The 7 Best Acoustic Guitars For Small Hands in 2022

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Editor's Choice
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Plus
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Plus
  • The GS Mini has a deep and resonant sound just as good as a full-sized guitar
  • The Koa topped GS Mini has a dynamic and beautiful tone that is perfect for a wide range of music and playing styles
  • Lightweight, durable, and easy to transport
For Recording
PRS Paul Reed Smith SE P20
PRS Paul Reed Smith SE P20
  • Get studio-quality recordings acoustic recordings with little effort
  • Comes with a high-quality carrying case
  • High-quality construction, including genuine bone nut and saddle
For Bonfires
Fender Sonoran Mini
Fender Sonoran Mini
  • A very durable guitar that won't get easily beat up by the elements
  • This 3/4 sized guitar has an inspiring and classic feel
  • Comes with a gig bag

If you’re a small-handed guitarist, finding an acoustic guitar that’s comfortable to play can be a real challenge. 

Acoustic guitars generally have chunkier and wider necks than electric guitars.

However, while an acoustic guitar brand isn’t often marketing guitars to players with small hands, standard design features of specific models can benefit you if you have a more challenging time with some full-sized guitars.

I’ve been playing guitar for over 25+ years. I’ve used my experience and countless hours of research to help curate a list to help you find the best acoustic guitar for small hands.

This article takes the guesswork from choosing the perfect guitar for you. These guitars have been picked based on comfort, budget, and different use cases in mind. You can rest assured that you’ll find one you’ll enjoy playing regardless of age or skill level.

Let’s get started!

The Best Acoustic Guitars For Small Hands in 2022 at a Glance

Editor's Choice
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Plus

Looking for a guitar that's small but mighty? The Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Plus is the perfect instrument for players with smaller hands.

Don't let its size fool you - this guitar packs a serious punch, with a deep and resonant sound that belies its size. The shorter scale length makes it easy to play, and the sleek and beautiful design is sure to turn heads.

The GS Mini-e Koa Plus is the perfect guitar for any experienced player looking for an instrument that's easy to play and will last a lifetime.

The Taylor GS Mini-e is the overall best acoustic guitar for small hands you can purchase today. The GS Mini is the most popular guitar model in the Taylor Acoustic Guitars lineup, and it isn’t a mystery why.

First, the Grand Symphony body shape has a slightly larger lower bout and short-scale length (23.5”), making it not quite a 3/4 sized guitar, but not a full-length guitar.

However, while small guitars lack depth and resonance in their tone, the GS Mini has a deep and resonant sound just as good as a full-sized guitar.

This is due to the scalloped X-bracing and sightly larger soundhole to help the projection and tone of the acoustic guitar.

The Taylor GS Mini-e (e stating it comes with electronics) comes in many different tonewood varieties like solid mahogany or solid spruce. While each has its tonal flavor and aesthetic, the Koa topped GS Mini has a dynamic and diverse tone that is perfect for a wide range of music.

The Koa Plus has a solid wood top and laminated Koa back and sides. The tonewood wood has a rich mid-range presence, like mahogany topped guitars, but also has a snappy brightness similar to spruce.

This makes it an incredibly versatile guitar that responds well to flatpicking and fingerpicking strumming styles.

The “Plus” designation means that this GS Mini-e comes with Taylor’s innovative and proprietary ES2 electronics and pickup system installed in their full-sized guitars. The ES2 is famous for keeping the integrity of the acoustic sound while plugged into a PA and amplifier, making this guitar an excellent option for gigging musicians.

Speaking of traveling, the upgraded premium aerospace gig bag also offers superior protection while being extremely lightweight.

This short-scale guitar isn’t cheap, but you will get what you pay for. This is an enjoyable acoustic guitar to play for all types of players. It has that famous Taylor tone that makes them one of the world’s best acoustic guitar brands.

When you invest in a Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Plus, you will have a guitar that you will love playing and will last you a lifetime.

Pros
  • Koa is a visually striking tonewood that is sure to turn heads and start conversations
  • A versatile guitar that is great to play on the couch or at your next gig
  • It's an impeccably built guitar that will last you a lifetime
Cons
  • It's expensive
  • For the price, you could buy an all solid wood guitar
Best for Kids
Yamaha JR1

This Yamaha JR1 acoustic guitar is perfect for young children with smaller hands.

