Tech Talk

Asked/Answered: Are Short-Scale Guitars Best for Players with Small Hands?

While short-scale instruments are designed for smaller hands, they’re not the only option.

Question:

Reddit user theguitarman chimed in to the r/guitar forum this week with a questions that a lot of players have asked over the years: What scale length should you use if you’re a player with small hands?

Specifically, theguitarman was checking to see if anyone with small hands had trouble with a baritone guitar featuring a 27- or 26.5-inch scale length, but we’ll dive a little deeper into this issue.

Answer:

The main concerns for younger players or players with smaller hands are finding a body size that is comfortable, a neck profile that allows for a proper grip and a shorter scale length, which places the frets closer together.

Since the 1950s, Fender has offered many of those features in the Jaguar, Mustang and Duo-Sonic models. All three boast offset bodies that make them comfortable to play and 24-inch scales—a step down from the typical 25.5-inch scale of many Stratocasters and Telecasters.

On the acoustic side of things, a good option could be a Parlor, with their compact size and 24.75-inch scale.

The reality, however, is that for most people with proper technique and a lot of practice, you should be be able finger the proper chords correctly on any guitar. That includes a 30-inch scale baritone model like the Squier Vintage Modified Baritone Jazzmaster. Of course, there are hurdles playing guitar with smaller hands but that shouldn’t impede anyone from making the music they want to create.