10 Best Guitars For Big Hands: Navigating the World of Acoustics for Those with Mighty Mitts
So, you’ve got those big hands that seem like they could stretch from one end of the fretboard to the other in a single bound. While those with smaller hands are looking for compact designs, you’re probably wondering if there’s a guitar spacious enough to accommodate your beefy fingers without cramping your style. Well, you’re in luck! The world of acoustic guitars offers some gems tailor-made for larger hands. Let’s dive in and find the right fit for you!
Big Guitar Guide
Understanding Guitar Sizes and Neck Profiles
Before we start listing out guitars, it’s crucial to get the basics right. The feel and playability of a guitar for someone with large hands is influenced by its body size and the profile and width of the neck.
- Dreadnought: Ah, the classic. This is a full-sized, beefy guitar that offers a lot of space for strumming and has a deep resonant sound.
- Jumbo: As the name suggests, these guitars have a large body and pack a punch when it comes to volume.
- Grand Auditorium: These fall between the dreadnought and the concert size, giving a balanced sound.
Neck Widths & Profiles:
The width of the neck determines how much space there is between strings, and the profile determines how the back of the neck feels in your hand.
- Standard neck width is around 1.68 inches, but you might want something a bit wider.
- Profiles can be ‘C’, ‘U’, or ‘V’ shaped, with the ‘U’ or thicker ‘C’ profiles often being more comfortable for larger hands.
Top Picks: Acoustic Guitars for the Generously Handed
Time to get down to business. Here’s a selection of acoustics that cater brilliantly to those with larger hands:
1. Gibson SJ-200
Also known as the “King of the Flat-Tops”, the Gibson SJ-200 is a jumbo-sized acoustic that provides ample room for strumming and is known for its rich and powerful sound. The neck is a comfortable rounded profile that should feel just right.
2. Martin HD-28
This dreadnought beauty is not only known for its iconic Martin tone but also its roomy fingerboard. With a low-profile neck and a width that gives your fingers ample spacing, it’s a great pick for big hands.
3. Guild F-55
Another jumbo acoustic, the Guild F-55 boasts a spacious rosewood fretboard and a ‘C’ shaped neck profile, giving those with larger hands a great playing experience. Plus, it has a sound as big as its size.
4. Seagull S6 Original
The Seagull S6, while not a jumbo, offers a unique wider neck which measures at 1.8 inches. This Canadian-made guitar not only sounds fantastic but gives that extra bit of room for chunkier fingers.
5. Taylor 810ce
Falling under Taylor’s dreadnought category, the 810ce offers a comfortable neck and a spacious ebony fingerboard. And with Taylor’s signature bright sound, it’s a treat for the ears as well.
6. Epiphone EJ-200SCE
A more budget-friendly cousin to the Gibson SJ-200, the EJ-200SCE offers that classic jumbo body with a select maple body, producing a clear, bright tone. Apart from its affordability, the SlimTaper “D” profile neck is a nice touch for those wanting a bit more room.
7. Takamine P3D
Takamine’s Pro Series P3D dreadnought offers a solid cedar top with sapele back and sides. It’s got a sweet, balanced sound that many big-handed players appreciate. The mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard give ample space, and the satin finish makes moving up and down the fretboard a breeze.
8. Breedlove Solo Dreadnought
Breedlove, a brand known for innovation, offers this dreadnought with a unique side soundhole, so you get a little “monitor” effect while playing. With a neck width of 1.69 inches and a comfortable profile, it provides a great feel, especially for those with beefier fingers.
9. Yamaha LL16D ARE
Part of Yamaha’s esteemed L series, the LL16D ARE combines traditional craftsmanship with modern enhancements. It’s a dreadnought with a solid Engelmann spruce top treated with Yamaha’s ARE technology for a vintage, aged sound. It comes with a 5-ply neck that resists warping and produces a beefy sound, suitable for big hands and an aggressive playing style.
10. Washburn HD10S
An affordable dreadnought option, the Washburn HD10S boasts a solid Sitka spruce top and sounds way more expensive than it is. The neck is comfortably shaped, and the wider string spacing can be a blessing for those who find other guitars a tad cramped.
Tips for the Large-Handed Guitar Shopper
- Play Before Purchasing: It’s all well and good reading specs, but nothing beats the actual feel of the guitar in your hands.
- Think About Action: The action, or height of the strings above the fretboard, can be adjusted. Higher action might feel more comfortable and reduce the chances of your fingers muting adjacent strings.
- Don’t Get Stuck on Size Alone: While jumbos and dreadnoughts are recommended, the neck’s width and profile play a huge role in comfort. Some concert or auditorium models with the right neck can be just as comfortable.
- Consider Customization: If you fall in love with a guitar but something isn’t quite right, remember you can often get adjustments made or even consider a custom build.
Large hands, while they may seem cumbersome at times, can be a blessing in the world of guitar. With the right instrument, those mighty fingers of yours can dance along the fretboard, producing music that resonates with soul and depth. Remember, it’s not just about finding a big guitar but finding the right guitar for you. Happy strumming!