Best Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands in 2021

If you have small hands and have ever played acoustic guitars with a thick neck, you know how challenging it can be. Hand strain happens quickly, and playing barre chords, in particular, becomes troublesome. A thicker neck also slows you down, so playing leads is a challenge. It can take some searching to find the best acoustic guitar for small hands, but it’s well worth the effort.

Reviews: Our Top 5 Best Guitars for Small Hands

Unique double-cutaway offset guitar that plays well

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

4/5

Sound

3/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

3/5

Value

3.5/5
Ibanez Talman TCY10E Black
Image Credit: Ibanez
Ibanez Logo

Our Score:

3.6/5

What we like

What we don't like

Ibanez Talman TCY10E Review

The Ibanez Talman TCY10E is a truly unique and versatile guitar – it’s essentially a hybrid of an acoustic and an electric guitar. The shallow, double-cutaway body is reminiscent of a Fender Stratocaster, and slim, electric-style neck is easy to play, even if your hands are very small. An Ibanez AEQ-2T bridge pickup gives you a great, natural-sounding plugged-in tone. The onboard preamp has a bass and treble control, and there’s also an onboard tuner that makes it easy to tune-up anywhere.

The body has a spruce top and Sapele back and sides. Since Sapele is tonally similar to mahogany, this combination delivers a well-balanced acoustic tone. However, the Talman is made of all-laminated wood, so it won’t be quite as resonant or full-sounding as a guitar with a solid top.

Specs

  • Body Shape: Talan Double Cutaway
  • Neck: Mahogany Neck
  • Back/Sides: Mahogany Back and Sides
  • Top: Spruce Top
  • Rosette: Black and White Multi Rosette

Neck & Body

4.5/5

Components

3.5/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

4/5

Value

5/5
Breedlove Discovery Concert CE
Image Credit: Breedlove Music
Breedlove logo

Our Score:

4.2/5

What we like

What we don't like

Breedlove Discovery Concert CE Review

Breedlove is a highly-respected manufacturer, and the Discovery Concert CE is an affordable offering that still sounds great. The neck is a slim-C profile, which is similar to the neck found on most electric guitars. If your hands are small, you’ll still be able to play this one with ease. Notably, the Discovery Concert CE is made with a pinless bridge, which makes changing strings incredibly easy. It also is equipped with a cutaway, which offers expanded fret access.

This guitar has a solid spruce top, which delivers a full and balanced tone. The back and sides are made of laminated Okoume, an affordable wood with grain and tone that are similar to mahogany. And if you want to play plugged in, the Fishman Presys I pickup offers a reliable tone. It also has an onboard preamp, which lets you sculpt your sound as you play.

Specs

  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top, Mahogany(Okoume) Back & Sides, Mahogany(Nato) Neck
  • Ovangkol Fretboard, 25.5" Scale Length, 1.687" Nut Width
  • Ovangkol Bridge, Centered Dot Inlays, Purfling Ring Rosette
  • Fishman T Electronics, Chrome Closed Gear Tuners
  • Includes: Breedlove Standard Gigbag

Neck & Body

4.3/5

Components

4/5

Sound

4.2/5

Finish

4.5/5

Durability

4.5/5

Value

4.8/5
Taylor Academy 12e Grand Concert
Image Credit: Taylor Guitars
Taylor Guitars Logo

Our Score:

4.4/5

What we like

What we don't like

Taylor A12e Academy Grand Concert Review

This guitar, like others in Taylor’s Academy series, is designed to be comfortably playable for beginners and experienced players alike. The slightly shorter neck length reduces string tension, which makes playing comfortable for new players. The neck profile is very slim, so it’s easy to play even with very small hands.

There’s a built-in armrest, which means the sharp edge of the guitar won’t cut into your arm as you play. And the slick ebony fingerboard is extraordinarily comfortable to play. The Grand Auditorium body style is essentially a mix of a dreadnaught and a concert body – it offers big sound but is still comfortable to hold.

Tonally, this guitar is a classic – it comes with a solid Sitka spruce top that offers a focused sound that leans brightly. The back and sides are layered Sapele. Layering offers a higher-quality sound than laminating does, and it’s a great way to keep a guitar affordable without sacrificing much in the way of tone. And lastly, it comes equipped with Taylor ES-B electronics. This is a stripped-down version of Taylor’s Expression System, but it still offers warm, natural sound and is one of this guitar’s best highlights. The preamp controls are also simple – you get a volume and tone control, and there’s a built-in tuner, too.