It has a dreadnought body that provides excellent projection, making it great for aspiring pop and country players. The all-laminate body with spruce top and meranti back and sides is solid and durable. Plus, the short-scale length of 21.25'' makes it easy on the fingers.

Suppose you're looking for a quality acoustic guitar designed for children and players with small hands. In that case, the Yamaha JR1 is a perfect choice!

The Yamaha JR1 is a wonderful first guitar for young children, especially those with smaller hands.

This dreadnought guitar has an all-laminate body with a spruce top and meranti back and sides. The nato neck of the guitar feels solid when played, but it lacks that effortless glide that a Taylor or Paul Reed Smith has.

The dreadnought body provides excellent projection for a small guitar and is a great choice for aspiring pop and country players.

Because the Yamaha JR1 is a 3/4 sized acoustic guitar with a short-scale length of 21.25”, the string tension is very loose on this guitar. This makes fretting easier on the hands and very comfortable for acoustic guitar players with small hands.

The laminated construction makes it very durable. With a solid body acoustic guitar, you won’t have to worry much about dents, warping, and cracks as much as you would.

On the other hand, the disadvantage of an all-laminate acoustic guitar is that it has a dull sound and lacks depth and richness, which is characteristic of the JR1 Yamaha acoustic guitar.

Suppose you have small hands and are looking for a great beginner guitar or an affordable beater guitar. In that case, you can’t go wrong with the Yamaha JR1.

Pros
  • It's a very affordable guitar
  • It comes with a gig bag
  • Very easy guitar to learn on
  • Durable
Cons
  • No electronics
  • The tone lacks depth and richness
Best Value for Money
Taylor Academy 12

The Taylor Academy 12 offers the perfect blend of quality, playability, and value for money. This makes it ideal for anyone seeking a full-sized acoustic guitar that is also comfortable for smaller hands.

Taylor's Academy series provides all the same great playability and tone that their more expensive models offer. However, they minimize the design to the essentials, keeping the price down without sacrificing quality. 

This makes the Academy 12 an excellent choice for guitarists of any level, from beginner to pro.

The Taylor Academy 12 is the best value for money if you’re looking for a full-size acoustic guitar that will be an excellent option if you have smaller hands.

The Academy series offers the same playability and great Taylor tone as their more high-end guitars but strips away all the bells & whistles to keep the price down.

This is a perfect choice for any level of guitar player. The Academy 12 has a small-bodied Grand Concert shape that is lightweight and feels intimate as you strum away on a stool or standing.

Also, Taylor has built in a gentle slope on the body’s edge to reduce arm fatigue when playing for long periods.

This is one of the best acoustic guitars for small hands because of the 24.8″ short scale length and 1.6875″ nut width. This gives the guitar “slinky” playability because there’s less string tension and less painful fretting.

Also, this is an excellent choice for players who struggle with bar chords and cowboy chords because it takes less pressure to sound the notes.

The Academy 12 features a solid Sitka spruce top with a dynamic, sparkly tone. When this solid topwood is layered with Taylor’s way of laminating the Sapele for the back & sides, it gives the guitar a surprising depth and projection beyond other laminated guitars in this price range.

Also, because of Taylor’s innovative and precise manufacturing process, you can feel confident purchasing this guitar without getting a lemon.

However, if you want to take this guitar on the road, you will have to pay extra for the ES-B electronics system.

This is the best guitar for any situation and is extremely comfortable to play. If you’re searching for a quality acoustic guitar that won’t break the bank, this excellent instrument won’t disappoint!

Pros
  • Taylor quality at an affordable price
  • The Academy series is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to play acoustic guitar
  • The smaller body and scale length make it easier to play for smaller hands
  • Comes with a good quality gig bag
Cons
  • Have to pay extra for electronics
  • Lack of cutaway can make accessing the upper frets difficult
Best for Recording
Paul Reed Smith SE P20

Looking for a smaller guitar for recording that still packs a punch? Check out the PRS Paul Reed Smith SE P20.

