A buddy of mine is a little person - a dwarf.

He wanted me to build him a guitar so I figured I'd make him one with a neck that'd fit his hands easier than a standard 1x2. And since he doesn't play (yet) I thought a 3 string would be a great way to go - especially since there's a lot of 3-string videos and tutorials out there.

Here's what I've come up with so far:

3 strings

17" scale

3/8" between strings

1/8" overhang

If my math is right that'd make the neck 1" wide. After rounding over the back of the neck and adding a fretboard he shouldn't have any problems playing it, whether fretted or slide.

What do you folks think? Am I on the right track?

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I think it's a great idea. 17" scale should work perfectly for the build.


That oughta work. You could call it the Wee Mandoline.


sounds  great  ..   you  may   want to   keep  balance    in  consideration  if  using  a  heavy    neck like  oak   etc  ..  maybe  even  a counter  weight  in  the    body  to    compensate  if needed  .  it's    not as   easy   for them  to  lift  a   knee  a  bit   or prop  against    the  hip  snug  while  playin  ..  i  doubt  you  would  have    many  issues  like  this  on  a  17  inch  scale   tho  anyway  .  but   it's worth  keeping in  mind .  

  good  luck   ;-)


Glad you said that. I built twin 3-strings for my two daughters. They are pretty tiny, so the guitars were too. It was like trying to hold onto a flyswatter. I stacked two 6" neck scraps into the bottom of the box. Worked pretty good.

Thanks, guys! I thought the dimensions would work, but just need a few extra set of eyes on them. Hadn't thought of the balance issue but that's a good point, Pick! I'll cook something up.

Hey I put a counter weight on a bass I made for my wife using a bolt and  a stack of fender washers that works very well. It could also do double duty as a strap mount or even a jack/strap mount if you use one of the long threaded ones from Gitty?? That thing was bear to hold w/o the weights but now is in perfect balance.

i checked that out. it's a good idea

my first build is made from an oak tv tray table leg which is 1 1/8" wide and 3/4" thick.  i used some 1/4" poplar for the fret board. since i can't touch my thumb to my pinky playing a six stringer is quite difficult.  this narrow neck three string cbg works great!  cheap too!

I had a though on the frets. With a 17" scale, room is going to be at a premium on the fret board.  You might want to go with Narrow Medium frets for this build. You are kind of getting down to mandolin territory in terms of scale length.


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