Specs

  • Body Body type: Concert/O Taylor Academy Deep Grand Concert Cutaway: No Top wood: Solid Sitka Spruce Back & sides: Layered Sapele Bracing pattern: Academy Series Body finish: Matte 2 Orientation: Right handed Neck Neck shape: Standard Taylor Profile Nut width: 1.687 in. (42.8 mm) Fingerboard: Genuine African Ebony Neck wood: Sapele Scale length: 24.87 in. Number of frets: 20 Neck finish
  • Over the past four-plus decades there’s a resounding theme from Taylor Guitars: passion for improving the guitar-playing experience
  • As a company that’s passionate about exposing more players to the pleasures of making music, Taylor isn’t content to see people throw in the towel before they have a chance to get their groove on
  • The Academy Series, which includes the Academy 12e Grand Concert, represents Taylor’s effort to support the development of the entry-level guitar player
  • Taylor believes that in many respects a player who is just beginning deserves the best-playing guitar

Neck & Body

4.5/5

Components

3.8/5

Sound

3.9/5

Finish

4.7/5

Durability

4/5

Value

3.8/5
Takamine GN93ce
Image Credit: Takamine.com
Takamine Logo

Our Score:

4.1/5

What we like

What we don't like

Takamine GN93CE Review

Takamine is another manufacturer known for affordable yet high-quality guitars, and this one is a great example. The GN93CE has a solid spruce top, and that detail combined with scalloped X-bracing delivers a balanced tone with plenty of resonance.

The back and sides are laminated black walnut, and the back has a beautiful quilted maple panel in the middle. This guitar has a NEX-style body, which is essentially a small jumbo. It can be a little difficult to hold if you’re a smaller person playing sitting down, but it does have a strong, bass-heavy tone that’s ideal for strumming or flatpicking.

This guitar, like others in the Takamine G series, comes with a neck profile that isn’t quite as thin as some others on the list. However, it’s still slim enough to be comfortably played by people with smaller hands. The neck profile is in between that of a standard acoustic and a slim-C neck.

The GN93CE also comes with respectable electronics – the Takamine TK-40D pickup. This pickup sounds natural plugged in, and its preamp has more parameters than most. You get a tuner, a gain knob, and a three-band EQ.

Specs

  • Solid spruce top, rosewood sides and a beautiful three-piece rosewood/quilt maple back
  • Slim mahogany neck and 12"-radius bound rosewood fingerboard provide great feel and playability
  • Takamine TK-40D preamp system gives you a built-in tuner, three-band EQ and gain controls, mid contour switch, notch filter and EQ bypass switch for the ultimate in versatility and sound quality
  • Elegant Natural gloss finish

Neck & Body

3.8/5

Components

4.5/5

Sound

3.5/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

3.5/5

Value

4.3/5
Ibanez AEG50N Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Image Credit: Ibanez
Ibanez Logo

Our Score:

3.9/5

What we like

What we don't like

Ibanez AEG50N Review

This is another Ibanez model that offers quality at a reasonable price. The AEG50N has a body shape that’s similar to a concert-body acoustic – it’s smaller and easier to hold, and it projects sound nicely.

While the all-laminate build may be a drawback, the spruce top, and nato back and sides come together to produce a tone that’s well-rounded with a defined bottom end. The slim Comfort Grip neck profile is designed to be comfortable for players of all types, but its slimmer profile is ideal if you have smaller hands.

One of the highlights of the AEG50N is the Ibanez T-Bar II pickup. This is an undersaddle pickup, and it’s someone unique in that it captures percussive elements of sound like palm hits. If you’re a player who likes to experiment with sound, you’ll probably like it. The pickup also comes with an onboard preamp. The preamp has a volume and shape control, and there’s also an onboard tuner.

Specs

  • Balanced Acoustic Sound: The Ibanez AEG50N Acoustic-Electric Guitar delivers powerful and balanced acoustic sound, unplugged or through an amp or PA system
  • Features: This guitar combines easy playability, black gloss finish, AEG body with a spruce top to create a quality, workhorse acoustic guitar that will rise to any occasion
  • High-quality: The high-quality Ibanez T-bar II Undersaddle pickup and Ibanez preamps with onboard tuner provide the sparkling tones that sound great in any venue
  • AEQ-TTS Preamp with Onboard Tuner Cut: The small and simple preamp has only two control knobs, volume, and shape. This at-a-glance tone control offers natural acoustic sound in the center position. It allows players to adjust the tone easily and enables them to go from low, fat, and powerful tones to a bright and crisp sound while adjusting only one knob
  • LCD: A new easy-to-read onboard tuner with LCD (liquid crystal display) is located on the preamp

Last update on 2021-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Guitars for Small Hands: a Buying Guide

Guitars for players with small hands don’t differ too drastically from other acoustic guitars. Their defining feature is a slimmer neck profile, and in some cases, they have necks that are similar to those of electric guitars. The best acoustic guitar for small hands will be built for smaller people in general, so many will have smaller body shapes, a short scale, or reduced depth.

