Having bigger hands definitely gives you an advantage when it comes to playing complex chord voicings, reaching for large interval jumps, and playing fast licks. This was something that he’d never fully recovered from, but his determination to work around this limitation led to him mastering the ability to use just his index and middle fingers to fret the guitar.
A common problem I see with students is not being able to make the 3 fret stretch with the index finger and pinky finger when playing the minor pentatonic scale. There are many legendary guitarists that have lost parts of their fingers or movement in their arms, but they didn’t let these obstacles limit their ability to play guitar.
Johnny Thunders was a small guy, I suppose he had small hands too. See GuitarSheath.com, check it out Cheers all !! © 1995-2019 Harmony Central, Inc. All rights reserved. Garcia himself lost two-thirds of his right middle finger in an accident when he was a child. This forces you to put your thumb and hand in the position they need to be in to make the stretch. Again, Elixir makes a great set of Phosphor Bronze Extra Light strings. At first, it may seem like you should use your ring finger to fret the note on the 7th fret of the first string; however you’ll find that you won’t have to stretch as much if you use your pinky finger instead. It is important to note that most guitars don’t come set up properly and playing those instruments will generally result in a painful and tiring experience. Your email address will not be published. This can be solved by practicing the extended diatonic scales in the upper frets (seventh and above), and then gradually moving down towards the lower, wider frets. So please spend that additional 50 or 60 bucks to get your guitar into perfect playing condition. Garcia spent his time with the band as the lead guitarist and became known for his ability to go on long, soulful guitar improvisations. Clear editor. Check out the following image from Fender to get a good idea of the three most common shapes. Having small hands would make mandolin playing easier I would think. Your previous content has been restored. At the end of the day, having small hands really isn’t a limitation when it comes to playing guitar. I have average to small size hands. A guitar’s neck profile relates to the shape of the back of the neck. Having smaller hands usually only presents problems in the fretting hand, so the following 10 tips focus mainly on working around that obstacle. This may be a slightly complex chord voicing, but the same idea applies to any other chord or scale. Chords can also be difficult due to having to do large stretches. My Ibanez JS1200 is 25.5 but just fits perfect. As you’d imagine, if you have smaller hands, you’ll want a neck profile that isn’t large or chunky. This tip will help you avoid injuring your thumb when playing guitar. For example, most Gibson guitars use a scale length of 24.75 inches while most Fenders use 25.5 inches.
As much as possible, you want to avoid putting your thumb over the neck, like you’re gripping a baseball bat. By Once I have the Jag accompanied by the Guitar Sheath I know I have done all I can to improve my playing and technical skills. bloolight, May 19, 2007 in Electric Guitars. You can begin by massaging your hands and forearms, then proceed to stretch your wrists and each finger. To this day, he is still considered one of the greatest guitarists to have ever lived.
Categories. There are plenty of other examples of great guitarists with small hands if you investigate this topic online, but that doesn’t make it any easier for a beginner who is struggling to do scales or open chords.
