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The guitar can be quite a difficult instrument to play, even if you’ve played it for years. However, if you have shorter hands with wider fingers, playing the guitar can be even more difficult.
Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck if you should have hands with this physicality. Guitars are made for everybody, and the following models might suit you well if you’re facing this dilemma.
Table of Contents
Electric Guitars For Short Fat Fingers
If you’re primarily interested in electric guitars, be sure to give a good look at each of the following models. For those that are interested in acoustic guitars, you’ll find a corresponding section to follow this one.
Yamaha PAC611HFM Pacifica – Best Overall
The Pacifica series has been one of the most recommended electric guitars for beginners. With the Yamaha PAC611HFM Pacifica (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon), stage performers can take advantage of this playability.
In other words, this isn’t your standard beginner-grade guitar, and its price alone will tell you that. Yamaha has upgraded this guitar to feature superior craftsmanship along with some interesting additions.
For starters, the PAC611HFM Pacifica features an Alder body, coming in a number of colors which include:
- Root beer
- Light amber burst
- Translucent purple
- Translucent black
The neck is made from Maple to have an extremely comfortable C-shape contour. Its Rosewood fretboard has a 13.75” radius and provides 22 frets outlined by white dot inlays.
The scale length of the PAC611HFM Pacifica measures 25.5”, with a 1.614” nut width. This is ideal for those with shorter fingers.
For most people, the attractive quality of this guitar lies in the pickups and electronics. The PAC611HFM Pacifica is stocked with a humbucker as well as a P90 single-coil pickup.
These pickups (made by Seymour Duncan) have a massive range of tones available. Yamaha has gone the extra mile to ensure that just about any type of player could be accommodated here.
For expanded tone control, Yamaha has included a volume knob, a tone knob, and a 3-way pickup selector switch. The tone knob functions as a coil-splitter, which splits the humbucker to provide single-coil tones.
Even the hardware on the PAC611HFM Pacifica is well worth the overall price of the guitar. This includes items such as:
- Grover locking tuners
- Tusq nut
- Hardtail bridge
- String Saver saddles
Fender Kurt Cobain Jag-Stang – Best Premium
If you’ve read Kurt’s journals, you’re probably familiar with this oddball guitar. It is essentially a Jaguar and a Mustang combined into one model, which features an Alder body.
The Maple neck of the Kurt Cobain Jag-Stang is especially primed for those with short, fat fingers. It has a C-shape contour that has been slimmed down, giving it a comfortable feel for short fingers.
Rosewood has been used for the fretboard, which has a 7.25” radius, with 22 frets. This, combined with the 24” scale length and 1.574” nut width make this the most ideal for fatter fingers.
For electronics, the Kurt Cobain Jag-Stang is equipped with a single-coil and humbucker (both designed for the Jag-Stang). These are sure to provide that subtle twang inherent in Nirvana’s music.
Fender has included a knob for volume and tone controls, as well as a pair of 3-way slider switches. One switch controls the pickup selection while the other switches the pickups in and out of phase.
The hardware on the Kurt Cobain Jag-Stang is suitable for all of your grunge guitar needs. It’s equipped with:
- Vintage-inspired tuners
- Synthetic bone nut
- Vintage-style Mustang tremolo with 6-saddle bridge design
This iconic guitar comes with a gig bag, along with the color finish choices of:
- Fiesta red
- Sonic blue
You might not even like how this guitar looks, but its dimensions deserve a look if you have shorter fingers.
Squier Mini Jazzmaster HH – Best Budget
There’s just something to be said about that iconic look of the offset Fender guitar designs. If you’re a young beginner, consider trying out the Squier Mini Jazzmaster HH (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon).
It should be mentioned that the Mini Jazzmaster HH is not going to be ideal for stage performances. In reality, its best function is served in the learning capacity, as well as for playing at home.
As its name suggests, this guitar features the signature Jazzmaster shape but is scaled down for smaller individuals. This effectively makes the Mini Jazzmaster HH a 3/4-size guitar with a 22.75” scale length.
The guitar itself is crafted from Poplar, featuring a C-shape Maple neck and fretboard. This fretboard has a 9.5” radius, 1.598” nut width, and offers 20 very accessible frets.
Jazzmaster purists are going to scoff at the fact that the Mini Jazzmaster HH has a pair of humbuckers. However, for any young beginner, these humbuckers are more than capable of producing sound to learn with.
Squier has provided a standard 3-way pickup selector switch, along with a volume and tone knob. This essentially provides a standard playing experience without the bulkiness (or cost) of a full-size guitar.
The hardware on the Mini Jazzmaster HH features:
- Synthetic bone nut
- Die-cast sealed tuners
- 6-saddle hardtail bridge
Color options are important for young beginners to personalize their guitars. This model comes in the colors:
- Olympic white
- Daphne blue
- Surf green
Overall, this is a pretty inexpensive guitar but will serve its purpose for learning. It’s a worthy option for somebody who has never played before.
Acoustic Guitars For Short Fat Fingers
If an acoustic guitar is what you’re after, consider looking at the following guitars. There’s something here for every budget and skill level.
Takamine GN77KCE NEXC – Best Overall
This acoustic guitar takes the shape of the iconic Jumbo Dreadnought, but with smaller proportions. As such, it features a slimmer body and a neck that is ideal for those fleshy-fingered individuals.
The body itself features beautiful Hawaiian Koa, with quartersawn X-bracing architecture for enhanced projection. Takamine’s use of Koa here is stunning both visually and in the tones that the guitar produces.
