Best Guitar for Small Hands

The 10 Best Guitars for Small Hands (2020)

If you’re a guitar player with small hands and short fingers, then you know just how hard it can be sometimes.

Stretching your fingers for certain chord shapes, or just reaching to hit that last note with your pinky can feel impossible sometimes.

There’s no doubt, having small hands and short fingers put you at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to playing guitar.

Trust me, I speak from experience.

But not all of us were gifted with Steve Vai’s long fingers that were basically designed to play guitar.

And that’s okay!

Lucky for us, there are plenty of options that all us to compensate for our genetic inferiority :). Combine that with countless hours of practice, and you won’t even feel like you’re at a disadvantage. Once you get used to it, it’ll just be the norm.

But if you’re someone who is new to the and really struggling to get anything started, then I put together this list of guitars that you might want to check out.

In my opinion, these are the best electric and acoustic guitars for people with small hands. There’s a mix of guitars for adults and kids, so there’s something for everyone.

Here are my picks for the 10 best guitars for small hands:

Best Electric Guitars for Small Hands

If you’re an electric guitar player, then there are a ton of great options for guitars that are more geared towards players with small hands.

Whether you’re an adult trying to learn guitar for the first time, or trying to get your child into learning the instrument, you’ll definitely find something suitable on this list. You will find a good mix of full-sized guitars for adults and shorter-scale guitars for kids.

Here are my personal picks for the best electric guitars for small hands:

  • Epiphone Les Paul Special II – Top Choice
  • Fender Squier 3/4 Size Kids Mini Strat
  • Ibanez GRGM21BKN 3/4 Size Mikro
  • Ibanez 6 String GRX70QATEB Solid-Body
  • Schecter OMEN-6 6-String Electric Guitar

Epiphone Les Paul Special II – Top Choice

This Les Paul Special is a classic style, in a simple and budget-priced version. Great for players of any age or style, this full-size guitar is as versatile as they come. 

I’ve always felt humbucker pickups are very versatile, and this guitar has two great pickups on it. These give you a wide range of tones for any style you like. 

Specifications:

  • Mahogany body
  • 700T/650R open-coil humbucking pickups
  • 22-fret rosewood fingerboard
  • LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • 24.75 Scale
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Pros

  • Full-size guitar is great to learn and  grow with
  • Great tone for rock, pop, and other styles
  • Perfect for adult beginners
  • Simple, classic styling

Cons

Full-size guitar might be a little too large for some children.

Summary:

I would recommend this guitar to any adult that wants a good, solid guitar to learn on. If that adult has smaller hands or wants a smaller guitar, there are other options in this review.

This guitar will give the player many years of good tone, great vibes, with a look that never goes out of style. The casual rocker will love everything about this guitar.  

Fender Squier 3/4 Size Kids Mini Strat Electric Guitar for Small Hands

The first guitar we’ll review is the Mini Strat. This guitar is unique because it’s the smallest we’ll talk about, comes with a pack of helpful accessories to get you started. It also includes free lessons and is aimed at kids that are learning guitar. 

I have to say that this is a great choice for young beginners. You have everything you need to get started learning right away!

Specifications:

  • The 3/4-size body; 22.75″ scale length
  • “C”-shaped maple neck with 20-fret fingerboard
  • Laminated hardwood body
  • Polyurethane finish
  • Three single-coil Stratocaster pickups with five-way switching
  • Vintage-style hardtail Stratocaster bridge
  • Maple neck with 20-fret Indian Laurel fingerboard
  • Brown Sunburst

Extras include:

  • Fender Play subscription
  • Guitar strap
  • Tuner
  • Guitar picks
  • Austin Bazar Essentials DVD

Pros

  • Great value
  • Made for kids
  • Complete beginners package
  • Classic design

Cons

  • Can be too small for adults
  • Single coil pickups can be noisy for rock music or loud volumes

Summary:

This package is a great choice for kids that want to learn guitar. All material is included, and this package will give them a lot to use, work with, and learn from. 

Ibanez GRGM21BKN 3/4 Size Mikro: Electric Guitar for Small Hands

This guitar is the classic Ibanez RG design that so many players favor, including Steve Vai. I actually bought this guitar for my son years ago. 

For a smaller guitar, I’m still surprised how well this plays and how good it sounds! The neck is slim and fast, typical of most Ibanez guitars. The pickups sound very good, and handle high-gain well if needed. 

