If you’re starting out with the guitar, one of the best instruments to start with is the electric guitar. They can be a bit more comfortable to play, and they are much more fun to rock out on compared to acoustic and classical guitars.
And on top of that, since they tend to have thinner necks, they are more recommended for people with small hands. Large stretches won’t seem as large with an electric guitar.
In this article, I’ll be listing down seven of the best electric guitars for small hands on the market today. All of the featured items come from highly respected brands, have a unique guitar tone, and maybe you might find that one of these is even the right guitar for you.
So keep reading to learn more!
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Top 7 Best Electric Guitars For Small Hands
- Body Body shape: Single cutaway Body type: Solid body Body material: Solid wood Top wood: Not applicable Body wood: Poplar Body finish: Satin Orientation: Right handed Neck Neck shape: '60s SlimTaper D Neck wood: Mahogany Joint: Bolt-on Scale length: 24.75 in. Truss rod: Standard Neck finish: Satin Fretboard Material: Rosewood Radius: 14 in. Fret size: Medium jumbo Number of frets: 22
Kicking things off, we have one of the most classic electric guitars out there. It comes from Epiphone, a brand owned by Gibson that is known for its very high-quality guitars that are available at an affordable price.
This model takes its inspiration from the original Gibson SG, which is one of the most iconic guitars in the history of rock & roll. This model sports a cherry red finish, which gives off a very classic and beautiful aesthetic. It has two humbucker pickups, which is responsible for the fat tone of the guitar.
It has a body with a Mahogany top, and it also has a rosewood fretboard. This gives it a very full and balanced tone, with fat low-ends that go great with a bit of distortion.
The instrument may be on the heavier side, but if you’re looking for a great rock & roll tone, it’s a small price to pay.
- 100% designed by Fender
- Inspired by 1950s-era Stratocaster models
- Fender-Designed alnico single-coil pickups
- Vintage-tint gloss neck finish
- Nickel-plated hardware
When it comes to electric guitars, it’s hard to find a design more iconic than the Fender Stratocaster. And while it might be great to have a Strat, they can be fairly expensive, which is why this model from Squier is a great alternative for musicians on a budget.
Squier is a company owned by Fender, so you can rest assured that the closest attention to detail will be paid in constructing the instrument. It has a maple neck and body, which makes for a very bright tone when paired with the three single-coil pickups on the instrument.
The neck has a relatively thin profile and a short scale length, which makes it much easier to play, especially if you have small hands. This guitar gives off a clean tone that may even seem unmatched in its price range, which makes it a great choice for funk, blues, and jazz guitar styles.
If you’ve been looking for a signature strat tone and feel but don’t want to bust the bank, this could be a great instrument for you.
- A DiMarzio hum bucking DP103 PAF 36th Anniversary neck pickup and DP100 Super Distortion bridge pickup deliver legendary tone
- A modern "c" shaped neck and a 24" scale length give you a comfortable feel and smooth playability
- Accessories include a black textured vinyl hard-shell case and an exclusive Fender Kurt Cobain book with photos and commentary by Charles Peterson and an insightful interview with Nirvana guitar tech Earnie Bailey
When trying to find a signature guitar, you can easily expect to pay upwards of $2000, but with this model, you spend less than $1300. That may be a bit pricey, especially for beginners, but it is much more affordable and practical than a lot of the other signature models out there.
This Fender Jaguar is the Kurt Cobain signature model, so it would be great for heavy music like hard rock, punk, and metal. That being said, it also provides a very unique clean tone that can make it a good choice for other styles such as jazz and classic rock.
It has a relatively slim neck profile and a 24’’ scale length. This will make the guitar feel very comfortable in the hands and also make it very easy to play. It has two humbucker pickups which give off a very hot tone that will easily cut through the mix, even if you’re playing with a full and loud band.
Signature guitars don’t have to leave a huge dent in your wallet, and this is a model that proves that. If you’re on the hunt for a comfortable instrument you can use to rock the house down, this could be the right model for you.
- The first Ibanez compact guitar
- 22" scale Maple neck offers low tension and small size
- Perfect for beginners
- Set-up like the full-size GRG models
- Left-handed model available model (GRGM21BKNL)
If you’re looking to play really heavy music such as metal, then this guitar is worth checking out. It uses the classic Superstrat silhouette and design made popular by Ibanez in the ’80s, and it gives off that signature punchy tone as well.
Normally, Ibanez guitars won’t be recommended for players with small hands, but this model is fairly different. It’s ¾ size, which means the neck is a bit shorter and the radius is a bit smaller. This will make long stretches much easier for players, especially those with small hands.
It has two sharp cutaways that give it a very dark and heavy look, and the two humbucker pickups will allow you to shred away with a very hot and heavy tone. It has a mahogany body with a basswood top, which makes the guitar a bit lighter while also giving it a very warm tone with well-defined low ends.
