Children can have a difficult time playing the guitar and they need to change their instruments often as they grow bigger, so if you want to cut down your costs check our guide on the best affordable guitars out there. Also, if you’re an experienced guitarist and you’re looking to add something more to your sound, we have a guide on how to find the best guitar delay pedal for you. Make sure to check that out too.
You need good technique
Many guitar players are concerned because they think their hands are too small and their fingers too stubby. Usually, these players have a harder time forming chords and making the guitar sound clear. Sometimes playing guitar like that can even hurt, but it all depends on the player and the guitar used.
But if you have just started playing the guitar, chances are your small hands are not to blame but rather how you use them. It’s natural to expect your fingers to hurt in the beginning. And if you don’t have a good technique from the start, your hands will suffer every time you play the guitar.
You thus need patience to work upon certain aspects. One of the most important of these things is working on getting a proper curl to your fingers, so you only touch the strings with the tip of the finger.
You should also apply more pressure with your thumb being placed on the back of the neck instead of it curling over the top of it. That’s how you ensure you can reach the chords well. Stubby fingers may have issues with touching strings that they shouldn’t, so you need to focus on their placement and prevent that from happening.
Over time you will start to see how your fingers will extend more, and that is because they will become more flexible and you will learn how to place them better.
Tips and tricks
Good players that have small hands have come up with some little things to help them play better. One of the small changes that you can make to your playing style is using your pinky more.
Many guitarists use their ring finger to reach certain parts of the guitar, but if you have small hands, that is sometimes impossible. Instead, use your pinky for the places made for the ring finger. That doesn’t always work, because you need both your pinky and ring finger, but it does make a difference sometimes.
The pinky is always the weakest finger and most guitarists can’t use it as well as they do with the other fingers. But with practice, you will be able to accomplish things others can’t.
Another good thing to know is that you have a great advantage when it comes to high frets. Most guitar players feel cramped when going beyond the 12th fret, but for someone with smaller hands and fingers, that is something to relish. Furthermore, playing in that higher part of the guitar sounds great.
Start getting familiar with patterns above that 12th fret and you will enjoy playing the guitar more. This may take you some time, but you can use books and videos to help you with that. Playing higher up the guitar also means a more comfortable experience, because you will have to apply less pressure to get the musical notes you want. But don’t forget to learn the basics too.
Another trick is to use the capo as often as you can. Some guitarists see the capo as a way to “cheat” the guitar, but hey, some players need to do that. The small device is useful when you have to play barre chords and you can change them so that you use a capo instead. It’s not a way to cheat, it’s just changing the rules a bit.
Famous guitarists with small hands
While there are some guitarists that are known for their large hands – Jimi Hendrix or Steve Vai being obvious examples, there are also well-known guitarists that have small hands and still play some great music.
Some of the world’s most famous guitarists have hands and digits that would make a usual guitar player question their potential. One of the players that have small hands is Angus Young, lead guitarist and co-founder of the AC/DC band. He is a master of solos and awesome riffs and his sound is a very recognizable one.
In an interview, he said that one thing that influenced the way he writes songs is how he uses his hands. Some players like Eric Clapton like to play large chords, with fingers extending a lot, but Angus prefers small variations that allow him to play fast and precise. What he is proud of, however, is his picking hand, that he uses to hit the strings hard.
But if rock isn’t your thing, you will be pleased to find out that some jazz players also have this issue. Jimmy Bruno has little stubby fingers yet he manages to play the guitar very well. The thing is Bruno started playing from a really young age and he had a good technique throughout his career, so if you want to be that good, you need to practice a lot.
Guitars for small hands
Small-handed guitar players will have a difficult time playing large guitars, but they can do great on smaller models. There are certain things to look at when buying a guitar for smaller hands. Amongst these, it’s important that the guitar has a small fingerboard, one that’s between 22 and 25 inches. This will let you access every fret easier.
Another thing to consider, and this is more important if you have short fingers, is that your guitar should have a slim neck. The less space the neck occupies in the palm of your hand, the better you can grab it and apply pressure on the strings. Slim necks are also great for those looking to shred or play fast.
If you want an acoustic guitar, make sure that the body is as small as possible. This will reduce the resonating capabilities but will help a player with small hands and arms. You can also get a guitar that’s only slimmer, as it lets you grab it better anyway.