Are My Hands Too Small to Play the Guitar?

Updated: May 10



You may have an interest in learning to play the guitar but at the same time feel insecure about your small hands. It may seem like to be able to play the guitar well, you need a perfect pair of hands with the perfect hand size.


Truth is, the guitar is designed with every hand size in mind. Whether you have big or small hands, playing the guitar includes trade-offs. It may be easier to play bar chords with big hands but you will have problems playing single notes. For small hands, the opposite is true. In this post, we will explore the potential of playing the guitar with small hands.


Playing the guitar with small hands


Before we delve into tips for playing guitar with small hands, we have to be aware of the finite distance between the tip of the thumb and the index finger. Take a look at the distance between these two fingers on your hand which will be used to play chords on the fretboard. Remember that this is your ‘fretboard reach’. If you have small hands, you will have to maximise the distance.


Now that you are looking at the maximum distance between your index finger and your thumb, it’s time to go shop for your guitar. The girth of guitar necks actually varies a lot. Some are double the thickness of others.


If you have small hands, it is important for you to get the guitar with the thinnest neck. This would be the fastest solution for small hands playing the guitar.


Adjusting your posture


Your playing posture is everything. Make sure you have the right posture when playing the guitar to avoid potential injuries.


If you have small fingers you must move your wrist forward and under the guitar neck. Avoid having your wrist behind the neck with your fingers curving round to the front. Move your wrist forward under the neck as this will give you the maximum reach.


Use extra light strings


Use extra light strings for your guitar as it will be easier to press down when you hold the chord. This makes playing the guitar easier when you have small hands. Also, when you are getting started you should stick with the easiest voicings of standard chords. These are stepping-stone chords and they are a fundamental part of guitar-teaching philosophy.


Don’t give up


Don’t give up easily and feel defeated by your small hands. Everyone has difficulty when it comes to playing the guitar. Having small hands does not make you a worse guitar player.


For example, some people have poor motor skills or no sense of timing. They may have the opposite problem from you - such as big hands. There are a thousand things that can make guitar playing difficult for you.


Or you can attend a guitar class and learn from our experienced instructors at Ritmo Music Studio to help you overcome your obstacles to playing the guitar.


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