I started playing guitar in junior high around the same time that many of my friends picked it up, and we were quick to poke fun at each other’s techniques.
One of the most talented guys in my friend group was Shawn, also known as “Hot Dog Fingers”. Shawn has really thick hands from growing up as a farm kid, but he didn’t let his fat fingers hold him back from becoming the greatest flatpicker my school had ever seen.
Like Shawn, you too don’t have to fret about having fat fingers. With the right amount of determination and the best wide neck electric guitar for fat fingers, you’ll be able to shred the neck just as fast as any other player.
In this post, we’ll take closer look at the following guitars:
- Beveled Maple Top with Flame Maple Veneer, Mahogany…
- Wide Thin Maple Neck, Rosewood Fretboard, Bird Inlays,…
- PRS Patented Tremolo Bridge, PRS Designed Tuners,…
- PRS 85/15 “S” Bridge & Neck Pickups, Volume and Tone…
- Includes: PRS Padded Gig Bag
- Limited Edition with Historic Les Paul styling
- ProBucker open coil humbuckers with push/pull coil…
- 1960’s SlimTaper D profile neck
- Antiqued binding and Ebony finish with Rosewood…
- Epiphone Deluxe Tuners
- Body & Neck: Mahogany; Color: Cherry Red
- Neck Profile: SlimTaper “D”; Scale length: 24.75…
- Fingerboard: “dot” inlays; Tuners: Premium 14:1
- Neck Joint: Bolt-on w/tapered heel, 4-bolt recessed
- Strings: D’Addario 10, 13, 17, 26, 36, 46; Tailpiece:…
- Wizard III Maple neck Flamed Maple top Mahogany body…
- If Ibanez can lay claim to the title of being the…
- Every inch of this classic screams speed, fury, and…
- The RGA42FM is a hardtail 6-string electric built…
- Its contoured top not only looks sleek—it creates a…
- Body Material: Laminated Maple
- Neck: Nato, Thin “U”
- Fingerboard: Laurel, 12” (305 mm)
- Bridge: Anchored Adjusto-Matic
- Tailpiece: Bigsby B70
Every one of these axes is here based on extensive research and 27+ years of experience on our team.
Let’s first look at these fine guitars and at the end of the post, you can find the FAQ section that helps you to make the best choice possible.
Use the table of content to jump to the section you want:
5 Best Wide Neck Electric Guitars for Fat Fingers
Best Overall – PRS Paul Reed Smith SE Custom 22
If you know electric guitars, you know that PRS is one of the most solid-sounding versatile brands of our time.
Featuring Paul Reed Smith 85/15S humbuckers set in a mahogany body capped with maple, the SE Custom 22 cranks out the full-bodied tone PRS is known for.
Whether you want to wail the blues like Santana or take it easy like Mayer, the Custom 22 is ready to respond to your touch.
A wide thin maple neck topped with a rosewood fretboard is laid out according to PRS’ original Wide Thin neck profile. It’s ultra slim in the depth dimension, while gradually widening from normal to wide as you go higher up the fretboard.
Its 22 frets are spread over a 25-inch scale, giving you plenty of space between frets so your thick fingers have all the room they need.
Hear how this guitar sounds:
- High-quality pickups and tonewood deliver superb sound
- Wide thin neck shape ideal for high-speed technique
- Long scale length over 22 frets for extra wide fret spacing
- High price, out of budget for many
PRS’ guitars sound incredible no matter the model, and this Custom 22 churns out its own delightful blend of thick, warm lows, kicking mids, and smooth, silky highs.
It’s definitely the most pro-oriented guitar on this list, so maybe not the best choice for beginners.
But anyone seeking to play out or record seriously will find this axe to be a great fit for fat finger shredding.
Runner-up – Epiphone Les Paul Custom Classic Pro
This is a beautiful Les Paul from Epiphone, keeping in line with the custom model Les Paul (the man) requested for himself back in 1954.
Like the original, it features a maple cap over a solid mahogany body, so your tone contains dark, earthy harmonics with a springy bite.
