#1
I've heard that those with longer fingers have an advantage when it comes to guitar and I was wondering how long my fingers are compared to others.

As a calculator - I can stretch my pinky to the 19th fret with my pointer finger on the twelth with it still sounding clean and not muted. (It hurts a bit after a few seconds of doing it though. 18th is my furthest comfortable stretch.)

This is on a standard Fender Tele so obviously it'll be different for those with the very thin fretted shred guitars.

So I was just wondering what it was for other people?
#2
I have I guess what I'd call average sized hands. Using my index finger on the 12th fret I can get to the 21st fret and still have it sound clean. I don't know that really gives a guitarist a real advantage. The only real advantage is a lot of practice.
#3
You heard wrong. Big hands have no advantage over those with small hands assuming that the small-handed person has good technique. Shawn Lane had tiny hands and could out-stretch just about anyone I can think of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Skk9Q0Qd_k

Also: most teles have the same scale length as most ibanez guitars (the archetypal shred axe), there would be no difference in your ability to stretch.

Finally: I could probably do a 12-24 stretch if the bottom horn didn't get in the way.

Edit: Better example of Shawn's terrifying fret hand: http://youtu.be/-f2Jq10j1ms
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Aug 26, 2011,
#5
Having long fingers would obviously give you a longer stretch and would probably make bar chords easier, although it could also be a hindrance on the higher strings, Doug Aldrich from whitesnake has very long fingers and he seems to have had to adapt a different playing style because of them.
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#6
Yeah the more you practice the more your muscles will stretch so what you did doesn't really strike me as a good gauger for how long your fingers are. Palm size would also be a factor.

My left hand fingers can stretch out much more than my right because I play guitar ALL the time. My reach is from 12 to 24, and that's easy. I can make a flat horizontal line from my pinky to my index finger. (makes for freaky devil horns \m/ \m/) But my hands are actually quite average if not a little small.

If you play more your fingers will stretch more giving you more reach.
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#7
longest stretch i can do in an actual song is the cowboys from hell solo. stretch from 12th to 20th....i can go a little further then that and my hands arent that big at all
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#8
I have long fingers and my stretches are completely average. With some practice I guess I'd have an advantage but without the proper technique my extra reach is useless.
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#9
Quote by Reighnart
My left hand fingers can stretch out much more than my right because I play guitar ALL the time. My reach is from 12 to 24, and that's easy. I can make a flat horizontal line from my pinky to my index finger. (makes for freaky devil horns \m/ \m/) But my hands are actually quite average if not a little small.

pics or didn't happen

I have puny fingers

right now, I'm trying to learn scarified, but I can't play the parts where I have to stretch so I have to tap the highest note
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#10
Naturally one will have a longer reach with longer fingers, given an equal ability to stretch. I can do a 12-20 stretch on a 27" scale comfortably, but no more because I'm not Inspector Gadget.
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#12
Some of these numbers seem ludicrous. Maybe my guitar has wider frets then? (it goes up to 21). I always thought my fingers were on the longer scale but if someone with sausage fingers can get 3 more frets than me...
#13
Quote by kashmir0109
Some of these numbers seem ludicrous. Maybe my guitar has wider frets then? (it goes up to 21). I always thought my fingers were on the longer scale but if someone with sausage fingers can get 3 more frets than me...


It doesn't matter how long your fingers are, what really matters is practice and good technique.
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#15
Quote by swatspeedman
I can get to 19 from the 12 and keep it clean, but it hurts


If it hurts you're doing it wrong. I can comfortably reach that far on a bass.
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#17
I have a pretty damn big palm, and I don't think it helps me. I need a lot of movement if the fingers because of that and I thing it makes me slower. But small palms make it harder to play for sure!
Anyway there are no ways to modify your palm so ........
#18
Quote by swatspeedman
I have tiny hands though, most girls hand's are larger than mine :/


Check the links I posted about of Shawn Lane, he had tiny hands and could out-stretch most of the people you have and will ever meet because he had good technique.

Technique > biology.
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#19
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Check the links I posted about of Shawn Lane, he had tiny hands and could out-stretch most of the people you have and will ever meet because he had good technique.

Technique > biology.

Wow, how is that even possible? That is some serious technique then.
#20
Quote by swatspeedman
Wow, how is that even possible? That is some serious technique then.


Thumb low on the neck, relax as much as possible, make sure you never stretch further than is comfortable.

A good way of practicing this kind of thing is to take the shape that you want to use and move it higher on the neck, so say for example you wanted to do some of those insane diminished string skips you'd move it up to somewhere you were alright with it so like 14-17-20 and get really comfortable with it there. Once you're ok up there then start moving it down one fret at a time, keeping the stretch the same (first step would be 13-16-19) and get comfy there again. Keep moving it down and getting comfortable one fret at a time until you get to where you want to be. If at any point you feel a bit of pain or anything then stop and move back up and make sure you're technically perfect.

It might take some time to get to where you want to be but this way you'll make absolutely sure you don't injure yourself.
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#22
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And then there's Rick Renstrom...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqgTdVuGrAQ

...just for you Zaphod


Hahaha, I know that's my usual trick but he's not exactly doing many wide stretches is he?
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#23
The higher I wear my guitar, the better I can reach higher frets. Heck, I've got smaller hands than most musicians I know, and I play bass. So I guess it's all about technique, no one's really born with an advantage over the other based on size
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#24
I just found out that if I try hard, I can go from 12-21 but It is very uncomfortable
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#26
i have very large hands....and i believe it does help a little
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#27
Quote by OliOsbourne

right now, I'm trying to learn scarified, but I can't play the parts where I have to stretch so I have to tap the highest note



You're supposed to picking hand tap on those notes iirc.
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#28
Quote by Deadlock Riff
You're supposed to picking hand tap on those notes iirc.


I don't think Scarified has much tapping in it at all actually, I'll have to check but that's what I remember.

Edit: With the possible exception of Bruce Boillet's original solo there is one tapping section, after the first arpeggio section and that's about it.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Aug 28, 2011,
#29
Quote by Deadlock Riff
You're supposed to picking hand tap on those notes iirc.

that's the only way I can play it
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