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Top 7 Best Guitars For Small Hands in 2023

So what do you do? You desperately want to learn to play the guitar, but you have very small hands. It’s not just children either. Some of us adults, too, have hands that are rather small for stretching around and up the fingerboard. We aren’t all built the same size, thankfully.

Fortunately, we don’t have to give in and play something smaller, and there are guitars that suit players with smaller hands.

So let’s go through some of the best guitars for small hands currently available and find the perfect one for you…

best guitars for small hands

Top 7 Best Guitars For Small Hands of 2023

1 Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar

Baby Taylor started life as a guitar for children to learn the basics. It has since moved on from there and is played by a lot of people who just love its sound. But, it’s not just the sound, which we shall move on to in a moment, its three-quarter Dreadnought design and size make it an ideal travel companion. It’s perfect for taking anywhere you need a guitar.

Taylor guitars will, of course, need little introduction to players and enthusiasts the world over. The quality of the materials used and the construction set these guitars apart as being very special.

So what about the sound?

Taylor is a prestige instrument. With a definitive sound that comes in the main, from the materials used in its manufacture. The back and the sides are made from layered Sapele wood. The back of the guitar is arched to give it a little bit more volume because the body is smaller. And this needs to be strengthened, and so the wood is layered to give it strength and to improve the tonal qualities.

The top wood though is where the guitar gets its character, and real sound from and this has a Mahogany Top. Mahogany has long been recognized as having great qualities for sound, and it creates a certain warmth and clarity – it has that Taylor sound.

What about the neck…

Sapele is also used for the neck, and it has an African Ebony fingerboard. It has 19 frets, and there is no cutaway. Up at the headstock, there is a Lexan covering and baby Taylor tuners. The bridge is also made from African Ebony and the nut and saddle from Nubone.

This best Guitars For Small Hands is a super guitar for any player but especially for people with small hands. Comes with a travel bag.

Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

  • Superior materials and build quality.
  • Great Taylor sound.
  • Quite expensive for a first guitar.

2 Martin LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar

The name in the guitar world of Martin conjures up the thought of pure quality. It’s not surprising. They are renowned for their guitars and the Martin sound. And if you are looking for a guitar for a child or an adult with small hands, then this is one to consider.

The ‘Little Martin’ is what you might imagine it to be, a real Martin guitar but a small scale version of it. In fact, this is the smallest guitar that Martin manufacture.

A Sitka Spruce top…

It is a 23-inch scale concert body instrument with no cutaway. The back and the sides are made from high-pressure laminate mahogany, and the all-important top wood is made from Sitka Spruce.

The mahogany of the body gives it a warm, rich sound that even though it is a smaller size, still resonates very nicely. The solid Spruce top, where the sound of the strings vibrate, and the majority of the sound is created, gives it a clear, slightly toppy sound.

And when this is mixed with the richness of the mahogany, it creates what we know as the Martin sound!

It has a rust stratabond neck and either a Morado or Rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets. The playing action is easy and comfortable. It has sealed chrome machine heads and has a Richlite bridge, compensated saddle, and a Tusq nut.

But what about the sound?

Sound wise it cannot, of course, compete with the full-size Martin’s, but it was never meant to do that. This, like the Taylor we’ve just reviewed, was built for a younger audience originally. But it has been such a success, and people love playing it, so many adults and experienced players now count it as one of their favorite instruments.

Considering its scaled-down size though it still has a great sound with a lot of style. And stands on its own as a great guitar and is easily one of the best Guitars For Small Hands.

Made in Mexico. It comes with a padded gig bag.

Martin LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

  • Martin sound and build quality.
  • Suitable for learners and experienced adults alike.
  • Some might think it expensive for a first guitar.

3 Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The APXT2 by Yamaha is a scaled-down version of one of their most popular instruments the APX500. The design and the style of the original have been captured in this smaller version. And Yamaha has applied the same quality of materials and build that made the original one of their top-selling instruments.

It has a single cutaway body and a thin line style. The back and sides are made from Meranti, a dark wood similar to mahogany. And the top is made from laminated Spruce. The body is finished in a glossy black. There is a tasteful white edging and a decoration around the sound hole which gives the guitar an attractive edge.

Scaled-down to size…

The neck is scaled down as it is made for those with smaller hands in mind. And it is made from Nato with a Rosewood fingerboard. It has dot inlays and 21 frets that are all playable courtesy of the cutaway.

At the headstock, there are some covered machine heads that are possibly not as good as they could be. And there is a Rosewood bridge and a plastic nut and saddle.

Tune to perfection…

A big advantage this Yamaha has over some of its competitors is that it is an acoustic-electric and is fitted with a System68 pickup and ART preamp. But, the preamp is not overflowing with sound options, having just a volume and single tone control. And there is also a built-in digital tuner.

