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Old 08-17-2009, 12:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default An everlasting problem

I tried to learn the piano when i was 9 or so ... took courses for 2 years but stopped cz i was a kid and i was stupid ... anyway, i'm trying to learn the guitar, and the same problems that i had then, i still have them now ...

i thought i would out-grow it but doesn't seem so ...
and the problem is ... my hands are always too small for the instrument ... i do have REALLY small hands and it really gets in the way of learning the easiest chords ... the G chord seems like this impossible task, having to put a finger on the first and the other on the sixth without touching the ones between ... and i haven't dealt with the third finger here.

and i don't really want to play on the kiddie guitar ... the ukulele seems like the perfect instrument here ... but i don't want to play on the ukulele!
so is there something like: too small hands ... or should i just live with it and have a crooked hand for another month until it becomes numb like the state of my finger tips.
I'm not trying to be a drama-queen [tho i sound like it] ... but my hands scream "doomed".
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know. I have a good friend who has very small hands for a guy and he plays a 6 string bass like nothing I ever seen. Stringed instruments are weird as your hands have to go through an actual physiological process of adapting to playing the instrument. Callusses develope, ligaments and tendons stretch, muscles in your fingers hand and forearm strengthen. I would give it some time and see what comes of it.
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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that seems it ... tho in piano there's no hope ... there's some songs were you have to press two keys separated by 5. that really ruined the thing for me when i was a kid, donno why the teacher used to hit my hand when i don't hit them right ... i've been adjusting a chord at a time ... see you next month then.
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Old 08-17-2009, 04:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There is hope. I have the smallest hands ever imaginable (like seriously.... they are absolutely tiny) and I think I play both piano and guitar okay (take a look at my YouTube channel if you want to see how I play.) Having small hands may make it difficult to reach large distances on both piano and guitar but this is only one aspect of playing these instruments and there are certainly ways around it. Most of it comes down to finger agility and strength. When I first started playing, like you I thought there was no hope because I couldn't play the chords and I blamed it on my small hands. But as I practiced and played more my hands became stronger and more agile and I can play almost anything now. On guitar of course I won't be able to reach really large distances from fret to fret but this is rarely needed and with practice I can play almost every kind of chord formation. The same goes for piano. I won't be able to reach any distance larger than an octave but this technique isn't mandatory. If I can't reach a large distance I'll play some notes in my left and some in my right.

So, I wouldn't blame it on having small hands because I am proof that you can get around this issue! You just need to practice practice practice until your fingers build up the strength and agility to be able to play these chords. Try doing finger exercises regularly to help. I promise if you try hard you will get there eventually I have come to found that there are people with much bigger hands than me who have trouble playing a G chord without hitting the notes in between and it's because it's got nothing to do with hand size, but rather strength and composition of your muscles. Like SATCHMO said, I would give it time and see how you go and how your hands adjust to the instrument!

Sorry for rambling... but I do know how you feel as I went through the same thing!
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It takes everyone time for their fingers to get used to stretching around a fretboard - you`re not unique.
My local shop sells some nice looking three quarter size electric guitars - that might make things easier to start with?
Also, are you learning on a classical nylon guitar? Those necks are huge compared to steel string guitars.
Good luck...
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This thread reminds me of that Burgerking commercial with the guy with too-small-hands. I lol'd.

But anyway, OP...
Some other people already mentioned it, but I'm going to re-iterate it because it's true. Your hands aren't too small for the instrument, they're just not flexible enough. Work on being able to spread out wide and being able to stay coordinated in those wide spread positions.
It takes a while, but gradually you'll start noticing that it's much easier to make chords you had trouble with before. It doesn't happen overnight, but if you do your exercises every day, you will improve.

Unless your hands are like, baby sized, or you have no fingers, then you're not doomed.
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
or you have no fingers, then you're not doomed.
My Cello teacher told me that she once taught a kid with two fingers(in the left hand) how to play cello. You have to adapt to the situation and just sit down and learn one chord at a time. It gets easier and easier as time goes one--I promise.

peace,
-nick
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Let me reiterate:

No fingers.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
No fingers.
At that point, you just use your toes. I know of one who can play piano quite adequately with his toes. He was on youtube at some time or another.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicktarist View Post
At that point, you just use your toes. I know of one who can play piano quite adequately with his toes. He was on youtube at some time or another.
How is that even possible?! Unless he had super long toes with extra joints or something.
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