Earned a bachelors in music from the University of the Arts in 1997, Member of the Registry of Guitar Tutors since...

How To Play The Guitar If You Have Big Hands, Small Hands, Long Fingers Or Short Fingers?

“My fingers are fat so I’ll never be able to do this” or “I wish my hands were smaller so I could play faster”.

Let me say this – It doesn’t matter what size or hands are or if your fingers look like sausage links.

Hey Big Hands - No Worries

If a person has big hands or chubby fingers it's very easy to make excuses for being a less player than they want to be. I hear it quite often from my students!

All that matters is that you learn proper technique. Still don't believe me?

I'm just gonna ask you to check out two players:

Johnny Hiland
Shawn Lane

These are contrasting players in style and you might not really like listening to them…that's ok…just watch and listen how clean they play.

So, how do you start sounding better and achieving better technique? Follow these placement tips–
a. fingertips close to the fret.
b. Thumb flat on neck
c. Arch your hand

Practice exercises to build dexterity and control

If you place your fingers on the strings without targeting the fingertips your result will probably be a weak sound if you get any sound at all.

Focus on placing your fingertips on the strings so that only this small surface area makes contact.

Placing your thumb flat on the back of the neck is also extremely important. This allows the whole hand to pivot and therefore, making any stretch to another fret much easier.

Just remember to play on your tips.

What many people don’t realize is that it’s not their big fingers getting in the way – it’s due to a lack of control and finger strength.

Any guitarist needs to work on finger exercises to teach the fingers what to do! Obviously, spending time with finger exercises, such as the ones below, will help tremendously.

Practice these approximately 10-20 minutes everyday and you’ll see results in as soon as 2 weeks. The numbers represent your fingers on any string and any zone on the fingerboard.

Ex.1: 1 – 4 – 2 – 3 Ex.2: 2 – 4 – 1 - 3

Warm Regards

Chris Elmore
Elmore Music

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Thank you so much for sharing such an interesting post. Its very nice and amazing post for me. You have done very well job. Keep on sharing!

Good Lesson

I can testify to the fact that even "normal-sized" fingers do a lot of misbehaving in the beginning. ;)

But with each practice session, they get better and better.


thanks ,i recently started

thanks ,i recently started this and it improved after about 4 weeks,.i call it my warm-up. then i try the chords. i am improving ,but it does take time,at least for me anyway.raymond!!