If you are thinking of learning guitar and you have small hands, you may be thinking if there is even any point in learning it. So, can you learn guitar with small hands? Yes, you can! Today, we will give you a few tips, from practice routines to tips on buying a guitar if you have small hands.
Is it possible to learn guitar with small hands?
It is possible to learn guitar with small hands. Although it can be more difficult if you have small hands or fat fingers that does not mean that you can’t learn it. It might take more time, and you may struggle to play certain chords or melodies where you have to stretch the fingers but that can be easily overcome by constantly practicing, and using certain guitar exercises that can help you to stretch your feelings further when you play guitar.
There are also certain types of guitars that are easier to play if you have small hands and fingers, and it will important to buy a specific guitar if this is the case.
What to do if my hands are too small for the guitar?
There are a few things you can do if you want to learn guitar and you have small hands:
- Stretching exercises
- Buy a specific guitar
- Learn how to use your pinky
- Use lighter strings
- Low action
Stretching exercises are a way to improve your playing even if you have large hands. To be able to play guitar with small hands you need to make sure you take time to practice stretching exercises. It will be important to take at least 10 minutes to do some stretching exercises before you even start playing. Once you are done practicing, you should also do a few guitar stretching exercises.
Buy a specific guitar
Guitars come in many sizes, and shapes, and there are a few tips you should keep in mind when choosing a guitar if you have small hands. One of the most important things will be to choose a guitar that has a thin neck and a smaller neck width.
A thin neck means that the distance between the palm of your hand and the fretboard will be shorter, and this makes it easy to have more control over the fretboard. A smaller neck width also helps you if you have small hands because the strings will be closer together. This makes it easy to play chords, and move the finger between the strings.
Another important thing to look for is the guitar scale length. A smaller guitar scale length will have the frets closer to each other, and you will not need to stretch your fingers as much.
You can also consider getting a 3/4 size guitar, which has a smaller body and neck, which makes it very easy to play if you have small hands.
Learn how to use your pinky
While some guitar players hardly use their pinky, your pinky can be extremely helpful. If you think about it, we just have 4 fingers to play, and if you do not use one of them you are losing 25% of your guitar playing ability. Developing your pinky finger while you play guitar can be extremely difficult, and it takes time to master.
Use lighter strings
Lighter strings can also make it easier to press the strings, and you will not need as much strength. The lighter the guitar strings are, the easier it is to press them, especially if you have smaller hands. So you want to make sure you have light gauge strings, which makes it easier to play if you have small hands.
The action on your guitar, which is the height from the strings to the fretboard can also have an influence on your playing if you have small hands. Having the strings closer to your fretboard will make it easier to play certain chords, and melodies if you have small hands.
Do your hands need to be big to play guitar?
Although your hands do not have to be big to be able to learn and play the guitar, it can certainly help to have long fingers and large hands. The reason is that it allows you to stretch the fingers easily, and play certain chords and notes that a person with small hands will struggle to play.
Although it is easier that does not mean that a person with small hands will not be able to play or learn how to play guitar.
Why it is difficult to play guitar with small hands
There are a few reasons that explain why it is more difficult to play guitar with small hands:
- Your fingers can only stretch so much
- You need to use more strength to press the strings
- Some chords can be difficult to play
- You also need to be careful how you hold the guitar neck
Your fingers can only stretch so much
If you have bigger hands it will be a lot easier to stretch your fingers and play certain chord voicings, or even scales. With smaller hands, it is still possible to play the same thing, but it takes a little extra practice and dedication.
You need to use more strength to press the strings
Pressing the strings can also be easier if you have bigger hands because naturally, you will have more strength on each finger. This can also be overcome if you constantly practice, and there are even guitar exercises specifically designed to develop strength.
Some chords can be difficult to play
Certain chords require that you stretch the fingers, or they may involve some unnatural position with the fingers, and it takes more time to learn them if you have smaller hands.
You also need to be careful how you hold the guitar neck
While a guitar player with large hands is able to grab the neck of the guitar in pretty much any way, a player with smaller hands needs to carefully think about how he is holding the neck, to give his fingers as much room to move as possible. This includes using your thumb as the only point of contact with the back of the neck, instead of pressing the neck right on the palm of your hand.
What to do if your fingers won’t stretch to play guitar
It is absolutely common for your fingers to have a hard time stretching, especially if you just started learning guitar. You are essentially asking your hands to be in an unnatural way, and move as they have never done before. So it takes time for your fingers and hand to adapt to this, and it requires a lot of practice.
Do not be discouraged by this, because every guitar player faces these types of challenges when they start playing. Although guitar players with smaller hands can have a harder time overcoming this, all it takes is constant practice and dedication.
How to choose a guitar for small hands
There are a few things that you can look for when you are choosing a guitar:
- Small width
- Smaller guitar scale
- Thin guitar neck
- ¾ guitar size
Small nut width
The smaller the nut on the guitar, the closer the strings will be together and it makes it easier for guitarists with small hands to play chords, and move from one string to the other.
Smaller guitar scale
A smaller guitar scale can also be extremely helpful because all the frets will be closer to each other. This means that you will not have to stretch your fingers as much, and it makes it more comfortable to play.
Thin guitar neck
Another thing you should look for in a guitar with a thin neck because it will be easier to grab a thinner guitar neck. If your guitar neck is chunky it makes it more difficult to place your fingers on the fingerboard, and that is why you should look for a guitar with a thin neck.
¾ guitar size
A ¾ guitar is 75% the size of a regular guitar, and it makes it a lot easier for guitar players with small hands to play. You can even use a ¾ guitar size especially when you start learning guitar. This can also be helpful, especially for kids.
Can you play guitar with short fat fingers?
Yes, although it may be more difficult for someone with short fat fingers to play guitar, it may take more time to learn and master the guitar than for someone with longer, thinner fingers.
With practice, anyone can play the guitar, regardless of their finger size.
While playing guitar with small hands can be more challenging, ultimately it comes down to your determination and willingness to put in the time and effort, to practice and evolve. With patience and practice, anyone can learn to play the guitar, regardless of hand size.
I have been playing guitar for the past 15 years, and my knowledge and passion for guitars prompted me to start Guitaresque to share my knowledge, tips, and tricks with other guitar players. The sole purpose of this website is to help and inspire guitar players worldwide, to improve their playing and their love for guitars.