1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Size of hands

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Bluesboy3, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. Tdurden032

    Tdurden032 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2021
    Location:
    Missouri
    I’m in the big hand camp (skinny fingers too) - it’s great for lower fret spread but I can get bunched up at the upper frets.
     
    loopfinding likes this.
  2. decibel

    decibel Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    167
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2018
    Location:
    The Mountains
    I have small hands (7") and struggle to do the thumb over, too. You have to change the angle of your wrist. If you do that, it's possible. As others have pointed out, small hands are nice for nut width spacing issues...

    Sometimes I'll thumb over and hit the bass note with the thumb, then quickly get the other fingers into position and arpeggiate the upper chord. This works well if you don't need all at the same time.

    Also, you can stretch your fingers out with exercises. I can do insanely large reaches on the fretboard even thought my hands are small. Practice, stretch, etc. Pay attention to wrist angle, and you'll feel what angle it has to be intuitively.
     
  3. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,894
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    FB_IMG_1538820499077.jpg
     
    Blue Bill likes this.
  4. Danny B.

    Danny B. TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    91
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Location:
    portland or
    Bruce Lee was a little guy.
     
  5. wbmeyerson

    wbmeyerson TDPRI Member

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    5
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2018
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I have small hands and as result play a Jag and a 23” scale Guild. I find it makes all the difference. Neither guitar would be my preference, but heavy strings and tweaking the tone gets me by.
     
  6. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    57,292
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    If you put a capo on the first fret of a Tele, you've got about a 24" scale guitar (24.07").

    On a 24.75" scale guitar that would be 23.36".
     
  7. Auherre756

    Auherre756 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    60
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    It's all about technique, man.

    Check out classical virtuoso Andrés Segovia. What that guy was able to do with a bunch of stubby fingers is phenomenal.
     
    richiek65 and loopfinding like this.
  8. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,223
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    europe endless
    I never thought about it too much, but I always thought I had slightly bigger hands, they’re actually exactly average (and so is my playing). They just look goofy as hell on me cause I’m the size of a fifteen year old. I guess my finger length is slightly longer than average but overall size the same? This is from 2nd to 7th fret, the first chord in mister sandman:

    37EE00BC-B424-4568-A7D8-409FFD6404D8.jpeg

    I sort of find the 25.5” scale more comfortable for my fingers, short scale stuff up the neck gets real bunchy. I mean my playing up there sucks anyway on any guitar unless I’m using my index and middle for whole steps. Even then, I tend to avoid anything past the 15th. But at the same time I like a narrower nut width like 1 5/8”, it makes stretchy chords easier, and since my palm is not that big, I like middle of the road C shapes (hate bigger U shapes).
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  9. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,710
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney NSW Australia
    I have large hands (3XL in my work gloves) Back in the 80s i had lessons from Phil Emmanuel (RIP). The lesson du jour was palm muting. He said "with hands like yours you should be able to mute the whole Sydney Symphony f**king Orchestra!"
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  10. Lyle2010

    Lyle2010 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    25
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Location:
    Kenmore
    Large hands are only advantageous when doing certain things. Frank Gambali is an amazing player, but he's a really tiny man. And his hands are tiny. It never mattered.
    Django Reinhardt had two and a half fingers, and helped pioneer a new form of jazz.
    Be good at what you do. Create music. And that's all.
     
    Jay Jernigan likes this.
  11. homerayvaughan

    homerayvaughan TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    41
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Maine
    My hands are 7.25 I play with my thumb over the neck with no issue. It’s more a matter of practice and hand placement. How long have you been playing and trying to do thumb over?
     
  12. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    755
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Location:
    Lebanon, NH
    Yes, Phil Keaggy is amazing. That's why I don't complain too much about my fingers - you can always adapt to whatever finger size you have.

    Also - I've never used my thumb to fret bass strings as I grew up playing classical style and always thought your thumb should be centered behind the neck.
     
  13. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,563
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Location:
    10-uh-C
    I'm not going to get out the measuring tape.
    I have big hands, average fingers, but not particularly slender. My left (fretting) hand is bigger and longer than my right. Also has a wider spread.
    I use my thumb for a lot of chords; it's the only way I can make some of them.
    Vince Gill also has chubby little hands. Hasn't hurt him a bit.
     
  14. JazzDreams

    JazzDreams Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    171
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Location:
    Cape Cod, MA
    She certainly is. Emily Remler was a significant jazz player, becoming well known on the NY scene. She was just getting some airplay in the early 80s and was heavily influenced by Wes Montgomery. Had maybe six or seven albums released, some TV appearances. Some touring. Serious chops even on that ES- 347.

    Unfortunately she got very into that NYC jazz scene, struggled with a drug problem and died (of an unusual heart attack, I believe) at age 32, just as she was coming into her own.

    I didn't even know that clip of her, very young, even existed.
     
  15. televillian

    televillian Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,180
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Location:
    Clarkdale, AZ
    small hands small guitar
     
    Toast likes this.
  16. telejnky

    telejnky Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    150
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    kelowna B.C. Canada
    John 5 nuff said
     
  17. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    8,361
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    Maine
    Stevie Ray Vaughan's hands were average size; it didn't seem to slow him down. He used his thumb a lot.
     
  18. burtonfan

    burtonfan Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,257
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    michigan
    It was only a matter of time...
     
  19. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Holic

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    560
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2019
    Location:
    Lalaland
    Duplicate
     
  20. Bluesboy3

    Bluesboy3 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    1,172
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2019
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    That's interesting you say that. When I look at photos of Stevies left hand and fingers on the fretboard, he appears to have huge hands (or very long fingers). There is a photo (I can't find it right now) of him with his hand and fingers completely wrapped around the neck of a Strat. Maybe it was photoshopped? I'll keep looking and post if I can find it.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.