#1
I'm still quite new at guitar, I've been playing for about 4 months now but I'm having real trouble with anything above basic chords.

Basically because my hands are so tiny (I'm a girl and only 5ft1in) I can't reach around the fretboard if my fingers have to be even 2 frets apart. Obviously this is highly annoying as I would really like to get better, so I was wondering if anyone knew any techniques or stretches that helped with this? And is it my technique or do I need a lower action guitar? (I play an Aria AMB-35 at the moment.)

Any advice greatly appreciated.
#2
People always say this, it's because you're new to playing. When you have been playing for a while, you will get used to bigger stretches without any effort

There are people such as John Denner who plays without a right arm, and he's a great player. So get over it, play more. And eventually it wont be a problem anymore
#3
If you practice scales or chromatic excersises near the twelfth fret then progressively get nearer the first fret, you should get better with stretches. Also don't give up as it might take a while but it will be worth it in the end. Hope this helps.
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#4
Just keep playing, it's like someone playing sports for the first time, they just get more flexible over time.
#5
My dear girl, I am here to instill hope. That one day, you may be like this man.

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Although you are very most likely better looking.

But like the others have noted, practice. When I first began, I could stretch barely five frets across, now I can stretch somewhere around seven. Just keep your chin up, and don't let it get you down, otherwise you'll be playing the blues. Unless you like that, which is cool.
#6
Your hands will definitely become more supple with practice. At some point you will notice stretches that used to hurt somehow don't anymore. So it will get easier.

But if you have small hands they aren't going to grow and you won't be able to reach things people with a really long reach can. I'm not saying this to make you feel bad - only to acknowledge your situation & your feeling that it is a problem as people have a tendency to say "there is no issue at all" which I don't personally believe. BUT, that is no reason to be downbeat. There are many ways to play the same notes on a guitar - just find what works best for you. And small hands will be an advantage in other parts of your playing. I have small hands & fingers and have seen people with huge hands struggle with dexterity and fitting their fingers into shapes like a traditionally shaped A major where there is little space on the fretboard- no problem for me with my dinky digits!

But it will get easier than it is just now, whatever the case, hang in there!
#7
stretch out your fingers, flex your wrist, etc. before playing. try not to tense up in any part of your body whatsoever, as it will tire you out and won't help with your playing whatsoever. other than that, just give it time. i remember thinking that a lot of stuff on guitar seemed downright impossible when i was new, but as with all things, time will make it easier.
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#8
Thank you all!

Hopefully as you say it will get easier with practice... I'm not used to this sort of problem you see, I've played the cello for nearly 15 years now! How silly.
#9
Honestly, it's not a problem, your hands will become more flexible over time. I also have very small girlish hands but I can do more with them than most people I know with huge hands - it all comes down to practise and dedication.
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#10
Quote by Archelon
I'm still quite new at guitar, I've been playing for about 4 months now but I'm having real trouble with anything above basic chords.

Basically because my hands are so tiny (I'm a girl and only 5ft1in) I can't reach around the fretboard if my fingers have to be even 2 frets apart. Obviously this is highly annoying as I would really like to get better, so I was wondering if anyone knew any techniques or stretches that helped with this? And is it my technique or do I need a lower action guitar? (I play an Aria AMB-35 at the moment.)

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Yes, get a capo and move it to 3rd or even 5th fret and play in that position. Eventually you will be able to move it up and remove it completely (should happen relatively quick). Don't stress it, just have fun. Playing in 1st position for a complete beginner is a mistake which way too many people make.

Lower action might help, depends how high action on your guitar is at the moment, on acoustic should be around 3-4 mm above 12th fret max. I'd recommend having a luthier to look at your guitar if you are not sure.
Last edited by mdeeRocks at Sep 16, 2010,
#11
Some guitars have frets that are larger than others. They are now making guitars for smaller folks, as well. I agree that eventually you will overcome this problem on your guitar with practice but if your guitar has oversized frets, the problem will take longer to overcome. Next time your in the guitar store, check out the smaller sized guitars, as well. They might even look better on you when you play them and sound isn't compromised. Why climb a big hill when there is an escalator right next to you?

Just offering alternative advice that I haven't seen posted yet, all the other advice is good too. (I'm 5'5" btw. Shhh, don't tell anyone.) I'd play a smaller guiter too, but they'd probably make fun of me. It's still worth checking out as another option.
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#12
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Some guitars have frets that are larger than others. They are now making guitars for smaller folks, as well. I agree that eventually you will overcome this problem on your guitar with practice but if your guitar has oversized frets, the problem will take longer to overcome. Next time your in the guitar store, check out the smaller sized guitars, as well. They might even look better on you when you play them and sound isn't compromised. Why climb a big hill when there is an escalator right next to you?

Just offering alternative advice that I haven't seen posted yet, all the other advice is good too. (I'm 5'5" btw. Shhh, don't tell anyone.) I'd play a smaller guiter too, but they'd probably make fun of me. It's still worth checking out as another option.

Fret size refers to the diameter of the fretwire itself, not the space between the frets - therefore the size of the frets has nothing to do with the size of your hands.
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#13
i'm a girl and 5ft and never found it a problem. It's just practice I guess. Get your scales down that will help your flexbility. What's your action like? I play a jackson with jumbos but the neck is lovely and slim so I don't have a problem. My action is also quite low.
Last edited by hellybelly at Sep 19, 2010,
#15
Quote by steven seagull
Fret size refers to the diameter of the fretwire itself, not the space between the frets - therefore the size of the frets has nothing to do with the size of your hands.

Whilst this is true, I think he was referring to guitars with a shorter scale length and thus, also, less distance between the frets. However, though you may want to look into guitars with shorter scale lengths, you should by no means feel limited to them - your small hands can still handle the longer scale lengths.
As I mentioned, I have very small hands and I still play a guitar with a 25.5" scale length with no issues.
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#16
I have small hands and my middle finger and ring finger are half webbed . but i can just do fine. i try to do everything