Top 10 Acoustic Guitars for Small Hands
- Ibanez tcy10EAVS Talman TCY10 Acoustic-Electric
- Taylor Academy 12E Grand Concert
- Martin GPCX2AE Macassar
- Taylor 414CE
- Martin Custom Performer JCPA4
- Taylor Big Baby Taylor
- Alvarez AR610CEAR
- Ibanez GA35 Thinline Acoustic-Electric Classical Guitar
- Mitchell MD 300S Natural Acoustic Guitar
- Breedlove Discovery Concert CE Acoustic-Electric
The struggle is real. Sometimes, it seems that guitars just aren't made for people who don’t have bigger-sized hands. But we have good news -- there are guitars out there for you no matter what sized hands you have. Note: not all of these guitars are in the beginner price range. For more options, see my guide on beginner guitars.
Here are 10 of the best guitars that fall into that category -- tried and tested for ease of playability and compact neck thickness to ensure they will work just for you. Some of these acoustics even play like an electric!
Ibanez tcy10EAVS Talman TCY10 Acoustic-Electric
Width at Nut: 1.69" (43mm)
This guitar is one of the most compact options out there. It’s a lot of fun and feels and looks almost like an electric guitar if you use your imagination a little bit.
The unplugged tone of this guitar is very interesting due to its odd shape. Maybe the best comparison would be that it sounds sort of like an oversized mandolin in the most extreme sense.
Plugged in, on the other hand, it actually packs a little punch. The unique sound doesn’t sound bad through some nice speakers; just make sure the lows and the mids are up so that you don’t have too wimpy of a tone coming through.
To get the most out of it, you’ll want to get it set up for lighter-gauge strings. If it’s in its sweet spot, this guitar is actually a ton of fun. And the icing on top is that it looks great on stage.
This is an excellent guitar for you if you want something that is easy to play and looks great. You get what you pay for with these, but it is a nice little guitar to jam on.
Taylor Academy 12E Grand Concert
Width at Nut: 1.687 in. (42.8 mm)
If you want something light and beautiful sounding, check out this guitar. Its classic Taylor sound does not disappoint in the least.
The unplugged tone of this guitar is bright and pretty. It is best suited for open chords and finger picking.
Plugged in, it sounds like a dream. It isn’t perfect, but it does come off a little thicker than when it’s played unplugged if the bass is up. So that, in a way, is one of its strengths – you plug it in, and it finds its superpowers.
The Taylor Academy is not cumbersome at all. You’ll quickly fall in love with how it feels if you’re into this sort of guitar. It isn’t for everyone, but many people enjoy this style of sound.
If you like deep tones, it might be best to look away from this guitar. But plugged in, it will surprise you. So don’t count out this underdog before you try it.
Martin GPCX2AE Macassar
Width at Nut: 1.75" (44.45mm)
Perhaps the exact opposite of the Taylor Academy above, is this Martin guitar. It can be summed up in two words: thick sounding and powerful.
Unplugged, this guitar sounds deep and has great resonance. It has the perfect amount of mids and high-end brightness to balance it out.
The most interesting aspect of this guitar is that there are no EQ settings on it – you just plug it in and go. Plugged in, it is a room-filler. It has just enough high end to cut through the mud, but there‘s no doubt about it, this guitar is meant to reside in low registers.
It feels exactly like a Martin should; it feels like a solid guitar that is built to last a lifetime. It isn’t the most graceful instrument, but it isn’t meant to be. So if you like deeper sounding guitars, look into this one! It will not disappoint.
Width at Nut: 1-3/4" (44.5mm)
Taylor and Martin, in some ways, are the inverse of each other. And they are also arguably at the top of the pack. So let’s take a look now at this high-end Taylor. This guitar is everything you could want in a colorful sounding guitar.
The tone of this guitar is so unique that words can barely do it justice. But it has chamber tones that sound so rich and resonate – it is one of the most beautiful sounding guitars in existence.
And plugged in, it doesn’t disappoint. This is one of those ultra-rare guitars that sounds the same plugged in as it does unplugged – the pickup is that good. There are no surprises with how it feels. It is a typical Taylor guitar – light and easy playing.
The only real downside to this guitar is that it doesn’t have a tuner. However, this shouldn’t be a deal breaker, as most pedal tuners are better in quality than onboard tuners anyway.
Martin Custom Performer JCPA4
Width at Nut: 1-3/4" (44.5mm)
This guitar is all in one – it is a must-try if you’re searching for that all-encompassing tone. Martin doesn’t play games when it comes to crafting it's tones.
This guitar flirts a little more with the bright sound of a Taylor, but it still has Martin bulk. It is bright and warm – it’s perfectly in the middle, yet it still stands out on both sides (high and low) beautifully.
