Is your anatomy preventing you from playing the guitar and becoming one of the top guitar players? While it’s true that longer hands offer an advantage, length is not the only thing that affects guitar mastery. Skills can be developed no matter the body type as long as you are determined to learn. On the flipside, the longest hands won’t help if you don’t have the passion for music. Ask experts, “Can I play guitar with small hands?” The answer will be a resounding “Yes!” You just need to have the heart and head for it.
Below are some tips to get you started:
1. Believe that you can.
Everything stems from self-belief. If you think that you can do something, then you will act with purpose to achieve your goal to learn guitar. Setbacks won’t faze you. You’ll just get up and start again because you know that you can get it right eventually. Your thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophesy. So if you are feeling uncertain, find a way to convince yourself that you can play guitar with small hands. Look up other people who have already done so and see how they did it. Be a problem-solver and enjoy the process of learning to play the guitar through your guitar lessons.
2. Pick the right guitar.
The correct equipment, like this one for small female hands, will make your life easier. Since you already have a small hands, try to avoid large guitars with wide necks and guitar scale length because these are hard to use. Find an acoustic or find an acoustic electric guitar with a compact body such as a classical guitar, parlor guitar or a concert guitar. Pay attention to the neck since this should be as thin as possible. Unfortunately, neck size varies greatly from one model to another. Hold them if buying in a store to see if you can reach the edge of the fretboard without straining. You could also read online products reviews to get inputs about playability.
3. Try an electric guitar.
Although novices typically start out playing with acoustic guitars, there is no reason why you can’t pick up an electric guitar as well. Buy a good amp to go with it and play all you want in your room. Electric guitars are known for their compact bodies and thin necks that make electric guitars easy to play, especially for those who have smaller hands. Many will argue that electrics are more fun because of the ability to shape the sound with effects like distortion, chorus, reverb, and so on. Borrow one from a friend to see if you like it before splurging.
4. Get extra light strings.
When you can barely reach the fretboard, heavy strings can be too much to deal with. Pressing down on these will take too much effort. You can try but your fat fingers will get tired right away. You will also have a hard time developing the speed necessary to shift from open guitar chords to another in a seamless way including barre chords. One way to solve this is to replace the current strings with extra light strings that are much easier to press down. Another is to go to a luthier or a guitar technician and have the instrument set up for small hands.
5. Use simple chords.
It’s always good to learn to walk before you run. Beginners should tackle the simple chord shapes first before attempting to the harder ones, especially if there are anatomical challenges. Find out the strategies that people use to overcome their limited reach with these chords. You can apply these when you move up in complexity. Once you master these chords and how to contort your hands for them, you will have solid foundation that should serve you well on this journey. You will finally stop struggling and start enjoying the guitar.
6. Play your favorite songs.
If you are using a guidebook on guitars, then you will probably encounter popular songs in the examples. These have melodies, beats, and lyrics that most know by heart so they make the instructions easier to follow. You can also apply the things you learned by playing your favorite songs. Since these are personal and special tunes, you will have a great time strumming them. It will be a thrill to hear the tunes coming out of your own guitar because of your own hands. You are likely to put more effort into practice because you are loving what you do.
7. Reach into the fret board.
In most cases, you will see the wrist of guitarists right under the instrument’s neck. They generally have large hands so this position is optimal for them. Their fingers can reach any spot on the fretboard without issues. With small hands, it may be difficult to reach the farthest string in this manner. It would be better to reposition your wrist such that it goes under the far side of the neck. Hence, your fingers should be able to roam around the frets of the guitar more readily. It can take a while to get used to it so be patient. In relation to this, if you want to get a good feel on the neck, you want to make sure you choose a guitar with the right sized fingerboard radius for you.
8. Get a capo.
Small hands usually come with small arms. If your guitar has a long neck, then it can be tiring to constantly extend your arms far to reach the first fret. A capo clamps the strings on the fretboard to effectively modify the location of your first fret. This will increase the pitch but it will also make chords easier to play. Playability is the priority when you are just beginning to learn how to play. Note that using a capo will also bring down the action of the strings. You will be able to press the strings down with less effort.
Everyone can play the guitar. Small hands will not make you an exception. Many have done it before and you can follow their footsteps. Get inspired by popular artists who were able to overcome various challenges just to play. Listen to regular people when they talk about how they were able to conquer their physical limitations. All problems have a corresponding solution so you just have to find them. This list offers several ideas on how you can make this process less frustrating and more fun. You are sure to discover more along your journey.