Photo by Andy Ellis

If you’re lucky, your guitar neck can feel as familiar and comfortable as an old pair of jeans, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Discover the ABCs—make that the CUVs—of this crucial appendage.

Whatever your choice of guitar at the moment, your ability to play it depends on an intimate physical relationship between your fretting hand and your guitar’s neck. How picky are you when entering into that relationship? You may be the type of player who demands a guitar neck with very specific details—anything else just isn’t right. It’s sort of a guitar-playing version of monogamy.

Or you may be into an open relationship: “Just give me a guitar and I’ll play it.” In either case—and before I extend this analogy too far for my own good—it can help to know why you like what you like, and maybe also glimpse what you might be missing.

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