Are people with short fingers or small hands doomed to play kid’s size guitars?
Is resorting to a scaled-down guitar only for short or petite players?
It’s a fact that your body size, arm length, hand size, and shoulder power have an important role to play in finding the best acoustic guitar for small hands.
Since top acoustic guitars come in all shapes, sizes, and measurements, there are some key things to know before you get trigger happy on buying up just any guitar. Read on to find out more!
The Best Acoustic Guitars Small Hands (2022 Comparison)
Our 5 Top Acoustic Guitars For Small Hands & Short Fingers
Can’t quite wrap your hand around the neck? Can’t quite reach all the frets? Too slow in your solos?
Your hands might be on the smaller side. But, it’s not a handicap, it just means you’re playing the wrong guitar for you. Key features of an acoustic guitar that will help you out are slimmer and thinner necks, shallow body depth, and maybe getting over your obsession with a dreadnought.
Think that you’re the only one playing a scaled-down or mini guitar? Think again. Regardless of height and body size, many players are mastering thin-neck, 3/4-size, or smaller-bodied guitars with smaller hands.
The benefits lie in the easier chord positioning and grabbing, more control over the fretboard, and faster solos especially when fingerpicking. When you look at it that way, a guitar for small hands is a guitar made for everyone.
But, not all guitars are made for smaller hands, and not all guitars are made equal. Here’s we help to draw the line and find you the best acoustic guitar for small hands.
1. Jasmine S34C – Best Overall
- Dreadnought body style
- Laminate Spruce top
- Sapele back and sides
Sitting in this lineup as the most affordable guitar, it definitely deserved a spot. This Jasmine has a full scale length of 25 1/2 inches which is full-size and may technically not be considered good for small hands. But, we checked out the rest of the specs and concluded that it is.
This Jasmine has a grand orchestra body shape which are known to be big. But, there’s a few exceptions that the S34C sports. First off, it has a Venetian cutaway allowing added comfort and access to the entire fret range. Secondly, it might be long and have a wide bout of 16″, but the body depth is only 4″. Thirdly, it has a slim profile neck and a nut width of 44 mm.
When handled for everyday playing, buyers say the S34C feels small. This is a top acoustic guitar for petite people, small hands, tight budgets, and everyone else who wants a decent guitar to play around with.
2. Yamaha FG JR1 Junior 3/4 Size – Best 3/4 Size
- LEGACY ACCESSORY BUNDLE INCLUDED - The Instrument Store includes its Legacy Accessory Bundle: clip-on tuner, capo, guitar strap, peg winder, Legacy picks, Yamaha folk guitar strings and instructional...
- PERFECT BEGINNER GUITAR - 3/4 Size Acoustic Body Style, NOT full-size
- SMALLER SIZE - Smaller for children or ideal as a travel guitar; Body Depth is 80 to 90 mm (3 1/8" to 3 9/16"); Finger Board Width (Nut/Body) is 43 mm (1 11/16"); Strings Scale is 540 mm
Just because it has Junior in its model name, it doesn’t mean it’s a little kid’s toy. Adults on the petite side or older children beginning to play will find the JR1 extremely suitable for their learning curves.
It’s also a top guitar that players can hit the road with thanks to its 3/4-size body. Speaking of body, it has the dreadnought shape, but it’s scaled down to sport a shallow body, light weight, and 21 1/4″ scale length.
It is considered an entry-level beginners acoustic guitar, and with that comes an included accessories kit to get a beginner player started. Good acoustic guitar for small hands & short fingers? Check. Good for travel? Check. Good for casual playing for a regular-sized adult? Double check.
3. Fender CP60S – Best Parlor Guitar
- Solid Spruce Top with Laminated Mahogany Back and Sides
- 24.75" scale mahogany neck w/20 fret walnut fingerboard
- Chrome Die-Cast tuners
We have a parlor guitar that most people will feel right at home with. It’s not bulky, has a 24.75″ scale length, and a 43 mm nut width. Although it is a smaller acoustic guitar and has a smaller body shape, it’s not a kid’s guitar, however, 10-12-year old’s can play it without it being too small.
This instrument also has Fender’s Easy-to-Play neck and rolled fret edges making it short finger-friendly, especially for beginners. Quality goes up another notch with the solid spruce top that has scalloped X bracing.
