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Guitar and Big Fingers

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Farmers Hands
So you've bought your guitar, opened my site, clicked on "G chord" and tried to play it.  Immediately a problem arises - The space between the strings are so small and your fingers are huge!

This is a common response from anyone fretting a chord for the first time, but before you give up and blame it all on the fat stubs on your hand, listen to this...  I am 95% sure that your hands are NOT too big.

The 'big hands' dilemma seems to be a common one for beginners, but I've found it to be more psychological than anything else.  Why do I say this?  Because I've seen people with humongous hands play like experts.  There might be a select few for whom wide neck guitars might be needed, but for most it'll just take practice and learning to fret strings with your fingertips.

When you're a beginner, your fingers are not strong and your hand coordination and finger dexterity is still developing.  The effect of this is that you usually press down harder on the fretboard than needed, and with a bigger part of your finger than really required.

A guitar string only needs a mild fretting to resonate clearly and this can be achieved rather perfectly with nothing more than the tips of your fingers.  The main solution to having big hands (or thinking that your hands are too big) is to try and fret your strings with your fingertips.

For most part this problem simply disappears after a couple of weeks or months of practice.  As you practice and your finger strength grows, you'll probably automatically start playing with your fingertips and your 'big hands' won't be a problem anymore.  My advice is therefore to go easy on yourself when you're just starting out and not to hit yourself against the head every time the C chord sounds horrible - it'll get better with time as you learn to fret individual strings with your fingertips.

But I REALLY have big hands

Now for those of you who are descendents of Goliath and are truly blessed with big hands and large fingers - despair not!  Look at all the great benefits of having huge hands, the increased ability to throw a deadly punch not being the least of it!

As far as guitar-playing goes, you are not doomed, but might need to get a guitar with a wider neckClassical guitars have wide necks and their strings are further apart than that of the acoustic and electric guitars.  Give 'em a go and see if it helps!

Does a Guitar and Big fingers go together?  Sure it does!  This page will show you how to manage your playing if you've got big hands...

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