6 Best Electric Guitars With Thin Necks

Best Electric Guitars With Thin Necks

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Thin-necked electric guitars are perfect for guitarists with smaller hands or those who like to play fast.  

Reducing the thickness of an electric guitar’s neck makes it easier to play certain chord shapes, and can have a dramatic effect on playing comfort. 

If you find standard or thick necks cause hand fatigue, there may be a simple solution to your problems. Here’s a selection of the best electric guitars with thin necks. 

In a Rush’ Round-Up

Image Recommended ProductsProduct Features Price
Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar NOS – 3 Tone Sunburst
  • Based on Kurt Cobain’s iconic Jaguar guitar
  • Alder body with rosewood fretboard
  • Two high-output DiMarzio humbuckers
Gibson SG Standard ’61 – Vintage Cherry
  • Mahogany body with rosewood fingerboard
  • Burstbucker pickups
  • SlimTaper mahogany neck
Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEM77 - Blue Floral Pattern
  • Based on virtuosic guitarist Steve Vai’s requirements
  • Two DiMarzio humbuckers and one single-coil
  • 5-piece maple and walnut neck
PRS SE Custom 24-08 – Vintage Sunburst
  • Advanced pickup switching options
  • 2 PRS TCI “S” humbuckers
  • Mahogany body with a 3-piece maple neck
Fender American Professional II Stratocaster – Dark Night
  • Classic Strat design with modern updates
  • Thin contoured maple neck
  • 3 Fender V-Mod II single-coil pickups
PRS SE Standard 245 – Tobacco Sunburst
  • All mahogany single-cutaway body
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • PRS 245 “S” humbuckers

Electric Guitars with Thin Necks Reviews

Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar NOS – 3 Tone Sunburst

Perhaps the most famous thin-neck electric guitar ever to be produced, the Kurt Cobain Jaguar is unmistakable.

    Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar NOS – 3 Tone Sunburst Review

    Cobain was known to enjoy modifying his Jaguar, with some of his updates including custom pickup wiring and a distinctive Adjusto-matic bridge. Fender has faithfully recreated all of the fine nuances of the Nirvana front man’s instrument with this reissue. 

    With a neck radius of 9.5 inches, this solidbody promotes fast-playing and minimizes fatigue. If you’re an energetic performer, this is the perfect guitar for mobility.

    The powerful, high-output tone is largely a result of the two DiMarzio humbucking pickups. Combined with a high-gain amp setting and some overdrive, these pickups sound massive. 

    Regardless of whether you’re a fan of Kurt Cobain, playing this Fender guitar is a joyous experience. It offers a wide range of dynamic and tonal possibilities, making it suitable for any style of rock guitar playing. 

    Features

    • Based on Kurt Cobain’s iconic Jaguar guitar
    • Alder body with rosewood fretboard
    • Two high-output DiMarzio humbuckers

    Pros

    • This guitar produces a diverse range of tones and dynamics which suit a variety of styles and genres
    • Onboard pickup switches allow you to quickly alter the tonality and sound of the guitar
    • The 9.5-inch neck promotes fast, technical playing and is suitable for small-handed guitarists

    Cons

    • Unique design features may seem unusual if you’re used to more conventional electric guitars

    Gibson SG Standard ’61 – Vintage Cherry

    The SG Standard ’61 is an iconic version of the classic Gibson solidbody, equipped with a pair of expressive humbuckers and a thin neck design.

      Gibson SG Standard ’61 – Vintage Cherry Review

      This guitar provides all of the power and attitude associated with the SG. Additionally, its mahogany body increases the sustain of every note of a wailing solo or intricate blues lick. 

      The SlimTaper neck is thinner than most Gibson electric guitars, making it easier to transition up and down the rosewood fingerboard. The 22 medium-jumbo frets have been created using a Plek Pro machine, which improves their feel and texture. 

      To add to the authentic feel and look of this guitar, Gibson has installed Vintage Deluxe tuners and black top hat pots. 

      The pair of Burstbucker pickups provide the perfect amount of growl, which allows you to easily push a tube amplifier into saturation by digging in when striking a chord. 

