There has been an increasing interest in guitar playing among children and women in the last two decades, with 50% aspirational and beginner players being women. Due to the new development, more manufacturers have come up with guitars of different sizes and shapes to accommodate everyone’s needs. It is now easier to find the best acoustic guitar for small female hands than ever.
The rebirth of interest in travel and parlor guitars has led to the construction of guitars that are amenable to small female hands. Compared to men, females have smaller built with corresponding shorter arms, which impedes their ability to play a full acoustic size guitar comfortably. Fortunately, there are short-scale guitars in the market that are best suited for small female hands.
Shopping for the best acoustic guitar for small female hands is not excessively complicated, but you need to know what to look for and consider in your selection. Factors that make an acoustic guitar ideal for female hands include a shorter scale length, light strings, a shorter fingerboard, a slimmer neck, and the string gauge. Furthermore, keep in mind that you can either for an acoustic or an acoustic-electric option.
1. Oscar Schmidt OG1B
- High Gloss finish.
- ¾ size dreadnought.
- Select Spruce top.
- It has a catalpa back and sides.
- Hardtail Bridge.
- Mahogany neck.
The OG1B is a ¾ sized dreadnought acoustic guitar with 24” scale length and 20 frets, making it an ideal learning guitar for females with smaller hands, students and kids. Like most guitars, it is made of a Spruce top but uses Catalpa on the sides and back. While Catalpa is less common than mahogany, it competes quite well for the overall quality.
It comes with chrome die-cast tuners, a gig bag, many picks, a strap, a capo, polishing cloth, an instructional book, strings, and a DVD. The OG1B features a rosewood bridge, a fully adjustable truss rod, mahogany neck, and a lifetime warranty, which is quite an important quality.
You can find this guitar in two models, with an engineered wood fretboard or a rosewood fretboard and also the left-handed version, a rare quality in guitars of this size. Since there is little room for adjusting the Bridge’s height, the thick strings can affect the sound clarity and cause unwanted vibrations.
- Two fingerboard choices.
- Lifetime warranty.
- ¾ size.
- Good sustain.
- Multiple color variations.
- The left-handed versions come with fewer color choices.
2. Martin LXM Little Martin
- Spruce wood top.
- 23” scale length.
- Micara fretboard.
- Rust Birch Laminate neck.
- 20 frets.
- 42.9 mm nut width.
While Martin usually uses laminate wood to construct its guitars, the LXM Little Martin is made of Mahogany and Spruce patterned high-pressure laminate. Although loyal Martin fans were disappointed at fast, many people came to appreciate its quality build after trying it.
For its hardware, it features a white Tusq saddle and nut, a rosewood bridge, and high-quality tuners that make using the guitar relatively easy for individuals that enjoy playing aggressively. Its strings are superior and last for long before needing replacement.
Although it is not made of laminated wood, it produces an excellent tone with significant volume that can impress even extremely demanding players. You can play any musical genre you choose with this guitar.
With a scale length of 23”, it is the ideal size for female guitarists with smaller hands and students. LXM Little Martin comes with great Gotoh tuners, a Micarta fretboard, and a low-oval modified Stratabond neck that makes it exceptionally playable. It is also a perfect traveling acoustic guitar because of its smaller size and portability.
- Rich tone with excellent intonation.
- It comes with a carrying case.
- Great playability.
- Good value.
- Few complaints about the top detaching from the body, but it can be fixed easily.
3. Fender MA-1 Acoustic Guitar
- Rosewood Fretboard.
- Nato neck.
- ¾ size Parlor.
- 23.3” scale length.
- Sapele sides and back.
- Die-cast chrome tuners.
Some of the features that make Fender MA-1 suitable for females with small fingers include the 23.3 scale length, ¾ scale parlor, compact body, and a tiny 1.69 inches nut width. It sports an Agathis top with a classic X-bracing, beautiful laminated Sapele sides and back, 18 frets, rosewood fretboard, Nato neck, C-shaped profile, and a sophisticated, sleek satin finish.
Fender MA-1 comprises high-quality hardware like a Compensated saddle, die-cast chrome tuners that maintain tuning stable, solid Rosewood Bridge, Fender Dura-Tone light gauge strings, and a synthetic bone nut. The hardware contributes to smooth playability and quality feel.
