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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Hand size..does it matter??

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5Strats
Contributing Member
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Edmond/OKC

AXE VICTIM
Feb 18th, 2016 11:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Steve Vai and Joe Satriani are small guys so they use small guitars with skinny necks.

Also, Danny Gatton's fingers weren't long and it didn't stop him.

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Feb 18th, 2016 12:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

SRV did have large hands for his size. He wasn't a big guy, but his hands were proportionally large.

Everyone has limitations. The trick is, playing to your strengths, and working on (or around) your weaknesses. My guitar student is a guy not too much smaller than me, but there are certain things his hand just cannot do. Like not being able to reinforce his index finger with his middle when making a minor 6th-string-rooted barre chord. His hand just won't do it. So, he's gotta work on making that barre strong.

davey f

san diego/ US

Feb 18th, 2016 10:22 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So, are we saying that having small hands is no problem...because there is a work around that will off-set. I actually do believe that having small hands can in some ways work in one's favor...in the speed area for example...I think small fingers can probably move a little quicker....However, if you look at some of the chords that Steve Howe can finger...I'm not so sure that anyone with much smaller hands can go there...??
Perhaps there is a plus and a minus for each hand size. Although Jimi's hands IMHO certainly helped him tremendously on a lot of the music he was able to play....that and of course his immense skill!

(This message was last edited by davey f at 12:25 AM, Feb 19th, 2016)

DrKev
Contributing Member
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Irishman in Paris

Forget Tone - go with Note Choice
Feb 19th, 2016 05:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Steve Vai's hands are enourmous. Has thumb can go right over the top and play the D-string!

That said, hand size is not really all that important for most people. It is far less important than TIME. The time you spend with the guitar in your hands trying to improve, and your ability to make that time happen, is infinitely more important than hand size or anything we might think of as 'natural talent' or skill.


5Strats
Contributing Member
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Edmond/OKC

AXE VICTIM
Feb 19th, 2016 09:38 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The necks on Vai's JEM guitars are super small so maybe it makes his fingers look longer than they are?

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

When I sin

I sin real good
Feb 19th, 2016 09:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's a case of as long as they're not *too* big for the instrument (and it happens, I can't hit some chords because you can't make two objects fit in the same space at the same time).

You learn to deal if that's the case.

Bass VI though, is like a crazy home where it's all normal.

And it's not just about length or hand size but how big the actual fingers are.

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Feb 19th, 2016 05:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Right. So big hands can reach a long way, but smaller hands can do things big can't as well. The point is, guitars are made for human hands. They are shaped as they are because they work for most. Beyond that, there are so many fret board sizes and neck shapes that you can maximize what you've got!

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Feb 19th, 2016 05:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

...and another thing!

Even if everybody had exactly the same size hands, we'd all still sound different from each other and like ourselves!

davey f

san diego/ US

Feb 19th, 2016 09:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

reverend rob, I think the length of your fingers and your thumb is very important...as I said, it looked like Hendrix had incredibly long fingers and thumbs. His fretting hand shows him to wrap his thumb way around the neck and his fingers look just huge on the fretboard.


Roly
Contributing Member
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Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Feb 20th, 2016 02:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You beat me to the punch Mr. Goo.

Often bumped into Redd on the Alberta circuit in the 80's. Attending a Saturday jam when Redd was present was a treat.

Redd was heavily influenced by George Moody.

Here's the link I planed to post....perhaps it's the same one.

Home in Sanantone.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

When I sin

I sin real good
Feb 21st, 2016 07:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's not just length, it's the combination of that plus thin that are magical for some things.

Big all around, you get me, and well, you do with what you have.

BbendFender
Contributing Member
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American Patriot

I'm on guard these days.
Feb 21st, 2016 07:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Size doesn't matter.

Gaukdawg

Ohio

Say what one more time!
Feb 24th, 2016 05:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Flexibility matters

K4
Contributing Member
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I prefer

dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery
Feb 24th, 2016 06:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have large mits, I cannot play any new off the shelf Strat for a full set. Neck is too small and my hand cramps. I absolutely hate the C neck.

Same with most brands of guitars. I have to play 300 to find one that fits my hand, then another 900 to find one I like.



Gaukdawg

Ohio

Say what one more time!
Feb 25th, 2016 03:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

As a Cleveland Browns fan, hand size is very important it seems.

wborys
OldFartBassPlayerWalt

Robbinsville, NJ

what do you mean the bass is too loud?
Mar 1st, 2016 08:58 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

ever try a Rick 330 when you have fat fingers?


Vic Vega

Massachusetts

Deflating Balls Since 1969
Mar 15th, 2016 06:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It makes no difference whatsoever as far as I can see..

For proof, go look at all of the YouTube videos of 12 year old kids killing it on full size guitars.

I should also say that I have large hands and I don't think it's helped me one bit.

(This message was last edited by Vic Vega at 09:02 PM, Mar 15th, 2016)

larryguitar19
Contributing Member
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South Florida

larryguitar
Mar 30th, 2016 10:55 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I didn't know this but apparently it does matter if you are running for high office.

mrblues
Contributing Member
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She loves my big 10"

record of her favorite blues.
Apr 28th, 2016 09:24 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The necks on Vai's guitars are thin, but wide. Especially the seven string versions. If anything, his necks should make his hands look smaller, not larger. He clocks in at just over six feet tall and has the long skinny fingers mentioned previously in this thread. I don't know if one has to have those features, but it's not hurting Steve.

Also - Satch is 5'8" but has long skinny fingers too. The JS model necks are a tiny bit smaller than a standard strat, but we're talking millimeters.

Guthrie hasn't come up in this thread - but same there...

I think I'd have to agree that in general, there's an argument to be made for long skinny fingers in the shred world.

(This message was last edited by mrblues at 12:09 AM, Apr 29th, 2016)

Martin G
Contributing Member
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Canada

Apr 29th, 2016 10:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My daughter is 5' 4" and has tiny hands. And also happens to be a huge Steve Vai fan. There are a few things of his that she simply cannot play the same way he does but she can get most of it by stretching.

Doesn't Buckethead have his own Les Paul that's bigger than a normal one?




Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Hand size..does it matter??




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