10 Best Guitars For Small Hands: Your Guide to Big Sound with Little Fingers

Maybe you’ve found that every time you reach out to play that beautiful chord, your fingers are doing the splits, or you’re just not getting the grip you want. Trust me, you’re not alone. Having small hands or shorter fingers can sometimes feel like a bit of a roadblock when playing certain guitars, especially those gigantic dreadnoughts. But fret not, because the guitar world is vast, and there’s something for everyone. Let’s dive into some acoustic guitars tailored for those with smaller hands.

The Lowdown on Guitar Sizes and Neck Widths

Before we jump into specific recommendations, let’s get a bit geeky. Two primary things determine how a guitar feels to someone with small hands: the size of the body and the width of the neck.

Body Sizes:

  1. Dreadnought: The big boy of acoustic guitars. Probably not your first choice if you’ve got small hands.
  2. Concert & Grand Concert: A bit smaller than the dreadnought. Better suited for small hands.
  3. Parlor: These are the compact cars of guitars. Great for petite players and those with small hands.
  4. Travel & Mini: Often for kids, but don’t let that deter you. They can be just right for adults with smaller hands too.

Neck Widths: This is about how wide the neck of the guitar is. If it’s too wide, forming chords can be a struggle. Narrower necks are more comfy for those with smaller hands.

Top Picks: Acoustic Guitars for Smaller Hands

Alright, let’s cut to the chase. Here are some acoustic guitars that are beloved by players with petite phalanges:

1. Taylor GS Mini

The Taylor GS Mini is a superstar in this category. While it’s categorized as a “travel” guitar, many use it as their primary acoustic. With a shorter 23.5-inch scale length, it’s easier on the fingers but doesn’t compromise on sound. It packs a punch!

2. Martin LX1 Little Martin

Another “travel” guitar that is a giant in terms of sound. The Martin LX1 is known for its rich tones. Plus, it’s the model that Ed Sheeran played at the beginning of his career. If it’s good enough for Ed…

3. Yamaha APXT2

A 3/4 size version of the world best-selling acoustic-electric guitar, the APX500III. This beauty is not just compact but also comes with electronics. Plug in and rock out!

4. Fender CP-60S Parlor Small Body Acoustic

Fender is usually associated with electric guitars, but they make some mean acoustics too. The CP-60S has a parlor shape, making it fantastic for small hands, and offers great value for its price.

5. Ibanez PN12E Mahogany Parlor Acoustic-Electric

Ibanez might not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking about acoustics, but they’ve been stepping up their game. The PN12E is a compact parlor guitar that also offers the flexibility of plugging in, thanks to its built-in electronics.

My apologies for the oversight! Let’s continue with the list:

6. Seagull S6 Original Slim

The Skinny: Canadian-made beauty that boasts impeccable craftsmanship. The “Slim” in its name stands for its slender neck design, which is perfect for players with smaller hands.

Why It’s Great: The Seagull S6 offers a solid cedar top, which provides a warm sound. Its narrow neck makes playing more comfortable without sacrificing tonal quality. It’s a favorite among many players, not just those with small hands!

7. Cordoba C9 Parlor

The Skinny: A classical touch for those who like nylon strings and a more intimate sound.

Why It’s Great: The Cordoba C9 Parlor has a smaller body size, making it easier to handle, but with its solid cedar top and mahogany back and sides, the sound remains full and resonant. The neck is also designed with a 50mm nut width that suits players with smaller hands.

8. Guild M-240E Troubadour

The Skinny: Guild brings back the vintage with the Troubadour. Its design is reminiscent of the 60s, and its size is perfect for the modern player with petite hands.

Why It’s Great: Besides its striking vintage looks, the M-240E delivers a balanced sound, courtesy of its solid Sitka spruce top. The slim C-shaped neck allows easy playability for those tricky chords.

9. Alvarez AP66SHB Artist Series

The Skinny: Known for its mahogany richness, this Alvarez model is perfect for blues enthusiasts with smaller hands.

Why It’s Great: It’s all mahogany – top, back, sides. This gives the AP66SHB a warm and mid-focused sound. The neck is designed with a narrower width, making it easier for small hands to navigate.

10. Breedlove Discovery Concert

The Skinny: Part of Breedlove’s Discovery series, this model offers a smaller concert size without compromising on its big sound.

Why It’s Great: With a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides, it provides a well-rounded tone. The slim neck profile ensures that players with smaller hands can easily form chords and navigate the fretboard.

A Few Tips When Shopping for Your Compact Companion

  1. Play Before You Pay: Always a good idea to get your hands (small as they might be) on a guitar before buying. Each guitar, even within the same model, can feel slightly different.
  2. Don’t Ignore Kids’ Guitars: While some might have a toy-like reputation, many are of high quality and might be just the right size for you.
  3. Consider Your Playing Style: If you’re into fingerpicking, you might want a slightly wider neck than if you’re primarily strumming.
  4. Adjustments Can Help: If you find a guitar you love but it’s not 100% comfortable, consider getting a professional setup. A good technician can make adjustments that cater to your needs.

To Wrap it Up

So there you have it! A small hand is no barrier to a big sound. The world of guitars is expansive, and with a little research and some hands-on trial and error, you can find the perfect fit for your musical journey. Whether you’re rocking a parlor guitar or jamming on a mini, remember that music knows no size. Play on!