The Sapele sides and back, which resemble the mahogany, generate a clear and crisp tone with slightly mellow warmth. However, it lacks some presence, but that should be expected from a ¾ parlor guitar. Luckily, the Fender MA-1 offers enough projection.
- It comes with a gig bag for easy portability.
- X-bracing system offers tonal fullness and excellent support.
- It offers excellent playability because of the neck profile, shorter scale, rolled fretboard edges, and satin finish.
- It has a better sound than several starter guitars.
- A pickguard is not included.
Acoustic Electric Options
1. Yamaha APXT2
- Spruce top.
- Rosewood fingerboard.
- Gloss finish.
- Single cutaway body style.
- Meranti sides and back.
- 22.835” scale length.
- Mahogany/ Nato neck.
With a ¾ body size, slim neck profile, cutaway, 22.835 inches scale length, this hybrid guitar is suitable for small female hands and great for traveling. Additionally, the nato neck is connected with the body at the fourteenth fret, which is excellent for little hands.
Yamaha APXT2 has 21 frets, a completely accessible Rosewood Bridge, single cutaway, plastic saddle and nut, oval soundhole, and covered tuners located at the headstock. The high-quality ART-based preamp that comes with a System 68 contact pickup makes this guitar quite desirable.
The control panel with a digital tuner, tone control knob, and master volume is quite beneficial to beginner players. It delivers a decent quality sound that remains bright and natural when you plug in the amplifier.
The spruce is a lightweight wood that offers good resonance without compromising the clarity of the guitar. Besides its comfortable playability, Yamaha APXT2 is easy to store and carry around while moving about or between gigs. You can choose the option that comes with strings, a gig bag, multiple picks, and a tuner.
- The acoustic-electric nature makes it versatile.
- Quality electronics.
- Good sound.
- You might need to replace the tuning machine.
2. Takamine GD93CE Acoustic Electric Guitar
- 3-piece Black Walnut and Maple sides and back.
- Mahogany neck.
- 42.8mm nut width.
- Solid spruce top.
- Natural Gloss Finish.
- Takamine TK-40D preamp.
- Built-in tuner.
The traditionally cutaway dreadnought shaped guitar has a solid spruce top, layered walnut sides and back, mahogany neck, and a 12” bound fingerboard for optimum comfort and playability. Takamine GD93CE has excellent electronics and great playability, making this guitar an exceptional instrument.
Besides the Takamine K-40D preamp system, 3-band EQ section, volume controls, and chromatic tuner, Takamine GD93CE also comes with a notch filter, fully EQ section bypass switch, and mid-contour switch. The tuning machines are in the form of a die-cast set that keeps the keys accurate for a long time.
The unusual tonewood combination generates an exciting tone, with the spruce producing the familiar mellow sound while the quilted maple and rosewood combine to tighten things down. Besides, the lower and mid-end range frequencies have warmth. The tonal properties of Takamine GD93CE make it an excellent guitar for fingerpicking and also great for strumming.
- Great sound.
- Easy playability.
- The bound fretboard enhances comfort.
- It has a three-piece back.
- Cutaway dreadnought design.
- It is not sold with a gig bag or case.
3. Taylor GS Mini-e Acoustic Electric
- Sitka Spruce top.
- Satin Varnish Finish.
- Grand Symphony Mini Body Shape.
- Layered Indian Rosewood Sides and Back.
- Sapele Neck.
- 23.5” Scale Length.
It is a stunning guitar with a shape designed to offer comfort and also an excellent tone. The GS Mini-e has a 23.5-inches scale length, narrow waist that allows your hand to be extended at a more comfortable angle than on a dreadnought shaped body. Its total length is 36 5/8”, making it portable, comfortable, ideal for small female hands, and an excellent travel guitar.
Underestimating this guitar would be a mistake because of its tiny size and smooth, natural appearance; the GS Mini-e generates a strong, mid-range punch. The sides and back are made of laminated Sapele that is a honey-colored, gold-tinted, shimmering mahogany and a solid Sitka top.
With a GS Mini-e, you will not have to carry a clip-on tuner because it comes with a digital chromatic tuner with a bright LED display. You can achieve multiple tones thanks to the built-in ES-B pickups.
- Great value for money.
- Pleasing aesthetics.
- Quality construction.
- It does not have an onboard tuner.