Guitar Neck & Body – size, shape, and materials

Often a guitar manufacturer will describe a guitar’s neck profile. Many guitars for smaller hands will have a C-shape (or slim C-shape) neck. These necks are very thin, and they tend to be fast and comfortable, making them best for just about everyone except for players with large hands. With a thin neck acoustic guitar, even players with very small hands can easily wrap a palm around the neck and still have plenty of room to finger notes and chords. Of all the acoustic neck profiles, the slim-C shape is the thinnest. Make sure you also look for a narrow nut width and a short scale.

Some manufacturers of little acoustics, notably Ibanez, are especially innovative when it comes to making guitars with low profile neck designs. That said, no manufacturer makes all of their guitars with the same neck profile, so it’s important to check the neck profile before buying.

You might wonder if you can sand down or shave a guitar neck to make it thinner. Technically, yes. But if you aren’t familiar with the process, you run the risk of ruining the neck. Some guitar shops will shave down a neck for you, but it can be expensive. In many cases, it’s a good idea to choose a guitar that already has a thin neck.

Thin neck acoustic guitars come in all body styles, and which one you choose depends largely on your preference. However, if you’re a smaller person in general, you might prefer a shallower body depth or a small acoustic guitar like a concert-style guitar.

Components – Electric Acoustic Guitars can give more volume

The components of acoustic guitars don’t impact players with little hands as the neck profile does. However, they’re important to playability in general. A playable fingerboard is a must. Ebony is an excellent fingerboard material — it stays slick, making it great for playing leads. Rosewood is also reasonably slick, and it’s very comfortable to play.

As with buying any other guitar, it’s a good idea to check out the tuners and make sure they’re of decent quality — very cheap tuners can cause the guitar to go constantly out of tune, which is frustrating for anyone. A quality nut and saddle (these are usually made of bone or composite material – not just plastic) are good to have and improve tone and playability. However, these are very easy to upgrade yourself.

Sound & Tone – Can you get a big sound from little guitars?

You’ll also want to choose a guitar whose tone you like and this is even more important for small size acoustic guitars. A lot of this depends on your preferences and when it comes to acoustics, spruce tends to be slightly bright, while mahogany is darker and warmer. If you can afford it, acoustics with a solid top are ideal. Solid tops create fuller, more responsive sound, and they tend to “open up” and sound even better with age.

If you want to play plugged in with amps, it’s a good idea to make sure a guitar you pick has decent electronics. A good pickup will sound strong and natural even when you’re plugged in. Most pickups also have an onboard preamp, which lets you customize your plugged-in sound. Some have a built-in tuner, which is a convenient and reliable way to tune-up anytime.

Action, Fit & Finish – Look for a guitar that is well made and set up

The action on a guitar refers to how high the strings are above the fretboard. Most players like a lower action, but if the action gets too low, it can cause fret buzz. Often, guitars arrive with decent action, but you may find that you want to adjust it. This is fairly simple to do yourself. However, if you’d rather a professional do it, you can always book a professional setup.

The fit and finish of a guitar don’t have much of an impact on sound or playability. Most guitars from reputable manufacturers arrive without any assembly issues, loose parts, or runs in the finish. However, very inexpensive guitars may sometimes arrive with some imperfections.

Reliability & Durability of the guitar

Most acoustic guitars will last a long time if cared for properly. And while the woods chosen for guitars tend to be durable, laminated wood is more durable than solid wood. It also isn’t as susceptible to temperature and humidity changes, which can cause solid wood to warp or crack.

When it comes to reliability over time, more expensive guitars tend to outlast cheaper ones. However, you don’t need to buy an incredibly expensive instrument to make sure it will last. A decent midrange guitar will continue to be playable for decades — it’s the incredibly inexpensive models that tend to run into issues like fretboard wear or broken components.

Last update on 2021-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is the Best Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands? Unsurprisingly, its a Taylor Acoustic Electric

Each guitar described above is a quality guitar in its own right. However, the Taylor A12e Academy Grand Concert receives the title of best acoustic guitar for small hands. The Taylor has the highest-quality tonewoods on the list, and it’s also the most comfortable guitar to play thanks to the built-in armrest, the slim neck profile and narrow nut width, and the slightly lower string tension. Plus, it has the highest-quality electronics on the list, so it’s an excellent option if you’re a performer.