To be fair Yamaha have cut a few corners with this guitar in terms of the woods used, and some of the basic attributes, but they are trying to create a starter guitar that is both cost-effective and plays well.

Fun for a learner…

We think they have achieved that. It plays ok, has a decent sound though, of course. It is not like a full-size guitar, but it does have a pickup, which is fun for a learner. But don’t think this is just for starters, it makes a good travel guitar or an instrument to practice on at home or in the garden.

Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

  • Good Yamaha build quality and a good price.
  • Good sound for the ¾ size.
  • Electro-acoustic so you can use it through an amplifier or PA system.
  • Built-in tuner
  • Tuners might not be of the highest quality.

4 Squier by Fender Mini Strat Electric Guitar

This one is really designed for the kids. And we think there will be quite a high percentage of ‘music-aware’ children, of a variety of ages, who would fancy slinging this over their shoulder.

What Squier have tried to do is interesting. In that, they realize that whilst the full-size Strat is not a huge guitar, and some of the cheaper versions are very lightweight, they might still be too big for a child. It’s not so much the body or the weight, it’s also the neck and fingerboard, so let’s scale the whole thing down!

Looks like the real thing!

It’s a replica of the real thing, sure enough, to look at anyway, but I hope too many people do not get excited beyond that.

We think they’ve tried quite hard with it. It’s a solid laminated hardwood body with a double cutaway and a glossy black polyurethane finish. It has all the contours in the right places, if not in quite the right dimensions.

It has a bolt-on maple neck in a ‘C’ shape design and a truss rod with a scale length of 22 3/4 inches. The neck has a traditional satin finish. The fretboard is rosewood with dot inlays with 21 frets.

Set up like a strat…

They’ve fitted it with three Strat single-coil pickups in the standard configuration, and it has a five-way selector switch and volume and tone controls.

Die-cast tuners and a vintage-looking hardtail bridge with six saddles make up the design and the look. To a youngish child, it’s going to look like the real deal, which is great for them and exactly what it is for. We would think out of the box it will take a little setting up to make it comfortable to play bearing in mind it might be for someone with limited ability.

Make them feel like a star!

If you are expecting it to sound like a Strat, you might be disappointed, but then it’s unlikely it will. The point of it is to put a Strat ‘look-a-like; in the hands of a young starter or player. Keep that in mind, and at the price, it then becomes a reasonable buy.

Squier by Fender Mini Strat Electric Guitar
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

  • Looks very much like a scaled-down version of the real thing.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Just wait for the smile on their face when they open the box!
  • Build quality is a little cost-effective, but that’s understandable considering the low price.

5 Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar

We suppose if we were Squier thinking about which guitars in the Fender range to recycle the Jaguar might not be top of the list. Kurt Cobain used a Jaguar but not that often, he was mostly into his Mustang with a little bit of Strat thrown in occasionally.

The Jaguar was never the easiest of guitars to play or to get a sound from with some confusing controls. Squier has never-the-less given it their best shot and actually done quite well.

A shorter scale…

It has an authentic Jaguar shape, but they have brought it up to date a little. It is what you would call full-size in many respects, but the Jaguar has always had a shorter scale length, that is the distance between nut to saddle on the bridge. The scale on this is 24 inches with 22 frets.

This is one of the reasons that many Fender players never took to the guitar when it was introduced in the 60s. But, this does mean the frets will be closer together. Which will make it easier to play unless you’ve got larger than the normal fingers.

A ‘floating’ bridge…

All the dual-circuit switching and controls are there along with that special bridge that ‘floated.’ The body is made from Basswood, and it has a maple neck with a Rosewood fingerboard and dot inlays.

Duncan designed single-coil pickups have been added which actually make it sound very powerful. And Squire has gone for a lot of traditional looking features including the tremolo arm and the chrome tuners and hardware.

What a sound!

We have been a bit tongue in cheek with this review, and we hope it hasn’t put anyone off yet, because we must discuss the sound. All that we can say is wow. This sounds really good, and we had to listen to a Fender original to make a comparison. There really wasn’t that much of a difference.

This is a very good guitar, and Squier has pulled it off with bringing it back into vogue. It always was a bit of an item in its day. Maybe its day is about to come again.

All this goodness easily makes it one of the best Guitars For Small Hands.

Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

  • Really good sound.
  • Good price.
  • Fantastic look for those who like it!
  • Will take some time for you to get into the controls to get a sound.

6 Oscar Schmidt OG1FYS-A-U 3/4 Size Dreadnought

Oscar Schmidt makes some good, value for money guitars. And this instrument is a three-quarter size Dreadnought for children starting out or adults with smaller hands.

The body is made from layered Catalpa wood on the back and the sides, and it has a Spruce top surface giving it a great tone. It is finished in a lovely Flame yellow sunburst color that highlights the grain of the wood and the design is highlighted by an abalone binding and decoration around the sound hole.