So if heavy metal is your speed, this is a great guitar to have at your disposal.
- top material type: Polyurethane
- back material type: Polyurethane
Sometimes, to get the best tone, you have to invest some money. And while this Fender Stratocaster may seem expensive at first glance, all you’ll need to do is hear and feel the instrument to understand why it’s all worth it.
This model is available with a Maple neck or a Rosewood one, so depending on your sonic and visual preferences, you can make your choice. The guitar has three Fender Player Series single-coil pick-ups that give it that instantly recognizable Stratocaster tone.
It also has a polished Alder-wood top with a glossy finish that simply exudes class. This guitar is ideal for just about any playing style. Whether it’s blues, jazz, rock, or country, the tones you’ll get from this Strat will cut through the mix and do a lot of good to just about any song.
The neck and body of this model are very lightweight. So if you find yourself playing night-long gigs, you can rely on this guitar to not be a heavy load on your back. And on top of that, the profile of the neck will also make things very easy for players with smaller hands.
So if what you’re looking for is a very classic guitar that has an instantly recognizable tone, this Fender Player Stratocaster might be worth the investment.
- 3/4-size body; 22.75" scale length
- Ideal size for children ages 6 to 12 years
- "C"-shaped maple neck and 20-fret fingerboard
- Three single-coil Stratocaster pickups with five-way switching, and vintage-style hardtail Stratocaster bridge
- Bundle includes Guitar, Amplifier, Instrument Cable, Tuner, Strap, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD
Next up, we have an option that is ideal for beginners. This is because aside from being a ¾ size guitar that might feel more natural in small hands, it also comes with all the accessories needed to start your journey into the guitar.
Included in the bundle is a ¾ size Squier Strat, Fender play-online lessons, a strap, a tuner, an amp, a cable, picks, and an instructional DVD. The guitar itself has a Poplar wood body and a Rosewood fretboard. While these materials make for a very well-built instrument, they are not exactly the most premium materials, which is why the price tag on this bundle is relatively low.
This is a bundle ideal for students aged 6-12, but the guitar will still feel pretty comfortable in the hands of older students. So if you’ve been looking for the right guitar to get started with your music lessons, this might be the right one for you.
- 21 1/4" scale length
- Spruce top; Meranti sides and back
- Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
- Nato neck
- Steel strings
Capping off our list is an acoustic option. This is because acoustic guitars are great instruments to play. They have a unique tone, feel great, and can be used on its own, without an amp.
This model is ideal for children and players with small hands because it’s a ¾ sized guitar. It has a shorter scale length and a narrower neck, which can be a great help since acoustic guitars tend to have thick necks that are hard to play for a lot of musicians.
This model has a Spruce top, which gives it a very bright sound. This would be an ideal guitar for musicians looking to play fingerstyle since the tone it gives off is very balanced on both the low end and the high end.
The only knock on this guitar might be the fact that it doesn’t have a pickup. So if you want to plug it into a sound system, you’ll either have to do some modifications or stick a microphone near the body, which can post a host of other problems. But if all you need is an acoustic instrument that you can use for singalongs and practice jam sessions at home, then this would make a great pick.
What To Look For When Buying An Electric Guitar For Small Hands ?
- Scale Length & Radius
This is the first thing you would want to check if you’re looking for a guitar that’s comfortable for your hands. The scale length of an instrument is simply how long the neck measures, while the radius is how wide the neck is.
Ideally, you would want to get guitars with smaller scale lengths and radii. This is because these will feel more comfortable if you have small hands. With that in mind, it might be best to veer away from Les Paul type guitars as those tend to have very wide necks that can strain the fingers of players with small hands.
Stratocaster, SG, and super-strat type guitars are ideal if you have small hands. This is because they are designed to be very comfortable to play, regardless of hand size. They also have relatively shorter scale lengths and smaller radii, making them the more ideal instruments for players with smaller hands.
And an extra thing to think about is also the width of the neck. If you have small hands, it might be ideal to get a guitar with a thinner neck profile. This will make it easier for your fingers to wrap around, giving you a more comfortable playing experience.
- The Tone
Once you’ve figured out the right scale length and neck radius for you, the next thing you have to check out is how the guitar sounds. The tone or timbre that is produced by an instrument is arguably their most important quality.
There’s no objective answer for the best guitar tone out there. That’s because everyone has different tastes and preferences. While some players might prefer warmer and darker guitar tones, some might prefer brighter and clangier ones.
And with electric guitars, 90% of your tone will come from the pickups used. These are magnetic “microphones” on the guitar that convert the vibrations of the strings to an electric signal. Some pickups will be more suited for heavier music like humbuckers, P-90’s, EMG’s, while there will be pickups that are best for playing softer and calmer genres like single-coil pickups found on Stratocasters and Telecasters.
