Finding the right instrument can be a challenge, especially for those with smaller hands. Some instruments can be more difficult for individuals with smaller hands to play, due to factors such as reach and hand strength.
The good thing is that there is an array of instruments that cater to those with small hands and can provide a comfortable and enjoyable playing experience.
In this article, we will explore various instruments that are suitable for small hands and discuss the factors one should consider when selecting an instrument.
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What To Look For When Choosing an Instrument for Small Hands?
There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a great small-sized instrument, depending on your playing style.
Good String Instruments for Small Hands
The ukulele is a popular string instrument for individuals with small hands. Its compact size and fewer strings (four) compared to a guitar make it easier to play for people with shorter fingers and a smaller reach.
This instrument not only has a cheerful tone but also allows players to strum chords and pick melodies with relative ease.
The ukulele is one of the most popular starting instruments for people who want to get started learning an instrument. Mainly because they’re relatively inexpensive, so it isn’t a huge investment for a beginner.
The ukulele gives a solid grounding to then possibly move on to another string instrument such as the guitar or mandolin.
Learning the most common basic chords on the ukulele is pretty easy too. Once you have learned a few chords, you’ll be able to play a number of songs, not just old-time songs but modern songs too – this is why many people buy ukuleles for children because whatever artist the child may be into, there will be ukulele versions of their songs ready for discovery.
Beginners with small hands should consider starting with a soprano or concert-size ukulele, as they have a smaller scale length and closer string spacing.
I bet you weren’t expecting to see the harp on a list of good instruments for small hands!
When most people think of the harp, they probably picture it as an incredibly complicated instrument that takes years to master, which is why we only see them on TV or at concerts or hired especially for lavish events.
The truth however is that the harp is actually one of the easiest string instruments one could learn especially if you have small hands.
Harps also come in many different shapes and sizes with very different sound qualities; one example is the Celtic harp which can be small enough to sit on your lap!
Harps are much easier to learn than violins because there’s no bowing or frets. All you really have to do is pluck the strings, and you get a beautiful-sounding note! Harps can also be an excellent first choice for someone who wants their own musical education, creating that memorable ethereal sound.
The viola is another suitable string instrument for people with small hands. While its size is generally larger than a violin, violas come in various sizes, making it possible to find one that comfortably fits a smaller hand.
The viola’s deeper, richer tone sets it apart from the violin and offers a more unique sound experience.
Size options for violas include:
- 12 inches
- 13 inches
- 14 inches
- 15 inches, and more
A proper size allows players with small hands to develop proper technique and avoid discomfort when playing. Take a look at the recommended kit below.
The guitar is trickier than the rest of the instruments on this list, but it’s an excellent instrument for any student to learn because it gives much faster results.
Learning to play a couple of chords and strumming patterns is pretty easy, and once you do it, you can quickly learn to play songs.
The guitar is a great instrument to learn because it also teaches students about other ways of reading music, such as tablature. Transposing written instructions into real-life movements and exercising reasoning skills are just some of the benefits you will get from learning how to read tablature on guitar.
If you want to get started with guitar, it’s a great idea to start on nylon strings. Steel string guitars are usually uncomfortable for people just starting out and may be tough on little fingers (something they’re often proud of).
You need to take into account the size of the guitar also. You need to make sure that your hands or the players hands are big enough for them to reach all strings with ease.
Encouraging your child to learn the guitar is a great way to exercise valuable skills, but it can also create an enjoyable life-long habit for them. It is also a good way for you and your children to share musical passions together!
Keyboard Instruments for Small Hands
Digital pianos can also be accommodating for individuals with small hands. Many digital pianos offer adjustable key sensitivity, allowing you to customize the playing experience based on your hand size and strength.
Some digital pianos even have smaller keys, which can be more accommodating for those with smaller hands. Here are some considerations when choosing a digital piano for small hands:
- Key size: Look for digital pianos with keys proportional to your hand size, ensuring you can comfortably reach all the keys without straining.
- Touch sensitivity: Opt for digital pianos that provide adjustable touch sensitivity, giving you better control over the instrument.
- Portability: If you need a piano that’s easy to transport, consider a portable digital piano with a lightweight and compact design.
Remember to research and test various digital pianos before making a decision, as the right fit can greatly impact your playing experience.
Wind Instruments for Small Hands
The harmonica is not just an instrument seen in cartoons played by characters who are sitting in jail!
The harmonica has the power to be heard in just about any musical genre today, not only blues and bluegrass. It’s a versatile instrument that can last for years when taken care of properly.
