Can You Play the Guitar With Small Hands?


The guitar is a beautiful musical instrument. The guitar’s sound is soothing and melodic, making it a popular choice for relaxation and self-expression. Some people with small hands ask, “Can you play the guitar with small hands?

Yes, you can play the guitar with small hands. Some of the most famous guitar players in the world have small hands. Also, people of average size like Django Reinhardt, Angus Young, and Prince were all great guitarists.

So, In this article, we will talk about how to be an excellent guitar player and even play with small hands.

Playing the Guitar with Small Hand

First, it’s essential to understand that the size of your hands doesn’t matter when learning guitar. It’s more about how determined and focused you are.

However, it can be difficult for people with small hands to fret the strings correctly and make clean chords. This is often because the spacing between the lines is too wide for their hands.

Also another common issue is that people with small hands find it harder to reach around the guitar neck to form chords. This can be frustrating and make playing the guitar an uphill struggle.

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to make playing the guitar easier if you have small hands.

Girl Playing Guitar by Small Hands

How to Play Guitar with Small Hands

Use a Guitar with a Short and Thin Neck Profile

You should use a guitar with a shorter neck if you have small hands. A shorter neck will make it easier for you to reach around the fretboard and form chords.

In addition, a C-shape neck guitar is another excellent option as it provides more space in the lower bout area. This will make it easier for you to access the upper frets.

Furthermore, if you are looking for a guitar with a shorter neck, you should also look for a guitar with a thin neck profile. A slim neck profile will make it easier for your hand to wrap around the neck of the guitar, making it more comfortable to play.

Squier by Fender Bullet Mustang HH and Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEM JR are the best options for thin-neck guitars.

Train Your Fingers

One of the most important things to remember when learning the guitar is that it is a finger-oriented instrument. To play effectively, you need to have solid and nimble fingers.

Finger strength and skills can develop through some simple exercises and drills. One recommended practice is holding a tennis ball and squeezing it as hard as possible for 30 seconds.

This helps develop the small muscles in your fingers and will make them stronger over time. Another exercise that can be beneficial is working on your finger dexterity by picking up small objects with your fingertips to strengthen the tips of your fingers.

This helps to improve coordination and control. Improving your finger strength and dexterity takes time and patience, but it is essential for playing the guitar well.

By following these exercises, you are on the part to become a skilled guitarist.

Check the String Spacing

Another thing to look at when choosing a guitar for small hands is the string spacing. The string spacing is the distance between the strings on the fretboard.

You’ll want to look for a guitar with a smaller string spacing, making it easier for your fingers to position themselves between the strings. A smaller string spacing will also make it easier to form chords.

The string spacing on a guitar can vary depending on the make and model of the guitar. So, checking the string spacing on any guitar, you’re considering purchasing is essential.

Use Light Guage Strings

You may also want to consider using light gauge strings if you have small hands. Light gauge strings are thinner than standard strings, making them easier to press down.

Light gauge strings will also be easier on your fingers if you’re just starting. You can always switch to heavier gauge strings later on once you’ve built up some strength in your fingers.

We suggest Phosphor Bronze Extra Light strings and Elixir Super Light strings for the best light gauge strings.

Use a Capo

Using a capo can make it easier for people with small hands. A capo is a small clamp that you attach to the neck of the guitar, and it effectively changes the “key” of the instrument.

This means that the chords will be in a different position, which may be more comfortable for someone with small hands. In addition, using a capo can help make learning new chords easier because they will be closer together on the fretboard.

Using a capo is an effective way for people with small hands to learn the guitar. Try using one next time you practice and see how it feels. You may be surprised at how much easier it is to make clean chords and progress in your playing.

Use Pinky Finger Extensions

If you’re having trouble forming chords with your tiny hands, you may consider using pinky finger extensions. Pinky finger extensions are small pieces of plastic or metal that attach to your pinky finger and give you a little more reach.

