String radius and cross picking


Hi guys,

I’m wondering if anyone thinks there’s a relationship between string radius (at the bridge end) and ease with cross picking. For instance, if the string radius is tight (say 9.5") would that be more forgiving for high speed cross picking movements? Or is a flatter radius (say 16") better to allow the pick movement to do more of the work?

Perhaps it depends on how many strings one is skipping? For instance, outside picking movements between adjacent strings (say strings 3 & 4) would probably be easier with a tight radius. Whereas outside picking movements between strings 1 & 6 may be hindered by a tight radius (because strings 2-4 are higher).



Check this topic i started a while back:


Violin and cello have a very small radius. Small is more forgiving but worse for chords.


I have every radius here, from 7.25" vintage Fender, which I play most often, to 14-16" modern necks, to completely flat classical acoustic. The more radiused necks are more annoying because the string height is changing.

Keep in mind this has nothing to do with crosspicking, if by crosspicking you mean bluegrass type arpeggio lines. It’s just a thing that affects anything you play, since you have to bring the pick in contact with the strings, and if the strings are different heights, then some aspect of your geometry must change to get to the string.

Also keep in mind that these changes are small. They are probably smaller than other changes you may already be making that have nothing to do with string radius - like where you anchor your hand. If you like to move your anchor off the bridge when playing on the low strings, and you don’t learn to keep your hand at the same height as when it was on the bridge, then you’re going to have to learn a different form for those strings. And that difference will be much greater than the one created by your neck radius.

Long story short, the neck radius doesn’t help or hurt, it’s just something else to learn to deal with.