9.5 Vs. 7.25 Fingerboard Radius: Which Is Better?

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There are many factors that determine the quality of your performance on the guitar, and one of those factors is your fingerboard radius.

People prefer different types of radiuses, some want them to be 9.5, 10, 7.25, and some want them to be exactly 12.1- inches. It really only depends on your level of comfort and expertise in guitar playing.

The most basic fingerboard radius is 9.5 and 7.25, but it might be hard to choose between them if you are just looking at decimal numbers, so let’s go in deeper to see which one will be more comfortable on your talented fingers. So, 9.5 vs 7.25 Fingerboard Radius, which one is better?

Key Takeaways

  • Fingerboard radius is the curvature from one side of the fingerboard to the other. The radius can be between 7 to 20 inches.
  • Fingerboards do not matter to people who are used to playing acoustic and bass guitars but do matter to people who use electric guitars because they change the way the guitar feels in your hand.
  • A 9.5-inch fingerboard radius is recommended for people who have smaller hands, while the 7.25 fingerboard radius is mostly recommended for people with bigger hands.
  • The 9.5-inch radius is good for cowboy chords, the 7.25 is good for chording notes.

9.5 VS 7.25 Fingerboard Radius: Quick Overview

People who have small hands prefer fingerboards that are thinner and also flatter because they can play the notes easily without having a difficult time reaching the chords.

For people who have small hands, anything above 12 inches is quite suitable for them, however, the 9.5 fingerboards have been deemed the most suitable radius for both small and big hands.

Those who have bigger hands go for the thicker fingerboard because it is easier to move their fingers without feeling like they have to bend and twist their hand to hold a chord.

People who have bigger hands, always go for the thicker ones but also the ones that they can be the most comfortable with, this includes a 9.5 radius and a 7.25 radius.

Also Read: The Finest Electric Guitars for Small Hands

What is a fingerboard radius?

In short, a fingerboard radius is a curvature from one side of the fingerboard to the other.

This radius can be anywhere from 7 inches to a 20-inch radius depending on your preference. The lower the radius means that the fingerboard will be thicker, if the radius is higher, it will be thinner.

A great way to explain this is through a little experiment that you can do at home. If you happen to have an electric guitar neck that is exactly 9.5 inches and create a paper cylinder that is 9.5 inches and put your guitar neck or fingerboard through the cylinder so it touches the roof of the cylinder, it will fit perfectly.

Does fingerboard radius really matter?

If you are comfortable with any type of guitar thickness or thinnest and have not even questioned your guitar radius before then no, probably not. But, if you are someone that just does not seem comfortable with a thicker radius then yes, it does matter.

Fingerboard radius might be a very foreign and distant concept to many people. It is usually not something that is talked about and cared about while playing, in fact, there are many guitar players who do not even care about the fingerboard radius, but to some, it is a very important part of playing the guitar.

The fingerboard radius is not that important when playing acoustic guitars or bass guitars, since the boards are always thicker on them.

In fact, many bass players do not even know what radius their guitar neck is, they just adapt to any kind. But for electric guitar lovers, the fingerboard radius debate has started a storm of constant back-and-forth arguments between guitar players. Specifically which radius is the best?

Also Read: The Finest Bass Guitars for Entry-Level Guitarists

What fingerboard radius is the easiest? The 9.5 or the 7.25?

The 9.5 fingerboard radius is way easier than the 7.25 because it makes it easier for guitar players to hold chords. The 9.5-inch radius has just the right thickness for both small-hand and big-hang players to feel comfortable while using their fingers without struggling too much.

Thinner fingerboards, like the 9.5 fingerboards, are also good for cowboy chords, while with the 7.25 fingerboard, it is good for chording notes, but it can also be more difficult to bend the strings the 7.25 radius.

The 7.25 fingerboard radius did have its own popularity back in the early 1950s when rock n roll became popular, but after the 9.5-inch radius was invented, everybody leaned toward the improved version. However, both fingerboards are common in today’s generation and are the most used, so the differences are very slim.

Is it better for the fingerboard to be thick or thin?

That is up to your preference! Usually, people who are into calmer genres like jazz, country, blues, or even hard genres like metal and rock, choose a thinner fingerboard radius because they can easily move through the chords.

The thicker radius, on the other hand, does give stability to the hand, so people who are into soul music prefer a little thickness. In the end, it all depends on you. So, experiment with different options and see which one will fit your hand the most.

Also Read: Which Should You Learn to Play The Acoustic or the Electric Guitar First?


In the end, having the right fingerboard only means that you will have the right feel when you hold your guitar, but depending on which radius you use, the differences will only be slim to none.

I would suggest not to worry so much about fingerboard radius if you are a beginner guitar player and especially if you are not playing an electric guitar, but if you are really looking for the right one for you, then experiment, experiment, experiment!

Get the feel of both the 9.5 fingerboards and the 7.25 ones, and see which one feels right. I personally always lean towards the 9.5 radius, but that is just my own taste. Now, go and find yours!

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