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May 15, 2023 - 12:29:21 PM
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7 posts since 5/5/2023

Advantages disadvantages round neck vs square neck -- thoughts?

May 15, 2023 - 2:46:09 PM
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4744 posts since 7/27/2008
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I will start with answering your question with another question: did you start this topic because you have the idea that if you were to buy a roundneck it can do double duty - as in conventional or Spanish style, or with a nut raiser lap style when you want to go that route? 

Obviously a squareneck is lap style only.

My short answer is buy "the right tool for the job." If you want to get  serious about lap style, you should purchase a squareneck. 

I don't have time to go into the whole spiel right now, my wife and I are heading  26 miles south in a bit to Petaluma to see Rodney Crowell, and the opener is Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley. And I believe Rob and Trey might be joining Rodney onstage. 

Check out the search function on the left side of your screen (magnifying glass icon). The Hangout is going  on 16 years old, and I'm pretty sure there has been plenty of discussions on this topic in the archives if you do a search. 
 

Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 05/15/2023 14:53:01

May 16, 2023 - 9:12:21 PM
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doug662

USA

1582 posts since 11/9/2010

I am jealous Mark lol

May 18, 2023 - 1:03:44 PM

211 posts since 3/8/2014

It depends on what you want to play. First, some clearcut answers: For Delta blues, get a roundneck; for bluegrass or Hawaiian, get a squareneck. (It's not a traditional Hawaiian lap guitar, but you can fake it.)

Beyond that, it gets murky fast. Some generalizations:

- Squareneck is usually either melodic or banjo-ish, and roundneck is usually more percussive.

- Squareneck is 100% slide, while roundneck usually combines fingering and sliding.

- Squarenecks are held on your lap, roundnecks are held against your stomach like standard flattop guitars.

- Roundnecks are generally either metal or shades of brown, while squarenecks aren't usually metal and come in all the colors of the rainbow.

- They sound different. To hear the difference, Google some players. Popular roundneck artists include Taj Majal, Roy Rogers (not the cowboy, the other one), Sonny Landreth, Keb Mo', and Bukka White, Popular squareneck artists include Jerry Douglas, Mike Auldridge, Josh Graves, Cindy Cashdollar, and Rob Ickes.

Hope that helps. Let us know what you end up with. Thanks!

Edited by - Charlie Bernstein on 05/18/2023 13:13:30

May 18, 2023 - 1:42:15 PM

wlgiii

USA

1484 posts since 9/28/2010

To compare both simultaneously, check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLLKPuuNu5M

Ronnie Lane on roundneck, Ron Wood on squareneck

May 18, 2023 - 2:37:35 PM

211 posts since 3/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by wlgiii

To compare both simultaneously, check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLLKPuuNu5M

Ronnie Lane on roundneck, Ron Wood on squareneck


Cool! I always think of Wood as a bottleneck player. Nice to know he covers the squareneck waterfront, too.

May 18, 2023 - 2:53:26 PM
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211 posts since 3/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by Charlie Bernstein

It depends on what you want to play. First, some clearcut answers: For Delta blues, get a roundneck; for bluegrass or Hawaiian, get a squareneck. (It's not a traditional Hawaiian lap guitar, but you can fake it.)

If you mainly want to play one of those, you have your answer. But beyond that, it gets murky fast. Some generalizations:

- Squareneck is usually either melodic or banjo-ish, and roundneck is usually more percussive.

- Squareneck is 100% slide, while roundneck can combine fingering and sliding.

- Squarenecks are held on your lap, roundnecks are held against your stomach like standard flattop guitars.

- Roundnecks are generally either metal or shades of brown, while squarenecks aren't usually metal and come in all the colors of the rainbow.

- They sound different. To hear the difference, Google some players. Popular roundneck artists include Taj Majal, Roy Rogers (not the cowboy, the other one), Sonny Landreth, Keb Mo', and Bukka White. Popular squareneck artists include Jerry Douglas, Mike Auldridge, Josh Graves, Cindy Cashdollar, and Rob Ickes.

Hope that helps. Let us know what you end up with. Thanks!


Edited by - Charlie Bernstein on 05/18/2023 14:55:28

May 18, 2023 - 5:58:20 PM

211 posts since 3/8/2014

xxxx
May 18, 2023 - 6:08:06 PM

435 posts since 9/9/2016

Oversimplified - Think of them as two different instruments , with their own playing techniques .

Yes , back in the day , most , but not all , Delta Blues players played vertical . But blues can certainly be played with squarenecks .

As to tones , the cliche is Biscuit bridge , often metal body , with Roundnecks , and Spider Bridge , wood body Squarenecks .

But Spider/ wood RN are semi common , and both Biscuit/ metal SN and Biscuit Wood RN have tones somewhere inbetween .

May 20, 2023 - 10:33:43 AM

7 posts since 5/5/2023

Thanks everyone for your knowledge. It seems that I need to give some more thought to this and listen to more players.

May 20, 2023 - 11:11:07 AM

4744 posts since 7/27/2008
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quote:
Originally posted by CarolinaGetaway

Thanks everyone for your knowledge. It seems that I need to give some more thought to this and listen to more players.


