Would you recommend hybrid/crossover guitar for beginners

Hi guys,

I started learning the guitar about a week ago, I’m using an old classic guitar (20-30 years old) I had at home, and wanted to buy a new classic guitar. I saw there are “hybrid” guitars, also called “crossover” or “fusion” on different brands, where the NUT is narrower (mostly around 48mm instead of the standard 52mm). This should make them closer to the Acoustic guitars or Electric guitars (there are even models with 43mm NUT), but with nylon strings which are softer.
I wondered if that would be a good first guitar to learn on… It should be easier to reach the higher strings with a narrower NUT. But it would also mean the strings would be closer together, so would it be more difficult to press a single string…?
I guess the transition from a narrow NUT guitar to an Acoustic guitar or Electric guitar would be easier, no? Or is the transition from 48mm to 44mm still very large and would need a lot of practice?
What do you think about those guitars?

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While I’ve never tried a “hybrid” guitar, I have tried narrow neck and wide neck guitars early in my journey. I was searching for a neck that was easier to play for my beginner’s hands.

I was disappointed with both. Narrow neck was more difficult to fret and wide neck was more difficult to pick.

The biggest improvement in my playing comfort that accelerated my learning was using a more traditional neck width, changing string gauge down to .008”-.036 on my electric guitar and having a proper setup done to the guitar. As my hand strengthened, callouses grew, and playing ability increased, I moved up to .009s and then .010s.

Unless the beginner has really small hands and/or thin fingers, I would not suggest a narrow neck.


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Carry on using that for a while it’ll be fine until you know more what you want.

There is no right or wrong guitar on specs (nut width, neck size, fret radius etc) only preferences and your way too early in playing to know what would work


I agree with Rob. Work with what you have for longer than you would like because it is fine and you will start figuring out more what you would like over time. If you get something now, you are likely to eventually want to get something else.

Then go hang out in guitar stores and try as many different guitars as you can, as often as you can. Don’t worry that you can’t play much, just strum and do what you know.

It is hard to figure out what you need when you are just starting and haven’t tried anything but the one guitar.

In other words, don’t be like me. I have bought 8 guitars and sold 5 of them. 3 years in and what I want to play is still evolving.

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You’ve gotten advice from the best! I’ve recently been down your path. There are so many variables among guitars - even of the same type, never mind different types - that until you have some experience it’s impossible to know what you want. At least that was the case for me.

@Fast-Eddie’s comment about having his guitar set up is something to consider. If you haven’t already, you might take your guitar to your local shop (preferably a small shop, not a chain) to talk with them about whether you might benefit from a set up. That might be the best money you can spend in the immediate term!

The instrument should fit you well. If it is uncomfortable, or even painful to play, you shouldn’t be using it. Also, the instrument should inspire you, so sometimes, for some people, red guitar is better than any other guitar :slight_smile:
You will learn how to play any guitar later on, but start from what makes you want to play more.

Hi Koby, always good to read of people starting their journey, awesome stuff and good for you!

I’m in line with @RobDickinson to be honest, unless you are finding the guitar you’re starting with a challenge or difficult to play, I would wait for a while so when the time comes to treat yourself you’ll have a better understanding of what you want.

Most importantly, imo, when you do go and do that please go and actually try out some guitars in a store if you can, even a couple of guitars of the same brand and type can feel and play differently, and only you will know what feels right to you. In a similar way to the craftsman’s mantra of measure twice, cut once, adopt this as a try twice, buy once!! (kind of wonky adoption of the phrase, but you get what I mean!!).

Regardless of all of that, just have fun learning, it’s what it’s all about :slight_smile:

And I also agree with Rob!

I’ll say that I know very little about hybrid guitars but I will say that all of the hybrids that I know of in other fields aren’t the best of anything. A hybrid bicycle is heavier than a road bike and less capable than a mountain bike off-road. A hybrid car is more complex than either an electric or petrol car and doesn’t really deliver the best of either. I suppose with a hybrid guitar you’ll be left having to adjust one way or another once you decide which path you really want to be on.

I get it though. As a beginner I thought I knew what I wanted, but after spending a lot on electric guitars (and equipment) I’ve realised that acoustic guitar is what I enjoy playing. Maybe I could have started with a hollow-body electric as a sort of compromise but ultimately I’d have still wanted a proper acoustic guitar

Good luck with journey in whatever form it takes, hope to hear more from you around here

What part of the world are you in? There may be enough of us that someone is close and can explore guitars with you.

Thanks guys for all the insight and ideas. Like Rob said, I will probably have to wait a bit longer and learn more to be really able to decide what I like more… I just wondered if those hybrid guitars get the best out of all worlds and could make my entry point easier, so I would enjoy more and continue practicing and not break in the middle. But like @mattswain wrote, getting the best out of all worlds may also get a compromise in other aspects.

Thanks @judi and @Fast-Eddie, I will check that “setup” option on my current guitar.

@Fast-Eddie , when you say “The biggest improvement in my playing comfort that accelerated my
learning was using a more traditional neck width”, was that on Electric guitar? Because “traditional neck” on Electric guitar is actually much narrower than on classical guitar. And “narrow” Electric guitar can be very narrow indeed…

@Jamolay , I went for few stores (and will go to more), tried a few guitars with slightly narrower neck, but I don’t know enough to be able to really compare… I probably need to practice more to really feel the difference… I’m from Israel BTW, as I wrote on my “welcome” post. I tried searching, but couldn’t find someone from my country here :slight_smile:

Thanks guys & gals :slight_smile: !