Specifications:

  • The first Ibanez compact guitar
  • 22″ scale Maple neck offers low tension and small size
  • Rosewood fingerboard with shark fin inlays
  • Dual humbuckers
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Set-up like the full-size GRG models
  • Left-handed model available model
  • Can be used as a smaller, travel guitar

Pros

  • Excellent quality guitar
  • Easy to learn on
  • Easy to grow with
  • Great for rock or higher-gain music

Cons

  • It’s rock styling might not appeal to someone wanting a more subtle guitar

Summary:

Some smaller guitars are made for beginners, and this one will give any beginner a solid instrument to learn on and grow with. This is also a great travel guitar or smaller guitar for a professional to add to their collection as well. 

I love using this to warm up, and even to jam on a smaller guitar at times. Fun guitar!

Ibanez 6 String GRX70QATEB Solid-Body: Electric Guitar for Small Hands

I’m always impressed with the style and quality of guitars Ibanez makes for the price they charge. This guitar is a great example of that. 

From the beautiful finish to the pickups and tremolo bridge, it’s hard to believe that you get such a quality guitar for the price you paid!

Specifications:

  • Fast, slim Maple neck with New Zealand Pine fingerboard
  • Beautiful quilted maple art grain top
  • High output Infinity R pickups
  • 5-way selector switch
  • T102 tremolo

Pros

  • Beautiful, styling finish
  • Fast and easy to play
  • Tremolo for added versatility
  • Outstanding value
  • Built to last

Cons

  • Might be too flashy for some
  • Full-size neck and body might be too large for small children

Summary:

For any fans of rock, jazz, fusion or metal, this guitar will not disappoint. Great tone, fast neck, gorgeous maple finish, great styling, and in a design that can appeal to many. 

This guitar packs a lot of features, style, and value into a small price. I can’t think of a better, more versatile guitar for the money than this guitar. If you’re not sure what to get, I have no doubt you’ll love this guitar!

Schecter OMEN-6 6-String Electric Guitar

Like Ibanez, Schecter is another guitar company that produces guitars that are of very high quality, features and styling that are incredible values. 

Every time I pick up one of these guitars, I feel like I’m playing something that costs over $1,000. The fit and finish, and beautiful but simple styling are top-notch all the way. 

This guitar can sound mellow and light, or mean and aggressive. 

Specifications:

  • Pearloid Semi Goth Inlays
  • Basswood Body
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • Schecter Diamond Plus Pickups

Pros:

  • Top-level styling all around
  • Great, versatile tone
  • Simple but classy styling
  • Excellent value

Cons:

  • No tremolo bridge for those that want it
  • Full-size body might be too large for small children

Summary:

Although a full-size guitar, the shape of the body and slim neck make this a great player for smaller hands. 

The tone and styling are all excellent. This is a very versatile guitar for any style of music, both for versatile tones and for looks and styling. 

For someone that wants an outstanding guitar, for any style they want, to learn and grow on, this would be my personal choice. There’s nothing that I don’t love about this guitar. 

Best Acoustic Guitars for Small Hands

If you’re a guitar player with small hands looking to pick up your first acoustic guitar, then you’re in luck.

There are plenty of options from the most reputable brands when it comes to acoustic guitars specifically made for those with smaller hands.

Industry-leading acoustic guitar manufacturers such as Talyor, Martin, Jasmine and Yamaha all have dedicated short-scale guitars for those with smaller hands.

Here are my 5 picks for the best acoustic guitars for small hands:

  • Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar
  • Martin LXK2 Little Martin Koa Pattern HPL Top
  • Yamaha JR2TBS 3/4 Scale
  • Jasmine S34C NEX
  • Oscar Schmidt OG1FYS-A-U 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar

Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar, Mahogany Top

Having been a Taylor owner before, I can tell you everything Taylor makes is high quality and feel great to play. I’ve played this Baby Taylor many times and it’s nothing short of perfect. 

Made as a smaller, travel guitar, this is a perfect fit for smaller hands. It’s also not so small that an adult can’t enjoy playing it as well. It’s just a very well-made, great-sounding, great-playing guitar. 

This guitar has a very nice tone for its small size, and the neck is very easy to play on for players of any level. 

Specifications:

  • 6-string Acoustic Guitar with Mahogany Top
  • Layered Sapele Back
  • Sides – Natural
  • Neck Width 1-11/16 inch
  • Light feel, satin finish

Pros

  • Small size is great for small hands or children
  • Great tone and feel
  • Perfect for travel or extra guitar
  • Comes with a very nice gig bag

Cons

  • Might be too small for some adults

Summary:

Taylor is known for making very nice acoustics. Their quality and level of detail are excellent in every guitar they make. 

