on a guitar is an important consideration for players, as it can affect the playability and comfort of the instrument. The nut is a small piece of material, usually made of plastic or bone, that sits at the headstock of the guitar and holds the strings in place as they pass over the fretboard. The width of the nut can vary from one guitar to another, and choosing the right width can make a big difference in how the guitar feels to play. In this blog post, we'll look at how to measure the nut width on a guitar and why it matters.
To measure the nut width on your guitar, you'll need a ruler or tape measure. Start by holding the ruler or tape measure along the top of the nut, with one end of the ruler resting against the low E string and the other end resting against the high E string. The distance between these two points is the nut width. It's important to measure from the inside of the strings, rather than the outside, as the outside measurement will be slightly wider due to the curvature of the strings.
The nut width on a guitar can range from around 43mm to around 52mm, although some manufacturers may offer wider or narrower options. A narrower nut width may be more comfortable for players with smaller hands, as it requires less stretching across the fretboard. A wider nut width may be preferred by players with larger hands, or those who play styles that require more fingerpicking or fingerstyle techniques.
In addition to considering the size of your hands, you should also consider the style of music you play when choosing the nut width on your guitar. For example, if you play a lot of classical or fingerstyle music, you may prefer a wider nut width, as it provides more space for your fingers to move between the strings. On the other hand, if you play mostly chords or strumming patterns, a narrower nut width may be more comfortable, as it allows for easier access to the frets.
It's important to note that the nut width is just one factor that can affect the playability and comfort of a guitar. Other factors, such as the neck profile, string spacing, and action, can also play a role. However, choosing the right nut width can make a big difference in how the guitar feels to play, and is well worth considering when shopping for a new instrument or making upgrades to your current guitar.