How To Spot The Best Guitar For Small Hands
Most people who try learning the guitar start with the standard one. Even people with smaller hands. This is what makes learning the guitar difficult.
Women and younger children who try learning the guitar are faced with this simple yet crucial dilemma. Not being able to grip the fret properly or reach certain strings might sound simple but, they do affect your learning a lot.
It is important that you find the right guitar size for you. Not only will you be able to touch the fret and the strings correctly, but you also won't have any trouble carrying it. Or even tucking it under your arm during performances.
Finding the right guitar size for you will also make your experience more fun and enjoyable! With that said, we will be giving you tips on what to look for when finding the best guitar for small hands.
Check this link for more tips on the basics of learning the guitar!
Our Top 5 Picks
The Yamaha JR1 is built for small hands due to its perfect ¾ size. The fingerboard of Yamaha width is at a convenient 43 mm. On the other hand, the string scale is just at 540 mm. Furthermore, the body depth is at 80-90 mm.
Yamaha has long been famous for its different instruments. Their junior-sized guitars are no exception to great sound and quality. Yamaha models the JR1 after the famous FG series. Like the FG series, selected wood and careful craftsmanship give you the best sound quality.
Also, the change in frame measurements suites your playstyle more if you’re a person with small hands.
Speaking of craftsmanship and material, the JR1 has a spruce top, meranti back, and rosewood fingerboard and bridge
- Great Legacy Accessory Bundle
The JR1 comes with many add-ons that make the $150-$160 reasonable.
Comes with legacy picks, Yamaha’s folk guitar strings, DVD
Guitar accessories are also included such as a clip-on tuner, capo, guitar strap, and peg winder.
- Great size for its strings and body.
- Ideal for beginners; has all the necessities that you need.
- The material is top-notch. Built for durability and the best sound quality.
- Pegs might not be in sync
- Tuner is quite complicated to use.
The Hola HG-36SB gives you an option to purchase it at either the junior or standard size. This is perfect if you’re looking to transition to a bigger guitar after using a junior that’s the same.
The guitar comes with great material and color. It has a rosewood fingerboard and bridge to go with a mahogany back. Although it’s not a top-tier brand, Hola still delivers in sound quality.
The strings are D'Addario Coated Phosphor Bronze strings. This gives it a high quality that’s ready to play as soon as you buy it.
Furthermore, the strings are well matched. You won’t need to adjust the strings or grind the bridge. The sound is fully resonant and mellow.
- Excellent sound quality
The laminated wood gives it a rich high tone together with good bass.
- High-quality material
Features TUSQ nut and compensated TUSQ saddle
- Very affordable ranging below $100
- Comes with chrome die-cast tuners.
- Not ready to play upon unboxing
Nuts are not glued, nut slots are positioned high, sharp fret ends, and many more components need a proper setup.
Can have a strange sound sometimes that might be due to loose parts on the pegs
The Rogue Starter Acoustic Guitar features a Walnut colored finish to its paint. It is a ⅞” scale guitar. This is perfect for toddlers as well and aspiring guitarists with small hands. (specifically for right-handed players) Its neck is made out of maple and its fretboard out of rosewood.
It comes with Martin strings, usually bronze. Phosphor Bronze is often used for acoustic guitars, giving them a clear sound.
It also comes in other color finishes such as the Red Burst and the Natural Acoustic Guitar paint. However, the case is sold separately.
- It is very lightweight as well.
Like the Music Alley’s Classical Guitar, it is also a perfect travel guitar. The size is ideal for people with small hands as well.
- It is cheaper than most other guitars within this category.
It is a decent guitar at least, for its price range. Its paint finish is not as thin as it is more on the glossy side.
- It has very high string action.
This might pose some problems for beginners as you will have to adjust the saddle and the truss rod to keep your hands from hurting too much.
- The strings are not as good.
You might have to buy new strings for this guitar especially if you are looking for a warmer and richer sound.
- The saddle is made out of plastic.
Like any other cheap guitars, synthetic saddles might have problems keeping your guitar in tune.
The Strong Wind is at a convenient ¾ size that makes playing easier thanks to its nylon strings. These nylon strings not only deliver comfort for your fingers, but it also generates top-notch sound.
The material of the Strong Wind’s body is also high quality. It has a laminated linden top and a basswood back and side.
Furthermore, the components of the Strong Wind are all designed to be high quality. The fingerboard is straight, and the tuners give a good intonation guide to your guitar.
- Has excellent tone and sound quality
- Material used gives it a sleek design and long-term durability
- Comes with a tuner, polishing cloth, spare strings, and a gig bag.