The P20 comes with a solid mahogany top and laminated mahogany back and sides for a warm, woody sound. The shorter scale length of 24.72'' also makes this guitar perfect for at-home players or those looking for a travel-friendly option.

If you're looking for a great all-around guitar perfect for the home studio, the PRS Paul Reed Smith SE P20 is the ideal option!

While Paul Reed Smith is more well known for their electric guitars, the P20 is an excellent parlor guitar that excels in recording situations.

Parlor guitars are notorious for having little to no bass response and a robust mid-range presence. While this is true with the PRS P20, there’s also an excellent high-end response that adds a subtle sweetness to the tone.

This makes this an excellent acoustic guitar for your studio recordings. Often audio engineers remove the low-end and accentuate the mid-range, so what you get with this parlor guitar is a great guitar that fits into a mix with little effort.

The P20 comes with a solid mahogany top, laminated mahogany back/sides, and a mahogany neck.

Mahogany’s natural “woody sound” is perfect for heartfelt singer/songwriters and blues music. There’s also a natural compression with mahogany tonewood that is perfect for fingerstyle and helps suppress dynamics, making this the best guitar for the home studio.

The ebony fretboard also makes this guitar extremely easy to play. The edges are nicely rolled and comfortable in your hands. The nut width is 1.68” and a shorter-scale length of 24.72”. This gives the guitar a slightly smaller feeling in your hand and is very comfortable for acoustic guitar players who have small hands or tiny fingers.

Don’t let the marketing collateral fool you when it says the neck shape is “Wide Fat.” While this isn’t the thinnest necked guitar on the list, it does have a traditional acoustic feel. Still, because of the smaller nature of parlor guitars, it’s an incredibly comfortable full-sized guitar for smaller players.

The construction and durability of this acoustic guitar are also excellent. It comes with a genuine bone nut and saddle, which is rare to find for the price.

Some users had experienced intonation issues and high action when they first purchased the guitar, but this is a simple fix with a truss rod adjustment.

Suppose you are an intermediate guitar player with small hands and looking for an incredible studio guitar that’s affordable. In that case, the PRS P20 is an option that you won’t be disappointed with.

Pros
  • The solid mahogany top gives your music a warm, natural sound
  • Real ebony bridge with bone nut and saddle are components you often find on high-end guitars
  • Has a comfortable and intimate feel in your hands
Cons
  • Have to pay extra for electronics
  • May need an adjustment after purchase
Best for Gigging
Martin LX1E Little Martin

Tiny hands need not limit your ability to rock out on stage! The Martin LX1E Little Martin is the perfect acoustic-electric guitar for smaller-framed musicians who gig frequently.

This pint-sized powerhouse features the same excellent quality, tone, and innovation as Martin's full-sized guitars. The FSC Richlite fingerboard won't warp due to humidity and temperature changes ad is a reliable instrument you can count on no matter the conditions.

It's definitely worth checking out for all serious gigging musicians.

Since 1833, Martin Guitars has been producing high-quality acoustic guitars. Since then, Martin has introduced cutting-edge design features to their acoustics that are now industry standards. Their guitars have that instantly identifiable acoustic sound you’ve heard on countless records.

The Martin LX1E Little Martin brings Martin’s famous quality and tone into a pint-size beast, a perfect small acoustic-electric guitar for gigging musicians with smaller hands.

This Martin acoustic guitar features a solid Sitka spruce top, built-in Fishman Sonicore pickups, and high-quality laminated mahogany back and sides. The guitar has a wonderful dynamic range and clear projection.

Leaning on Martin’s rich history of innovation, the LX1E also features an FSC Richlite fingerboard. This material doesn’t warp due to humidity and temperature changes. This makes this Martin guitar an excellent choice for musicians who need to take their instrument out on the road.

Because the Martin LX1E isn’t a full-sized guitar, the acoustic sound quality isn’t as thick and full as some other options. However, the plugged-in tone is surprisingly full, and when mixed in with a full band, you don’t miss the lack of low-end missing from the guitar.

Also, this acoustic guitar runs on the more expensive side, and I’d only recommend it for intermediate to advanced players.

However, if you’re looking for the best acoustic guitar for small hands that you can reliably take to your next gig, the Martin LX1E is a solid choice!