      Features

      • Mahogany body with rosewood fingerboard
      • Burstbucker pickups
      • SlimTaper mahogany neck

      Pros

      • SlimTaper neck design is extremely comfortable to play with and reduces the strain on your fretting hand
      • This guitar produces a tight, responsive low-end, with a thick midrange and singing highs
      • Plek’d frets provide a luxurious feel and make chord shapes easy to form

      Cons

      • The lightweight design may not suit guitarists who prefer heavier models

      Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEM77 - Blue Floral Pattern

      The JEM77 is, in my opinion, one of Ibanez’s finest creations. Vai’s style of guitar playing is extremely technical, so it should come as no surprise that this solidbody guitar promotes playing comfort and speed.

        Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEM77 - Blue Floral Pattern Review

        The JEM Premium neck is made from a blend of maple and walnut. It’s the perfect platform for intricate chords shapes, speedy riffs, and accurate fretting. 

        Sonically, the JEM77 can produce a versatile range of rhythm and lead tones. Ibanez has opted for an HSH pickup configuration, with each of the three made by DiMarzio. By utilizing the onboard tone pot, you can instantly adjust the tone to your liking. 

        I’m not usually a fan of eccentric and unusual color schemes on electric guitars, but the blue floral pattern featured on the JEM77 looks incredible. Its appearance is further enhanced by the inclusion of a unique inlay on the fingerboard. 

        Features

        • Based on virtuosic guitarist Steve Vai’s requirements
        • Two DiMarzio humbuckers and one single-coil
        • 5-piece maple and walnut neck

        Pros

        • This guitar’s neck plays incredibly fast and is great for technical styles
        • HSH pickup configuration provides humbucker thickness and single-coil power
        • Tree of life inlay and unique blue floral design creates a beautiful appearance

        Cons

        • 15-inch neck radius is slightly thicker than most other thin-necked guitars

        PRS SE Custom 24-08 – Vintage Sunburst

        The SE Custom 24-08 is no ordinary solidbody electric guitar with a thin neck. Using an innovative pickup configuration that consists of two TCI humbuckers combined with an advanced switching mechanism, it produces a highly versatile output.

          PRS SE Custom 24-08 – Vintage Sunburst Review

          I’m a huge fan of coil-tapping, as it expands the tonal possibilities that a guitar has in its arsenal. PRS has used it brilliantly here, with a pair of mini-toggle switches allowing you to instantly jump between single-coil and humbucking tones. 

          Impressively, the manufacturer has gone a step further by including a mode that engages two single-coils at once and is great for playing solos or melodies. 

          The ten-inch neck falls into the “Pattern Wide Thin” category, and its radius is perfect for those who prefer a less bulky feel. A smooth, inviting rosewood fingerboard with 24 medium-jumbo frets completes the luxurious feel of this PRS guitar.

          Features

          • Advanced pickup switching options
          • 2 PRS TCI “S” humbuckers
          • Mahogany body with a 3-piece maple neck

          Pros

          • This guitar is great for experimenting with different pickup settings to find your signature tone
          • Molded tremolo tailpiece increases the sustain of the guitar and improves tuning stability
          • Neck design promotes fast, accurate playing and makes chord shapes easier

          Cons

          • Coil tapping feature may take some guitarists a while to figure out

          Fender American Professional II Stratocaster – Dark Night

          When it comes to electric guitars with narrow necks, Fender’s American Professional II Strat is amongst the most accomplished.

            Fender American Professional II Stratocaster – Dark Night Review

            Boasting all of the qualities that are typically associated with Stratocasters, this modern version has a slightly different body shape which makes it lighter in weight and allows for easy access to the higher notes on the fingerboard. 

            The 9.5-inch radius of the neck is complemented by a smooth satin finish. Whether you predominantly play chords, riffs, or melodies, this neck feels incredible.  

            The classic SSS pickup configuration that makes the Strat so distinctive is back, but this time there’s a slight twist. Fender has upgraded the pickups to newly designed V-Mod II singe coils, which produce chunky clean tones and sound powerful with a little gain added. 

            Rosewood is used for the fingerboard, which is home to 22 narrow-tall frets. These frets are great for guitarists who use a lot of bends and expressive styles of playing.

