Musicians with small hands often struggle with chunky guitar necks, large body shapes of larger-sized instruments. Most commonly, the design of these ‘full-sized’ guitars makes it hard to play certain chords or traverse the neck with comfort and ease.
Many manufacturers have recognized this issue and created compact instruments for children, young adults, or people with small hands and/or stature. We want to take this opportunity to help you discover the best acoustic and electric guitar for small hands. After all, the right guitar can greatly improve comfort and encourage students to practice better and harder.
I have listed four acoustic guitars and four electric guitars to cover a wide range of models to suit all styles and genres. Some of these are ¾ sizes, others are short-scale guitars and a few are just sleek and slender enough to suit people with small hands. You should be able to find a make/model of a guitar that will allow you to practice without any discomfort and improve your musical skills. So without further ado, let us get to our list and the reviews:
Best Acoustic Guitars for Musicians with Small Hands
#1 Martin LX1 – Little Martin Acoustic Guitar, Natural
#2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar, Natural
#3 Ibanez GA35TCE – Thinline Classical Nylon-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar
#4 Breedlove Discovery Concert CE Acoustic-Electric, Sunburnt
Best Electric Guitars For Musicians with Small Hands
#1 Ibanez GRGM21 ¾ Size Mikro Electric Guitar, Black
#2 Epiphone SG Special VE Electric Guitar, Cherry Red
#3 Squire Mini Stratocaster Electric Guitar,
#3 Fender Mustang Electric Guitar,
Table of Contents
Best Acoustic Guitars For Musicians with Small Hands
#1 Martin LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar
The LX1 is the smallest acoustic you will find in the Martin Guitar Catalog, and it still manages to provide you with the ‘Martin experience’. It a part of Martin’s Traveler Series – a range of back and sides in a warm satin finish. They also have a rust birch laminate neck with a Richlite fingerboard and 20 frets.
The LX1 has a Solid Sitka Spruce top with a mahogany body and HPL back. On account of the compact size, it has a rich and bright tone, but it also boasts of a reasonable projection – ideal for practice and campfire strumming. It sounds well balanced but lacks a little depth in the bass as you could expect from a small-sized guitar.
The tone is focused and lush while you strum chords and the notes are clear and well defined when you play licks. Taylor GS Mini, Baby Taylor (also on our list), and the Yamaha APXT2 are comparable options that may suit your preference or budget. You can also opt for the Left-handed version or the Ed Sheeran Signature Edition (acoustic-electric) which are variations of the LX1 model. This video demonstrates the sonic capabilities and key features of the guitar.
The LX1 is made in Mexico to keep the costs down, but this does not seem to influence the quality of the instrument. It has the hallmark of a good Martin guitar with good construction and great playability. Martin LX1 is a premium option for any guitarist, but it works particularly well for adults with small hands.
- Good tone and playability
- Comfortable neck profile and body shape
- Ultra-portable Acoustic Guitar
- Available in Left-Handed Version
- Ideal for adults with small hands or stature
#2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar
The Baby Taylor bounces back and forth between a ‘real’ travel guitar and a standard size guitar without really picking a side. What it does achieve, is a highly playable dreadnought body, while still retaining a fairly compact size.
The Baby Taylor has a solid Sitka spruce top with layered Sapele back and sides. The Sapele neck features a rosewood fretboard with 19 well-finished frets. The guitar ships with a sturdy gig bag, great setup (low action), and decent intonation. The neck is very slim, comfortable, and high on playability. It feels like the neck of a sleek electric guitar but it broad enough for regular-sized hands too.
The Baby Taylor can square up to its full-sized counterparts. It has good projection on account of the dreadnought body shape and it manages to capture the quintessential Taylor sound. The overall tone of the guitar is even and balanced with ample clarity and definition with a little boxy-ness when you strum open chords freely.
The tight lows lack a little depth but there is ample warmth and definition in every other aspect of the tone. It is very loud for the size, which is why it has been very successful as a travel guitar. You most certainly do not feel like you are playing a cheap imitation or budget guitar when you strum it. You can watch this video of a detailed review of Baby Taylor BT1.
This is a simple no-frills acoustic guitar from a premium brand at a reasonable price. All things equal, you have to hand it to Taylor for managing stellar QA because, despite its offshore origins, the Baby Taylor sets a high standard of construction and components. At the current price, this may be your best shot at owning a high-value Taylor regardless of the size of your hands.
- No-Frills Acoustic w/ great tone
- Rich, warm and full sound
- Travel guitar size is ideal for small hands
- Taylor’s Brand Recognition & QA
- Very High value for money
#3 Ibanez GA35TCE – Thinline Classical Guitar, Dark Violin Burst
As if finding an acoustic or an electric guitar for small hands was not difficult enough, it can be even more daunting to find a nylon-string classical guitar that feels good and fits well. Fortunately, Ibanez has a Thinline version that does the job at a reasonable price.
