Are Stratocasters Good For Small Hands?

Photo of author
Written By Sarah Barlow

Chief Music Officer

For guitar enthusiasts, the main part of the body that come into contact with the guitar is the hands and fingers. A guitar’s typical width is between 43 and 44 millimeters, and its typical scale length is between 24.75 and 25.5 inches. With that being said, some models may be too big and uncomfortable for the likes of guitarists with small hands, making it essential for them to find the ideal guitar that accommodates their physical limitations. 

With the vast variety of guitars to choose from nowadays, there are certain variants designed to fit players with small hands. Of course, this factor is considered by prominent guitar manufacturers as not all guitarists’ hands are the same. 

In this article, we’ll go over the features that small-handed guitarists should consider before purchasing electric guitars, including the best Stratocasters for small-handed guitarists, and whether or not Stratocasters are good for small-handed guitarists. 

Factors To Consider In Electric Guitars If You Have Small Hands

Scale Length

Small-handed guitarists should look for an electric guitar with a short scale length because this makes the instrument simpler to operate. The feel of the fretboard and neck of the guitar affects how comfortable you are playing it, regardless of the size of the guitar you want to purchase.

One of the first features you should check before buying a guitar is the scale length. However, it’s important to note that it has little bearing on whether playing the guitar would feel natural to you or not.

If you have small or large hands, it is still strongly advised that you initially study and feel the guitar’s fretboard and neck to choose which instrument is most comfortable for you.

¾ Sized Guitars

Small-handed guitarists should also take into account 3/4-sized guitars, which are beginner-friendly and built for children. Because they are easier to use, these guitars are typically also utilized by adult beginners. Once you get the hang of it, you can later decide whether or not you are ready to move to a regular or full-sized guitar. 

The main drawback of 3/4 guitars is that they don’t offer quite as many features as full-sized guitars, which means that certain sounds you may be looking for might not be available on these types of guitars. 

On a positive note, because of their compact bodies, which make them simpler to play for people with small hands, 3/4-sized electric guitars are exceptional when it comes to reducing the stress your arm, shoulder, and hands will encounter while playing and offer you a more comfortable feel when using them.

Cutaway 

A deep cutaway on the guitar will give small-handed players easy access to hit and reach the higher notes they wish to play, which is another feature small-handed players should look for in a guitar. 

Electric guitars with deeper cutaways are easier to play and provide you additional comfort when playing, especially when you’re soloing.

Weight Of Strings

Small-handed guitarists should also consider the weight of the strings. Lighter strings, such as the 008s and 009s are strongly recommended. Also, the G, B, and E strings should be thin and light if you’re trying to make your guitar easier to play. Using strings higher than the 009s is entirely up to you, but it will probably be painful for your hands and fingers, especially during extended playing sessions. 

You should also look at the brand of the strings you use because not all manufacturers provide strings that are suitable for small hands. It’s common for new guitarists to experience some minor pain and discomfort, but as you grow more accustomed to playing, these feelings will gradually go away. For easier bending and playing, a great piece of advice for you is to replace your strings frequently with new ones.

Best Fender Stratocasters For Small-Handed Guitarists

Squier Vintage Modified Stratocaster 

Squier, a subsidiary company of Fender, produces some of the greatest electric guitars for players with small hands and focuses on producing affordable electric guitars. 

The Squier Vintage Modified Stratocaster is a small-sized guitar with a maple neck, a 9.5-inch fretboard radius, and 21 jumbo-sized frets which provides small-handed guitarists a comfortable playing experience. 

This electric guitar has a switch selector for its pickups and can produce incredible and powerful tones. It also has humbucking pickups that are ideal for performing rock, blues, and metal. 

The Squier Vintage Modified Stratocaster additionally comes fitted with F-holes that enable it to generate both electric and acoustic sounds. It also features a hardtail bridge that enables the user to change strings effortlessly. 

Overall, small-handed guitarists should consider the Squier Vintage Modified Stratocaster because of its comfort, accessible fretboard, and ease of use.

ProsCons
Easy to playLacks traditional tones
Very comfortable neckLimited tone control

Squier Mini Stratocaster

The Squier Mini Stratocaster is a ¾ sized electric guitar perfect for students and small-handed guitarists. It has a 22.75-inch scale length, a C-shaped neck with 21 frets, and a rosewood fretboard to make playing it simpler and more comfortable. 

Small players will find it simple to use this electric guitar due to its 3/4 body size. The Squier  Mini Stratocaster makes use of single-coil pickups to produce its unique and euphonious tones. Also, it has a hardtail bridge that keeps the tuning steady and makes changing strings simple for the player.

ProsCons
Easy to play especially for students and adult beginnersNo tremolo system
Comfortable body designNot ideal for large players

Fender American Special Stratocaster

Despite being renowned for their tones, most Fender Stratocasters are too heavy and large for guitarists with small hands. But because the company took small-handed people into consideration, they produced the American Special Stratocaster. 

This electric guitar has a rosewood fretboard with 22 frets, an alder body, and a maple neck. The American Special uses a C-radius neck for simple playability. Additionally, it makes use of single-coil pickups to produce its unique and potent tones. 

Users have control options including volume, two-tone, and pickup switch selectors. Last but not least, it has Fender’s conventional tremolo to add to tuning stability.

Overall, for guitarists with small hands, the Fender American Special Stratocaster is a comfortable and excellent choice. Almost all musical genres can be played with it, but rock, blues, and country music are what it excels most.

ProsCons
Well-built designSlightly big headstock
Aesthetic Chrome Hardware

Key Takeaway

Fender Stratocasters have several series models that are perfect for people with small hands. All electric guitars are, however, easy to handle and comfortable to play once you get the hang of it. 

A guitar’s playability for people with small hands can be made easier by factors including scale length, size, cutaways, and string weight. The guitarist’s preference for what he or she finds comfortable and difficult to play still determines everything. 

Therefore, regardless of one’s physical characteristics, a Stratocaster is a superb and versatile electric guitar.