- Strings may stretch a lot, not ideal for beginners
- The painting on the guitar has imperfections, and there are rough edges too
There can be sharp wood shavings on the fret area
- Quite difficult to tune at times because of poorly tied strings
The Music Alley’s MA34-N Classical Junior Guitar is a 34” classical guitar with nylon strings. It is very lightweight as it only weighs a good 2.1lbs. This is perfect for children who want to learn to play the guitar, ideally 5-8 years old.
It also comes with a free two-month Take Lessons live. This will give you access to over 200 live, online group classes with different expert instructors for each month.
- It is very lightweight.
Its light weight is perfect for people with small hands, beginners, children as well as musicians on the go.
- Its strings are nylon.
Nylon strings would be less harsh on your hands. They also produce a more clean and crisp sound as compared to steel strings. (which also accumulate rust, just as we mentioned earlier.)
- It comes with two-month free guitar lessons.
This will help you learn the guitar even when you’re alone.
- The strings have trouble staying in tune.
Because of its material and the nylon strings, this guitar gets out of tune now and then. This might be a hassle for beginners who still can’t tune guitars without a tuning device.
- It is coated with a thin layer of paint.
The thin coat of paint might deteriorate very quickly and leave you with a short lifespan guitar.
- There are few complaints about unwanted buzzing in the fret.
When you play one same note all the way up the fret on some of the higher keys, you might encounter this.
What To Look For When Buying A Guitar
Of course, if you are one of these “small hands” cases where you want to find the right guitar size for you, this would be the first thing you should be looking out for.
Is the fret too thick or too thin? Can you adequately reach all the strings for the primary keys/notes? Is it light enough for you to carry with ease?
Being able to properly hold the neck and carry the body of the guitar will have a significant role as to how you play.
The second thing you might want to look out for would be the strings. Do not take the strings lightly especially if you don’t want to end up with callouses and band-aids after a session.
Determine how many strings do you like or need. Usually, the acoustic guitar has five strings. However, if you feel like you want to go the extra mile, you can always opt for the six string guitars.
Let me warn you, though. It was already hard enough learning the guitar with five strings. I had trouble reaching the fifth string with my small hands. So if you’re a beginner and you just want to focus on learning how to play, the five string guitar might be the better option.
You can check this video for more information on choosing the right guitar strings for you.
Kinds Of Strings
Anyways, you do not need to be pressured into covering more notes/keys when it’s your first time learning. Next, is the type of string. The kind of string is what usually identifies the acoustic guitar from a classical guitar. Nylon and steel strings are among the most common materials used for guitar strings.
Steel strings could be much harsher for beginners or people with small hands. Pressing too hard on this kind of strings might leave marks on your fingers. Or worst, wounds. Aside from that, steel strings could also accumulate rust. If not well maintained, this might become a source of infection for your fingers as well.
However, steel strings are quieter in general. They produce a softer, more mellow music which is perfect if you love acoustic or classic songs.
Nylon strings, on the other hand, are made with different “tensions.” Nylon strings with lighter tension are easier to play. However, because they’re light and they quickly vibrate, they can give out some unwanted buzz. On the other hand, normal or medium tension produces a consistent tone.
Another factor you should look into when choosing strings for your guitar is its gauge. The thickness or the diameter of the string also plays a significant role in your learning experience and music.
Note that the strings matter a lot. Both for your experience and the music you will be producing.
The Guitar Itself
Third and last thing you should be looking out for is the guitar itself. Is the wood that they used for high quality? Is the paint job and coating durable enough to withstand long sessions?
The wood used is critical as this might also affect the sound your guitar will be producing.
Other than its size and weight, the wood utilized in the body and the neck affects your music. This is because the sound waves vibrate/bounce off from the wood inside your guitar.
The hardness or softness, as well as the ambiance of the music produced, can also be attributed to the type of wood used.
These aren’t all of the things you should be considering when buying a guitar, especially for small hands. However, these are the fundamentals. There will be other things as well such as the quality of the tuning pegs, its accessories, and connection capabilities.
You might even be concerned about the price or the brand. But remember, it’s your needs and musical preferences that should matter the most. Do not sacrifice your experience and the artistic quality for the price.
If you need a smaller and lighter guitar for your little hands, or customized strings to make your learning experience more comfortable, you must take notes of these first.
With all the guitars we reviewed, the Yamaha JR1 stands above the rest. We used parameters such as comfortability for smaller hands, durability, and sound quality.
Judging by these criteria, Yamaha’s detailed approach to the JR1’s design gives it a significant edge among its competitors.
It’s made from the best materials, and its build gives you maximum comfort. Kids, women and older people will enjoy this convenience of the JR1.
Although it’s one of the pricier products, the JR1 comes in a complete set of different tools and accessories for your guitar.
Whether it be tuning or tutorials, everything is covered in one bundle. This saves you time and money which is perfect for beginners most especially.