Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

What are the best guitars for small hands - tele or non-tele?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by hugo, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

    Jun 10, 2003
    White Mountains
    The only time a big neck is a hindrance is if one plays Barre Chords and not much else. Truthfully I avoid Barre Chords because they just don't sound interesting to my ears.
    The easiest Necks for someone with short fingers are the 24.75" length Necks.
    Gibson, Epiphone, Guild, and Gretsch have many models with this length Neck.
    BUT - if it's gotta be a Fender there are several outfits that make Fender Necks with 24.75 and a flatter radius - they cost a little more but hey.
    My hands are not huge - they're wide with short fingers but I love a chunky Neck because I won't cramp like with skinny Necks.

  2. Moggl

    Moggl Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 27, 2008
    My teenage daughter has tiny hands but she prefers fat necks, if that's any help. She says they are easier on her hands.

  3. WildTele

    WildTele TDPRI Member

    May 2, 2007
    I love Teles and they are a great way to go -- in fact many Fender guitars are great for those of us with small a Les Paul etc. any day!. That being said, you have to try every guitar that appeals to you -- it ain't human to do otherwise!

    I love Rickenbackers. but I was not thrilled with how they played/felt when I first tried one-- yet I still love the way they look, and I'll build me one in the future....but Fender has always ruled, and there's one for everybody.

    Your other options are custom built, and while I got one for my son when he was a lot younger, he's long since out-grown it, and it's a nice Strat style tribute guitar (To SRV), but the neck is way too small for most of us -- think the nut width is a mere 1 1/2" or less, but it plays well/better higher up the neck for the average player.

    Actually, I will be selling it down the road on eBay, but I may take the pickups out before doing so, but those are easy to replace....


  4. superchicken_VI

    superchicken_VI Friend of Leo's

    Aug 16, 2007
    Monroe, NC
    I play a lot of barre chords, and open chords, and find the chunky necks a hinderance to both. I think that the Standard MIM neck is just about perfect for me.

  5. bowlfreshener

    bowlfreshener Friend of Leo's

    May 3, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Checkout a Squier Jagmaster as they have a smaller 24" scale and are really fun guitars to play.

  6. cowboytwang

    cowboytwang Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 28, 2003
    Sonoran Desert
    From a site on Fender guitars;
    Fender Mustang, Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic were offered with optionally the 21 fret 22.5-inch (or 3/4 scale) neck, or a 22 fret 24-inch neck, but the 24-inch was overwhelmingly more popular and 3/4 scale examples are rare. 24 inches is still relatively short, the same as the Fender Jaguar but a full inch and a half shorter than the Stratocaster and three-quarters of an inch shorter than the Gibson Les Paul. The short scale neck makes this guitar perfect for people with small hands, and also enhances the ability to use the tremolo arm for upbends.

  7. markinlondon

    markinlondon Tele-Meister

    Mar 21, 2007
    Kent, UK
    I have small hands and the nicest neck I've found is the soft v on the CIJ '52 reissues. Not even remotely like a 50s tele' neck but very comfy. The u neck on my American Ash is great too, the flatter board takes some of the bulk out of it for those of us that are "digitally challenged". But the absolute gold award winner was the fantastic boat neck on a Sigma DR-28 I used to own. Lots of wood but played like one of those Ibanez pencils, very cool.

  8. Tremo

    Tremo Banned

    Small hands? How about a Mustang?

  9. chabby

    chabby Friend of Leo's

    Jan 11, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I agree about the Bonnie Raitt - I think it was a bad decision by Fender to discontinue that one. I couldnt afforf it when it was available. Now that I can of course it's gone. That guitar was like it was custom made for me.

    I did find a Hamer Special which is very similar to a Les Paull Jr I picked up for 650 bucks. Great US made guitar from the early 90's with p-90's, set neck and magogany neck and body. It has a neck that is very easy to get around on for small hands with an added bonus of being undervalued at 650 bucks as it's every bit the guitar that the Gibson LP Jr is.

  10. 6942

    6942 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 15, 2006
    Santa Fe, NM
    The Daisy Rock line of guitars.


  11. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    One thing about narrow necks, such as those with a 1-1/2" nut, is that they may be a problem unless you have small fingers, and especially, small fingertips.

    For instance, some people have small hands, but wide (cigar) fingers. I think Redd V is that way, and I believe the great jazz guitarist George Barnes was that way too. So you could have small hands but not get on well with a narrow neck because of fingertip size.

