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Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:20 pm
by hollywoodmark
I have a Washburn EA10 (Neck scale 25 1/2" 650mm ) and, although I love its big sound, I'm finding it clumsy for my small hands. Can anyone suggest some smaller-scale options that would be blues-friendly? Thanks.

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:41 pm
by allanlummox
Martin used to make a "Ladies" guitar - an OM sized guitar with an oval sound hole and a slimmer neck. Don't worry about the "Ladies" part either - they're really serious axes. I have a friend who has one, a ruff tuff diesel sort of gal, and I've had a blast with it every time I've gotten my hands on it.

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:59 pm
by hollywoodmark
Thanks, AL. I'm not a bit bothered by asking for a "ladies' guitar." I recently played a few guitars from the Luna line and was surprised how comfortable they felt. Later I learned this entire line is made for women and others with small hands. Maybe I'll buy one and just scratch it up a bit to masculinize it :) .

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:44 pm
by zhyla
Oh... so your name isn't Holly Woodmark? :lol:

I don't believe hand size is critical to guitar playing. How long have you been at it with normal sized guitars?

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:03 pm
by hollywoodmark
Nope, no Warhol connection here:).

Anyway, I've been playing about 18 months. It's mostly barre chords that challenge me hand-wise. Very difficult for my ring finger to span the neck and still maintain enough strength to sound the chord cleanly. Otherwise, I can work the regular-size guitar adequately. Not comfortably, mind you, but adequately.

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:05 pm
by ricochet
A slim neck profile will help you more than shortening the scale.

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:21 pm
by allanlummox
Getting the hands conditioned to those Barre chords can take a while, too.

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:25 pm
by hollywoodmark
Any recommendations for guitars with slimmer neck profiles?

As for the barre-chord-conditioning, I've been working on them about 30 minutes a day for over a year now. Still have a devil of a time getting a clean chord.

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:16 pm
by ricochet
There'd be a good market for spray barre chord cleaner.

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:00 am
by goldbrick
Try an Ovation--electric slim necks on many of them

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:18 pm
by Buffalo_Bill
hollywoodmark wrote:Any recommendations for guitars with slimmer neck profiles?

As for the barre-chord-conditioning, I've been working on them about 30 minutes a day for over a year now. Still have a devil of a time getting a clean chord.
You may as well dump the 6 string barre chords, try doing abbreviated versions using only 2 or 3 strings. Your thumb will thank you, and you'll still be able to use it when your 65.
Another tip, it's easier to play lighter gauge strings, try some electric guitar super light strings of .008 or .009 gauge.
Bill
P.S. I have a Yamaha FG-75 that has a narrow neck, in fact it's too narrow for my big hands.
When you shop for guitars online, consider the width at the nut specs, and get the narrowest you can find. For my big hands I look for the widest.

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:42 pm
by hollywoodmark
Thanks, Bill, for the tips. Meantime, I'll be on the lookout for that Yamaha model you mention.

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:05 pm
by Buffalo_Bill
hollywoodmark wrote:Thanks, Bill, for the tips. Meantime, I'll be on the lookout for that Yamaha model you mention.
After reading that you like the big sound of your Washburn EA10, you may not like the sound of a small bodied guitar. The Yamaha FG-75 is a parlor size guitar, and it was their lowest priced student level guitar back when it was built.
Still just look at the width at the nut dimension for the narrowest you can find of the guitars you may consider.
Look for a width at the nut of 1-5/8 inches, or 43mm.
Bill

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:42 pm
by allanlummox
Don't pay TOO much attention to Bill's advice - you may need those barre chords someday. It certainly took me 3 or 4 years of practice to condition my hands to them. (Thankfully, those 4 years were more than 25 years ago. I don't regret a second I've spent with a guitar in my hands.)

Re: Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:52 pm
by hollywoodmark
Three or four years, eh? Well, that makes does me feel better.That said, I wouldn't mind trading a bit of sound for a more manageable neck. I'll have to take my ruler along when I go guitar-shopping.

Thanks to y'all for your input. As a novice learning on my own, I've found this forum really helpful.