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Neck Relief

Neck Relief

by Philip Mayes

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Data Sheet #124, 1979 and Lutherie Woods and Steel String Guitars, 1998

A spate of repairs involving fret buzzing set me thinking about the ideal neck shape. Some people like a flat fingerboard. Lots of people advocate a neck that’s straight at the body and lifts slightly towards the head, as seen in Fig. 1.

Some people vote for a tapering away at the end of the fingerboard, as in Fig. 2.

The reason for all this, of course, is to accommodate the shape of a plucked string, diagramed in Fig. 3.

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