You’ll definitely want to avoid the chunkier “U” shape, or even the less common “D” shape as those neck profiles will make you feel like you’re holding onto a baseball bat. Instead, you want to keep your thumb behind the neck as much as possible. Randy Rhoads played several guitars, notably a Gibson Les Paul, which again, isn't a short-scale guitar either. For example, my Fender Telecaster has a distance of 12.75 inches from the nut to the 12th fret, and if I multiply that number by two, I will get 25.5 inches. The other part of my solution is to improve the overall control of my guitar by using a new product called a Guitar Sheath. While I’m currently suggesting for you to get the lightest strings possible, I do highly recommend eventually trying out thicker gauges as you may end up preferring how they feel in your hands. If you don’t have to stretch as far if you use your pinky finger, just go ahead and use that finger then. Certain chords will also be much easier to play if you use your pinky finger instead of your ring finger. Personally, I find it much easier to play a 24 3/4 scale length (Les Paul) then the 25 1/2 scale length (Strat) - and I have 2 of each of those guitars. You can post now and register later. × Generally having your thumb around the middle of the neck works well. I have developed a lot of stretch in my fretting hand though and can reach pretty well. Phone: (781) 352-7261 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. All you have to do is keep your head down and continue working on your craft and you too can become a great guitar player. You can also spend a few minutes on Instagram watching tiny 8-year-olds shred on the guitar as if they’ve been playing for decades. My suggestion for electric guitars is to go with .009-.042 strings. There are also 3/4 size guitars if you have very small hands. Required fields are marked *. Make me feel better by listing some famous guitar players who also have small hands. For guitarists with smaller hands, a capo is an essential tool as it can help you avoid playing too many barre chords. The most important thing to remember when performing these stretches is they should not be painful! Even if you’re unsure of what to practice initially, just forcing yourself to sit down and practice random things will eventually reveal the things you need to work on and the things you’ve already nailed down. It may seem impossible to become a great guitarist when you have certain physical limitations, but it really isn’t. Lighter gauges will cause your guitar to sound less full, but they will allow you to play a lot more effortlessly. Remember to stretch your fingers in different directions. It’s going to be even tougher to play a badly set up guitar if you have small hands as you will find yourself overstretching and applying too much tension on the strings. While it is important to know how to use your barre chords, these chords tend to put a lot of tension on your fretting hand, especially if you have smaller hands.
He had a unique ability to blend the blues, rock, jazz, and bluegrass in his improvisational lines. It hasn't kept him from becoming a fair. For further clarification on using "regular" sized guitars with small hands, think back to the famous guitarists example used in the beginning of this article. The great thing about these guitars is that they usually come with a shorter neck length which will allow you to stretch across different frets easier. Other guitar brands have their own names for the different neck profiles, but they all generally have these three common shapes. This rule is often broken, especially if you like to fret notes with your thumb like John Mayer or Jimi Hendrix, but having smaller hands will mean that you’ll want to avoid doing this too much as it causes a lot of tension on your thumb and wrist. However, this didn’t stop him from using fingerstyle techniques.
× This is something I tell everyone regardless if they have massive bananas-for-fingers or if they have small hands. angus young's are the same size as ol girl's - and she's tiny. For acoustic guitars, a good choice would be a set of .010-.047 strings. If you have large hands, it’s easy to get away with not using your pinky as you can always stretch your ring finger to fret those notes; but if you have small hands, you’re going to have to get used to using all your fingers. In terms of sound quality, many of these ¾ sized guitars stack up really well to their full-size counterparts. i always thought i had small hands, but apparently mine are the same size as jimmy page's (little bigger, actually) and slash's and several others - which left me pretty stoked. What about Red Volkaert (sp), small hands and chubby fingers = great tone.
These are just two examples from a long list of great guitarists who have overcome serious injuries to their hands and fingers. I presume Satch has small hands as he's a small guy. To sum it up, when in doubt, practice. Just like athletes stretch to improve their flexibility, musicians should stretch regularly too. Many times acoustic electric guitars with a cutaway body are smaller and easier to handle for small handed guitar players. For some reason, Clapton's hands look small? 25.5" scale guitars can sometimes feel a little big and 24.75 sometimes feels too scrunchy to me especially on the upper frets...I usually choose a 25.5 scale guitar. If stretching across different frets is a problem for you, you’ll definitely want to go with a guitar with a shorter scale length. 10 Tips for Guitar Players with Small Hands. This can not be farther from the truth. by Ze. Jerry Garcia was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.
You can begin by massaging your hands and forearms, then proceed to stretch your wrists and each finger. One common complaint I hear from students is that they feel like their hands are too small.
The key point is to opt for the slimmest neck profile you can find. Unfortunately they are short and skinny, which limits both my reach and my strength. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Do these exercises slowly and gently. Put simply, there are countless legitimate reasons for using a capo.
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