Okay, so I'm guessing from your reply that you are trying to decide which style of reso guitar to play, either lap style with a bar vs. Spanish or conventional style with a bottleneck slide and/or fretting with your fingers.

This isn't really the same thing as advantages/disadvantages of a roundneck reso guitar vs. a squareneck. 

May 20, 2023 - 12:06:03 PM

211 posts since 3/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by CarolinaGetaway

Thanks everyone for your knowledge. It seems that I need to give some more thought to this and listen to more players.


'Zackly. Excellent plan!

Come on back when you have more questions. Operators are standing by.

May 26, 2023 - 3:39:18 AM

529 posts since 1/14/2012

quote: Thanks wlgiii for sharing that. It is a really nice song.
Originally posted by wlgiii

To compare both simultaneously, check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLLKPuuNu5M

Ronnie Lane on roundneck, Ron Wood on squareneck


May 26, 2023 - 7:53:59 AM
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wlgiii

USA

1484 posts since 9/28/2010

Side note- my introduction to reso guitars was on Ronnie Lane's "April Fool". The credits listed "Eric Clapton- Dobro" and I had wondered what in the world a "dobro" was.

Sometimes I wish I hadn't discovered what a 'dobro" is: a very deep rabbit hole of instruments, tunings.....

May 26, 2023 - 11:05:54 AM

356 posts since 8/24/2013

I play either lap style. A round neck with a nut extender works fine for me. You can play it regular style if you choose too. Oswald played a Regal with a v neck and a nut extender for years. He called it Herman. I like and have both square and regular.

May 26, 2023 - 2:05:05 PM

211 posts since 3/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by wlgiii

Side note- my introduction to reso guitars was on Ronnie Lane's "April Fool". The credits listed "Eric Clapton- Dobro" and I had wondered what in the world a "dobro" was.

Sometimes I wish I hadn't discovered what a 'dobro" is: a very deep rabbit hole of instruments, tunings.....


Eric plays a lot of roundneck resonator guitar.

May 26, 2023 - 2:08:41 PM

211 posts since 3/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by little ray

I play either lap style. A round neck with a nut extender works fine for me. You can play it regular style if you choose too. Oswald played a Regal with a v neck and a nut extender for years. He called it Herman. I like and have both square and regular.


Note to Carolina: Just to clarify, a roundneck with a nut extender is, in effect, a squareneck. The extender raises the strings so high that you can't finger the frets. 

May 26, 2023 - 2:32:29 PM

wlgiii

USA

1484 posts since 9/28/2010

One issue I've found with using nut lifters is that the string spacing is a bit closer than on squarenecks. Not a huge issue, it just takes a bit of playing adjustment.

But back to the original query-
The one main disadvantage I've found with square necks is that you really need to watch what you're doing. It's harder to look at charts & others' hands for chords, once it gets dark when camping, etc.. It's also harder to sing while playing.
The main squareneck advantage- It's cool. The instrument looks cool, sounds cool, you look cool. One even looks cool playing while sitting.

Jun 1, 2023 - 2:15:05 PM

211 posts since 3/8/2014

Hey, CG -

Any progress?

Just came across this video. I can't imagine a better way to compare roundneck and squareneck than hearing Trucks and Douglas go at it: 

Little Martha

Jun 1, 2023 - 4:33:16 PM

796 posts since 1/18/2012

Amazing how Derek sounds just like he does when he’s playing his SG. So good.

And of course Jerry is always amazing.

Jun 2, 2023 - 6:48:13 AM

211 posts since 3/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by Lounge Primate

Amazing how Derek sounds just like he does when he’s playing his SG. So good.

And of course Jerry is always amazing.


Yup! More proof, as if more were needed, that it's not the instrument, it's the player.

Jul 10, 2023 - 10:56:35 PM

435 posts since 9/9/2016

The 1930's era lower end Dobro/ Regal with " Round Neck & Nut Riser " had a really chunky neck .

Good News - Strong enough for Dobro string gages , tuned to Dobro tuning .

Bad News - A (vertical ) guitar player who has played any vaguely modern guitar from the last 50 or 60 years , will scream they are waay too thick .

There are a couple styles of common current nut risers , primarily the " cast " one , and the " bent sheet metal " one , both from various sources .

The cast one raises the strings noticeably higher . Slight different in widths . I just measured the " bent sheet metal " on my Gretsch Steel , and it's 1 7/8 . I'll have to dig out pre war Regal and measure.

Yes , total darkness would be tricky with pure slide instrument

Even if it were practical to use paper crutches , and it wouldn't also invite intense ridicule , the usual Jam venue ( dive honky tonk) is too dim to see anything written . But no problem reading guitar player fingers for chord progressions. ( Someday . I need to become bilingual , and learn mandolin fingers .)

I'm not much of singer , at most mumbling a couple lines of chorus over basic chord. The daughter Is a good singer , but she follows BB King in singing or playing .

But I've seen singing while single note picking , so it's possible .

Oct 31, 2023 - 6:11:29 AM

4 posts since 10/31/2023

quote:
Originally posted by CarolinaGetaway

Advantages disadvantages round neck vs square neck -- thoughts?


thanks for asking this question and for the replies - I didn't really u/stand difference betw square and round neck, now I do

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