Learning to play the guitar as a beginner is hard enough, but learning with small hands?
This brings difficult to a whole new level.
There is nothing worse than trying to learn how to play something new and no matter how hard you try your fingers just can’t reach those chords!
The neck is either too wide to reach the strings or too long to get in a comfortable position.
Often, if you are having problems reaching the appropriate chords on a guitar, it can be said that you just need to practice.
Sometimes all you need is a good coach to help smooth out some bad habits, and perhaps all you need to do is to train your hands to become more flexible.
If you are already training with a coach and you are still struggling there is a great amount of guitars to choose from that can accommodate small hands.
It would be wise to make sure that the guitar you choose to buy is comfortable for you. If you are struggling to reach the simple chords then you will be doubly challenged to reach the more complicated ones, which could result in some frustration later on.
Which Guitar Should I Get?
There are three types of guitars you can choose from:
- acoustic guitar
- electric guitar
- acoustic-electric guitar
An acoustic guitar would seem the obvious choice for starting out, but a beginner with small hands may have more difficulty. Even by getting a smaller acoustic guitar, the strings are usually a lot harder than electric guitars depending on the make.
The electric guitar, surprisingly, may turn out to be an easier guitar to learn on than an acoustic, having smaller necks in general. The strings are usually much softer than an acoustic, making it a little easier on the fingers.
The acoustic-electric guitar can perhaps be said to have the best of both worlds. The strings are softer than an acoustic (though it may be harder than a normal electric guitar), and there is a good range of models with smaller necks which make them more manageable in general.
Here are a few guitar suggestions to get you started off with your choices. The order of guitars are listed from the low to high price ranges:
1) The Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar
This guitar has a good balance between being affordable, and having good quality at the same time. It has a narrow neck so it accommodates those with small hands, and it comes with a tuning machine.
What’s even better is that they are also sold in starter packs including a stand, guitar strap and a hard shell case for only slightly more than you would pay for the single guitar.
Price: under $100.00
2) Daisy Rock Butterfly Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Did you know that this company was actually founded by a woman who wanted to make smaller guitars for women and girls?
All these guitars have slim and narrow necks, with a lightweight construction that makes the guitar more manageable.
Price: around $280.00
3) Takamine GD20-NS Dreadnaught Acoustic Guitar
This is a mahogany guitar with a 12” rosewood radius fingerboard.
This apparently makes the guitar feel great when playing and the split-saddle design of the pin-less Rosewood Bridge makes the chords sounds great.
Price: around $300.00
4) Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar
A ¾ scale guitar with a mahogany finish. According to reviews, this is a great guitar to travel with because it stays tuned in all weather conditions whether it be hot or cold.
This makes it a lot easier to just pick up and play if you move around a lot and you take it with you.
Price: around $330.00
5) Epiphone SG G-400 Pro Solid Body Electric Guitar
This electric guitar honors the older rock designs, just with newer features, including a mahogany body and neck with a rosewood fingerboard.
It also comes with the LockTone(TM) tune-o-Matic/Stopbar System.
Price: $350.00 to $400.00
6) Squier by Fender 50’s Vibe Stratocaster
This guitar is both modern in design and vintage in looks. It’s easy to handle with a 9.5” fretboard radius and medium jumbo frets.
This means you can rock out on an authentic looking vintage guitar and still reach all the chords at the same time.
Price: around $400.00
7) Seagull S6 Original Slim Guitar
Like all the guitars on this list, it has a narrower neck than normal with a double action truss rod (which is a steel bar or rod that run inside the neck) that stabilizes the neck of the guitar.
Made in North America, this guitar has that classic acoustic look that visually represents acoustic guitars in general.
Price: roughly $450.00
8) Ibanez AEG240 Thinline Recording Acoustic Guitar
This guitar is very popular because it has a USB connection when plugged into a computer it allows you to record whatever you are playing.
It also has a mahogany body, sides, and neck with a satin finish.
It has a scale of 25” and a thin body so it’s easy to handle.
Price: around $780.00
9) Fender Classic Player Jaguar
This is a good looking electrical guitar of 24” allowing for bigger chords and easier runs.
It comes in about 7 colors and what’s special about it is that it offers a broader range of tones due to the Special Design Jaguar single-coil pickups.
Price: about $800.00
10) Fender Kurt Cobain Mustang
This guitar has a great tonal variety and, even though its Japanese made, it was inspired by Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, who also had small hands.
It has a maple neck and Alder body and 22 vintage frets.
Other than being Kurt Cobain inspired there is nothing out of the ordinary about the guitar except for, perhaps its price.
Price: around $1,200.00
Other Factors To Consider
It's important to note that these are just a small fraction of the guitars available out there for those with small hands.
Even though having small hands can make guitar playing more difficult, do not let that deter you from doing what you enjoy.
However, to help things along, make sure you look for a guitar that is easy to hold and comfortable so that it allows for great movement, speed and positioning.
A guitar that feels more comfortable while playing will make it easier to master chords.
With regular practice and perseverance, any instrument can be played, small hands or not.
About the Author: Helen Baker
I am a freelance teacher and writer based in Ann Arbor, MI. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, I spent some time teaching English in Paris and, thereafter, returned to Ann Arbor where I was involved both in the media and academics. Currently I am a stay at home mom, working as a freelance writer and teacher. I love all my guitars and I also have an affinity towards old grand pianos. I love singing, traveling, reading, writing, watching films and spending quality time with my husband.