            Features

            • Classic Strat design with modern updates
            • Thin contoured maple neck
            • 3 Fender V-Mod II single-coil pickups

            Pros

            • Modern single-coil pickups produce stunning clarity and full-sounding tones in each frequency band
            • Narrow tall frets inspire expressive playing and control over dynamics
            • The thin maple neck is suitable for hybrid styles of rhythm and lead guitar

            Cons

            • Less well suited to aggressive, heavy styles of guitar such as hard rock or metal

            PRS SE Standard 245 – Tobacco Sunburst

            The SE Standard 245 is a highly playable thin neck electric guitar. Its mahogany body and neck combine to create a resonant, sweet-sounding tone that suits a range of playing styles.

              PRS SE Standard 245 – Tobacco Sunburst Review

              Although this guitar is affordably priced, it feels and plays like an instrument that you’d expect to cost significantly more. The rosewood fingerboard is smooth and responsive, with classy white inlays adding to the distinguished aesthetics. 

              A pair of identical PRS 245 “S” humbucking pickups provide a creamy, inviting tone. The low-end is solid and tight, while the higher frequencies sound clear and sustained. 

              At 10 inches, the neck is thin enough for guitarists of all ages and sizes to comfortably wrap their fretting hands around. 

              I’d recommend this PRS guitar to musicians who like to switch between rhythm and lead playing, as it is a great all-rounder that performs well in both roles.

              Features

              • All mahogany single-cutaway body
              • Rosewood fretboard
              • PRS 245 “S” humbuckers

              Pros

              • A highly versatile instrument that can be used for most genres and playing styles
              • Feels and sounds like a guitar which you’d expect to be much more expensive
              • Mahogany body and thin neck provide ample sustain and resonance across the frequency range

              Cons

              • Less well suited to extremely heavy styles of playing like metal guitar

              Electric Guitars with Slim Necks – Buyer’s Guide

              Choosing an electric guitar with a thin neck offers several advantages, both to your tone, and the playing comfort of the instrument. 

              However, when identifying the ideal neck for your playing style, there’s more to consider than just its radius and thickness. 

              Thin Guitar Neck Dimensions

              For a guitar to be classified as having a thin neck, it should generally have a radius of fewer than 15 inches. Most thin necks are around 9.5-12 inches in thickness. 

              The thinner the neck is, the easier it will be to wrap your hand around. For guitarists who have particularly small hands, choosing the thinnest guitar neck of 9.5 inches would be ideal, as this reduces the strain on your fretting hand. 

              Slim Neck Electric Guitar Materials

              In addition to identifying an electric guitar based on its neck radius, it’s important to also consider the material used to construct this vital component. 

              Many high-end electric guitars have maple necks, as this material is known for its longevity, smoothness, and enhancement of sustain. 

              Walnut is sometimes combined with maple, as these two tonewoods complement each other very well in terms of the sound they evoke from an electric guitar. 

              Neck Profiles

              Neck profiles describe the shape and design of an electric guitar’s neck. The shape is intrinsically linked to the thickness and impacts the playing comfort of the instrument. 

              The most commonly used neck profile on modern guitars is the “C” shape neck. This is also likely to be used for thinner neck designs, as it is smoothly curved which allows a guitarist’s fretting hand to reach further around the neck and onto the fingerboard. 

              Alternatively, some electric guitars with narrow necks may have a “D” shape design. This profile is sometimes referred to as the modern “C” shape neck, as it is essentially a slightly flatter version of that popular variety. 

              The “D” shape neck is ideally suited to thin designs. It allows you to reach over the fingerboard with greater ease than the “C” shape, which is ideal for fast styles of playing. 

              “U” and “V” shape necks are also used for electric guitars, but these are generally thicker than the aforementioned varieties. Therefore, it’s unlikely that you’ll come across them when searching for a guitar with a thinner neck.

              Materials

              In addition to identifying an electric guitar based on its neck radius, it’s important to also consider the material used to construct this vital component. 

              Many high-end electric guitars have maple necks, as this material is known for its longevity, smoothness, and enhancement of sustain. 

              Walnut is sometimes combined with maple, as these two tonewoods complement each other very well in terms of the sound they evoke from an electric guitar.

              Fretboard Radius

              If you’re searching for thin neck guitar due to having small hands, or simply because you want to make it easier to play fast and technically, you should also consider the impact of the fretboard radius on your playing. 

              The width of the fingerboard has a direct impact on the pressure you must apply to the strings to make a chord shape, or play a single note. 

              Guitarists with large fingers may find a wider fretboard more accessible, while those with smaller or thinner fingers are likely to enjoy narrower frets.