This guitar is not only perfect for players of any level but is also a lot of fun to play. Once you pick it up, it’s hard to put down. 

Martin LXK2 Little Martin Koa Pattern HPL Top with Padded Gig Bag: 

When I first played one of these, I was playing mostly Taylors and didn’t “want” to like it. I was looking for a small travel guitar at the time. 

I was pleasantly surprised at how well this played, and how good it sounded. It had the best tone of any smaller acoustic guitar in this range. 

Specifications:

  • 1-style” Sitka spruce bracing
  • Martin’s patented neck mortise
  • C.F. Martin script logo on the headstock
  • Travel, practice, beginning students
  • modified 0-14 Martin body
  • Sitka spruce bracing
  • Micarta fretboard and bridge
  • 23″ scale Stratabond modified low-oval neck
  • Martin’s patented neck mortise
  • Gotoh nickel-plated tuners

Pros

  • Excellent tone for a small guitar
  • Perfect for travel or small hands
  • Martin makes top quality guitars
  • Great-looking finish
  • Comes with very nice gig bag

Cons

  • Might be too small for an adult as their main guitar

Summary:

Even before I owned Martin guitars, I liked this one very much. From the moment I picked it up, it just felt and sounded great. 

This guitar would be my first choice for someone that wanted a small guitar but wanted it with a bigger sound than most guitars this size. 

A beginner with smaller hands will be able to learn well on this and will be very satisfied with the feel and tone for years. 

Yamaha JR2TBS 3/4 Scale: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands

Yamaha is pretty good at making good value-priced guitars, giving you quality without breaking the bank. 

This guitar is very simple, is a nice small size, and gives you a solid instrument to play on. It is lower in price than most of the others in this review. 

Specifications:

  • Tobacco burst
  • Spruce Top
  • Mahogany Back and Sides
  • NATO neck
  • Deluxe padded bag included
  • Rosewood Fingerboard and Bridge
  • Chrome hardware

Pros

  • Great traveler, newer players
  • Comes with gig bag
  • Very low price for a small, capable guitar
  • The ¾ body is a good balance between small and full-size guitars

Cons

  • The quality is not as good as the others in this list like the Taylor and Martin

Summary:

Being one of the lower-priced guitars in this review, you’ll notice why when you play it. It’s not a bad guitar, but it’s very simple, very basic, stays in tune, and nothing extra. 

For someone wanting the cheapest, smaller guitar that can play well, this can be a great choice. The tone is good enough to play often, and the neck is a good size to learn and practice regularly. 

Jasmine S34C NEX: Electric Guitar for Small Hands

Jasmine guitars are affiliated with Ovation and can be very good values. This guitar is no exception. 

Although closer to a full-size guitar, the neck is nice and slim for smaller hands. This is a good choice for someone wanting a full-size acoustic, on a limited budget. 

Specifications:

  • Dreadnought body style
  • Laminate Spruce top
  • Sapele back and sides
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Synthetic bone nut and saddle
  • Grand orchestra-style guitar
  • Rich, well-balanced sound
  • Graceful Venetian-style cutaway
  • Advanced “X” Bracing
  • Slim neck
  • Full 25 1/2″ scale length

Pros

  • Full-size guitar
  • Great value
  • Good quality build
  • Good tone for the price

Cons

  • Full-size guitar body might be too big children

Summary:

Although not the best guitar in this review, it’s still an incredible value for the money. A good quality guitar at this low price was impossible to find years ago. 

Jasmine did a great job of making this all-around versatile guitar at this price level. 

I feel this is the best choice if you have a small budget but still want a good, reliable guitar to play on. 

Oscar Schmidt OG1FYS-A-U 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands

When my sister wanted to learn guitar years ago, this is the guitar I picked for her. It fit perfectly in her budget, was the right size for her, and she loved the way it felt and sounded. 

She picked a blue version and played it a lot for the first few years. I would play it when I went to her apartment. 

So, I can tell you it’s definitely a great little guitar to play. 

Specifications:

  • Select Spruce wood top plus catalpa wood sides and back for good resonance
  • Alternative/engineered/Tech wood Fingerboard and Bridge
  • Fully adjustable truss rod, Chrome die-cast tuners
  • Wide variety of colors

Pros

  • Great price
  • Good choice of colors and finishes
  • Comfortable neck to play on
  • Excellent value for the money
  • Fun to play on
  • Perfect size for both smaller hands and larger hands alike

Cons

  • Some might want less color choice and a higher-quality guitar

Summary:

For someone looking at a good, playable smaller size guitar, with various color options, and at a very low price, this is a solid choice. 