What to Look for When Buying an Acoustic Guitar for Small Female Hands
There are many factors to consider when choosing an acoustic guitar for small female hands, but you should set a budget first before you get into that. Knowing what you can spend comfortably will guide you to choose the best guitar to help you play and produce music effortlessly. After doing so, begin to explore the specifications to ensure that you find the right guitar.
1. Body Size
There are four options, parlor, 3/4, and concert.
These guitars are typically recommended for kids under 13 years because their body sizes are only slightly bigger than ukuleles and ½ size guitars. However, they are becoming more popular among adults with smaller hands because of their portability, size, and easy playability.
With a ¾ guitar, you will not have to hold it at an uncomfortable and awkward angle to bar the chords. The downside is that smaller acoustic guitars generate smaller sound, so do not expect the same depth you would get from a full-size acoustic.
Parlor guitars are slightly smaller than ¾ size and are more affordable than full-size. They produce mid-range sound with a broader tone compared to ¾ guitars and sit low on the knee. Females with smaller hands can play parlor guitars easily.
These guitars are based on the classical guitar shapes and fall in between the parlor and the traditional dreadnought guitars in size. Their size and shape produce a clear, pleasant mid-range tone and remain versatile for various genres. A grand concert is an excellent option if you need a smaller guitar, which generates the impact of a full-size dreadnought.
Dreadnought guitars are not designed specifically for smaller hands. However, if you need one but have smaller hands, you must consider other factors to ensure you achieve comfortable and easy playability.
2. Neck Width
One of the most significant problems that females with smaller hands often have with standard or massive guitars is wide necks because they cause discomfort when playing chords or fretting the strings. Therefore, it is essential to go with an acoustic guitar with a thinner neck to ensure that you avoid pain and minimize the effort needed to play.
As with everything else, a thin neck comes with its shortcomings, including difficulties playing fingerstyle music and lack of chunky sound that is often seen in guitars with wide necks. You should consider getting a wider neck guitar if you have smaller hands but large fingers to increase your skill.
3. Scale Length
An acoustic guitar with a shorter scale length has its frets placed close together, making it easier for females with smaller hands to play. It eliminates the need to stretch farther to get to the upper frets to play certain chords and notes, making it more enjoyable. The scale length of a full-size guitar is typically 25.5-inches, so you should look for 22-24.9-inches.
4. String Gauge
Although you can change the string gauge after getting the guitar, you should consider getting one with smaller or lighter gauge strings to avoid the trouble of shopping. Lighter strings like nylon are more comfortable to play and press down the fretboard.
Different types of wood produce varying sounds, so it is better to choose based on your preferences. Spruce is a common wood with acoustic guitars. It is the least expensive, has a clear, satisfying tone, and does not sound too thin.
If you have a bit of money to spend, consider getting mahogany because it is denser and produces lower overtones and a punchier sound that many describe as “woody.” You can go for the rare Koa or Indian Rosewood, which generate superior projection, beautiful mid-range tones while maintaining warmth if you have enough money to spend.
Females with shorter hands do well with acoustic guitars with fretboards of 22-24-inches as they allow access to every chord without exerting excessive effort or stretching much. However, while comfort is vital when playing the guitar, having many frets is better. Despite the minimal space between the frets, smaller hands can shine exceptionally on the higher frets.
1. What is the best acoustic guitar for smaller hands?
The best acoustic guitar for smaller hands depends on your needs, how little your hands are, and your budget. Manufacturers create guitars of different sizes and specifications, so females with smaller hands should consider their physical size, precisely the arm length.
2. Are thin guitars easier to play?
This entirely depends on the person. Female players with smaller hands may struggle to play on wide neck acoustic guitars. However, the strings on thin neck guitars are closer together, allowing you to squeeze your fingers effortlessly, making it easier to play chords.
3. Which acoustic guitars have the thinnest neck?
You can find an acoustic guitar with as thin as 41mm nut width, but some may have short scales as they were made to be small. An acoustic guitar with 43mm nut width falls under the lower range for most standard acoustic guitars.
As you shop for an acoustic guitar, consider how it feels, followed by how it sounds. While sounds are essential to the performance of your guitar, you should prioritize how it feels. Regardless of how great the guitar you pick sounds, you cannot optimize the sound if it is cumbersome and uncomfortable to play, so make sure your instrument feels good in your hands before testing the sound.