5 Secrets to Small Hands Empowerment

5 Secrets to Small Hands Empowerment

There are things that only guitar players with small hands will understand—can’t stretch that far, can’t bend a string hard enough, can’t play a barre chord well… Don’t feel despair cause here’s a piece of good news for you. You can still be an excellent guitarist player even you are small handed (or even tiny handed)! The following is the way out!

Accessory-based help

Play a short-scale or small-body guitar

The easiest way to get rid of the struggles caused by a pair of small hands would be playing short-scales or small-body guitars. While the scale length of a standard or full-scale guitar measures 650 mm, the shorter scale length is going to be 640 mm. Likewise, a 7/8- or 3/4-size guitar might fit your hand size better.

Anyway, every coin has two sides. Short-scale guitars make playing on the higher fretboard far more challenging than it ever should be. Given the fact that many (famous) small handed guitar masters insist on playing standard sized guitars, would you like to go along with them? If yes, try the following tips especially for you!

Use a Capo

Give it a try: can you create a clear-sounding note for the C major barred chord at below?

C major barred chord

If not, no matter how much practice you have put into it, then your fingers are indeed too small to play songs incorporated with barred open chords (a movable version of the open position shape). If physical limitation (i.e. your fretting hand can’t physically stretch that far) has hindered you from improving your guitar playing in any way, feel free to employ a capo or any other gears to help you get through this tough situation.

Optimize your guitar

Optimize your guitar with the following components, light gauge strings and low action. Light gauge strings allow easier bends, hammer ons and pull offs. Along with light gauge strings, utilize a lighter pick to prevent the strings from being too floppy. Lowering the action allows easier bends also, and thus improving the guitar’s playability. Click here to check out how to adjust the height of the action.


Strengthen your hands

Think about those awesome female or young players, whose hands are definitely smaller, yet they could still be excellent guitarists, right? Sometimes, instead of the size of one’s hands, it’s finger strength and dexterity that do count. In fact, muscle mobility can be built by working on finger exercises regularly. To learn more on how your fingers can be trained systematically and progressively, click here to start your 1-2-3-4 permutation journey or here to strengthen your fingers through groups-of-four workout.

Among the five fingers, the little finger is the weakest. Yet you should never take it as a small fry! If you make good use of it, your guitar playing journey is going to change from now on. For those guitar players with small hand, the standard ring finger-to-index finger reach can be impossible. Consider, therefore, using your little finger designated for the ring finger. Change is hard at first, and it may take you several months of solid practice, just keep it up and you will find your efforts rewarding!

Play up the neck

You know, having a pair of small hands actually gets an advantage over that of big hands! It’s a fact that quite a lot of big handed players feel cramped beyond the twelfth fret, but this probably not a concern for us who play with small hands. So, get familiar with patterns upwards the twelfth.

From now on, no more blind blaming on small hands. They are just fine to play the guitar! Time to play powerfully—“empower” your hands, let them move freely and swiftly on the strings. Keep it up!