There are so many types of guitar players: international artists, local performers, friends, colleagues, cousins, brothers in law, big guys, small girls, young people, old people…
Do you think any of them would stop playing guitar if there was only one guitar model? I don’t think so.
Surely, a “regular” guitar can be played by a large variety of people, with many different physical characteristics, including the size and shape of fingers, hands and bodies.
But there is also a vast array of guitar shapes and sizes, designed to fit every physical singularity of the player.
What’s the best choice of guitar size?
There are all sorts of opinions, but they can be divided in two main trends:
- Those who think the standard guitar is the best.
- And those who claim it is better to adapt the guitar to its player.
They both have very good arguments to defend their postures.
Here are some of the aspects you should know about the guitar size.
My fingers are too big or too fat
Starting to play guitar can be really difficult if the guitar neck is too narrow and your fingers are big. Acoustic guitars have a slightly narrower neck than the classic guitar. As a result, it can be very hard not to touch more than one string with each finger.
If this is the case, it is advisable to star playing a classic guitar, even if you intend to play an acoustic one.
My hand is too small
We all think our hand is too small when we start playing, and therefore we won’t be able to achieve the hand posture the guitar teacher or the guitar manual is displaying.
It is just a matter of developing hand elasticity and strength. But, if you have a really small hand, there are smaller guitar. Closer frets can facilitate the your guitar practice.
I’m too short
In this case, problems might be cause by the size of the guitar’s body.
Standard acoustic guitars have a bigger body size than the classic guitar. This could cause you problems to play while sitting and you are especially short.
Are there different guitar sizes?
Yes, there are. These are the most popular four:
Size reflects the distance between the two points where the string is attached to the guitar: the saddle -on the bridge- and the nut -at the base of the headstock.- It is the length of the vibrating part of the string.
The standard scale length for a modern full-size classical guitar is 25.6 inches (650mm).
Just like in fashion, a given size has many different measures according to the manufacturer.
The necks’s width varies. The standard width of a full size classic guitar’s nut is 52mm.
The third possible modification is the guitar body size, which can be convenient for a small person but it also reduces the overall volume and tonal range of the guitar.
Get some ideas of how it is to play a smaller guitar
If you have a full size guitar and a capo, this is how you can do it:
The capo in the first fret simulates a 7/8 guitar.
If you put the capo in the second fret, the guitar acts as a 3/4.
If you put it in the third fret, it simulates a 1/2.
Check if the guitar string are too close to each other
Press one of the central strings with your finger totally perpendicular to the bridge. You must press it in the second fret and the string must be right under the center of the finger tip.
If your finger touches the adjacent strings, that guitar will cause you troubles.
You should keep your fingernails short so you can properly press the fingerboard.
It is very likely that you physical characteristics won’t impede you from playing a “regular” guitar and reaching any goals you might have set your mind to. You just need to remember how many different types of guitarists play a “regular” guitar.
But you should also take into account that the wide variety guitar shapes and sizes might contribute to a more enjoyable experience, but you must make sure it fits your exact particularities.
Now you know the options. It is up to you.
Which one will you choose?