Can Hands Be Too Small For The Guitar?

Many people wondered if it is possible to play the guitar if you have small fingers or hands. We saw famous players with long fingers and when they play, everything seems rather easy. But is that their trick or is there something else?

So, can hands be too small for the guitar? The simple answer is no. They cannot. You can play the guitar regardless of your hand or finger size. Of course, it will help a lot, but it is not impossible to play with small hands. There are many things you can do to make your guitar playing easier.

With a few simple tricks, you can make guitar playing easier for you. You need to remember that everyone has different hands, and in the end, everyone can play the guitar with enough practice. Furthermore, with a few of the tricks, we’ll mention, you’ll have no problems with playing.

Tips For Playing The Guitar For People With Small Hands

If it happens that you have small hands, you shouldn’t worry about that. It is possible for you to play the guitar. Ultimately, because of the length of your fingers and the size of your hand, you will have a limited reach while playing the guitar. But fear not. There are tips to help you use the best of the situation and be as good as any other player.

Right Body Size

When we say the right body size, we talk about the guitar. If you still have issues playing the guitar and playing certain chords or shapes or anything, fear not! You can still find a guitar with a smaller body. Yes, this is an option. There are guitars that are meant for children or for people who enjoy playing a smaller instrument rather than full-size guitars.

You can find both acoustic and electric guitars in these sizes. There is a three-quarter option where the guitar will be a bit smaller. The neck would remain the same, but the body size is reduced. This will allow you to easily approach any part of the neck without having to struggle with a huge body.

Of course, you could find half the size body guitar, where you will be able to play with ease. Furthermore, it is not weird or strange to find something that is comfortable for you. It is important that playing and learning are enjoyable (that’s why we have so many different guitar colors).

So go out there, and find a beautiful guitar with a smaller body and thin neck that will be perfect for your needs.

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If you are considering to start playing guitar and looking for an acoustic guitar on a budget and to save you time searching I made the following post Top 20 Budget Acoustic Guitars Under $100, $150, $200, $300 For Beginners

Find A Guitar With Thinner Neck

Depending on the thickness of the guitar’s neck, you might have some problems while practicing. Usually, on acoustic guitars, the neck is thicker since there is no truss rod in the neck. Because we all love what we’re used to, some people prefer thicker necks. Many of them started learning the guitar on acoustic first and got used to thicker necks. Furthermore, people with big hands prefer thicker necks too. But, you can always find a slim or fast neck that will make playing a pure pleasure.

If we talk about the electric guitar, it will be rather easy to find the neck that is more suitable for your needs. Of course, even if you play acoustic guitar, you can still find ones with a beautiful thin neck.

Pick The Right String Gauge

Learning how to play the guitar is always difficult. But there is no reason to make it more difficult than it is needed. The heavier the string gauge is the more difficult playing will be. Especially if you use the standard tuning with heavy strings.

Different players love different string gauge, of course. Stevie Ray Vaughan, for example, played .013 at one point. While this might be extreme for most players, it is something that he loved. But with lighter strings, you will have more freedom while playing.

If you opt to use lighter strings, you will see how easier it is to barre an entire fret, or to bend notes. Billy F. Gibbons from ZZ Top currently uses .007 strings which are custom made for him. Of course, you could always find regular .008 and .009. Try them out, you might love how easy it is to play the guitar with lighter strings.

I personally use Elixir strings, If you are still not sure about which strings to get then check them out at my post Top 27 Must Have Guitar Accessories For Every Guitarist

Have The Right Posture

Having perfect posture plays a big part in guitar playing. By adjusting your hand, you’ll be able to reach more frets without hurting your hand or your wrist. You need to learn how to hold the instrument properly, and of course how to fret the chords and shapes.

