Any guitars you can't play as well as you'd like due to small hands?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by NickoO, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    Muscle memory is a real thing, and quite important for many. When you think about it, the difference in scale length between an SG and a Strat is only 3/4". Spread that over 22 or so frets, and you're talking about differences in reach from 1 fret to the next or several frets up gets pretty small. Measured in thousandths, really. So, how does hand size enter into it? The differences get even smaller, the higher up scale you go.

    But, if you're not accustomed to placing your fingers very deliberately and instead rely on muscle memory, you'll start fat-fingering notes as if you've not played in a year or more.

    I know some years back I used to be able to cover Satriani tunes pretty well, unless I didn't have MY guitar. Then, fuhgeddaboudit. Embarassingly sloppy. Miss half the notes.
     
  2. wirsteve

    wirsteve Member

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    My hands are small too.

    I’m able to play anything but it my PRS SE is a dream.

    My 62 AVRI Fender Tele has a 7.25" radius, C-shape rosewood neck with thinner fretwire than modern Fenders. That is pretty easy to play too.
     
  3. suparsonic

    suparsonic Member

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    I don’t suffer that problem I have man size hands (XL)
     
  4. ToObZ

    ToObZ Member

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    Randy Rhoads was a small dude with small hands...
     
  5. Freedom

    Freedom Member

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    As many have noted and as history shows the size of the hands alone isn't or shouldn't be a limiting factor.

    Having said that, to me the limiting factor is the actual techinque. For instance, I use my thumb as well for fretting (I rarely to never play barre chords) and since I don't have super big hands this can be easier achieved with narrow and thin necks. That alone makes me very picky in terms of necks/guitars and I have also modified the necks of all my electrics.

    Still, sometimes the absolute numbers don't say much as there were Musicmans (I clearly remember one of the models was the Axis) with chunky necks (to me) that were not to difficult to adjust to, while others like Ibanez (very thin but very wide as well) or a Parker I tried out a few months ago (I would say, not thin, not particularly thick but too wide for my me) would not allow me to use my thumb at all or efficiently enough to be worth of using it at all.

    Still, if I had to play with one of these then I would by changing my technique, finding out what's the most effective one for me and for that particular instrument and take it from there (obviously, that would take me some time but it would still be doable, no problem).
     
  6. misterg71

    misterg71 Hack Silver Supporting Member

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    All guitars I can’t play as well as I’d like, due to lack of talent!
     
  7. Izy

    Izy Member

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    I have small hands too so it prevents me from playing Les Pauls with baseball bat necks. A lot of Lentz guitars tend to have beefy necks that don't really work for me. But somehow I manage to score 2 that works for me even though Scott said the necks are big.

    strangely they feel very comfortable to me and I could play them with ease. But no neck fits me as well as the Dpergo strat I just bought.

    That neck is perfect for my hands.

    Now I just need to stop buying stuff, shut up and practice. Lol
     
  8. Scary Uncle G.

    Scary Uncle G. Member

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    Most likely all guitars. Yup, I can’t play any guitars as well as I’d like. Small hands, yes, that must be the reason. Yup. ;)
     
  9. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    If it's not that, it's the gear. More guys are deprived of a lifetime of riches and fame due to inadequate gear than probably anything else...
     
  10. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    One of the reasons no one else's suggestions are necessarily good for anyone else is that "hand size" is misleading as it's a combination of hand size per se and finger length.

    You can find many people for whom the measured distance from the edge of their wrists to the end of their fingers are identical but their hand and finger size vary significantly, as do also the flexibility and range of motion of our individual finger joints.

    For this reason, there really is no substitute for test-driving a specific guitar personally to determine whether it'll be comfortable for us. And I'd even take it a step further - test driving it over the course of a 2-3 hour gig (or equivalent straight playing time) as I've experienced guitars that felt good at first but were killers two hours later.
     