This hybrid-style guitar has a Spruce top with Mahogany back and sides. The mahogany neck is fitted with a rosewood fretboard that houses 21 frets. The neck is flat and narrower than the standard options and the cutaway design makes it easy to doodle notes in the higher register.
The guitar weighs less than 5 lbs and the body is half the thickness of a standard classical guitar. The compact size makes it really comfortable for people who have small stature. Tonally, there is some scooping in the mids with good focus in the lows and sparkle in the highs.
It sounds rich and warm right out of the box and the action and intonation are on point. Despite the modest price, the Fishman Sonicore pickup does a stellar job at retaining the richness when you plug-in this guitar. Moreover, the addition of the reliable and functional AEQ210T preamp/tuner system adds more value to the instrument.
The GA35TCE is the perfect guitar for people who want to enjoy classical music or wish to add another instrument to their arsenal of sound. It may not sound like a regular sized nylon-string guitar but it has a pleasant natural tone with clearly defined highs and sufficient depth in the low-end. For under $300, this can be a good entry-point classical guitar for players with small hands or stature.
- Ultra-Thin Body – ½ the standard size
- Good tone-wood combinations
- Tone: Clarity, sparkle, and tight lows
- Great electronics for the price
- High value for money
#4 Breedlove Discovery Concert CE Acoustic-Electric, Sunburst
The Discovery Concert is a jaw-dropping acoustic with a delightful dark, natural hue that feels earthy and organic. It has a solid Sitka Spruce top with Mahogany back and sides. The mahogany neck is fitted with a rosewood fingerboard and houses 20 well-finished frets with tiny dot inlays.
The body size (concert) is light and convenient without being too compact. It clocks 15″ at the lower bout with a 9-inch waist. People will small hands and stature will cherish the 3.75″ depth. Sitting or standing, the guitar just has a comfortable fit and feel to it. The neck profile is slim and the nut width is 1.69” – it feels ideal for people with small hands.
The tone of this guitar is definitely the best part of the purchase. It sounds snappy and plush with focused lows and a gritty mid-range. It retains that rich modern sound regardless of the style you play it in, which is a lot more versatility than is expected from this price range.
The Fishman pickup/preamp combo is common on guitars at this price point. The get the job done reasonably well and the contour, phase, volume control and a built-in tuner seem up to the mark. The guitar ships with bright and balanced D’Addario EXP16 stock strings and a workable gigbag.
There is an alluring and rich modern slant to the Breedlove Discovery Concert CE that sets it apart from the crowd. It is compact, sleek and comfortable without skimping on sound or components. All these aspects make it a worthy consideration for serious musicians (with small OR big hands) looking for a beautiful musical companion.
- Top notch construction & components
- Modern sounding mid-rich tone
- Good electronics for the price
- Compact & Sleek – Ideal for people with small hands
- High value for money
Best Electric Guitars For Musicians with Small Hands
#1 Ibanez GRGM21 ¾ Size Mikro Electric Guitar, Black
The Ibanez Mikro was the first compact model launched by Ibanez and it received a lot of commercial and critical acclaim among the guitar community. Despite the ¾ size, this guitar is set-up exactly like its full-sized equivalent.
It has a 22” scale with a low-tension maple neck that is ideal for beginners and young students. The size, shape and neck profile are suitable for musicians with small hands and/or short stature.
For a guitar under $150, the Mikro has a lot of value to offer. With the right pair of guitar strings and a good setup, the Ibanez Mikro can sound as good as guitars twice its price. It looks sleek, sounds rich and feels like it can last for years. What more can you ask for?
- Sleek styling and 22” scale
- Good electric guitar for small hands
- Slim neck profile w/ high playability
- Best budget option
- Tremendous value for money
#2 Epiphone SG Special VE, Cherry
The Gibson SG shape is one of the best guitar shapes for people with small hands and stature. You have probably seen its ‘more expensive cousin’ in the hands of Angus Young of AC/DC as he duck walked his way to glory. The SG Special VE is made from poplar with mahogany veneer and a worn finish. It has the original dimensions of the Gibson flagship model.
The bolt-on Okoume neck is a D-shaped neck with a 60s style taper, a rosewood fretboard, and 22 medium jumbo frets with pearloid dot inlays. The 24.75-inch scale length and 12-inch neck radius make it easy to play with ease and comfort. The wicked styling of the double cutaway looks great, but it also allows easy access to the higher frets.
The electronics on the SG Special include the 650R and 700T double humbucking pickups with ceramic magnets. They are crisp, sharp, and high-output pickups that give this model a signature tone that is hard to dial out. The control panel includes a master volume + tone knob and a pickup selector switch.
It is available in three finish options – Cherry Red, Worn Walnut Sunburst, and Ebony (black). The new version (Gibson SG VE Electric Guitar) costs a hundred dollars more but offers ‘hotter’ open-coil humbucking pickups with ceramic magnets. The guitar has good setup and intonation and is ‘ready to roll’ right out of the box.
The SG Special VE is great choice if you play metal, rock, blues or a variety of assertive styles. Its eye-catching looks, unique shape and ‘on-the-money’ sound make it stand apart from the crowd. Small hands or not, this is great guitar for anyone looking for a highly playable instrument with spotless finish and great tones.
