We all know how addictive it is to play the guitar. Yet, is it better to have long fingers to play guitar? This is an interesting question, and the answer will not be so easy.

The most common are full-sized guitars and that’s why people think there is one, universal size. But the truth is that guitars come in many different sizes. There are also various types of guitars, from electric to classical guitars. When buying a guitar, the unwritten rule is to find one that fits your hand size.

The truth of the matter is that longer fingers may help for vast chords low on the fretboard. Yet, if they are too long for the guitar, that may cause some trouble. Larger fingers may restrict a player a bit. Still, as long as the fingers are well practiced and thus skillful and efficient, they should have no issues.

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How to Pick the Right Size of Guitar That Fits Your Hands?

First and foremost, all people are different, in terms of different body proportions and heights. For example, some people are naturally shorter and have thicker hands with shorter fingers. And others are thin, taller, and have long fingers. As well as those who, when it comes to sizes, are something in between.

There are also children. Children, of course, have smaller hands than adults. For them, a classical guitar with standard dimensions is too big to play.

Guitar manufacturers have to adjust the production of guitars according to the different sizes of hands and fingers. In doing so, they also have to take into account the difference in hand sizes between adults and children. So, to conclude, the size of your fingers is not the main factor in choosing the right guitar. However, we cannot say that it is not important at all.

People with thinner and longer fingers will have a completely different experience learning to play the guitar compared to people with shorter and thicker fingers.

To explain it to you more closely, we will give you examples of well-known guitarists who play a type of guitar that does not match the size of their hands, for example, Andres Segovia. He has short thick fingers and plays on a full-sized classical guitar. This means size is not as important as the skill of the player.

Tip: Notably, keeping the guitar in a case or using a handmade guitar strap can be rather practical in a long run.

Match the Type and Size of Guitar

Down below, you will see some reasons that explain why this is important:

  • A classical guitar has the same neck length horizontally but has a wider fretboard vertically
  • A steel string acoustic guitar has more frets, and that is why the frets are smaller.
  • Also, an electric guitar has an almost identical fretboard to a steel string guitar.

A classical guitar is always the best choice. It has a wider fretboard, and it is easy to play for every type of hand, for people with long fingers as well as people with small hands and short fingers.

Tip: Some people recounted that playing the guitar makes them quite sleepy. No matter how unfamiliar this may sound, it’s kind of true.

Two Broad Types of Guitars With Different Sizes of Fretboards

There are two broad types of guitar, per se. Let’s see what these types are down here:

  • A classical guitar with the exact dimensions of flamenco guitars or so-called Spanish guitars.
  • A steel string guitar (acoustic steel string guitars) and electric guitars.

The main difference between them is in the size of the guitar neck and a different-sized fretboard.

We also have another important thing for you to consider when choosing the right guitar. This choice depends exclusively on the genre of music that you want to play, whether it is folk, pop, jazz, classical, or rock music. Some music styles are just easier to play than others. This truly goes without saying!

Tip: Are there facts to this theory that claims some guitarists are arrogant or is it solely a misreading?

Tips for Playing with Short Fingers

Yes, you can play the guitar if you have short fingers, by all means. Yet, that doesn’t suggest they won’t cause any problems after all. People with small hands often can’t play the low E string with the thumb over the top as many well-known guitarists do.

It’s bothersome but that should not stop you from playing anything. Think about this for a moment. Try to play barre chords the standard way and sometimes adjust other bits.

There are things you can do to lessen any problems that may occur from more undersized fingers or hands :

  • Get your Guitar Setup Correctly – so many people struggling to play their guitar are shocked how much more comfortable it is once it’s had a good setup. It’s fairly affordable as well and will make a huge distinction. That is a fact! 
  • Stretching Workouts – there is an activity you can do and rehearse to help your fast fingers to stretch additionally. These exercises shouldn’t hurt, by all means! That’s a major red flag, and you should stop immediately if you’re feeling pain. 
  • Try a Thinner Neck – if your hands are short and you have smaller fingers then a guitar with a slim neck may be looser and more manageable to play. Try out some guitars with thinner necks such as Ibanez’s and Jackson’s. Do this to see if they’re better for your smaller and shorter fingers.
  • Test a Short Scale Guitar – just like a slim neck, a narrower scale guitar can make a huge difference. Shorter scale guitars have the frets nearer jointly. So if you have smaller hands or short fingers, it’s more manageable to make those stretches or hard chords. So maybe test a Fender Mustang, Jaguar, or Duo Sonic if you like a short-scale electric guitar or go for a parlor acoustic.
  • Employ Lighter String Gauges – lighter string gauges imply the strings will be thinner. This makes it more manageable to hold the strings down and should ease tension or issues with the length of your fingers. It’s manageable to switch strings, so even if you’re not sure, you can test a lighter gauge out and see if it is a good option. Make sure to remember this! 
  • Use a Capo – it may feel strange, yet a capo can make what would otherwise be unattainable to play.

Fact: Did you know that animals, such as dogs, react to a certain type of music? The research suggests that the music genre that dogs like is rock.

What if your Fingers Won’t Stretch

In this case, you need to rehearse more! Frankly, that’s the explanation most of the time. That or you ought to improve your technique.

Nearly everyone struggled in the beginning. Holding down the strings is difficult. Also, making chords ring clearly, not muting strings with the hands or fingers, is problematic and takes time to learn.

The same applies to stretches and finger agility. You only have to keep going. If you’re truly struggling, then thinking about in-person lessons may help. Having somebody to look at and specify any areas holding you back can be priceless, mainly when you’re self-taught.

Tip: Any time we are looking for a specific topic or opinion of others, we go to forums. Among many places for finding a bass player, it is also likely to find a bass player on Reddit. This is quite interesting.

A close-up shot of a guitar, with the E string in focus.

This Song is Unimaginable to Play

There may sometimes be a song, or it’s the tricky part that it doesn’t matter how much you practice, you can’t play. A trustworthy sample of this is Every Breath You Take by The Police.

It’s a wonderful song with a legendary riff, by all means. Yet, that riff needs an A barre chord shape with a vicious 5 fret stretch concerning your finger. Lots of people stumble with it anyhow. This is a fact! 

Yet, more often than not, with complex stretches or uneasy tricks, there are few maneuvers or alternative methods to play them. 

Tip: You probably know that drummers put water on their drums, and this method can often be a bad thing.

Final Words

The main getaway from this is that you shouldn’t allow short fingers to prevent you from playing the guitar. Sure, it might make specific songs or chords more complex, but there are enough samples to show that it doesn’t make much distinction at all.

Preparation, persistence, and a proper approach are what is really essential. If you spend enough time playing, it will come someday, and you’ll look back a year or two from now and ponder why you were tense about your short fingers. This goes without saying, by all means!