Pros
  • The guitar has a wonderful dynamic range and clear projection
  • Extremely durable and high-quality construction
  • Onboard electronics make it a reliable and great-sounding stage guitar
Cons
  • The unplugged tone lacks the sonic weight of a full-sized guitar
  • For a guitar this size, it's on the pricy side
Best 12-String Acoustic
Taylor 362ce 12-Fret

Looking for a 12-string acoustic guitar that's easy on the hands? Check out the Taylor 362ce 12-Fret!

This guitar was designed with comfortability and playability in mind. This acoustic guitar feels more intimate with a short-scale mahogany neck and 12-fret design than a traditional 12-string acoustic guitar.

Also, because it's a Taylor, you know you're getting quality craftsmanship and unbeatable tone.

The problem with many 12-String Guitars is that their large, bulky necks are challenging to play for guitarists with smaller hands.

However, in 2020, Taylor Guitars may have released the best 12-string acoustic guitar on the market and, inadvertently, the best one for players with small hands.

The short-scale mahogany neck (24.875”) creates a more “slinky” playability, making fretting easier and less painful on your hand. While the 1.875” nut width is still a stretch for smaller hands and fingers compared to other 12-string acoustic guitars, this one is as comfortable as you’re going to get.

The 362ce 12-Fret construction is impeccable and features innovative features that Taylor has become known for.

First, this acoustic guitar is designed with a bridge that has six bridge pins compared to twelve. This produces a more precise breakpoint for all 12-strings, resulting in a smoother, more consistent feel and making string changes easier.

Second, the 362ce 12-Fret features Taylor’s V-Class bracing, which gives the guitar great sustain, projection, and outstanding intonation. You won’t be bothered with intonation challenges that 12-string guitars are famous for.

This acoustic guitar has a solid mahogany top and Tasmanian blackwood back and sides, creating a clear, smooth, and rich acoustic sound.

The guitar comes with Taylor’s proprietary Expression 2 electronics and pickup system. These pickups provide a superior plugged-in tone that faithfully recreates the guitar’s acoustic tone while plugged into a PA or amp.

While this beautiful guitar will last you a lifetime, it isn’t for everyone. This is an expensive acoustic guitar that is for intermediate to advanced players. If you are new to 12-string acoustic guitars, then it would be better to go for a more affordable one to see if the sound is something that resonates with you.

However, this is the best 12-string guitar for small-handed players. If you are looking to invest in an acoustic guitar that sounds incredible, is very versatile, and is incredibly made, then the Taylor 362ce 12-Fret will exceed your expectations.

Pros
  • The construction is impeccable and features Taylor's innovative design features like V-Class bracing
  • Incredible intonation
  • Easy to play
Cons
  • It's very expensive
  • Your hands will still need to stretch, especially playing in open chord positions
Best Porch & Bonfire Guitar
Fender Sonoran Mini

If you're looking for a guitar that's just as fun to look at as it is to play, then you need the Fender Sonoran Mini in your life.

This 3/4-sized guitar is perfect for small hands and comes with a rich history behind it. The Fender guitar brand has been producing quality instruments since 1949, and they continue to impress with their California Series line-up. The Sonoran Mini is one of their newer additions, and it doesn't disappoint.

This is the perfect guitar for anyone who loves the beach or spending time outdoors. 

The Fender guitar brand has a rich history with American surf culture. They continue to produce retro-inspired, affordable acoustic guitars that fit the vibe.

So it’s no surprise that the 3/4 sized Sonoran Mini in their California Series line-up is the best acoustic guitar for small hands for the beach and to kick back on the porch with.

The small nut width of 1.615” is narrow enough to be comfortable for the smallest hands. While the thin neck feels excellent no matter which position you’re in.

The Sonoran Mini has a stunning Stratocaster headstock and pear-shaped body design. It is also available with a spruce or mahogany top to help dial in your acoustic tone.

Mahogany = more midrange, sustain, and warmth

Spruce = more dynamic range, sparkle, and projection

The all-laminated construction helps with the acoustic guitar’s durability. It won’t be as easy to damage if you accidentally drop it or leave it by a bonfire with smoke and saltwater sea air.

While this guitar looks classic and is a great value, the guitar’s tone is bass-light and doesn’t have the same depth of sound as the Taylor GS Mini.

