Are Small Guitars Easier to Play?

Not necessarily. Small players and kids find them easy to play, while adults and big players may find them a little awkward. String tension is less with smaller guitars, so they’re easy to fret chords. Yet, most have shorter scale length, which big players find them challenging.

What are Smaller Guitars?

Maybe you’re imagining a guitar for kids, the Mini, and the Baby guitars when you read about small guitars. Actually, there are a lot of other small guitars than just those small pink and seem low-cost guitars for kids.

You’ll see the one-quarter guitars (ukulele and guitarlele (uke with six strings)), the half-size guitars, three quarter-size guitars or range and parlor guitars. Some guitars are compact and designed for travel, called travel guitars. So, whether your hands are small or you want a travel companion, a small guitar will come in handy.

Generally, smaller guitars have shorter scale lengths, except for some travel guitars that have full or nearly full scale-length. The scale length of for small guitars is lesser than 25.4-inch, hence, they have lesser tension. However, since the frets are closer to each other, it’ll be challenging for big hands to play with these guitars.

Who Are Small Guitars Best For?

Small players and adults with smaller hands may find it amusing to play smaller guitars. Again, since the string tension is lesser than your regular-size guitar, pressing down the strings and making chords is easier.

Frequent travels may also love smaller guitars. Compared to a dreadnought or a Triple O, a parlor is handy and lightweight. Additionally, there are travel guitars, too. If you don’t like the short-scale guitars, full scale-length travel guitar is better.

Tips on How to Play Small Guitars Better

Small guitars are easier to play when you’re standing. So, get a guitar strap and play while you’re standing. The small body, particularly the lower bout makes it awkward to play when you’re sitting, especially if you’re accustomed to a dreadnought or Triple O.

Though it has short scale-length, some find it challenging. Perhaps you’re using lighter strings. If you want to have a much lower action, change the strings into heavier ones to avoid fret buzzes.

Strengthen your pinky finger. You should be able to train the underused finger. For bigger hands, the upper frets could be a challenge since they get closer and closer. However, if you manage to maximize all your fingers, including the pinky, it’ll be amazing.

A guitarist with proper technique and has practiced a lot, should be able to play any type of guitar. So whether your hands are small or big, you can play just any guitar, including small guitars.

What are the Most Played Small Guitars?

There are a lot of small guitars out there that are widely used by guitarists. Among them are the famous Taylor GS Mini, Baby Taylor, Martin LXM, Fender Mustang, CA Cargo and more. So, even if you have small hands, leading guitar manufacturers made great guitars just for you.

Conclusion

Given all the parameters are equal and you only have to look at the scale length, smaller guitars are easier to play. They have short scale-length with much closer frets, so it’s very easy to surf up and down the fretboard. But, in reality, there are smaller and bigger hands.

Though smaller hands find it enjoyable to play small guitars, regular adults don’t like it. Yes, they don’t need to put extra effort into pushing down the strings, but they find it challenging to position their fingers on the fretboard. However, real guitarists should know the proper technique to play just any guitar size.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Playing a smaller guitar such as a Guitalele is much easier to play. Yes, there is an adjustment period, but stating that small guitars aren’t suited for bigger hands is just inaccurate. Consider the mandolin. The frets are close together, but there is a great advantage that allows notes be reached easier. The same goes for smaller guitars. Chording only becomes difficult if the neck width is disproportionately small. Frets that are closer together allow you to play differently because you effectively have a wider range of notes at your immediate disposal. – Personally, my Yamaha Guitalele is my go-to guitar for playing because of it’s size and ease of playability. My playing has improved. BTW, I have fairly large hands.

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