Finding the right guitar can be challenging if you have small hands or are buying a guitar for a child.
The frets may feel too far apart and strings too difficult to hold down properly, adding unneeded difficulty and frustration — not to mention thwarting any progress!
But don’t worry: it doesn’t have to be so hard. In this blog post, we’ll look at the best guitars for small hands, discussing what makes these instruments suitable in size and style so you or your youngster can play confidently — even if your fingers barely fit on the fretboard!
What Do We Mean By Small Hands?
Small hands are often a source of frustration when it comes to finding the perfect guitar. It typically means having shorter finger length and smaller hand size than average.
This is a problem because standard guitars are designed for average-sized adults.
Small hands can make reaching certain chords and frets difficult, requiring the player to stretch or contort their fingers in uncomfortable ways.
However, just because someone has small hands doesn’t mean they can’t excel at playing the guitar. In fact, there are plenty of amazing guitarists with small hands.
What to Look For When Selecting a Guitar For Small Hands
Luckily, there are options available to help make playing the guitar more comfortable for those with small hands.
Here are some of the features you should look for when choosing a guitar for someone with small hands:
- Opt for a guitar with a smaller body so it’s easier for you to wrap your arms around it.
- Look for a neck that’s thinner and narrower to accommodate your smaller hands.
- Consider the string spacing. If the strings are too far apart, you might have to stretch your fingers uncomfortably to reach the chords.
- Test out a few options before making a final decision. You want to feel comfortable and confident when playing your guitar, and finding one that fits your hands just right is a crucial step in achieving that.
The types of guitars best suited for those with small hands
Here are some of the options available for guitarists with small hands.
The first type of guitar to consider is the classical guitar, which typically has a slimmer neck and wider fretboard.
You can buy smaller versions of these guitars that are aimed at kids. However, many of these smaller versions are cheap and poor quality. You’ll need to be prepared to spend extra if you want a good one.
Another option is a parlour guitar, which is smaller in size and has a shorter scale length, making it easier to play for those with smaller hands.
Smaller acoustic guitars
Acoustic guitars with a thinner neck profile, such as the Taylor GS Mini or Baby Taylor, can also be a great fit.
Short-scale electric guitars
Lastly, electric guitars with a shorter scale length, like the Fender Mustang or Gibson Les Paul Junior, can provide a comfortable playing experience for those with smaller hands.
Drawbacks of guitars for small hands
Guitars aimed at those with small hands tend to be smaller. This is good for being able to hold the guitar but it does have a few downsides.
Less resonance and volume
The sound in guitars is caused by movement in the strings vibrating the air inside the guitar. Because guitars for small hands are smaller, it means that they have less air inside them to vibrate, which means they have lower volume and less resonance.
This is only really a problem for acoustic guitars. Electric guitars use amps to project the sound.
Smaller guitars often have greater string tension due to the shorter scale length. With a shorter distance between the nut and bridge, the strings must be tightened more than usual to reach the desired pitch.
This higher string tension can make the strings harder to push down, making playing uncomfortable. The best solution is to use low-tension strings.
5 Guitars For People With Small Hands
Here are five of the most popular guitars among people with small hands.
Each suits a different need, but they’re all great guitars and will suit beginners and pros alike.
1. Fender Mustang
The Fender Mustang is a great option for guitarists with small hands. Its short-scale neck and smaller frets make reaching notes up the higher end of the fretboard easier and make playing chords simpler. It also has great resonance and plenty of volume, giving you an authentic sound without losing any power or tone. The Mustang’s body design also makes it light enough to play comfortably for longer periods. Overall, the Fender Mustang is a great choice for those who want a full-sized electric guitar but have smaller hands – it provides them with all the features they need in a reliable instrument that won’t compromise on quality or tone.
2. Taylor GS Mini
The Taylor GS Mini is a smaller-bodied acoustic guitar with a scaled-down neck that is perfect for players of all skill levels.
