Different types of violin necks

March 31, 2019, 12:42 AM · Hi everyone!

I have very skinny fingers which make it harder to do double stopping which is am struggling to do. But I've just realised that my violin neck is very wide compared to ones of my orchestra fellow mates.
My violin measurement at the nut is 2.4cm. is this usual? What are the usual measurements?

I also heard their are different types of violin necks such as the English, German and French. What that difference between them?

Looking forward to hear your comments!

Replies (7)

March 31, 2019, 1:24 AM · For 4/4 violin, standard fingerboard width at the nut is 23.5mm, so the nut would be about the same. I think the measurement you should be looking at is string 1-4 spacing at the nut, which should be 16.3mm.
March 31, 2019, 7:58 AM · Darren, the width of your neck sounds within the normal range. Having your strings moved closer together could be of benefit, but could also make it more difficult to finger one string without touching the others.
April 1, 2019, 12:26 AM · O,ok how bout the type of neck?
April 1, 2019, 4:33 AM · As far as I know there are three types of neck, the modern one with the neck mortised into the top block, the older style through neck where the neck goes through into the body in place of a top block, and the other older style, the neck flush with the body, nor mortised in, nailed or screwed into the top block.
Edited: April 1, 2019, 10:27 AM · I have each of those 3 types amongst my dozen or so. Also, the width and thickness of necks vary. They are all 19th century instruments though. One of my favorites has a neck you'd like - 22mm at the nut, and about 17mm deep at the nut (I wish it wasn't). Don't know about different nationalities :(
Edited: April 1, 2019, 10:53 AM · I think that with neck shape, there have been the traditional, who knows from where that traditional attribution came, of French and German. The French shape is more of a V shape and the German is more of a D shape. I would say that there is a nearly infinite variety of possible neck shapes, some intentional and some not.

That said, a good luthier can reshape your neck, but be aware that we have numbers and measurements that are considered "normal" for a reason. If you have the neck changed to vary from those normal numbers by too much it may make your instrument difficult to sell to the next person.

Ann Cole, a maker in NM, makes very thin necks by inlaying a CF rod in the neck, so thinner and narrower can be done if you need that, but it will cost either now or when you want to sell the instrument. Some things are more difficult than others to reverse.

April 1, 2019, 1:31 PM · Thanks, Lyndon and everyone else.

I didn't know theirs actually different way of installing the neck!

Hmmm... perhaps the actual shape of the neck can make a big difference on the feel of the instrument.

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