Although this guitar isn’t a top-level instrument, it is certainly capable of being played for many years. A great choice for someone to learn and grow on. 

This guitar would also appeal to someone that just wants a nice-looking guitar in a smaller size to play on occasion, but that is also good enough to play for years. 

How to Choose the Best Guitar For Small Hands – A Complete Buyer’s Guide

If you’re looking for the best guitar for small hands, there are several different features that you should consider looking at. 

Keep in mind that these are just some suggestions to help start looking. To be completely honest, even if you have small hands, you can be perfectly fine with any size guitar if you put in the practice. 

At the end of the day, building up finger strength and dexterity will have a much more significant impact than the guitar you’re using.

I personally am a guitar player with small hands, and I have played hundreds of different guitars without ever feeling at a disadvantage. 

But if you’re new and want a guitar that will fit you just a little bit better, here are 5 factors to consider when choosing the best guitar for small hands. 

Short Scale Length

The scale length of a guitar is the distance between the nut and the bridge of the guitar. A guitar’s scale length is important because it will typically determine how long the neck of the guitar is and the tension of the guitar strings. 

The longer the scale length of the guitar, the longer the guitar neck will be and the more tension there will be on the strings, making it harder to press the frets and perform string bends. 

If a guitar has a shorter scale length, then the neck of the guitar will be shorter and there will be less tension on the strings, meaning the frets are easier to press and the string bends are easier. 

For full-size guitars, the most common scale lengths are 24.75” (Les Paul style guitars) and 25.5” (Stratocaster and Super Strat-style guitars).

In addition, there are also mini guitars that are ¾ scale guitars that have a scale length of 22.75” or even less sometimes. 

If you’re a guitar player with small hands and short fingers, then you might want to consider getting a guitar that is a shorter scale length. 

The shorter the scale length, the shorter the guitar neck. The shorter the guitar neck, the less distance between the frets, meaning you won’t have to reach as far. 

In addition, since there is less tension on the strings, you won’t need to apply as much pressure to play a note. This is good if you have small hands because if you really need to reach to hit a note with your pinky, you’ll still be able to play it since it’s easier to press.

Many people have trouble playing with their pinky at all since it’s much weaker than the other fingers. But if you’re a guitar player with small hands, learning how to use your pinky is a must. 

Thin Neck Guitar

If you’re someone with smaller hands, then picking a guitar with a thin neck can make a huge difference in playability. 

Guitars with thin necks are much easier to grip and get your hands around. 

This means you’ll be able to get more leverage to really stretch your fingers and maneuver around the guitar neck. 

Alternatively, if you’re playing on a guitar with a thick, chunky neck, like a Gibson Les Paul, then it’ll pretty much fill up the entire palm of your hand. This will make it much more difficult to wrap your fingers around the neck limit your maneuverability. 

Some guitars that are known for having extremely thin and comfortable necks are Ibanez guitars, Ernie Ball Music Man guitars, and Schecter guitars. 

Guitar With Low Action

If you’re someone who has small hands, then having a guitar with excellent playability is essential. 

One of the main factors that determine the playability of a guitar is string action. 

The string action of a guitar is the distance between the string and fret. The lower the string action, the closer the string is to the fret. 

Guitars with low action are preferable because since there is less distance between the string and fret, the strings are easier to press down since there isn’t as much travel. 

This is VERY helpful if you’re someone with small hands because you’ll be stretching your fingers to play notes and chords often. 

The more you stretch your fingers, the harder it will be to apply pressure to the strings since you won’t have as much leverage. 

Therefore, having a guitar that requires less force to press the frets down in the first place is definitely helpful. 

Keep in mind you don’t actually need to buy a new guitar with low action as the string action is something that you can adjust with any guitar. 

However, depending on the fretboard radius of the guitar neck (how flat it is), some guitars can be set to a lower action than others without fret buzz. The flatter the fretboard radius (16” or above) the lower you can set the action. 

Conclusion

To wrap things up, I wanted to emphasize one final point.

People come in all different shapes and sizes. Some people are gifted with long Steve Vai fingers that are meant for shredding. Others, like myself, might not be so lucky.

When I was first starting out, I didn’t think that the guitar was the right instrument for me because my hands weren’t big enough.

And while having small hands and short fingers is definitely a disadvantage, it is certainly possible to overcome if you put in the practice.

In addition, finding the best guitar that is comfortable for you can give you the extra edge that you need.

That is why I created this list of guitars with players with small hands in mind.

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