#1
Hi there,

My hand size is really small, it's a little over 6 3/4 inches from the base of my palm to my middle finger.

Currently, I have a Fender JV Strat that was given to me a couple of days ago. (Note that I'm a beginner and it's the first guitar I've ever held.) I've been practicing chords such as D, A and E and switching among them.

I was wondering.. Do guitarists with small hands have trouble switching chords or even hitting the right chords without muting any other strings? It's pretty common with me. I sometimes find it nearly impossible to stretch my fingers to certain frets.

Does it feel like that for everyone? Practice makes perfect, but how much practice makes perfect; at least for me. I know it must be easier with others, but I'm just wondering if I can still play with these small hands. I don't plan on buying a new guitar as well.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. :-)
(And I hope I put this in the right forum!)
Last edited by ElephantShoe at Jan 13, 2009,
#2
I though my fingers were too short for the same thing. Its all about finger strength and learing the proper finger position. You're going to get muted/twanging strings at first. Just be patient and over time you'll be knocking out with no problem.
#3
Quote by MommasHooligan
I though my fingers were too short for the same thing. Its all about finger strength and learing the proper finger position. You're going to get muted/twanging strings at first. Just be patient and over time you'll be knocking out with no problem.


Thanks for the quick response. That's what I'm hearing, hopefully I'll nail it down in the near future!
#5
Yeah my hands didn't stretch far at all at first. Now I can reach 7 frets with my index and pinky and play chords perfectly. I also couldn't play an F barre chord for the first week or two after I learned it, but it's easy now. Just practice, try to stretch, your hands will hurt for a couple weeks but it will stop and you will be able to stretch further and be more flexible.
#6
i have smallish hands, its only an issue when i play barre chords standing up really. you just have to get used to it and strengthen your fingers. practice.

alternatively there are smaller guitars and guitars with smaller necks out there if it becomes a real issue. see how it goes.
#7
ElephantShoe, where's your thumb? Try putting it central on the back of the neck and you should reach better. Yeah, its not as comfortable at first but keep at it and you'll thank me for that tip in a year or two.
#8
I also have small hands. I play a guitar with a thin neck, which helps a lot. When I play acoustic I can see the difference in technique. My whole style changes to adapt to the thicker neck. With time your hands will adapt, but to make it easier on yourself, go for a thinner neck on your next guitar
#9
If you've only been playing a couple of days just give it time - as you play more your hands will become more flexible and you'll be able to stretch your fingers further, plus your fingers will get stronger.

As Lurcher said - where's your thumb? A lot of the time its easier with it in the centre of the back of the neck, sometimes its easier with it curled over the top. Depends what your playing. If you're struggling to reach something, try moving your thumb.
#10
If you've been playing only for a few days, fretting simple open chords will be difficult and tedious and even more so when trying to change between them.

Just hang in there though. You won't be playing along with your favorite songs for a while. It will take some time before you can switch fluently between chords, but you will get there eventually if you practice. Be sure to focus on doing the right motions with your fingers, rather than speed. Speed will develop over time as you teach your fingers to do the right thing.
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#11
Hand size should not be an issue. I have small hands and played guitar for years and now play bass and can manage a rather large Precision Bass with no problems whatsoever. As others have said, its all in the technique and building skill slowly. Speed is a by-product of accuracy.
#12
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=986625

Here's a bass forum thread anarkee made on small hands. If she has smaller hands than you and manages a fretless bass, you can manage a guitar.
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#14
My hand is smaller than yours actually. I dont have perfectly working finger joints either. Nevertheless, I am happy with the progress I have made in the past year. I gave up on barre chords only to recently discover that I can do them with ease now. Finger strength built up from playing stuff other than barre chords.