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A report from the UK last year complained that gender stereotyping influenced children’s choices about which musical instruments they took up. Girls get to play harps and flutes, while boys prefer trumpets and drums. I don’t know whether this is really right or that, even if it were, it would be a very terrible thing, but it certainly is true that more boys than girls play guitars. And while this might be gender politics, I can’t help wondering if the dimensions of the guitar have something to do with it too. The body of a concert guitar can be too big for many women to hold comfortably and I suspect that the usual measurements for the string spacing and fingerboard size are optimised for a male rather than a female hand.

I thought that it might be interesting to make a guitar with a slightly smaller body size than usual and combine it with a shorter scale length and narrower fingerboard. The idea is to make an instrument that a woman will find easy and responsive to play without compromising either the quality or the volume of the sound it produces.

The water-mark figure in this walnut is attractive but delicate and I think that it might work well for the back of a smaller guitar:

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The front will be cedar and I’ve inlaid a rosette of spalted beech. I’ve carried the same theme through to the headstock veneer.

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3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. By Walnut guitar with cedar top « Finely Strung on 02 Apr 2009 at 4:28 pm

    […] bracing, rosette, spalted beech, walnut A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had started making a classical guitar with slightly smaller dimensions than usual. I hadn’t got anything radical or particularly innovative in mind but I hoped that, by […]

  2. […] guitar, guitar making, guitar playing, Madagascan rosewood, rosewood Over a year ago, I wrote a post on this blog speculating that one reason why more men played the guitar than women was simply the dimensions of […]

  3. By Small Guitars | Finely Strung on 29 Jun 2016 at 9:28 am

    […] written about smaller instruments before but, apart from a single request from a client who wanted an instrument with a scale length of […]

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