I know the struggle of those that have small hands and want to play guitar. Because I started playing guitar since I was 10 and back then I had small hands. Back then, I had a really large Ibanez electric guitar with a 26.5-inch scale length that my uncle gifted to me for my birthday. That guitar was really large and made fretting difficult and a daunting task. In the end, I nearly quit and talked to my old man about the issue.
We then went to an instrument shop and they suggested a smaller guitar for me until I get the hang of things and develop strength in my strumming hand. I got a Squier by Fender Mini Strat that had a 22.75-inch scale length and was it a joy to play.
This article is for everyone that has smaller hands and wants to play guitar without taking the joy out of it. Children fit in this category and if you want to teach your child playing, but are worried about the guitar of choice, you are in the right place. Women as well, because I know that ladies typically have smaller hands and weaker fretting hands, and choosing a better guitar for their hands will make it more enjoyable. Don’t worry because not all of us are gifted with big and strong claws, and as I always say never give up playing, just find a way through the difficulties and hardships.
I will provide a general guide and some tips, to look for in a guitar if you have smaller hands and I’ll try to list some good examples what I consider to be the best electric guitars for small hands. Let’s dive deeper into the issue!
Now I’ll provide you some excellent options that fit the description but remember, you should always choose a guitar that you will enjoy playing.
Top 5 Best Electric Guitars For Small Hands
5. Squier by Fender Mini Strat
The Fender Stratocaster is one of the most iconic guitars in the history of the instrument, and many aspiring and experienced musicians want to put their hands on it. The Stratocasters are generally very versatile, extremely reliable, and can play any genre and style, from quiet jazz to loud and distorted heavy metal, all while having heavenly looks. The Fender subsidiary Squier has released some interesting models of the Strat, and specifically for people with smaller hands and for children, it has released the Squier by Fender Mini Strat. It is very affordable and has plenty of tones you can explore from, a perfect beginner guitar for people with smaller hands.
This guitar has a solid 3/4-size body made from basswood, making this a perfect fit for kids. But despite its size, it has the classic Stratocaster shape that we have come to know and love. This guitar is available in multiple paint jobs, coming in at Black, Pink, and the attractive Torino Red, which is my favorite. It is attached to a small 22.75-inch scale length neck made of maple with the perfect C-shape. On top of that, you will find the rosewood fretboard with 20 frets. Overall, I can comfortably say that the combination of the basswood body with a maple neck provides punchy sounds.
This Mini Strat is equipped with the standard Stratocaster configuration in the electronics department. With 3 single-coil pickups connected to a five-way switch selector, that is pretty handy for tonal control, on top of that, it has a master volume and a master tone knob.
Speaking about the hardware the Mini Strat has a standard bridge that connects to six die-cast tuning machines in the headstock to keep the guitar in tune all the time. To make the job easier for starters, in the package of this guitar you will find a strap, a tuner, a good set of guitar picks, a cloth that is appropriate for cleaning, and a guide book for beginners.
Despite being a small guitar the Squier by Fender Mini Strat provides a punchy tone, that is excellently bright and warm in all the right places, for example, it provides great warmness in the basses and plenty of sharpness in the highs.
You will have a great sounding guitar with great tone range, while still in a small enough body and scale to keep you satisfied. You can check our full review of the Squier Mini Strat for more detailed information about it!
4. Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar
The Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar is an iconic special edition Jaguar that was designed to have those grungy vibes that his fans will love. This is guitar also has a shorter scale and a perfect neck to make it a great guitar for our readers with smaller hands.
It has an excellent design, provides a punchy distorted sound, while it may be a little expensive, it is a great investment to make as you will never quite outgrow this excellent guitar.
This special edition guitar is a little more subtle one, it is not like a special edition Frankestrat or something. It has the classic and timeless Jaguar body shape and design with a sunburst color, on a 24-inch scale length. But looking deeper into it, you will notice details that are dedicated to Kurt Cobain, for example, the engraved neck plate with a Fender logo drawn by Cobain himself, or the attractive Stratocaster headstock with the Spaghetti style logo, and the vintage white pickup covers to complete this retro package.