Some more specs…

Featuring a mahogany neck with an engineered Tech wood fingerboard with dot inlays and 20 frets. It has a fully adjustable truss rod. The neck on a full-size Dreadnought will be about 42mm, but this comes in at 37mm which makes it a nice size for a young player.

Maybe not so nice for people with larger fingers, though. It is a short scale and therefore, is a nice size neck for a beginner where they won’t have to stretch too much. Up at the headstock, the machine heads are very good quality and the bridge is the same engineered Tech wood as the fingerboard.

So, it has decent materials and is very well constructed, which is what you tend to expect from Oscar Schmidt guitars.

But what does it sound like?

The sound is excellent, and considering the scaled-down size, it has a full, rich tone with the spruce top delivering some nice top to the resonance. It hasn’t got the sound of scaled-down Martin or Taylor’s. But then you’re not paying the same money as for those guitars. And for the price tag, this is an excellent instrument.

With a good sound, great sunburst looks, and a very attractive price, this will be high on the list of the best guitars for small hands.

Oscar Schmidt OG1FYS-A-U 3/4 Size Dreadnought
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

  • Well made and with a very good sound.
  • Lovely sunburst finish.
  • Great price.
  • No gig bag.

7 Ibanez GRGM21BKN 3/4 Size Mikro Electric Guitar

This Ibanez is going to set the pulses racing amongst some of the younger fraternity. A smaller-sized, short scale guitar that they can let rip on. I pity the neighbors!

This is a smaller replica of the Ibanez RG range well-known for its ability to shred with the best of them. Sometimes you see a small-size guitar, especially an electric that has obviously been copied from a full-size version and it resembles a toy, and that is often how it’s viewed.

But this is no toy!

The body is made from a lightweight wood, but it is quite sturdy and easy to hold. And the two cutaways giving full access to the fingerboard. But let’s talk about the playability of this mini monster.

It has a maple neck with a 22-inch scale and 24 frets. This allows it to have low tension levels, which means it is easier for kids to press down on the strings. It’s also easier to bend them around a bit as they improve.

Stays in tune…

The hardware is nothing special but does the job. The tuners are particularly good and will hold its tuning, and it has a solid six saddle hardtail bridge.

But… check out the double humbuckers. Dual Powersound monsters that are going to create more than a bit of noise. They sound like the real deal, and your kids are going to love them. Best get an amp with some headphones we think.

A great guitar for kids…

As we said before, this is no toy. And at the price what you get is a great guitar for kids to learn how to play and adults to have some fun with if their fingers will fit.

Ibanez GRGM21BKN 3/4 Size Mikro Electric Guitar
Our rating:3.7 out of 5 stars (3.7 / 5)

  • Well-built with some good features.
  • Double humbuckers.
  • Look like a rock star!
  • Most smaller size guitars have tuning issues so be prepared.

The Best Guitar For Small Hands Buyers Guide

There are a few to choose from. Some acoustic only, some electric copies of their big brothers and an acoustic-electric. There’s even an option for a bit of scaled-down ‘shredding’!

As always, there are considerations and questions to be answered before we go down the store. And the two main questions we think are: is who is it for and what is it for?

Who And What?

The who is important. Is it for a child or maybe a wife or girlfriend? Maybe for yourself?

Smaller hands often won’t stretch around a full-size fingerboard that easily and ultimately that will cause a technical problem as the user tries to find easy ways that might not be for the best for the long term.

guitars for small hands
Photo by Shortscale

Maybe more than one person will use it. Are you buying it for someone and also hope to use it yourself? If so and your fingers are on the smaller side, it will be fine. But if they are larger, then you will have to take a look at nut width and fret spacing to be able to use it.

Of the guitars we looked at there are options to suit every scenario, even the child who wants to let rip a bit.

So is it a starter guitar for a family member? Or a guitar for someone that can already play a little bit and wants to upgrade? Or maybe it is just for you to carry around with you, as Taylor Swift does with her baby Taylor?

The Budget

They are all very similar in price except for two instruments. Two instruments that are at the top end. You must decide how much you want to spend on this. It would be a shame to spend a lot only for it to be hardly used.

There are choices for the best guitars for small hands, and all of them have their plus points.

So, What Are The Best Guitars For Small Hands?

We will be buying this for a friend’s child. She is always saying she wants one but doesn’t know it’s coming. We don’t want an electrified or acoustic-electric. And we don’t want to break the bank in case she just puts it in the cupboard.

Therefore we are looking for a well-made guitar, with an attractive look, that plays nicely that isn’t too expensive.

We have therefore chosen the…

Attractive, very well made and sounds really nice.

Our choice as the best of the best guitars for small hands.

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