For a relatively cheap guitar, it’s got a lot going for it. Thanks to its size, it will also make a good acoustic guitar for travel for a traveling guitarist with decent performance thanks to the added quality.
4. Big Baby Taylor BT1
Welcome to the middle ground between a Baby Taylor and a full-size dreadnought. The BT1 is a 3/4-size guitar and is one of the largest in the small-bodied guitar category. Obviously, because it’s a Taylor, the price jump isn’t so small if you’re thinking of staying in the $100 range.
This guitar for smaller hands will put it into the under $500 acoustic guitar bracket, but it’s not without reason.
The BT1 has a solid spruce top, 15/16th-size dreadnought body, and a 42.8 mm nut width. It still has a 25 1/2″ scale length, so it looks like a big guitar, but it’s still less bulky and easier to handle for those after a slightly smaller body.
The neck isn’t as thick as full-size guitars, and it has a shallow body that enables more comfort while playing. You can feel the difference when cradling this Big Baby but remember this isn’t a guitar for babies – just adults with smaller hands.
5. Martin LX1 Little Martin
- Mahogany pattern HPL (high pressure laminate) textured finish, solid sitka spruce top
- Rust Stratabond neck, shortened 3/4 scale
- Chrome small-knob tuners. Tusq saddle.
What’s the bet you ignored the rest until you saw a Martin? The LX1 catches everybody’s eye, especially when they know Ed Sheeran owned one. Maybe he still does? It’s a Martin after all, and you don’t just sell or give these away.
The Little Martin guitar is a scaled-down, 3/4-size concert-body guitar. It’s excellent for travel, and you know what else? It could be the best guitar for small hands. Regular adults get a kick out of the LX1 too since it’s just a great guitar.
It has a modified low oval shape on a Rust Stratabond neck, modified 0-14 fret body, 23″ scale length, and 1 11/16″ width at the nut. Sounds like it has the makings of a guitar made specifically for you.
What to Look For in an Acoustic Guitar Designed for Small Hands
Not every acoustic is made for everybody, but every small-bodied guitar is made for everyone. Sounds like a tongue twister, but it makes sense. There’s a lot to gain with a guitar made on the scaled-down end for both small and short people and big and average players.
But, how do you know the difference between a small-bodied guitar for small hands and a full-size one? Review our tips right here to help you narrow down the options of guitars for smaller hands. Once you’ve got some numbers and features to look out for, you’ll find the guitar that’s meant to be played by you.
- Price: Set a budget since a small-bodied guitar can get quite expensive. Many of them run in the cheaper end of the category since they’re smaller than their full-size siblings. But, there are some nice guitars that will do you right that sit at $500 or more.
- Tone woods: Tone woods won’t make a difference here in determining whether small or big hands can play it. However, it does make a difference in quality, sound, and price. Laminate is cheaper. Solid tops run a little bit more expensive. Solid bodies are the most expensive of them all.
- Size/Shape: 3/4-size, parlor, concert – they’re all on the smaller end when you’re comparing against a dreadnought that’s considered full-size. Travel size guitars may be suited for you as far as body shape goes, but also remember to look at the scale length, nut width, and neck shape to determine if it will be a good fit.
- Scale length: When full-size is 25 1/2″, you will want to look for scale lengths anywhere between 22 – 24.9″ range.
- Neck: Look for thin, easy to play, and modified shaped necks. This makes it easier to grab and position for chords. With smaller hands, you’ll also find it may be faster to run up and down the neck. However, thicker necks might be your preference, and you’ll have to learn to shape your hands.
- Value: Finding a good pick of a guitar in price, features, and quality is always going to have value. But, in this case, value means finding the guitar that you can play comfortably and wonderfully. It might not have all the fancy trappings or a brand name, but if you can play it, improve your skills with it, and it makes you want to jam it, it has value.
Short Fingers VS Playing the Guitar
It’s a myth. Being a kickin’ artist has nothing to do with finger length. Sure, you may have to specifically shop for the best acoustic guitar for small hands. But, you’ll find that your dedication may make you better than your long-fingered buddy.
Use a capo, strengthen your pinky finger, and practice. Just like everybody else, being a great musician is about developing proper technique and expressing your own signature sound. Get to it!
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Trent is a music lover, musical instrument player and passionate audio afficionado.