This guitar is built with solid alder tonewood and has a maple neck that is bolt-on the body. The neck has the perfect C-shape for playability and up top a 22 medium jumbo frets. The whole package is Made in Mexico, so the quality of this guitar is the best in the market without any worries.
In the electronics department, the Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar is equipped with two DiMarzio humbuckers that deliver excellent and powerful grunge and hard rock tones, they are adequately placed at the neck and the bridge, and it is worth mentioning that the bridge pickup is a DP100 Super Distortion one. The controls provide extreme versatility to achieve a wide range of tones, they consist of volume knobs for each pickup, a master tone knob, and a three-way pickup selector.
Thanks to the controls and the excellent DiMarzio pickups the Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar is capable of producing a wide range of tones, warm or bright, it provides big time. The distorted tones on this signature guitar are perfect and extremely aggressive for the grunge theme.
You have to look very hard to find a negative about this excellent guitar, except the price of course. If you want to learn about those details, you can read our detailed Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar review.
3. Daisy Rock Venus
I have placed the Daisy Rock Venus in our list especially for our female readers. The Daisy Rock Girl Guitars company has not been in business for a long time, however, they have produced for a niche market. As their name would suggest they have produced guitars especially for women, that generally have smaller hands but want to play electric guitars. The Daisy Rock Venus is a great example from their lineup, with excellent looks, great craftsmanship, and excellent distortion and sustain, which you wouldn’t expect from its feminine design.
As a first impression, the Daisy Rock Stardust Elite Venus looks stunning with its design that is covered with an Ivory Pearl finish and the vine and flower inlays through its neck. This is a perfect design for women that aren’t afraid to show off, and I can see a great number of our readers already falling in love with this guitar.
It has a perfect double cut-away shape with a solid mahogany tonewood body, that in combination with the slim mahogany neck provides lengthy sustain and mighty distortion.
It has a 24.75-inch scale length on its rosewood fretboard with 22 medium jumbo frets. As I mentioned it has a very slim neck that is perfect for women, to be exact it has a radius of 12-inches. The overall build of this guitar is excellent and every guitar player from beginner to more advanced will be pleased.
In the electronics department, Daisy Rock Venus features a pair of Daisy Rock high-output humbucking pickups that provide excellent power. The controls of this guitar consist of the three-way pickup selector, master volume knob and a master tone knob, it may not be a lot but it will be adequate for this guitar, and thorough testing, I found that they worked perfectly.
In the hardware department, the Daisy Rock Venus has a fixed tune-o-Matic bridge with a string-thru-body tailpiece and Grover tuning machines, all in chrome to enhance the premium look of this guitar.
We called this guitar as one of the best electric guitars for women in our full Daisy Rock Venus review. You really can’t go wrong with this excellent guitar, the Daisy Rock Venus shines in multiple departments and you will be delighted with its sound to channel your inner PJ Harvey.
2. Epiphone Les Paul Special VE
Anyone a little interested in guitars or rock music, you probably now the iconic and timeless Gibson Les Paul. Although it is a little expensive to buy a Gibson Les Paul, Gibson’s subsidiary company Epiphone is also licensed to produce its own Les Paul’s, generally, these models tend to be with lower prices, but have the exact style and provide great sound for their price. The Epiphone Les Paul Special VE is a perfect option for my fellow guitarists with smaller hands but that want that perfect Les Paul style and sound.
The Epiphone Les Paul Special VE has the iconic Les Paul Special body with the single cut-away shape that provides excellent access to high-notes. It is truly beautiful and it is available in multiple colors such as Vintage Worn Walnut, Vintage Sunburst, Heritage Cherry Sunburst, Cherry, and the sleek and attractive Ebony.
The Epiphone Les Paul Special VE has a solid mahogany body and a bolt-on mahogany neck to provide the excellent Les Paul signature sound and stability. The neck has 24.75-inch scale length with a rosewood fretboard and 22 medium jumbo frets. The neck has a pretty good SlimTaper D profile with a 14-inch radius that is extremely playable and is perfect for smaller hands thanks to its size and satin finish.
