5 Tips To Play Guitar With Small Hands

play guitar with small hands

Written by: MT Team

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

Nothing can be compared to playing your guitar and enjoying the awesome sounds it produces. However, one common limitation to this is the difficulty in reaching certain finger placements which can be a result of playing with small hands. It can be very annoying when you find it difficult to place your fingers at the right place and at the right time but can’t quite seem to get it.

But does that mean you can’t become a great guitarist all because you have small hands? Does that mean you should give up? Of course not! Since you are here to learn how to play guitar better with small hands, we’ve prepared a few useful tips.

5 Helpful Tips for Guitar Players with Small Hands

Tip #1 – Opt for an Electric Guitar

If you have small hands, one of the best things you can do is to opt for an electric guitar. This is because the body of electric guitars is small enough to allow your right arm to easily reach around the guitar to play it.

The necks of electric guitars are thinner than their acoustic counterparts. You will even find that there’s less tension on their strings which makes them much easier to press down while playing. There are also electric guitars that come with a shorter scale neck. While the standard scale is 25.5 inches long, most of the short scale necks are 24.75 inches long.

Electric guitars are not only available in different neck scales but also in different thicknesses and shapes. This means that you can have a thin neck on a standard scale guitar or a fat and chunky neck on a short scale guitar. It is therefore important to examine the size of your hands and consider the guitar options available while making your selection.

Tip #2 – Go for a Guitar That Suits Your Anatomy (Acoustic)

If you don’t want to purchase an electric guitar then there are still options available for those who want to play an acoustic guitar as well.

Just as it isn’t a reasonable idea to buy yourself a size nine shoe when the actual size of your foot is a seven, the same goes for buying a large size guitar when you have small hands or a small body. One of the most common sizes and type of acoustic guitars are the Dreadnought guitars. Most people end up with these big sized guitars since they produce a nice rich sound however they are not the friendliest to the guitarists with small arms and hands.

Get yourself an acoustic guitar that has a narrow neck width and a small body such as parlor guitars. Acoustic guitars with a small body and narrow neck are easier to play and handle, making them ideal for people with small hands.

Tip #3 – Find an Expert to Setup Your Guitar

When you purchase your guitar, it is often not adjusted for optimal playing. Although some players often feel that it is not reasonable to spend money on setting up the guitar, setting it up particularly after making your purchase is actually a great idea. You may want to set it up for low action and put on some light strings to make it easy to play. Finding an expert to set up your guitar to meet your needs is a good way to achieve what you’re looking for.

As you keep playing your guitar, be sure to also periodically do some light preventative maintenance on it so that it’s still in great shape the next time you take it to an expert. Check out these 8 tips to care for your guitar.

Tip #4 – Switch to Using a Capo

One way to reduce the length of your guitar temporarily in order to make it easy for your hand to reach the necessary areas while playing guitar is by using a capo. The capo is a small clamp that allows you to fasten the strings of an open guitar to different frets thereby reducing your guitar scale. Using the capo will simply change the pitch of your guitar. You can even use it to change the key of a song, but for this course, you would be using it to make your current guitar easier to play.

Placing the capo on your 2nd or 4th fret will not only reduce your guitar scale but will also lower your string action. This will make it easier for you to press down your guitar strings as well as reach and play your chords.

Tip #5 – Practice Regularly

To ensure that your hand is accustomed to playing your guitar, it is important that you practice your guitar regularly. Just as the popular saying of “practice makes perfect” goes, you need to keep practicing daily to get better at playing the guitar.

This saying applies to all guitarists irrespective of their hand sizes. As exercises build up the muscles in your hands, regular practice on your guitar will develop the strength and movements of your fingers, allowing you to play the guitar as you’ve always wished to.

Final Words

I hope you have found these tips on ways to play the guitar with small hands useful. With these tips, you will not only make your guitar playing activities much easier but will also have a more enjoyable experience of playing guitar. Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you cannot play as well as those with big hands. Just read and follow the tips discussed above, and you’ll be well on your way.

About MT Team
Posts on all things related to instrument education, gear reviews, and so much more. Written by the MusicianTuts editorial team.

You May Also Like…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.