PDA

View Full Version : Small hands



pryce4267
10-17-2009, 05:50 AM
I am female with fairly small hands. I bought a kala tenor maple from musicguymic last year and he gave me the lowest action possible. I m fine strumming but struggle with more complicated melodies and the stretches involved. Would a concert or soprano be better. And can anyone recomend one in the Kala/ Ohana price range. Regards Susan

djny
10-17-2009, 08:19 AM
Hi pryce. I am also a female with fairly small hands and I have a soprano ukulele. A lot of people post that they have trouble with the small scale but it's great for me. I am also interested in checking out the concert size (mainly because I think it would be easier to hold on my lap.) You should definitely go to a music shop and see if you might like the smaller sizes better.

buddhuu
10-17-2009, 08:52 AM
A lot of people will probably disagree, but IMHO concert is a great size. Some of the best advantages of soprano and tenor in a halfway size. :)

itsme
10-17-2009, 09:38 AM
I've seen little kids play full-sized guitars with no problem, so I don't really buy into this whole "small hands" thing.

But like djny said, go check the other sizes out in person and see what you think.

eleuke
10-17-2009, 03:01 PM
Get an inexpensive concert size first to see if you like playing that scale uke. If you like it, then get yourself a really nice concert. If it doesn't help that much, then you're not out much either... Personally my first was a concert and I loved it. I didn't get my first tenor until I had played the heck out of that concert. Good luck!

ahreeka
10-17-2009, 03:49 PM
I've seen little kids play full-sized guitars with no problem, so I don't really buy into this whole "small hands" thing.


this ^^^^^^^^^^

djny
10-17-2009, 04:06 PM
She asked about smaller sizes because they come in smaller sizes. Some people prefer the smaller sizes. There's nothing to "buy into."

itsme
10-17-2009, 04:28 PM
She asked about smaller sizes because they come in smaller sizes. Some people prefer the smaller sizes. There's nothing to "buy into."
My point was about the fact that she shouldn't "buy into" the myth that just because she's a woman and may have smaller hands than a man, that she should assume she needs a smaller scale instrument. Many women (myself included) and even children can play a full-sized guitar without a problem. A tenor uke is still much smaller than a guitar.

mangorockfish
10-17-2009, 04:33 PM
I bought a concert simply because Mainland was out of tenors and I think it is a great size. I am a guy and have short fingers and it is perfect for me, but I'll be getting a Mainland tenor when they come in. Check a concert out. I think you'll like it.

djny
10-17-2009, 05:26 PM
Sorry, itsme. I guess I took your post wrong. I thought it you were equating the smaller size ukes with a half-sized guitar or something. I also play guitar and I find that a 25" inch scale is much easier to play than 25.5". Even a little shorter makes a difference. So I think it's a good idea to go smaller if it's more comfortable.

UkeNinja
10-17-2009, 06:28 PM
As you go along, you will find that many very good ukulele players have either small hands, medium hands, or large hands. However, none of these hand sizes stop them from being very good. Neither does their choice of instrument size depend on the size of their mitts. Not to mention the "G"-word here too often, but there are some terrific female guitar players out there who do not have huge shovel-like hands but at the same time, play a full-size guitar.

Try some stretching, invest time and effort in the instrument you love before looking for an easy way out. Next, you play a soprano and find it is actually hard to play way up the neck because there is now too little space. Now, you can stretch your grip through practice and exercises, but it is harder to cram you fingers into space that is not there. Although in all fairness, again the size of a soprano is not an absolute factor in playability at all. Practice is much more important.

Now remember, what is written above is all bluff and knee-jerk theorization, and you may very well encounter hard to reach arrangements. Warm up your fingers, stretch every time you play, try the hard part fifty times, come back and repeat the next day.

To comfort you: I have respectable hands that make a room go dark if I spread them, however I cannot yet reach some of the more intricate chords. It's not your hands.

Good luck!

Citrus
10-18-2009, 06:48 AM
I too have small hands, actually why I took the ukulele. I usually can't stretch my hands out past 7 frets. My recommendation is to do hand stretchs to work on getting your hands to the point where you can stretch out and make your thumb perpendicular to your pinky. Apart from that messing around with tab with your right hand is one of the things I do

Rzr
10-18-2009, 07:19 AM
http://ukuleleunderground.com/2008/05/25/uke-minutes-16-finger-stretching-warm-ups/
You can try this for whichever size you choose.

Valerie
10-18-2009, 10:26 AM
I have very small hands (I wear children sized gloves/mittens...)

And small hands/ large hands have absolutely NOTHING to do with playing instruments. *unless we are talking hands as small as say, a typical six year old or some such.*

When I started taking guitar, I told my teacher I was worried about my small hands being a problem. He said it was a null point.

He had me hold up my hand and spread my fingers as far apart as I could. My reach( from the tip of my index finger to tip of my little finger) was only slightly less than his.

With practice, finger strengthening exercises and stretches, and two months time, my reach was just as far as his- never mind that he had larger hands.

Sure, there will be some differences... but overall, I think just about anyone can gain enough reach to play chords and most melodies (and if you can't there is always alternate fingering.)

Rzr already linked to the video that shows one exercise that helps to improve finger strength and flexibility.

The video says they are for warm-ups- but I find if you really want to improve your reach- doing them in the middle of a practice session and again at the very end really helps.


Another trick is to buy a capo. If you are having trouble fingering a song, slap the capo on the third or fifth fret, and practice the piece there. then as you master it, move the capo up a fret, then another, then another, until you can play the piece without the capo.