The choice will all be up to you, but if you have figured out the type of tone you’re looking for, narrowing your options down will be a much easier task.
- Extra Features
This can mean a lot of things when it comes to the guitar, and it will also largely depend on what features you’re looking for. Some musicians will only need the instrument itself while others might prefer to have some freebies included such as a tuner, strap, and a case.
Other extra features you can look out for is a whammy bar or floating bridge, as this will allow you to create unique wavey sounds with the guitar. Some instruments will also have coil-tapping features which give you more sonic flexibility when playing, and others might even have slight decibel boosts which could help a great deal on stage.
Regardless of what feature you want, knowing which ones are necessary and which ones aren’t before you head out and shop can keep you from getting distracted and being overwhelmed by the options available.
Lastly, you will want to feel how comfortable the instrument feels in your hand. This will also largely depend on your playing style and what things you find comfortable.
Some players would want a wider space between the frets, some will prefer thinner frets. There are also players who prefer higher tension on the strings.
When it comes to playability, there are so many things that can affect the way a guitar sounds, and the only way to determine if an instrument is comfortable is to head out and try it yourself. So if you find the opportunity to try an instrument out before buying, make sure to do just that so you can really feel if it is the right one for you.
Which Electric Guitars Have Narrow Necks?
There are a lot of guitars out there with narrow necks. There are even versions of notoriously fat-necked instruments that have thinner necks on them.
But commonly, you’ll find that Stratocaster, Telecaster, Superstrat, and PRS SE type guitars will have thinner necks as compared to other designs.
Electric guitars will usually have thinner necks than acoustic ones, but there are a bunch of acoustic models out there that have thin necks that are easier to play.
Are Telecasters Good For Small Hands?
Yes, this is because the scale length and neck radius on these guitars tend to be smaller compared to other models. This will make the spaces between notes easier to reach for players with small hands, ultimately making the instrument much easier to play.
Are Wide Necks Easier To Play?
For players with large hands, wider necks might be easier for them. This is because the shape of the guitar and spaces between the frets will be more suited to their size, making it much easier to play.
However, for a lot of musicians with small hands, wider guitar necks tend to give them problems, especially if the piece of music being played requires big hand stretches and wide intervals between notes.
That being said, there are a lot of guitarists out there with small hands that simply prefer the feeling of a wide neck, and your personal preferences when it comes to the feel of the guitar is what will matter the most at the end of the day.
Is Playing Guitar Bad For Your Hands?
Not necessarily, but since a lot of the movements and techniques aren’t natural to most people, there may be a steep learning curve ahead for beginners. Beginner guitarists usually report having pain in their hands and wrists along with callouses on the tips of the fingers because of prolonged guitar playing.
However, once your body gets used to it, that won’t be felt too much. And over a long period of time, the isotonic movements required for guitar playing could damage your muscles, but not significantly enough to cause any serious problems.
Can Your Hands Be Too Small For Guitar?
While most people might think the opposite, your hands can never be too small for guitar. Any music teacher out there will tell you that finger flexibility and proper conditioning for your hands is much more important than the size.
The learning curve might be fairly steep if you’re starting out with the instrument and you have small hands. But with enough practice and dedication, it will be something you will soon get over.
On top of that, there are a whole lot of guitarists out there who have made a career playing the instrument with small hands such as Brian May, Angus Young, and Peter Frampton.
So there you have it. Seven of the best guitars for players with small hands or short fingers. Not having large hands shouldn’t stop you from playing guitar, and there have been so many successful musicians out there with small hands who made a great career for themselves playing guitar.
The products featured on this list will all be designed for different people. There are some budget-friendly options for beginners, and there are some more premium options for advanced players and professionals looking to upgrade their gear.
Either way, if you think you found the right model for you on this list, make sure to head out and get your hands on one yourself. And before you know it, you’ll be rocking about for hours on end with a brand new electric guitar!
My name is Demarcus M. Greiner and I was born and raised in the mid-seventies on the flat country near Stamford.
From the age of twelve, I received classical lessons from the guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Two years later, I work on playing the electric guitar on the side and self-taught and is part of various rock band constellations.
Since 2004 I have been giving private guitar lessons and since 2005 I have been a lecturer for classical and electric guitar at the New York Guitar Academy. In the years 2006-2010, I study at the New York City Guitar School in the subject “classical guitar”.
After completing studies and obtaining a diploma as an instrumental teacher, I completed a further training course in the field of jazz guitar, similar to a course of studies, with the – beyond this scene – renowned guitarist Chuck Berry.
Later I was addicted to dark metal. Years later Carter USM, Pop Will Eat Itself, Jesus Jones followed. Then the electronic stuff. Techno, Warp stuff, Ambient. Today I listen mainly to Indie, Shoegaze, Dream-Pop, Folk, Post-Rock and Electronica.