Check out our Best Harmonicas for Beginners here
Harmonicas are much easier to learn than many other instruments, mainly because the main principles of how they work can be learned in a few hours. After that, it’s all about practice!
The harmonica is a compact instrument that will allow any child to grasp musical notes and how they sound very well. It is an instrument that will teach the basics of reading music, which can be translated through the instrument.
The piccolo is a small, high-pitched instrument that belongs to the flute family. With its compact size, the piccolo is an excellent option for individuals with small hands. The fingering techniques are similar to that of a regular flute; however, the shorter and narrower keys make it much more manageable for those with smaller fingers. Because the piccolo boasts a higher pitch, players can easily stand out in ensembles, making it an exciting and rewarding choice.
Some key points about the piccolo include:
- Compact size, suitable for small hands
- Higher-pitched instrument
- Similar fingerings to a standard flute
One of the most popular instruments for children is the recorder. This instrument makes a great first step into learning music because it’s so easy to learn. Recorders are a great way to easily teach kids how to read music and understand concepts like pitch and tempo.
When the recorder is played well, it can be a really soothing and melodic instrument to listen to.
The alto recorder especially is designed with simple fingerings, making it easy for small hands to comfortably navigate the six front holes and one back hole. It’s also an affordable option and relatively light, making it a very accessible instrument for beginners. Furthermore, learning to play the alto recorder lays a foundation for the development of essential skills, such as reading music and keeping time.
Key aspects of the alto recorder include:
- Broader range than soprano recorder
- Simple fingerings, appropriate for small hands
- Light and affordable instrument, great for beginners
What About Instruments for People With Short Fingers?
Smaller hands are one thing but having shorter fingers is also something that gives some people difficulty learning certain instruments.
So below I have put in some good instruments for people with short fingers that would be worth checking out:
When it comes to instruments for short fingers, a few options come to mind:
- The Fender Mustang 90 guitar is known for its comfortable neck, which can be great for guitarists with short and fat fingers
- The Baby Taylor guitar is also a top pick for small hands and is marketed as a travel guitar, making it ideal for on-the-go playing
- Another option to consider is the Fender Sonoran Mini, which features a comfortable neck and a short scale length, making it suitable for guitarists with smaller hands (s
Conclusion – Good Instruments for Small Hands
No matter what kind of musical journey your child is about to go on, the most important thing is that they enjoy it. Children get the most out of experiences where they feel like success comes from their own efforts and interests. They engage with learning more when it’s a satisfying experience – either because there are laughs involved or because you’re getting something done together as a family unit. So keep that in mind.
Hopefully, this article has helped you make a decision!
Factors such as age, interests, ease of learning, and adaptability play a significant role in choosing an instrument for small hands. By focusing on these aspects and exploring various options, a suitable instrument can be found that offers both enjoyment and opportunities for growth in musical ability.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top instruments for people with small hands?
The top instruments for people with small hands include the recorder, ukulele, harp, and harmonica.
These instruments typically have smaller profiles and can be easily handled by those with smaller hands.
Which string instruments are suited for small hands?
For people with small hands, some suitable string instruments include the ukulele, smaller-sized guitars (such as short-scale guitars and 3/4 size guitars), and smaller violins.
Among electric guitars, the Fender Telecaster Custom FMT, Fender Duo-Sonic HS, Fender Player Mustang, and Epiphone 1961 Les Paul SG Standard are some examples.
How can I adapt to playing piano with small hands?
For piano players with small hands, adapting techniques include learning finger-stretching exercises, focusing on proper hand posture, and utilizing the pedal to sustain notes when necessary.
In addition, some pianists with small hands may opt for smaller keyboards with narrower keys, such as those designed for children.
What are some recommended keyboard instruments for smaller hands?
For individuals with small hands, recommended keyboard instruments include smaller piano keyboards with narrower keys or keyboards specifically designed for children.
A few examples are the Yamaha NP32 and the Casio CT-S200WE, which offer compact sizes and a portable design.
Are there any wind instruments suitable for people with small hands?
Wind instruments, such as the recorder, are well-suited for people with small hands.
Some wind instruments, like flutes and clarinets, can be found in smaller sizes or with adjustable mechanisms that make them easier to hold and play for those with smaller hands.
What are common techniques for playing instruments with small hands?
Some common techniques for playing instruments with small hands include learning to stretch the fingers effectively, using alternate fingerings when applicable, maintaining proper hand posture, and seeking out smaller-sized instruments that cater to the specific needs of smaller-handed players.