Gibson-branded humbuckers, the 490R and 498T, push out fierce frequencies in every range without ever overpowering the mix.
The Les Paul Custom Classic Pro is a really versatile guitar that you can use in pretty much every style.
It’s not exactly the best adapted specifically to fat fingers, as its neck width is pretty average. But, the combination of a SlimTaper D neck and a wide 12”-radius fingerboard make it a guitar well-suited to a wide range of hand sizes.
Hear how this guitar sounds:
- Gorgeous finish and hardware dressing a classic axe
- Versatile tone works in most genres
- SlimTaper D neck with medium jumbo frets for fat finger comfort
- Nut may need grinding for perfect string placement
I really dig the white finish and gold hardware combo of the Custom Classic Pro, and that’s just scratching the surface.
There’s very little left wanting in this model. It plays great, feels awesome, and sounds almost as good as the real thing.
If a Les Paul is your dream axe, you can’t go wrong with the Custom Classic.
Best Budget – Epiphone SG Special
The SG is the kind of guitar that needs no introduction.
Aside from its iconically good looks, the SG has had a long history in rock’n’roll.
While Gibson’s models are out of reach for many players, Epiphone does a solid job of delivering a low-cost reproduction in their SG Special.
Like the Gibson original, the Epiphone SG Special sports a solid mahogany body and dual humbucker pickups.
It may lack the attention to detail that Gibson puts into their guitars and would certainly benefit from an upgrade in the pickup and hardware areas.
But it’s hard to find a better brand new guitar at this price.
With a nut measuring 1.68”, the Epiphone SG lies somewhere in the middle of neck width. However, its SlimTaper D neck shape and wide fretboard radius give the fretboard a relaxed, extended playing feel.
Despite its somewhat short scale length, the SG has been a favorite of all shapes and sizes of guitar legends for decades, praised for its hearty tone and solid playability.
Hear how this guitar sounds:
- The classic hard rock guitar at an affordable price
- SlimTaper D neck and 12” fretboard radius form a wide playing field
- Spring-return KillPot for on-board staccato effects
- Quality control allows damaged instruments to ship
- Poor soldering may be present on some wire connections
The Epiphone SG Special is an entry-level guitar of the highest quality, built to be played hard on a tight budget.
Sure, its tone comes nowhere near the Gibson OG, but its wide rosewood fingerboard and chunky mahogany voice give you a rock-solid tone with fat-finger comfort.
Ideal for beginners or anyone wanting a low-cost SG, this Epiphone is the top-rated budget option for wide neck guitars.
Really Wide Feeling Neck – Ibanez RGA42FM Elec
Ibanez is the guitar brand of choice for lots of world-class players; but although you may know this band best from the slim-fingered Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, it’s a common favorite for all types of players.
Check out Cory Arford from CARNIFEX tearing up his Ibanez. A big dude, but he navigates the fretboard flawlessly, even when packing 7 strings.
Ibanez is the master of fast-playing fretboards, and the Wizard III they equipped on the RGA42FM is among the best in the business.
Measuring 1.692-inches wide, the Wizard III is just a bit wider than average.
But, it’s topped with a fingerboard with a whopping 15.7” radius, making the feel of this neck ultra-wide. It’s super flat and slim, giving you a huge amount of reach around the neck.
You’ve got great fretboard access thanks to sharp double cutaways. And with 24 frets spaced over a huge 25.5” fretboard, you’ve got lots of room for accurate high-end shredding.
Hear how this guitar sounds:
- Wizard III neck features an astonishing 15.7” fretboard radius
- Neck width slightly exceeds average while being ultra-playable
- Features dual Quantum humbuckers for roaring sound
- Thick tone not ideal for all genres
- May ship with faulty wiring
Most Ibanez artists are hard rockers, and that’s because these guitars pack a lot of punch. They’re fantastic for your heavier genres, from nu-metal to grindcore and on.
However, their super-hot humbuckers don’t really meld as well with softer styles like jazz and soul, though Steve Vai sure makes his guitars sing on some sultry tracks.