Pinky finger extensions can benefit people with small hands, allowing you to reach those hard-to-reach notes. In addition, pinky finger extensions can help you form chords more efficiently, as they provide a little extra leverage.

Use a Guitar Strap

Using a guitar strap is another method for making guitar playing more bearable for those with little hands. A guitar strap will help to take some of the weight off your arms and shoulders, which can be helpful if you’re struggling to hold the guitar up.

In addition, a guitar strap can help keep the guitar in position, making it easier to play. Consider using a belt if you find your arms tired from holding the guitar up.

Small Body Guitar

Small body guitars are what they sound like – they’re smaller than a standard guitar. Small body guitars can be extremely helpful for people with small hands, providing a more comfortable grip and making it easier to reach the strings.

Also, you should try holding the guitar close to your body as it will reduce the strain on your arms and shoulders.

If you’re struggling to play the guitar because of the size of the instrument, then consider purchasing a small body guitar.

Guitars like the Baby Taylor BT2 and Yamaha JR1 have small bodies, making them suitable for small-hand people.

Use Drop-D Tuning

Drop-D tuning is another excellent option for people with small hands. In drop-D tuning, the low E string is tuned down to a D. This can make it easier to form chords, as you don’t have to stretch your fingers as far.

In addition, drop-D tuning can make it easier to barre chords, as the low E string is already lowered.

Try Tapping Techniques

You may consider tapping techniques if you struggle to make chords with your tiny hands. Tapping is a guitar technique that involves using your fingers to “tap” the strings instead of strumming them.

Tapping can benefit people with small hands, allowing you to reach notes that would otherwise be out of reach. In addition, tapping can help to make chords easier to form, as you don’t have to stretch your fingers as far.

Maintain Perfect Posture

Many guitar players neglect their posture, which can lead to severe problems. Poor posture can cause muscle strain, tension headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

It can also make it difficult to reach specific notes and chords. Maintaining good posture will help you avoid these problems and enable you to play your best. When sitting, keep your back straight, and your shoulders relaxed.

Your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle, and your wrists should be in line with your forearms. You may also want to invest in a footstool to position your feet properly.

Taking the time to maintain good posture will pay off in the long run by helping you avoid pain and injury.

Move your Wrist Forward

If you’re having trouble forming chords, you may want to try moving your wrist forward. Moving your wrist forward creates a longer lever, giving you more power and control over the strings.

This technique allows you to use your fingers more independently, enhancing your speed and agility. In addition, moving your wrist forward helps to prevent injuries such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

While getting used to this position may take some time to get used to, improving your guitar playing is well worth the effort.

Pros of Playing Guitar with Small Hands

  • It can help improve your dexterity.
  • Playing guitar small can help train your muscles to be nimble and precise
  • It helps to make it easier to reach complex chords and notes
  • Also, it can improve the sound quality of your playing
  • It also helps to give you a greater sense of control over your playing
  • Playing guitar with small hands can help increase the speed and accuracy of your playing
  • It can help reduce the risk of injuries to your hands and finger

Cons of Playing Guitar with Small Hands

  • The strings may be too close for your fingers, making it hard to press down on the frets.
  • You may also have trouble reaching the upper registers of the fretboard. As a result, you may feel limited in the melodies and chords you can play.
  • Additionally, small hands can make it difficult to apply proper techniques such as string bending and vibrato.
  • You may damage your fingers or the instrument itself if you’re not careful.
  • Small hands can make it tough to get a good grip on the strings, resulting in loose string tension and sloppy playing.


It is entirely possible to play the guitar with small hands. While it may take some time, several techniques can make playing easier.

In addition, several guitars have been specifically designed for players with small hands. With some practice, anyone can learn to play the guitar – regardless of hand size.

Sourav Biswas

Music is my life and I love to play guitar so much. It's been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a musical family, and my parents were always supportive of my passion for music. I am also a freelance writer who has been writing for over 10 years. I have written for both online and offline publications, including Amazon and Medium.

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