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For more information about correct posture, check out my post 11 Easy Ways To A Correct Guitar Posture And Pain-Free Back\Shoulder\Wrist

Move Your Wrist Forward

By playing properly and moving your wrist forward, you will have maximum reach. Many beginner players have a tendency to wrap their fingers across the whole neck, with a thumb over the frets. This will make it quite difficult to play certain chord shapes. If you hold the neck properly and try moving your wrist forward as much as possible, you will able to conquer those chords in no time. Of course, it might feel weird at the beginning, but you’ll get used to it. 

One of the most important things is, if you feel any type of pain in your hand or wrist, stop! The only pain you should feel is at the top of your fingertips where you press strings. Other types of pain mean that you’re doing something wrong.

While we’re at the fingertips, you should use only the tip of your fingers for playing. Never use your fingerprints, but only the part of the finger that is the closest to your nails. This way you will be able to play complex chords, and even solos later on.

Start Slow

If you are a beginner, you might have some difficulties while learning how to play the guitar. It’s normal. There is a chance that you believed that because of the size of your hand, you are not able to play something.

One of the best advice when it comes to guitar playing is – start slow. Learn some basic chords and basic chord progression, and build your way up. You will work on your hand and finger dexterity and in time you will get better.

It is important to remember that learning is a slow process and that it takes time. No one learned how to play an instrument overnight. It is impossible. Everyone has to practice, learn, and often struggle. It is part of the learning journey and you need to understand that it will take time.

Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself

Just because you have small hands, it doesn’t mean that you will never play the guitar. There are people out there with rather poor motor skills, or small hands, or any other issue. But it doesn’t make it impossible. It does make it harder, but learning is never easy.

Angus Young from AC/DC is one of the most popular and famous guitar players in history. But he also struggled when he was a beginner. He once said in an interview that it was impossible for him to play certain chords the way other players like Clapton can play them. Because of his small hands, he developed his own system and ways of playing them that made him one of the best guitar players in history!

Not to mention guitarists like Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath who had an accident where he lost the tips of his fingers and still managed to start a music revolution and inspire many players since.

Furthermore, one of the greatest jazz guitar players ever, Django Reinhardt, suffered an accident where half of his body was severely burnt. He lost the functionality of his fourth and fifth fingers on the left hand. But during his career, he focused on using mostly index and middle fingers. He managed to become one of the most recognizable jazz guitarists in history.

These stories are rather inspiring, so you needn’t worry about your small hands. The practice is what makes it perfect!


A capo will allow you to shorten the length of the neck. So if you have trouble playing a certain F chord on the first fret, you will be able to compensate by using a capo. The first few frets are large, and it is hard to stretch enough to play something, so this is a great way to eliminate those nasty large frets while continuing to practice properly.

If you still don’t have a capo then check out my recommendation Top 27 Must Have Guitar Accessories For Every Guitarist

Perfect Set-Up

If you are a beginner you probably won’t know how to do set-up all by yourself. No shame in that. You could always take your guitar to a professional who could do the set-up. One of the things we didn’t mention is guitar action. By action, we mean the distance between the strings and the fretboard. The higher the action the harder it will be for you to play.

Now, many pro players have no issues with action. Their hands are huge, or they have strength in their left hand from years of playing. But for the beginner player, it might be difficult to do this. So what you could do with your guitar is to lower the action. This will allow you to easily play anything and with less effort.

Furthermore, if you combine it with thinner strings, and a slim neck, you will be amazed by the results.

Young Children Play Guitar As Well

It is important to remember this. While you might have trouble playing something, and it is true that it would be easier for someone with big hands. Try remembering that most of the children start going to music school at a very young age.

Yet, all of us saw those wunderkinder out there that are able to play complicated music pieces with ease. Now, remember what is the size of a child’s hand. That’s right! They are able to play almost anything with ease because of hundreds of hours they spent practicing.

In the end, it all comes to practice. Regardless of the size of your hand, you will have to practice for hours and hours until you learn how to play properly. Find ways to accommodate for the size issue and continue rocking. Use any of the stories mentioned here as an inspiration to become a better guitar player. And of course, keep practicing!

If you found this article useful, you may want to save this pin below to your Guitar board.


I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

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