At any rate, I’m sure the Ibanez RGA42FM can do plenty in the right hands, which could very well be yours considering its affordable price.
Best for Blues – Gretsch G2622T Streamliner
Another guitar brand with many big-fingered advocates, Gretsch offers its G2622T Streamliner as a great sounding mid-range semi hollow body guitar.
If you’re seeking great blues, jazz, soul, or country tone, it’s hard to beat the sound of a classic hollow body paired with a blues tube amp. With the G2622T, you can get that vintage emotion-packed sound at a great price.
It pairs a maple body with two Gretsch Broad’Tron pickups for a rich, crisp voice.
The Streamliner can sing like an angel when it’s clean or scream like a banshee in overdrive, so you’ve got access to just about every genre softer than hard rock.
The neck of the G2622T is actually right about at the average width, but the club-like Thin U neck spreads your palm out in a way that flows seamlessly with the fretboard.
Fret spacing is broad and free, so complex barres and tight riffs should be no problem for your thick fingers.
Hear how this guitar sounds:
- Thin U neck shape strikes balance between grip and reach
- Vintage semi-hollow design is great for blues, jazz, and country
- Bigsby vibrato tailpiece and Adjusto-Matic bridge for tuning stable bends
- Less versatile than solid body electrics
If you’re a fan of classic genres—especially the blues—the Gretsch G2622T Streamliner is a great option of wide neck guitar.
It’s got a super comfortable playing feel thanks to its Thin U neck and churns out vintage vibes like no solid body can.
Gretsch is one of the best semi-acoustic manufacturers around, delivering trusted quality in every guitar, just the same as they have been since 1883. Their G2622T is a top-rated choice blues guitar, especially for thick-fingered players.
The Final Verdict
My foremost opinion is that if you set your mind to it, you can learn to master any one of these guitars whatever the size of your fingers.
If you’re really conscious of your finger fatness though, I think you’d be best suited with the Ibanez RGA42FM. It combines a wide nut with an ultra-flat fretboard for the broadest playing feel around.
In terms of overall value, I’d have to say the PRS SE Custom 22 will be the best guitar all-around. It’s the most versatile, the smoothest-playing, and the best-sounding by a long shot.
The Gretsch G2622T Streamliner is a great guitar, but since it is somewhat limited to genres that don’t rely on heavy distortion, it’s my last recommendation.
Can I Play Guitar with Fat Fingers?
Some of the best guitarists I’ve had the privilege to know personally are proud owners of chubby fingers.
Guitar is an instrument suited for everyone, and the size and shape of your fingers is the last thing you should let hold you back from pursuing music as a hobby.
Look at Django Reinhardt, the father of jazz manouche/gypsy jazz. He lost the use of 2 of his fingers in a fire at the age of 18, yet went on to become one of the most influential players of the 20th century.
Tony Iommi lost the tips of 2 fingers in a machining accident at a young age but powered through and later cofounded Black Sabbath.
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole weighed 700 pounds and still recorded the multi-award winning “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on a tiny ukulele.
If these legends can rise to fame—
If Mark Goffeney can shred WITH HIS FEET:
Then I fully believe that you can play guitar no matter how fat your fingers may be.
What Is the Best Guitar for Fat Fingers?
The best guitar for fat fingers depends on who’s playing it; there’s no one right answer.
If you’re concerned about being able to fret tight chords, chances are you’ll be well-off with a guitar with a larger fingerboard, which is why this article focuses on wide neck guitars.
However, a guitar’s playing feel is just one small part of the equation.
What do you want out of your guitar? A thick, dark voice? A light, bright one? Match your desired sound to the right tonewoods and pickups, and you’re on your way to finding the best wide neck axe.
But tone is just one of several other factors to look at.
You of course need to look at affordability and value. The best guitar is a reliable guitar, and so my advice is to aim for the highest quality that fits within your budget.
This might sound like common sense, but way too many guitarists make the mistake of opting for only the cheapest gear, only to have to pay for repairs or totally new setups altogether. Avoid this by seeking the best value-to-cost guitars out there.
