Relax, there is no such thing as having ‘too small’ hands to play guitar. You will even find that thereâs less tension on their strings which makes them much easier to press down while playing. What do Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Steve Vai, and Buckethead all have in common? I have fairly small hands too (in fact many of my female students have larger hands than mine! I call these stepping-stone chords and they are a fundamental part of my guitar-teaching philosophy. Just don't assume that having small hands automatically disqualifies you from using a standard sized instrument. There's nothing wrong with short-scale guitars--for children and genuinely small adults, they're great. Angus Young has always been a Gibson SG guy, and that isn't a short-scale guitar. Due diligence paid off, though: my legato is much smoother now, and my soloing ability has become significantly faster. No matter how much effort I put into my daily guitar routine--which has consistently been a quite a lot--there will always be certain things my small hands will never be capable of doing. My well used copy of Guitar Aerobics by Troy Nelson. © National Guitar Academy Ltd | All Rights Reserved. It features a different practice riff for every day of the week (for a total of one year), focusing on a single guitar technique for each day. Scale length: 24â Neck shape: C shape. I was the first/only child 2. There are also electric guitars that come with a shorter scale neck. Are my hands too small to learn how to play guitar? Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. Lighter gauge strings have additional benefits, as well. Let’s look at some specific tips to help. They are especially helpful if you want to play songs in which you need to use barred chords. Yes, you can play guitar with small hands; donât believe that is a limitation. Whereas players with big hands may feel cramped anywhere beyond the twelfth fret, those of us with smaller hands should feel right at home. For my money, I have found Guitar Aerobics by Troy Nelson an invaluable practice book. Here they are: 1. I was the last child 3. One thing I've found helpful with my small hands is older guitars made in the sixties have a slightly smaller neck. If you have small hands it can be tricky to play guitar the way you want to on a âstandard sizedâ guitar. . I've enjoyed the part on small hand usage, I'm a small hand guitar player myself. describe? Those who enjoy playing modern metal should be immediately familiar with Drop-D tuning, which simply entails tuning the sixth string down a step (for standard tuning, it means dropping the "E" string down to "D"). Confession time: of all the techniques listed here, I use this one the least. Some are almost double the thickness of others! In fact, you could buy whatâs known as a 3/4 acoustic guitar. You won't reach more frets but the ones you reach you will rule. If you're a beginner, this will take some getting used to. It took me 15 years of diligent practice to figure that out. Most musicians who have larger hands struggle to play on the higher fret because they tend to feel very cramped. This is naturally a personal preference, so it's best to simply stroll down to your favorite guitar store and actually try out various instruments. Thanks for the great tips! A final note about higher fret work: If you're physically struggling with a part designated for the lower part of the fretboard, try taking it up an octave (12 frets). This is a superb piece that you’ve written here. Instant super-credibility for mentioning Buckethead. They also make hammer ons and pull offs easier to accomplish--another technique that small handed guitarists may struggle with. Epiphone G-400 Pro Electric Guitar. Why? Enter your email address to learn our best guitar tips and tricks today! I love this article, However, I'm focused on 8 finger tapping myself and really enjoy this. Feeling dispirited I just googled “guitar players with small hands” and you were the first hit. Keep it up, though, and even the trickiest fretboard patterns will become second nature. Hand size or finger length is not most important. In this video Mike shares his best tips for playing guitar with small hands. Let's think about how we look at height and hand size. This is a video I made that shows you the ideal way to address the instrument and fret chord shapes: If you have small fingers you MUST move your wrist forward and under the guitar neck. It's too bad I've got a broken pinky on my left hand I can't use very well. Donât worry about barre chords Everyone has some ‘impediment’ that’s an obstacle to them learning and you are no worse or better off than anyone else. Never met someone smaller than my hands of my age range. Listen to our Learn Guitar Podcast for rapid guitar progress. So again, like with guitar shapes and sizes, we often think of or look at the human image as a repetitive set of forms that when approached in mass is faceless, featureless and devoid of detail like identical yet shapeless silhouettes. If you have small hands, I do