- Unique shape & gorgeous looks
- Classic sounds of rock ‘n’ roll
- Lightweight body and good construction
- Brand recognition of Gibson/Epiphone
- Good value for money
#3 Fender Squire Mini Stratocaster, Torino Red
Although the Fender Squire Mini Strat was predominantly designed for children, it has the requisite quality and tone for most adult needs. The downsized body is ¾ the size of the Fender Stratocaster and made from lightweight basswood. The C-shaped maple neck is fitted with a rosewood fretboard and houses 20 medium frets with dot inlays.
The action is very low, so it makes it easy to tackle barre chords and four fret drills. The intonation and setup are good and the guitar is playable right out of the box. The slender body and contours make it very easy to handle while sitting or standing. The guitar is very light and compact and has an inherently bright tone that one would associate with a Fender guitar.
The 22¾-inch scale length and 9.5-inch neck radius make it ideal for short and small people. However, Fender has not skimped on the electronics. The Squire Mini has the same three single-coil pickups with master volume + tone knobs and a 5-way pickup selector. It has the same versatility as a Fender Stratocaster but, given the price difference, there is a conceivable difference in the quality of the tone.
For the price, it is hard to fault the construction, fit, and finish. The components are reliable, durable, and good enough to serve you until you are an intermediate-to-advanced player. In short, this is a good practice axe or a ‘student-guitar’, especially for young adults or people with short hands.
- Ideal for beginners & children
- Good fit & finish
- Lightweight and compact
- Versatile tone sculpting options
- Good value for money
#4 Fender Bullet HH Mustang Short Scale Electric Guitar, Blue
The Mustang was a big hit in the 90s when Kurt Cobain propelled it to fame alongside a long list of alternative musicians. This cult classic was made by Fender but discontinued for a while until it was reintroduced as the Bullet HH Mustang – a short scale guitar with a new age twist.
Unlike the usual single-coil picks on the Fenders, the HH Mustang is armed with two humbuckers – a considerable departure from their signature design and sound. This may not be the first thing we recommend if you want vintage tones or the signature Strat sound, but the Squire Bullet Mustang is a beast in its own right, and it can hold the fort in a variety of genres.
The main components include a bolt-on maple neck with a 12” radius and a rosewood fingerboard. Young students or people will small hands will thoroughly enjoy the C profile neck and the 24” scale length, but people with larger stature may find a toy-like. The neck feels comfortable to grip and the satin finish on the back makes it easy to run up and down the fretboard.
The basswood body is sleek and ultra-light. The hard tail bridge and Fender tuners – keep the tuning stable. You can dial in a wide variety of tones with the volume and tone knobs and an angled 3-way pickup selector switch.
If you look at the meager price tag on this instrument, it is hard to fault it other than for the sake of being critical. It is crammed with useful tones and features and it covers all the essential hallmarks of a high quality & value for money instrument.
- Good for people with small hands
- Ultra-light Body
- Good playability and comfortable neck
- Thin C-Profile neck
- Budget-friendly Option
Are Mini Electric Guitars or ¾ Size Guitars made for people with Small Hands?
A mini electric guitar can be ideal for musicians who find full-sized guitars uncomfortable to play. However, most ¾-sized guitars are made keeping kids or young adults in mind. This does not mean that adults cannot play them. Most adults can play full-sized musical instruments with sufficient practice and proper technique.
Are guitars with thin necks better for people with small hands?
It is not mandatory to have thin necks but starting with a thin neck guitar initially can help you master techniques and gradually progress to regular sized guitars. All electric guitars have fairly thin fingerboards, especially when you compare them to acoustic or classical (nylon-string) guitars.
Frankly, most adults ought to be comfortable playing a regular sized guitar with some adjustments to technique and dedicated practice. However, some adults with particularly small hands find mini or ¾ sized guitars to be more comfortable. In the end, it will boil down to personal preference.
Should I choose a guitar with a thin neck for small hands?
Electric guitars are inherently fitted with relatively slim necks. Therefore, in most cases, a majority of the choices are small-hand-friendly. In such cases, the short scale length may be more significant when you make your decision. You do not need to if you are buying an electric guitar but it certainly will not hurt if you are looking for an acoustic guitar, quite literally.
Best Guitar for Musicians with Small Hands
There is nothing more exciting than unboxing your new guitar on the day it arrives. Let us hope that this list of eight guitars can help you find the right instrument for your style and stature – because everyone deserves to find their ideal musical companion. Comfort is important when you choose your instrument but eventually, you can learn some drills and exercises to increase your finger stretch and hand strength. This will eliminate the need for ¾ size guitars and allow you to access a much wider range of full-sized guitars. You can also choose thin strings and set the action low to reduce the strain on your fretting hand while you practice scales or barre chords.
I hope this article has been informative and provided you with some practical and pertinent information. Check out some of our other buying guides and gear review articles before you leave.