Hello Koby, there certainly are
keep out looking…even in this thread one is a compatriot of yours :smile:
Click on the avatars and that sometimes reveals a lot of information…
Greetings ,Rogier

Thanks @roger_holland , I see it now!

Hi Koby! I recently spent about15 minutes playing a Cordoba Fusion at a guitar store & really enjoyed it’s feel. I don’t recall which model it was but if the hybrids are an interest of yours, give the Fusion a look. Cordoba is a well known, well built & reasonably priced guitar maker.
Good luck!!!


@kobygold for an electric, I dumped the artist signature-model Music Man guitar with the “narrow” 41mm nut and played an inexpensive Les Paul copy with a “standard” 43mm nut. For an acoustic, I bought a steel-string dreadnaught with a “standard” 43mm nut. These are similar nut widths to most guitars used by rock & pop music players.

The “wide” 48mm+ nut width, and therefore, wider string spacing makes it easier to pluck individual strings with your right hand, which is the common method used in classical guitar playing.

I agree with the other posters who say that you should not buy anything right now. If you are interested in learning “classical” style guitar playing, it sounds like you already have a guitar designed for that purpose. I do suggest you take it to a Luthier to make sure it is set up properly (correct string heights, neck has proper relief, new strings, nothing broken, etc.) as there is nothing harder to learn on than an improperly set up guitar.

If you are instead interested in learning rock, pop, blues, metal, or more contemporary style guitar playing, you will eventually want to transition to a steel-string guitar with a less-wide neck. No need to rush into any decisions like this, as time and experience on the instrument will guide you towards where your interests truly lie.

However, at this early stage, playing on a 48mm+ neck is no problem. What matters at this stage is to build up the callouses on your fingertips while learning how to place your fingers in the right places, move them smoothly and accurately, and learning not to press any harder with your fingers than necessary. If the strings don’t ring out properly, it’s almost always because you are accidentally touching a string that you don’t want to.

I suggest you delay buying another guitar until your fingers no longer hurt while playing the guitar you already have (assuming it is set up properly).

Transitioning from a 48mm nut width to a 44mm nut width will take some getting used to, but I wouldn’t worry about it at this point. The basic skills you need to master at this early stage are applicable to guitars of any nut width.


I also started playing with classical guitar that I have at home until I bought a dreadnought in ~8 months. Nylon steings definitely helped with dinger pain, because switching to 12 gauge steel strings was very easy and I started playing eight away without much troubles. And during my time with classical guitar I realised that wide neck isn’t for me, because I prefer playing with my thumb over the top and overall classical guitar isn’t suited well for rock, blues and metal.
So my advice is to stick with the guitar you have if it’s good enough to be played and wait until you learn more and will be able to decide what exactly you want from your instrument.

When I first was learning, so many chords seemed almost impossible to play. A friend suggested a guitar with a wider nut, 1 3/4 instead of the 1 11/16 many acoustic guitars have.

Having the slightly wider nut made a HUGE difference to me, made all those impossible chords just a wee bit difficult.

In your case, starting with a classical guitar it’s a different story. The nut is already quite wide.

My advice, try as many different ones as you can to see which size suits your playing style.

Hi @Fast-Eddie , most of your guitars were much narrower than the standard classic guitar I’m having, at 52mm :slight_smile: . Even a “wide” 48mm nut width is much narrower than what I have, and may be more convenient to my (not big) hands.
I’m like a small boy that is eager to get a new toy in the store… :rofl:
But should probably wait a bit longer before I waste my money, and understand better what I need.
Like @Notter wrote: measure twice cut once, I liked that :slight_smile:

Hi @metramaks , I saw you wrote you prefer your thumb over the top. I’m trying not to get used to that, because I understood it’s not a good pose it I’ll want later in the future to reach the higher (wider) strings. So I’m trying to fight that now :slight_smile: . I hope I’m doing good…

Hi @tony , a wider neck in your case that made a difference is moving from about 42.5mm to 44.5mm (sorry for converting to mm, it’s easier for me to compare numbers this way :grinning: ). That made a huge difference for you, and both are WAY narrower than what I’m having now, which may be too wide (52mm(!))…

Hi @CATMAN62 , the Cordoba Fusion 5 is actually one of the models that interest me, which has a 48mm neck. I saw in store a different Cordoba (GK Studio) which is a bit more expensive for me now and has a 50mm neck. They didn’t have in store the Fusion 5, so I’ll go again to try it when it arrives. The Fusion 5 has indeed a more reasonable price.

There’s also the:

  • Alvarez RC26HCE (the “H” in the “HCE” is for Hybrid) which looks interesting with 48mm
  • Ibanez AEG50N-NT with 46mm,
  • Fender CN-60S with 43mm (but that one may be too narrow for now),
  • and few Cort guitars with 45mm (CEC-5, CEC-3NS, CEC-1OP, Jade E Nylon)

Not all in stock here…
From what all wrote, it seems 48mm neck for a classic guitar should be a good compromise between wide & narrow neck. But I’ll probably have to hold myself from buying now, and wait until I gain more practice to compare better…

Thanks you all!


It’s not like that. At the beginning it’s better to have your thumb behind the neck to develop those muscles, but later there are no right and wrongs.

Thanks @metramaks for the clarification.
So for me, for now, I should still not use that, to build my right muscles.

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Is it not possible that this was more down to the guitar than the nut width. The difference between those two nuts is around 1.5mm which is tiny when you consider that’s effectively shared across 6 strings