really understand your plight. Some tonewoods can be notoriously heavy, weighing down on your shoulder or knee while you play them, making them uncomfortable or even painful. Can I still play the guitar with small hands? Your audience isn't going to care either way. With guitar playing, there are advantages and disadvantages with all hand sizes. And if you donât have a good technique from the start, your hands will suffer every time you play the guitar. If you struggle to play guitar with small hands, consider trying and altered tuning because this will not only make the guitar easier to play, but you're going to have more fun because you're not struggling with fingering various chords which can be difficult when you have a smaller hand. I hope you get something from this. Angus Young plays a mean six string, and he has small hands. If you can't barre an open-C chord shape on the third fret because your fingers won't stretch that far today, then you'll have the same problem tomorrow. Great tips. One thing you may want to consider, though, is the distance between the frets themselves. When you have small hands, some guitars can feel awkward or even painful to play. Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster. This is especially true if you're trying to play songs that incorporate barred open-chord voicings, like "Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Like the idea of developing the ring finger more. So really, whether or not you buy an electric or acoustic guitar will depend on the style of music and tone that you prefer. The Gibson SG is the perfect guitar for small hands. Smaller handed guitarists may find a Gibson-sized fret difference more comfortable than the lightly larger ones found on Fender-esque instruments. If you're a guitarist with small hands, consider utilizing your pinky in places usually designated for the ring finger. Okay, this is going to be totally obvious, but practicing guitar every day is the only way you'll ever get better at the instrument. This will always be true, regardless of hand size, but for guitar players with small hands, it's an absolute necessity. Now what constitutes a standard sized guitar is up for debate but the important thing is that there are some useful guitar tips for small hands players that will help you to play the guitar as well as if you had long fingers. Yes, I know that youâre hands are particularly small and you think you may be the exception to this rule, but youâre not. Why? Make sure you are using the correct technique to actually hold and play the instrument. (I’ve seen this happen!). Thanks for the tips! But if I absolutely have to hit a note that isn't within a four-fret space in a particular section, you'd better believe that my right hand is quick to the task. With a few simple tricks, you can make guitar playing easier for you. Do you think that the size of your hands is holding you back? Check out my video below for an example. Sometimes honest-to-goodness practice is all it takes to overcome shoddy guitar playing. When you first pick up a guitar you wonât be able to get all the notes to ring out properly, but this isnât necessarily because you have small hands or fat fingersâ¦ The reason this happens is because your hands arenât used to those specific movements and need to be trained. (Your local guitar shop will restring your guitar for about $10/£10. I know some beginner chords but would like to go beyond that. So go ahead, get familiar with patterns upwards the twelfth fret. Here's tip #9 from a fellow short fingered player: Start lifting weights. What could I do? My 65 ES 175 neck is considerably smaller than my late 90's 335,and my 62 strat is the same way compared to newer ones. I have small hands and and long reaches are difficult. Here's a tip-within-a-tip: if light strings feel too "floppy" for you, try using a lighter pick along with them. If you have small hands, a guitar with a narrow neck will make playing more natural and more enjoyable. While the actual size in inches may vary between manufacturers, a 3/4 guitar is smaller than a full-sized guitar, and many adults with small hands use them. 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. It's true, I can make some incredible reaches, but speed in the upper frets seems to be the trade-off. Don’t have your wrist behind the neck with your fingers curving round to the front. I’m a fourteen year old girl playing the guitar for 6 months and it’s very hard to do certain things with my very small hands (and tiny pinky). Note how indifferent my dog is--can't please everyone, I guess. This is a question we get asked a lot. I had already invested thousands of dollars in equipment over the years, not to mention the time spent learning the guitar and improving my technique--throwing my hands in the air and switching to another instrument was out of the question at this point in the game. Remember to play songs you love and you will progress quickest of all because you will enjoy your practice time more. 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