Rick
10-18-2009, 10:37 AM
A lot of people will probably disagree, but IMHO concert is a great size. Some of the best advantages of soprano and tenor in a halfway size. :)

exactly why I'm getting one

blueskyuke
10-18-2009, 01:24 PM
I have very small hands as well. I started out with a tenor (6 months ago) and just acquired a soprano. I thought it would be easier to reach the chords, but it really didn't for me. My childhood piano teacher is also a violinist. Her left hand span is at least 1-2 inches wider than her right hand. I think the more you play the more your hand would adjust. Good luck!

lizaloo
10-18-2009, 01:35 PM
My point was about the fact that she shouldn't "buy into" the myth that just because she's a woman and may have smaller hands than a man, that she should assume she needs a smaller scale instrument. Many women (myself included) and even children can play a full-sized guitar without a problem. A tenor uke is still much smaller than a guitar.

Yeah, I'd recommend taking a look at how your wrist is angled, something you might need to change for certain chords. When you're so caught up in trying to play one chords the way you've been playing all the others you forget that you can move more than just your fingers. I have little-to-medium hands and play both a guitar and, at the moment, a soprano and often change wrist positions for both.

itsme
10-18-2009, 02:01 PM
And small hands/ large hands have absolutely NOTHING to do with playing instruments. *unless we are talking hands as small as say, a typical six year old or some such.*
I think this one's probably under six, the guitar's almost as big as she is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njG_dQC-cnk

And this one can't be much more than 7 or 8, if that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaHaRUPfKok


I think the more you play the more your hand would adjust.
Here's a little experiment... get a pencil and put your hands in the classic prayer position, balancing the pencil between index and middle finger, then middle and ring, etc. so that the pencil is perfectly perpendicular. Observe the fingertips, ignoring the nails.

The index, middle and ring fingers on my left hand are noticeable longer by nearly 1/4". (Unfortunately, due to a mishap involving severed tendons at the base of the LH pinky, I lost some extension in that finger and it's actually shorter. :()

So, yes, your fretting fingers can definitely stretch out over a number of years of playing. :)

KC8AFW
10-18-2009, 02:29 PM
I think this one's probably under six, the guitar's almost as big as she is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njG_dQC-cnk



That was amazing. :eek:

I have large hands and prefer the soprano.

monica.h
06-10-2018, 04:56 PM
It's not the size of the Uke that matters, it's how you use it.
http://guitartrance.com/ukulele-sizes/

Graham Greenbag
06-10-2018, 08:20 PM
I am female with fairly small hands. I bought a kala tenor maple from musicguymic last year and he gave me the lowest action possible. I m fine strumming but struggle with more complicated melodies and the stretches involved. Would a concert or soprano be better. And can anyone recomend one in the Kala/ Ohana price range. Regards Susan

There’s lots of wonderful advice already but let me give you an alternative view.

The chap who taught me to play Uke is a good player, he’s been playing for years and has taught literally hundreds of folk how to play. He now plays Tenor Uke but he’s bounced up and down and the sizes, he told us how his hands changed over the years. IIRC he plays Tenor rather than other sizes because it projects better and rings better for him in his teaching and other playing - it’s his professional tool but he struggled with it and his hand span.

I like Soprano Ukes but also play Concert too, both have their merits for me. I bought a Tenor and found it a real struggle and, to be frank, for me it’s a pointless struggle. The Tenor was sold asap and I play the sizes that work for me now, I suggest that you do the same.

I’ve been playing for about three years now, so not a beginner but still someone with much left to learn - you’re possibly slightly further along the learning path than me. Whilst I could afford something fancier the Uke next to my chair today is a Makala Concert that I carefully set up and then added a bone saddle and better strings too, it doesn’t hold me back and it holds its own in the Uke Club. One guy on UU used to use a similar Uke to go busking with (so he must be a tidy player) and it did the job for him. My suggestion is that you get yourself a Kala KA-C or the next (quality) level up Kala, have someone set it up properly for you and fit some fluorocarbon strings to it. It will sound fine and by the time you play so well that you’ve truly out grow it (long time) you’ll have seen so much other stuff that you’ll have a good idea of what works for you.

peanuts56
06-11-2018, 02:39 AM
I have relatively small hands. I'm 5 foot 7 and weigh about 165. I play tenor almost exclusively. I just prefer the sound. I've met Jake Shimabukuro probably 10-12 times. Jake is not a big guy, I actually feel like the Hulk standing next to him. Jake's hands are smaller than mine. It doesn't seem to bother him. He has incredible flexibility. I've also met Honoka from Honoka and Azita. Her hands are relatively small. Azita on video appears much smaller than Honoka. They both play tenor. Try a concert if you can and if it suits you go with that. It's all about having fun.Best of luck.

Rllink
06-11-2018, 03:17 AM
This post was started almost nine years ago. I wonder if people who are posting on it now realize that. Anyway, I love it when these old posts get resurrected. It would be interesting to know if the OP is even still playing the ukulele, and if so, what they have learned in regards to the post. It would be interesting to know how their opinions have changed. I know that mine have over time. It says though that the OP hasn't been on UU since sometime in 2010, so either they gave up on the ukulele, or they gave up on UU a long long time ago. I went back and looked at the people who were posting, and other than Budduu most of them have not been around for a while. All but a few haven't been around since 2009. I wonder what happened to them all?

Pirate Jim
06-11-2018, 04:14 AM
There's been a fair bit of thread resurrection lately - it shows what a good historical resource the archive here is; that even 10 years on people have the same queries again and again; and that folks don't look too carefully at what they're replying to ;)

UkeDoxie
06-12-2018, 03:14 AM
I know kids who play full size guitars that have bigger hands than I do, so kid doesn’t always mean small hands :). Size, dexterity and flexibility all make a difference in what you are comfortable with. Different brands also have different widths in their necks which can also make a difference. Good luck in finding a ukulele that works for you!