    Go Cat Go!! likes this.
  11. Marco.au

    Marco.au Member

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    Small hands here too. I prefer short scale, narrow neck, deep c or v profile. I have an american std strat which is great, but the longer scale takes its toll on F or G blues shuffles (1st & 3rd fret root). Have a Japanese epi casino with a 39mm nut, and I love it. I found neck size nirvana on the fender duo sonic: 24inch scale, 41mm nut, some depth, but well cut shoulders.

    now gas’ing for a dual humbucker guitar, but they all seem to have a wide neck. Just tried a yamaha revstar, and the 43mm nut feels very wide to me. Happy to hear alternatives!

    And I’m a terrible player on any neck or guitar. I’ll blame the hands, the guitar, or any other excuse at hand.
     
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  12. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    There are 10 year old girls out there covering Yngwie songs. There are neck shapes I like and ones I don't but I have always been the limiting factor, never my guitar.
     
    MkIII Renegade likes this.
  13. Steadfastly

    Steadfastly Member

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    As well as hands you need to take into account the fingers and shape of the hands. I friend of mine has webbed fingers, not allowing him to stretch like most can. I hope you refrain from telling new players to just adapt. That doesn't work for all players and can be discouraging for new and inexperienced players. I know that from experience.
     
  14. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

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    the one I sold to Hard Rock Cafe ...
    [​IMG]
    turned out it was more than a handful. :oops:
    lol,
    Rhino
     
  15. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Well said.

    Each individual guy's hands are different. What ultimately works for him, may differ.

    I've always thought of my hands as small, because I competed in whitewater kayaking with guys with huge, bear paw hands. But what I actually have is a normal hand with scaled down fingers.

    And the thing that limits me is the flat, shreddy neck of the 1980s, 1990s. The very guitars that the O.P. says help him, leave my hands aching and unsupported and leave me angry because of clams I attribute to the neck section.

    You got large, medium and small hands with all different shapes and lengths of fingers and you got guys with arthritis and old injuries - in the end, better to just try a lot of neck types and make no advance assumptions as to what will work and what won't. I have unpleasant memories from going into guitar shops, especially after 1975, and people tried to "size up" my hands and wouldn't direct me to the fatter necked guitars because they just assumed they weren't for me. It wasn't that guitar salesman's Gene Simmons hairpiece that bothered me, or the next salesman's penchant for spandex, or the third salesman's obsession with pointy guitars - it was their refusal to listen to me when I said I wanted a fat neck on my next guitar.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
    Steadfastly likes this.
  16. Ridgeback

    Ridgeback Member

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    The PRS wide\thin neck profile, the R8 baseball bat, and many acoustics. Since I had my carpal tunnel fixed, I can play most anything else comfortably but that had nothing to do with hand size. Some of those spread out jazz chords are more difficult on longer scale necks with smaller hands.
     
  17. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

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    I always say I kinda hate that one, and it's true.
    but lately I played my 1997 CE24 with w/t neck a lot again, for some unique tones she does (aftermarket PUs, of course), and I have almost made my peace with the neck, let's say we get along. :dunno
    certainly my least favourite neck of all I own, but I guess I could adjust if it were my only guitar ...
    as it's the shoulders that bother me; I guess I learned to adjust my hand position slightly.
    the good side of the drama - it feels sooo nice to go back to a serious DGT- or wide/fat neck again ... :D
    lol,
    Rhino
     
  18. Krausewitz

    Krausewitz Member

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    I'm small (5'6") and have correspondingly small hands. I've only once or twice came across guitars that I couldn't really play because the neck was too big. I tend to prefer relatively chunky necks (.900 at the first fret).
     
  19. gunslinger

    gunslinger Member

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  20. Angstwulf

    Angstwulf Member

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    Can't do Andy Summers chords or anything that spans more than 4 frets on a Stratocaster below certain frets that I can on a Les Paul or Jaguar neck. Oddly, I am more comfortable (less crampy) on thicker necks.

    Then again, I can suck equally on necks of all sizes and scales.
     

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