The short scale of the Spanish guitar is the most common among guitarists. 650 mm from the saddle to the nut.
It is important to know the size of the Spanish guitar, in order to, firstly, know which is best suited to the guitarist’s physical condition and, secondly, to know if it corresponds to the type of music that you want to play.
The short and large scales have always been the most common used among Spanish guitar guitarists. As it has mentioned above, the short scale consists of 650 mm. from saddle and nut, this is nowadays the most used size.
The large scale in the Spanish guitar has several versions; the most common has a measurement of 664 mm. and 660 mm. It is important to notice that even though 1 centimeter or 1.4 centimeter might seem a slight difference, it is very important when playing.
It is also quite common to find a scale of 640 mm, which is a dimension that facilitates the performance to guitarists who have small hands.
The nut size
The width of the nut, also called neck, is a relevant aspect when playing a specific type of music and depending on the hand size. In the Spanish guitar, we can usually find a measurement of 52 mm, which is the nut’s most common size nowadays. However, for guitarists with bigger hands, the nut can be 1 millimeter larger, up to 53 mm.
On the contrary, in order to be quicker and more comfortable when playing the guitar and changing chords, we can find nuts with a measurement of 50 mm and 48 mm.
You can find Alhambra Guitars with those nut dimensions in the cutaway and crossover models. These models have a versatile design that enables the performance of a wide range of music styles. However in the acoustic version, the dimension of the nut is 44 mm.
The action of the strings
Another important factor to have into account is the action of the strings; this size constitutes the distance between the upper part of the fret and the lower part of the strings. It is usually measured from the 12th fret to the 6th string.
In flamenco and acoustic guitars for beginners, this string action is lower. In Spanish guitars used in performances, the string action is higher, around 5 mm normally.
The proportionality of the instrument.
To conclude, it is interesting to note the proportionality of the instrument. The midpoint of the scale is located in the 12th fret. If we divide the scale into four parts, the points that mark the different sections are: the 5th and 12th fret, the middle of the soundhole and the saddle.
The 7th fret is equivalent to the third part of the scale. Those are some points that the guitarist must have into account in order to make well-sounding harmonics. We will discuss that issue in future articles.