And plugged in, it still has that perfect all around sound. This guitar, though it has Martin sturdiness, is still perfect for playability and comfort. So if you want something that you can really enjoy, try out this guitar.
Taylor Big Baby Taylor
Width at Nut: 1.687 in. (42.8 mm)
Don’t let the name fool you -- this guitar is one of the cleanest sounding inexpensive guitars on the market. One strum should be enough to convince you of that.
Though this one won’t cost you much, it still has the legitimate tone of a Taylor. This doesn’t feel low-end; it is a nice little guitar.
The biggest strength of this guitar is that it is simply so smooth to play. The small neck even feels sort of electric guitar-ish. But the dreadnought frame gives it an impressive boost that is hard to wrap the mind around. This guitar is inexpensive, but it is a diamond in the rough.
There aren’t a lot of companies that make their lower-end guitars sound comparable to their higher end ones; Taylor is an exception to that rule. Pick up one of these if you want dynamite in a small, affordable package.
Width at Nut: 1-3/4" (44.5mm)
This dream-guitar is one of two in this review that has what everyone wants – that rich, high-end tone in an affordable guitar. This guitar is off the charts when it comes to quality for the price. (The second in this category is the Breedlove: Discovery Concert, which we’ll take a look at in a second.)
This guitar is bright and cuts through in a way that makes its presence felt by anyone within earshot. Its brightness and punchy tone is just what you need if you don’t want to get drowned out in the mids and the lows on stage.
It is sort of a mix between a parlor guitar style body and a dreadnought. So it has serious power in spite of its compact feel.
Like the high-end Taylor 414CE above, this guitar somehow sounds the same plugged in as it does unplugged. It is hard to believe that such a bargain exists out there. This guitar is highly recommended.
This has an extremely light feel. The neck is very thin, and the guitar, as a whole, is just wonderful to play. This guitar simply cannot be passed up; it sounds like a zillion bucks, but only costs around $500. So if you simply can’t afford a high-end instrument, don’t worry! Alvarez has got you covered.
Ibanez GA35 Thinline Acoustic-Electric Classical Guitar
Width at Nut:46mm
No review would be complete without throwing a nice classical guitar into the mix. And this is about as nice a guitar for the price that there is. Just remember, classical guitars have wide necks. This one is 3mm wider than most other options on this page. So it might be best to try this one before you buy.
The Ibanez GA35 sounds beautiful unplugged and is oddly powerful for its small size and classical strings. The tone is extremely gentle, yet it still comes through much louder than one would expect.
And plugged in, it doesn’t disappoint either. This is one of the prettiest sounding things in the world, as its warmth offers a comforting tone.
The guitar is light – really light. And it cannot be beat for comfort. The neck is also much narrower than those of most classical guitars. This is comfortable to play and comfortable to listen to as well. If you want a gentle intro to guitar, consider something like this.
Mitchell MD 300S Natural Acoustic Guitar
Width at Nut: 43mm
Another inexpensive beginner guitar, this is for those who are ready to start on steel strings and/or those who want something inexpensive to play on. This isn’t the best guitar out there, but if you have it set it up and put some nice strings on it, there’s no reason it can’t sound decent. You can find this guitar at Walmart.
This is, however, one of those guitars that will “tell on you” if it’s not 100% in tune – so… stay in tune. Also, you may need to find one of these used, as there is a limited supply of them.
Though it is a dreadnought, it is not very hard to play. It actually feels sort of like an electric guitar; the neck is thin, and it is easy to move around on. So all in all, this is an excellent guitar for either starting out or jamming on a tight budget.
Breedlove Discovery Concert CE Acoustic-Electric
Nut width: 43mm
This is another one of those inexpensive guitars that sounds too good to be true. It is unbelievable to play and may be one of the nicest sounding budget guitars in this review. So we’re ending on a high note with this beauty.
Unplugged, it has a tone that the ears just can’t believe are coming out of a 400-dollar guitar. Play a few notes, and you just might buy this thing – it’s that good.
The plugged-in tone of this guitar is enough to make everyone in the room turn around. It is one of the most complete sounds an acoustic guitar can project. It has low-end, mid–tones, resonance, ambiance, fullness, punchy presence, and brightness. Simply put, this is the ace as far as bargains are concerned.
This guitar may need to be setup, but it has a great feel. Its compact shape is comfortable, and the neck is thin. So be sure to research this guitar if you’re in the market to buy one.
Even if you have the greatest guitar in the world, the importance of getting it properly setup cannot be understated. A proper setup will not only allow you to play comfortably, but it will allow you to move around on the instrument to your full potential as well.
Consult your local guitar tech about what string type and setup type would work best for you so that you can play with ease. And as a bonus tip, setting up guitars so that the strings are as low as possible without buzzing is a great way to go.
Best of luck to you!