However, suppose you’re looking for an effortlessly cool-looking, well-made acoustic guitar that will be a great travel companion. In that case, the Fender Sonoran Mini is a choice you won’t regret!

Pros
  • You have the choice between a mahogany or spruce top
  • Has that retro, beachy vibe that looks effortlessly cool
  • It comes with a gig bag
Cons
  • Doesn't have any electronics
  • The tone lacks depth and resonance

Buyer’s Guide

Suppose you didn’t see an acoustic guitar that jumped out at you on this list, and you need to do more research. In that case, I’ve created a quick buyer’s guide to help you dig deeper and find the best acoustic guitar for your needs.

What makes great acoustic guitars for small hands?

While all acoustic guitars are different, one guitar that works great for one person may not work for the other. However, acoustic guitars that are great for players with small hands tend to have similar traits in common.

Nut Width

the nut-width of a guitar

A narrow nut width (1.68ish inches) is essential for a great acoustic guitar for small hands. This is because a narrower width brings strings closer together and reduces the stretching your hand needs to do while fretting.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance from the nut to the bridge, directly affecting how tight or loose the strings feel.

A short scale length (below 25.5”) has a more “slinky” feel to the strings making the guitar easier to fret and less painful on the hands.

Body Size

Individuals who have smaller hands often have smaller frames in general. So while a Gibson Super Jumbo guitar might look and sound fantastic, it won’t be comfortable for smaller players.

Instead, you’ll want to look for guitars with a parlor or concert body shape.

Also, try shopping for guitars that aren’t full-sized. 3/4 sized, 1/2 sized guitars, and 1/4 sized guitars are great options for players with smaller hands and children.

Parlor sized body
Parlor Body
dreadnought with a cutaway
Dreadnought with Cutaway
jumbo body size
Super Jumbo

String Gauge

Light string gauges will make it easier for the smaller hands of females and children to fret the strings and produce notes.

The general ballpark for light string gauges is an 11. Many acoustic guitars will come with 12s. So replacing the strings when you purchase your guitar is a significant first step towards making your guitar more playable for smaller hands.

However, be aware that switching the gauge of strings on your guitar will add less tension to the neck, which might mess with the action and intonation. So slight adjustment and setup might need to be made.

FAQ

What are the best electric guitars for small hands?

You’ll want to look for guitars with shorter necks and narrower fretboards, as these will be easier to play for those with smaller hands.

I’ve created a resource on the best short-scale electric guitars for small hands that you can check out here.

What are the best electric bass guitars for small hands?

If you have small hands, you’ll want to look for an electric bass guitar with a short scale length.

Short scale lengths space the frets closer together and have less string tension. This makes fretting the strings very easy.

If you want to dive deeper into the best short-scale bass guitars for small hands, check out my article
here

The Bottom Line

Acoustic guitars can become a lifelong passion when you find the perfect one for your needs.

While each of the acoustic guitars on this list will give you great tone and sound quality, the best acoustic guitar for small hands has to go to the Taylor GS Mini Koa Plus.

This guitar ticks all the boxes, and if you have the extra money to invest, you’ll get an acoustic guitar that will last you for the rest of your life.

Happy playing!

Editor's Choice
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Plus
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Plus
  • The GS Mini has a deep and resonant sound just as good as a full-sized guitar
  • The Koa topped GS Mini has a dynamic and beautiful tone that is perfect for a wide range of music and playing styles
  • Lightweight, durable, and easy to transport
For Recording
PRS Paul Reed Smith SE P20
PRS Paul Reed Smith SE P20
  • Get studio-quality recordings acoustic recordings with little effort
  • Comes with a high-quality carrying case
  • High-quality construction, including genuine bone nut and saddle
For Bonfires
Fender Sonoran Mini
Fender Sonoran Mini
  • A very durable guitar that won't get easily beat up by the elements
  • This 3/4 sized guitar has an inspiring and classic feel
  • Comes with a gig bag
Photo of author
AUTHOR
Brad Johnson
Brad is the creator of Song Production Pros. He writes songs and surfs on the weekends when he's not too busy with family or this website. He writes music under the moniker FJ Isles, and can be heard on all streaming services.