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HomeHomeGeneralGeneralEquipmentEquipmentSmall Hands - Any guitar suggestions?Small Hands - Any guitar suggestions?
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10/15/2004 12:55 AM
 
i am a guitar teacher with over 30yrs experience also a solo performer......your fingers should fit the guitar.......and should not be in pain at ALL.....you must get a guitar that fits you....ie scale length....from the teeniest....540mmscale lengths up to
and incl...580..590..610..630.650.660

there are quite a few brands out there on the net...it is ridiculous to ask someone with smaller hands to try and do the same as someone who copes with a full size scale length......you will find that you have to practise good techniques still......but there should be no chord you cannot handle...after practise.....and you should not be in a state of stretch throughout a piece.....i am absolutely stunned at the lack of attention many students are given in this regard.....some folks say....oh yes but he/she has small hands...you cannot tell exactly but looking only...use caliphers and measure and you will see an enormous difference from many people....the more this fact is recognised the more you will find quality guitars available in all the main spheres of guitar playing...folk.jazz.flamenco.classical...rock....

don`t put up with something that you won`t be able to use properly....trailblazer


trailblazer
 
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2/3/2005 4:21 PM
 
Hey trailblazer,
you're the first person I've read that puts so much emphasis on a guitar fitting the particular hand, that's good stuff. All this time I thought I had to 'cope' with the constant aches and pains i get from simple extensions of my hands to fit my American Strat.

Anyway, my hands are extremely small. Smaller than most girls' hands, yea . it's sad. but either way i'm looking for a great guitar with the smallest possible scale length and neck width. I've played strats before and they're too big. I have an epiphone gibson that feels better, the scale length is shorter, but at the same time it is a bigger neck. The best guitar i've played is the music man sub 1, with both thin neck and short scale length. Is there anything smaller? could anything be too small? i mean, SRV played strats and im sure his hands are twice mine, i wouldn't mind that a guitar size to hand ratio.


thanks
dave

Any sus
 
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4/10/2005 8:47 PM
 
I also have small hands, and I have two "Fenders." One is the Squire "Mini" which retails for about $100, made in Indonesia, hard tail, and most importantly a 22.75 inch scale neck, 21 frets. The other is the Stratocaster Jr., a similar guitar, made in Mexico, also hardtail, retails for about $350. THe Strat Jr has 22 frets, and a different neck, ( truss rod cavity cover is laminated on the back of the neck on the jr where the truss rod must be under the fret board on the mini). At any rate, the Strat Jr is also 22.75 inch scale.

Now both these guitar are fairly good guitars. I bought the Squire originally because I wanted a short scale but couldn't justify the Rickenbacker 325 which is also a 22.75 scale but costs $1,200+ depending on who quotes the price, and frankly although I've owned Ric's before and have been happy with them, I don't particularly like the feel of the current reissues.

The thing about the Squires and the mexican Fenders is that they are GOOD ENOUGH. What do I mean by that?

First, if you are a beginner, you will be perfectly happy with them just as they are. Second, if you are more demanding, they are good enough to modify. That is, you can put high quality bridges, pickups, nuts, tuning motors, what have you and customize a Squire or a mexican Strat and turn it into the equivalent of one of those expensive American Fenders and keep the short scale.

My ONLY gripe with them is they have slightly reduced size bodies. I guess the manufacturer figured that someone with small hands must neccessarily want a smaller body size. There is a solution: after market Strat bodies are cheap and you can remount the short scale neck on a standard size Strat body. Unfortunately, this requires some cutting in the neck pocket of the standard Strat body. So you need to get someone who knows a little about guitar making involved-not for everybody.

Other possibilities:

The Fender Jaguar, The Fender Mustang, ang the Fender Jagmaster all have 24 inch scale necks. Problem is the Mustang isn't available anymore in the US (that's OK it was no prize). The Jagmaster Squire is no longer available with the short scale. The Jaguar (still the guitar of choice for lead guitar in surf bands) costs over $1,200.

But check this out...
http://www.excite.co.jp/world/english/web/body?wb_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ishibashi.co.jp%2F&wb_lp=JAEN&wb_dis=2

This is a link to the english version of the Ishibashi web site in Japan. They sell Japanese Fenders you can't get here; they are VERY high quality, and even with shipping a new Jaguar, for example comes out at less than a grand. They also have Squire Jaqmasters with 24 inch scale for roughly $350 US before tax and shipping.

Also Warmouth Custom Guitar, a high quality parts supplier, sells 24 inch scale replacement necks for Jaguars and Mustangs as well as matching bodies pickups, hardware, etc.

Dean Guitar used to sell(as recently as a year or so ago) a 22.75 inch scale electric guitar for about $100, actually two different models. But I was on their web site a few days ago, and couldn't find them. But maybe you could find one from a dealer whose still got one in stock.

There are also some mini Epiphones called pee wee or pee vee or something like that. THey come in packs with amplifiers. I don't know what the scale is.

In closing, I'll just say that the manufacturers really haven't paid much attention to the issue of hand size and scale length; and it's my belief that their motivation is primarily economic. They want to offer just one (or two: Fender 25.5" vs. Gibson 24.75") scale length and get the customer out the door. But the better solution is the model adopted by the golf industry, where you have a set of golf clubs FITTED TO YOU. How many young guitarists have quit, discouraged, because they basically couldn't reach that last fret in that variation on a basic blues turnaround ( or something similar)?

Anyway, the Squire Mini for $99 at Guitar Center or Musciansfriend.com will make you a happy camper for the bucks invested.

Dave

Dave
 
New Post
4/11/2005 10:09 AM
 
hi folks....couldn't get my forgotten user name quick enough to reply but me zippy and trailblazer are one and the same....

ok so the most important thing with someone with small hands coping with a guitar....electric...jumbo...classical ....flamenco...jazz or whatever is just about always to do with the lateral stretches....or not the vertical ones...ie...the chord shapes from the bass to the trebles...or in the case of a bass from the deepest tuned string to the highest tuned one.....some of the larger classical and flamenco guitars have very wide necks......and they sure do make a difference....but to give you the ability to play all the wide chords....you need to have the scale length correct......and the 650mm.....from nut to saddle is too much except for those with longer fingers and a wider span.......now all you need to do is take your tape measure along to the store with the guitar you like...and measure.....from the nut....exactly where the string sits in the white bit down the end by the keys...or winders that wind up the strings....take your tape measure right along the bass string to the saddle....which sits on the bridge....on most guitars it is also white...plastic....bone...or other flash metals and so on...and exactly where the string sits on that bit down the back end of the guitar.....that will give you the scale measurement.......one can buy guitars with exactly the same size body as a normal size guitar except when we are talking....tiny 1/4 guitars....of quality......which i am not talking about at present....but guitars for adults or near adults with small span hands and shorter fingers......so when hunting on the net for a guitar you want....the scale thing is paramount and then....you can look for other details you like......ie nylon strung...steel strung....one for jazz....rock....classical...flamenco....folk....whatever.......slowly these different models are being produced in different scale lengths.....happy to give more of my experiments....if you want to email me......cheers....zippy....trailblazer912

trailblazer
 
New Post
4/12/2005 5:28 AM
 
One more thing, if you already have a Strat, or any other guitar with a 25.5" scale length, you can find out generally what it would be like to have a short scale guitar by putting a capo between the nut and first fret to emulate a 24" neck or between the first and second fret to emulate a 22.75" neck. They all work on the same measurements.

Dave

Dave
 
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