The Taylor GS Mini is an excellent choice for guitar players with smaller hands. The even-sized neck and scaled-down body make it perfect for playing comfortably without sacrificing any sound quality or power. It has great resonance and plenty of volume, giving you a full sound despite its size. The lightweight design allows you to play this instrument for long sets without feeling uncomfortable or strained. The Taylor GS Mini gives them the same level of quality and tone in an acoustic that won’t sacrifice comfort or performance due to its size.
3. Ibanez RG421AHM
the Ibanez RG421AHM is designed with a slim neck and a comfortable body shape that is ideal for those with smaller hands.
The Ibanez RG421AHM is an excellent guitar for any player looking to maximize performance without sacrificing comfort. The slim neck and lightweight design make it perfect for smaller hands, as it encourages effortless playability and increased maneuverability. Its ergonomic body contours ensure a comfortable playing experience even during extended periods of practice or performances. The RG421AHM also offers great resonance and plenty of power, giving you that classic tone sound from an acoustic-style instrument with all the versatility of an electric one. With its versatile pickups, two-way pickup switch, 24 jumbo frets, rosewood fretboard material, 48mm nut widths, Cosmo black hardware finish and mahogany body construction this guitar can take on anything from blues to metal; making it perfect for players of all skill levels.
4. Yamaha APXT2
The Yamaha APXT2 is an acoustic-electric guitar with a scaled-down body, making it suitable for guitarists with smaller hands. Designed with comfort in mind, this compact instrument provides a snug fit and a slim neck profile, enabling players to navigate the fretboard with ease.
Equipped with an under-saddle piezo pickup and System 68 preamp, the APXT2 delivers a clear and vibrant tone, suitable for various musical styles. Its solid spruce top provides resonance and articulation, while the mahogany back and sides contribute warm and balanced tones. The rosewood fingerboard adds a touch of sophistication to its overall aesthetic.
Beyond its playability, the APXT2 is also highly portable, making it an ideal choice for travel or on-the-go musicians. The sleek and lightweight design allows for easy transportation, whether embarking on a tour or playing in different locations.
5. Epiphone Les Paul Melody Maker
The Epiphone Les Paul Melody Maker is an affordable option with a slim neck and lightweight body that’s great for players who want a classic rock sound.
Previously known as the Epiphone Les Paul SL, it is a budget-friendly electric guitar that offers a range of features suitable for guitarists with smaller hands. With a slim-tapered neck profile, this instrument provides a comfortable playing experience, allowing for easy maneuverability across the fretboard.
Equipped with a single-coil bridge pickup and a 650SCR humbucker at the neck, the Les Paul Melody Maker delivers a versatile tonal range, suitable for various musical styles. Whether you’re after clean and articulate tones or seeking a grittier, bluesy sound, this guitar offers flexibility in its sonic capabilities.
The poplar body contributes to the instrument’s lightweight feel, making it a comfortable choice for extended playing sessions. The compact size and balanced weight distribution enhance the guitar’s playability, catering to players on the go or those who prefer a smaller instrument.
In summary, the Epiphone Les Paul Melody Maker presents itself as an accessible option for guitarists with small hands. Its slim-tapered neck, versatile pickup configuration, and lightweight design make it a compelling choice for those seeking a budget-friendly instrument without compromising on playability. Explore the possibilities of the Les Paul SL and unleash your musical potential.
Tips and tricks on how to play the guitar if you have small hands
✔️Learn Open Chords: Utilizing open chords can help take some of the pressure off your fingers, as they require fewer strings to be held down at once.
✔️Use a Capo: A capo can help you easily access higher notes without needing to stretch your fingers over multiple frets. .
✔️Practice Hand Exercises: Strengthening and stretching exercises for your hands may improve dexterity, speed up progress and make it easier to play the guitar with smaller hands.
✔️Adjust Guitar Setup: Tweaking the setup of your guitar may make the instrument easier to play and reduce strain on your hands while playing (e.g., increasing action, reducing string gauge etc.).
Find Your Dream Guitar
Playing guitar can be challenging for those with small hands, but don’t let that discourage you from pursuing your passion.
After reading this blog post, you should better understand how to select the best guitar for small hands – whether it’s for you or your child. Depending on your playing style and needs, various acoustic, electric, or even classical guitars can suit you!
Let us know which one you chose in the comments below!