The final step in finding the best guitar for fat fingers is to check out the other playability factors.
What Else Affects Playability?
There are many factors that affect a guitar’s playability—everything from fret size to finish choice to body shape to tonewood type.
Some of these things, like body shape and fingerboard wood, don’t really have a big impact on the playability for fat fingers though. A maple fretboard will feel like a maple fretboard no matter your finger size.
The more important things to look at when choosing a guitar for big fingers are elements like neck shape, neck radius, and scale length.
Neck shape is just what it sounds like. If you cut the headstock off and looked down at the top of the neck—this is what’s described by neck shape. There are several different shapes, and for fat fingers I’d usually recommend something like a flat Modern C, giving you plenty of room to wrap your palm around.
Fingerboard radius describes how curved the fingerboard is. A fingerboard with a larger radius (usually 12”) will be flatter than fingerboards with smaller, more-curved radii (7.25”).
Flatter fretboards are usually preferred for soloing, so they may be a good choice for fat fingers, giving you more space to accurately play. On the other hand, if your palms are as meaty as your digits, a smaller radius will help with thumb placement and reach.
Finally, scale length tells you how far the bridge is from the nut. The usual rule is: the shorter the scale, the less distance between frets.
Short-scale guitars (generally below 25”) can help players with short, fat fingers extend their reach, while normal or even extended-scale guitars can serve long-, fat-fingered players in the upper regions of the fretboard where fret spacing is really tight.
You can read more about how these and other specs factor into your playability and see more top-rated choices of guitars for short fat fingers in our review here.
Are Wide Neck Guitars Easier to Play?
I’ve seen some real big guys play some fairly small guitars and make it look like a piece of cake, and I’ve seen little kids play full-size dreadnoughts just the same.
Personally, I think once your technique is down, you’ll be able to play any guitar you get your hands on. This article has great tips on how to become more comfortable playing with fat fingers.
But starting out, it’s always better to work smarter vs. harder. So if you’re more comfortable on a wide neck guitar, choosing this style will make learning easier in the long run.
One of the many benefits of these guitars for fat fingers is wider string spacing. This can be great for thick fingers because it lessens the chance of accidental muting.
These wide nut guitars are also a good transition instrument if you learned on acoustic or classical and now want to try the electric. Since classicals have nuts usually 2-inches wide, it can be a huge shock to your muscle memory to switch to the narrow neck of the typical electric.
Wide necks help split this difference, giving you more room to navigate the fretboard. They also increase the space between strings for your right hand too, giving you a wider range for picking and fingerstyle accuracy.
How to Pick the Right Wide Neck Electric Guitar for You
The thing about wide neck guitars is that, aside from their nut widths, they’re all very different.
That can be a great thing, but having more choices also means it can be difficult to make a final decision.
When choosing the right wide neck electric for you, the first question to ask is what your musical goals are:
- What style or styles do you want to focus on?
- What artists do you want to learn from?
- Rhythm? Lead? Both?
- What overall sound are you going for?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you when you take a look at the specs of each guitar.
For instance, if you want to focus on learning blues, you might look for a guitar that has twangy single-coil pickups. But if you want to learn metal, crunchy dual humbuckers could be the way to go.
If you’re more interested in being a rhythm player than a lead guitarist, a guitar that adds thickness as well as width to the neck might be ideal, giving you plenty of neck to grap in gripping your chords.
On the other hand, lead guitarists with fat fingers might look for wide but flat necks, freeing up your hand for greater dexterity.
There are wide neck electric guitars suited for every genre and playing style, so once you know your musical direction, picking the right is easy.
My friend, have no fear. Your fingers, no matter what you may think, are not too fat to play guitar.
You’ve got a huge arsenal of high-quality axes to choose from, so finding the best wide neck electric guitar for fat fingers is no trouble at all these days.
When you’ve found a guitar that matches your ideal sound and style, take your fingers for a workout and I think you’ll find the neck is more accommodating than you ever could have guessed.