    I have a guitar with a 1-1/2" nut. Even though I have pretty skinny fingers, it is hard for me to navigate down by the nut--in making chords it's really easy to accidentally dampen adjacent strings.

  12. NewOldStock

    NewOldStock Tele-Holic

    Mar 17, 2003
    Northern Minnesota
    These older(80's) Peavey T-15's had a really thin neck. They were also 7/8 size. I sold a damn nice one with a case a couple years ago on Ebay for around $150. They are still listed every week.

    As mentioned, the Squire Affinity's have a 41mm narrow nut width. This is even smaller than vintage Fender 1 5/8". The Affinity Strats sell for $149 new. I recently purchased 2, only I also dump another $400 into each, just keeping the thinner body and pickguard of the original guitar and selling the rest. I'll be ordering my 3rd Affinity Special next week. You can see there's just 3 distinct piece of Alder through the transparent sunburst finish. I think they're the buy of the year.

    I'm not a freak, and I do have a somewhat normal love life:D, but I've been falling asleep with one of these every night this week. I go to practice a little before bed--an hour passes--then the next thing I know I'm out. I sometimes wake up on top of the thing.

  13. Doug Ferguson

    Doug Ferguson Friend of Leo's

    Jan 3, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    +1 on the SA's. YMMV, but they're worth trying.

  14. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

    As mentioned, it's often better to have a chunkier neck that 'supports' your hand than a thin one. Especially if you play a long time.
    But it's often not so much the actual thickness of the neck as much as it is the way it curves on the sides near the fret ends. I find a neck with 'full sides' is the most comfortable, and I can play for hours with less likelihood of my hand cramping or tiring. This will probably apply to relatively 'thin' necks too.

    But they're your hands so it's best to go try out different guitars and see what works best for you.

  15. Flat357

    Flat357 Banned

    Aug 27, 2007
    Regardless of hand size , guitar necks need to allow you to play comfortably , and this can come in many guises including radius , profile , fret choice , strings and set up .
    Only you can decide if a particular guitar fits the bill by trying out some different types .
    If you can play an open G comfortably , and a Barred E shape 7th , then the profile should be ok .
    A big baseball bat neck may not be too bad if you play with your thumb underneath , but if you can't play with your thumb on the E string , and other fingers on the A , then it is too big for you .
    Play every guitar you can , and when you find one that feels good , ask the seller what neck it is .

  16. nvosmeier

    nvosmeier Tele-Meister

    May 7, 2006

    Yes, they are all made by Fender.

    Mustang and Broncos were made to replace the Fender Musicmaster and Duo Sonics.

  17. Bangbang

    Bangbang Former Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Walled Lake Michigan
    Measured my Squire and it is the same as my Fender Standard. I have small stubby hands but with practice my hands are getting stronger and I am beginning to get clean chords.

  18. hugo

    hugo Former Member

    Oct 17, 2006
    Thanks for all the tips and opinions. Because of this thread I've decided that maybe I'm whoosing out because I'm a noob? Ya, I have small hands and small fingers. Short, small fingers and short, small hands.
    I think that what I've learned here is ya, I can get the guitars that are sized more for my hands or maybe I can learn to adapt and overcome.
    So, I've decided that I can play what I want if I truly want to. Now if a guitar doesn't feel right that's one thing but until I'm experienced enough to know what I truly like and fairly fluent at the guitar, I'll play what I want, not what's easier. Funny, when you're knew at something you kinda look for what's easiest not what's best.
    Thanks guys for the advice.
    Bangbang, I think you've got it right.

  19. NewOldStock

    NewOldStock Tele-Holic

    Mar 17, 2003
    Northern Minnesota
    Present day--
    The Squire Affinitys should have a 41mm nut, with the Squier Standards having 42mm, same as the Fender Standards(MIM). American Standards will have 42.8mm.

    I have 2 Squire Specials of the same year, both China made, and the necks had WAY different thicknesses between them. It didn't really matter 'cause I scrap them anyway, but it shows they very a lot from guitar to guitar.

  20. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Jan 23, 2007
    The Squier Affinity have a narrow nut and string spacing , but not a slim profile as such. I have a few necks from the slightly more expensive Squier Teles , they have a wider nut spacing , but the back profile varies quite a bit. I have rather short , fat fingers , but Im comfortable playing most necks , the nut size is far more limiting for me.....The Affinity really makes me struggle , and the slightly wider 1-5/8 necks arent exactly perfect either.
    Playing style means a lot , too.....If you play a lot with your thumb over the edge , of course the size of the neck will be very important.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.