In terms of hardware, it is not anything special, except for the Tune-o-Matic bridge that I am a big fan of. On the other end, the die-cast tuning machines are pretty good and the nut is also mediocre.
In the electronics department, this affordable guitar is very well equipped with two open-coil humbucking pickups at the neck and the bridge.
They provide excellent sustain that Les Paul is famous, the pickups are connected tot he three-way pickup selector switch, and other than that there is a master volume control and master tone control.
Thanks to its excellent pickups, the Epiphone Les Paul Special VE provides excellent sound for various genres and it is one of the best guitars in the entry-level as well.
If you are looking for a solid Les Paul appropriate for your small hands and skill level, this guitar ticks all the right boxes.
1. Ibanez GRGM21 MIKRO
If you want to buy an excellent guitar for your young child, then you must consider a smaller or a mini-sized guitar like the aforementioned Mini Strat. The Ibanez GRGM21 MIKRO is in the same category as the Mini Strat, but provides excellent heavy metal look vibes, with a 22-inch scale, and a 3/4 body. It is priced adequately and your child will be pleased with this great guitar. Also, it is worth stating that Ibanez produces a left-handed model of the same guitar if your child is left-handed.
As a first impression, the Ibanez GRGM21 MIKRO looks like a heavy metal guitar, so if your child is a Metallica, Megadeth, or Slayer fan this will be a perfect fit. It has a double-cutaway body shape with sharp points. This guitar utilizes a mahogany tonewood to provide a deep sound with lengthy sustain, and it comes available in White, Walnut Sunburst, and Black Night color schemes. The neck of this guitar is made from maple and has a scale length of 22-inches and a rosewood fretboard with 24 frets and Ibanez inlays.
The maple neck provides low tension that is excellent for children that still do not have strength in their fretting hand. This guitar is extremely lightweight and it is very solid, I can comfortably say that this has a great build quality.
The Ibanez GRGM21 MIKRO uses a pair of humbucking pickups to provide a great distorted sound, they are connected to the three-way pickup selector switch and master volume and master tone knob. It responds perfectly to the controls, especially to the volume knob, which was very responsive.
It uses a standard bridge with also standard tuning machines, all in chrome to support the heavy metal look.
The Ibanez GRGM21 MIKRO sounds excellent, with great heavy tones with plenty of punch, but interestingly they never felt muddy, compared to other entry-level guitars with stock pickups. It was also able to play different genres as well such as hard rock, classic rock, and raw desert blues.
You can’t go wrong with the Ibanez GRGM21 MIKRO, a great mini-sized guitar. We had to keep it short, so if you want to learn more about it i recommend you read our detailed review of the Ibanez GRGM21.
Now that you know what you should get, start practicing. Don’t let your small hands limit your learning potential, and maybe you can upgrade to a bigger guitar that you’ll like. Learning to play the guitar is a long journey and requires daily practice so don’t forget that, check out the tips I have provided for beginner players for some motivation and insight in the journey.
What To Look For In A Guitar If You Have Small Hands
Neck Size and Shape
The first thing that you want to check is the neck size and shape of the guitar because this can make or break for people with smaller hands. You have to check the thickness of the neck, this is important because this can make or break your experience. You also have to look for the neck shape, look for slimmer necks with a C-shape preferably, these are things that even experienced guitarist lookout for because fretting will make your hands sore after a while.
Scale length is just as important as the aforementioned factor. It is crucial because people with smaller hands generally tend to have shorter arms and this can make chord playing a little harder. Most of the standard guitars have a scale length of around 25.5-inches, which can overstretch your hands. I would recommend searching for a guitar with shorter scale length, somewhere around 22-24.7-inches being ideal.
Body Size and Shape
The next big factor is the general size and shape of the guitar, while this is more important for acoustic guitars because electric guitars tend to be slimmer than their acoustic counterparts. However, you have to look out for lighter and slimmer electric guitars as well, because it will make the experience much better, you will be able to hold and play the guitar easier and progress faster.
Until next time, my fellow shredders!