I was interested to read this, as I also have small hands - only a 7 inch stretch. I haven't got my guitar to hand, but I'm fairly certain that I can just manage that stretch you describe above. However, in spite of this I still find some passages in more difficult music very challenging. I'm probably ok with anything up to Grade 7 and most of Grade 8 level. However, diploma level seems like a different story, with such pieces as La Catedral, Dowland Fantasia No.7, Barrios and arrangements of Albeniz.musicake wrote: I was convinced that I couldn't do anything about my small hands and my inability to reach. However, a few years later and I scarcely notice that my guitar which was previously "too large" is now a very good fit, I can make most reaches quite comfortably (for example index finger on 6th string g, middle finger on 3rd string d and little finger on 1st string b)
I'm sure that with a little practice you'll be able to manage the scale of your guitar- after all you've got a good inch on my span to manage 1.4cm more scale length! All you need is some stretching (although scale length is a pretty good reason to get a new guitar )
I'm not quite at the level you describe- I'm probably somewhere around the grade 6 and 7 level (maybe 8, judging by the ABRSM website), I can't really say since here in Finland our exams are somewhat different on a whole. Previously what I've done is that if something is completely unplayable, I've changed little bits of the piece (with the approval of my teacher) to accommodate my hand size- for instance leaving out or changing a note in a chord, or attempted to fret the section at a higher position, where frets are closer together and thus less stretching is required.lucy wrote: I was interested to read this, as I also have small hands - only a 7 inch stretch. I haven't got my guitar to hand, but I'm fairly certain that I can just manage that stretch you describe above. However, in spite of this I still find some passages in more difficult music very challenging. I'm probably ok with anything up to Grade 7 and most of Grade 8 level. However, diploma level seems like a different story, with such pieces as La Catedral, Dowland Fantasia No.7, Barrios and arrangements of Albeniz.
You said in another thread you were at a conservatory, so presumably you play pieces of this level. I'm now wondering whether my fingers are shorter than yours? Earlier this year I ordered a 640mm scale guitar which will also have a neck width of 50mm (not 52mm) and I'm hoping this will help. If not, perhaps I will have to put it down to lack of technique!
Thanks for your reply musicake. My hands are very similar to yours: my longest finger is just over 7cm and my shortest just under 5cm! It is a problem.musicake wrote: As for short fingers- I'm convinced that mine are very short! My longest finger is just under 7cm, and the shortest just over 5cm... so they really do cause problems!
It's true that the vast majority of pieces are playable by people with smaller hands, even if they have to stretch a bit more, (but this also makes playing inherently more difficult). I'd like to point out that I played a full-size guitar from the age of 10 to well into my adulthood. It's just that now I've got onto the really hard pieces (above Grade Eight) the stretching is becoming too fatiguing and is also affecting the mobility of my other fingers. In addition, some pieces have stretches that are so large that I physically can't reach them. Eg. some chords in Barrios, or if I attempt to reach them, I risk damaging my hand.simonm wrote:If you look on you tube you will see very young kids playing full size guitars that look bigger than they are.
It's my understanding that a 'standard' 650mm guitar has a 52mm nut width. Do you have a 650mm with 43.5 width? If so, is this a custom guitar or a specific production guitar? I would be very interested in anything that could make life easier for my left hand.pablus wrote:I played 640mm for more than 2 years. Once my fingers got used to it, every time I picked out
my flamenco guitar, 650mm, I felt like it was a very big instrument. I sold my 640mm eventually since not only it
did not improve my playing but I got a bit of unwanted tension in my left hand. The reason for that was that
my 640mm got string spacing at nut a bit too narrow for me (I like 43.5mm). My hand span is around 8".
My lesson is that the most important parameters in a guitar are string spacing (at nut and saddle)
and neck thicnkess (I like very thin). Try to optimize these things first.
Finally, if my hand span was 7" I would definitely go with 640mm or even 630mm.