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Which is more important: Finger length, or finger thickness?

Which is more important: Finger length, or finger thickness?

  • Finger length

  • Finger thickness


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Messages
17,931
Do you know someone who cannot play certain songs because their fingers are too fat? Or because their fingers aren't long enough?

I could never play heavy strings on any of my guitars. But I have somewhat thin fingers. I 've seen guys with huge mitts like SRV who will play everything sharp unless they have medium/heavy gauge strings. And I don't know if those guys could play some of the challenging solos like Allan Holdsworth, or Steve Vai plays - because their fingers are so thick.

Thoughts?
 
Messages
17,931
Just my opinion but I think that technique has a much bigger impact than hand size.
Which would explain why some guitarists have difficulty playing particular songs, Jim.

I've had guys ask me if I could teach them how to play certain songs by Yes. And I just knew that they wouldn't ever be able to with their current abilities - they have way too much trouble changing chords quickly, or no Travis picking ability. They have trouble with picking arpeggios, too. And these are crucial, plus the somewhat long fretboard stretches, for playing Yes songs on guitar(s)!

But could Steve Howe play SRV's songs on Stevie's Fender, with those heavy strings? Tools really do make up a large part of the equation.
 

matte

Senior Member
Messages
10,418
can you play this at this tempo?
Do you know someone who cannot play certain songs because their fingers are too fat? Or because their fingers aren't long enough?

I could never play heavy strings on any of my guitars. But I have somewhat thin fingers. I 've seen guys with huge mitts like SRV who will play everything sharp unless they have medium/heavy gauge strings. And I don't know if those guys could play some of the challenging solos like Allan Holdsworth, or Steve Vai plays - because their fingers are so thick.

Thoughts?
 

Lucidology

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,365
dude,

i have little stubby bus driver fingers.
No Kidding …. Would have 'never' guessed that …
Just more to add to your fuggin' genius git-ter playing legendary status ..

You so talented, smart & funny … :)
 

bobmeredith

Member
Messages
698
My fingers are an average length. There's no way I could stretch the distances Holdsworth and some other long fingered players can.

I've met players whoose pinky is longer than my longest finger.

I'm not going to give myself RSI attempting to stretch the same distances as them.

I think really thick may be problem. A teacher friend of mine had a student whose fingers were as thick as Italian sausages. Had I known what I know now I'd have got the student (social player only) to swap to Tenor or Baritone Ukulele.

Players with moderately thick fingers can get away with a nylon string instrument for social playing and something else other than a Fender, Gibson, Ibanez string spacing. I think Jacksons used to have a slightly wider neck.
 

stevel

Member
Messages
15,165
Since you can change neither, what's the point?

What's more important IMHO would be the ability to overcome any limitations, use any so-called "deficiencies" to your advantage, etc.

Best,
Steve
 

bobmeredith

Member
Messages
698
Since you can change neither, what's the point?

What's more important IMHO would be the ability to overcome any limitations, use any so-called "deficiencies" to your advantage, etc.

Best,
Steve
True, no matter what deficiencies we all have, musicality trumps technique every time.
 






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