Mahogany is used for the GN77KCE NEXC’s neck, which sports a very slim C-shape contour. This will no doubt feel comfortable to those with short, fat fingers, providing smooth speed along the way.
The Laurel fretboard (with a 12” radius) offers 20 frets, which are accessible thanks to its cutaway body design. With a 25.4” scale length and a 1.673” nut width, this is just a tad smaller than a standard guitar.
One of the things that make the GN77KCE NEXC special is that it has a pickup and preamp system. The preamp itself offers amenities such as:
- 3-band EQ
- Gain control
- Built-in tuner
Other hardware featured on the GN77KCE NEXC includes:
- Die-cast gold tuners
- Composite nut
- Composite saddle
- Laurel bridge
Aesthetically, the Hawaiian Koa steals the show here, but Takamine has done things to enhance the guitar’s look. This includes an Ivory ABS binding and a decorative rosette.
While the guitar is similar to a standard guitar, its slimmer neck and body width might be a suitable solution.
Takamine TSP138CTB – Best Premium
This acoustic guitar comes from Takamine’s Thinline series and is perfect for those who primarily play the electric guitar. It’s also more than suitable for those with short, fat fingers, as you will see particularly with the guitar’s neck.
The body is crafted from Solid Spruce and features a Sapele top with X-bracing within the guitar. Again, the body width is slimmed down significantly, providing a very comfortable playing experience.
The TSP138CTB’s Mahogany neck has a “slender” C-shape contour designed to be as thin and comfortable as possible. Its Rosewood fretboard has a 12” radius and offers 21 frets.
The scale length measures 24.75”, with the nut width measuring 1.653”.
This guitar is also equipped with a Palathetic pickup and a preamp system, offering luxuries such as:
- 3-band EQ
- Built-in tuner
- Notch filter
- Volume Control
- Battery status monitor
Takamine cut no corners with the Takamine TSP138CTB hardware, which includes:
- Bone nut
- Bone saddle
- Rosewood bridge
- Gotoh gold tuners
A softshell case does come included with the purchase of this guitar. A number of different color finishes are also available, including:
- Tobacco sunburst
- Tea burst
Overall, this is quite the stunning guitar, both in the way it looks as well as how it sounds. You’ll be playing pure luxury here.
Ibanez PF2MH – Best Budget
Before you read on, you should know that the PF2MH is effectively a 3/4-size acoustic guitar. However, any adult should find this to not be a hindrance at all.
This non-cutaway dreadnought guitar features a body made completely of Sapele, utilizing an X-bracing inside. The guitar itself produces a rich and warm tone that would complement any singer-songwriter.
Nyatoh is used for the PF2MH’s neck, which has a slimmer C-shape contour. The Nandu fretboard has a 9.84” radius, a nut width of 1.653”, and provides 20 frets.
Since this is a 3/4-size acoustic, the scale length is considerably shorter, measuring 22.83”. This will be ideal if you find yourself making awkward finger stretches on a full-size model.
There are no electronics built into the PF2MH. However, that doesn’t make the PF2MH any less viable.
This guitar is primed to be your favorite acoustic guitar to play around the house. It’s also ideal for playing around a campfire, alongside friends, or anywhere else you deem fit.
For hardware, the PF2MH has components such as:
- Plastic nut
- Plastic saddle
- Nandu bridge
- Chrome tuners
This might be an inexpensive guitar, but you’ll still be getting a guitar that both looks and sounds rich. Its smaller dimensions might make the guitar easier to play.
This is a parlor acoustic guitar that often gets overlooked due to its narrower body design. However, overlooking this could mean you miss out on finding your ideal companion guitar.
The PN12E features a Nyatoh body with a Sapele top. While the body is smaller, its internal X-bracing architecture helps produce a large sound.
Nyatoh is used for the neck, which has a C-shape contour. This might feel slightly thick to some hands, but it does provide a very comfortable experience.
The Nandu fretboard has a 9.8” radius, a 1.653” nut width, and 18 frets. Its 24.4” scale length provides a fairly slinky playing experience, decreasing some space between the frets.
One of the things that makes the PN12E an excellent buy is its pickup and preamp system. You’ll have convenient access to things such as:
- Built-in tuner
- 2-band EQ
- Volume control
The hardware on the PN12E is fairly typical at this price range, utilizing components such as:
- Nandu bridge
- Plastic nut
- Plastic saddle
- Chrome die-cast tuners
This parlor acoustic guitar feels and plays like a guitar twice its price. It’s sure to be a hit if you take the time to try it for yourself.
What To Look For When Buying A Guitar For Short Fat Fingers
Whether you’ve never bought a guitar before, or you’re an intermediate, having short fingers can be a little compromising. This can make trying out different guitars a frustrating experience, especially if nothing feels like a proper fit.
Of course, there’s no need to feel like it’s the end of the world. If you know what to look for, it will streamline your process immensely because you can narrow your focus.
The following information is a brief overview that you can use to help guide you throughout the process. Once you have a grasp on these basics, you can apply them to any guitar purchase in the future.
Before you even begin the research phase, you need to first decide what style of guitar you’re looking for. Are you after an electric guitar or are you searching for an acoustic guitar?
This might seem like an obvious fundamental concept, but it isn’t always the easiest question to answer. Some guitarists might find themselves conflicted because they need/want one of each variety.
Once you have made your choice, you can begin to focus your research process in the right direction.
One of the first things to look out for is the nut width of the guitar. This measurement is exactly what it sounds like, as it measures the nut across the fretboard.
A guitar with a wider nut width will likely have a wider string spacing along with a wider fretboard. This might not always be ideal depending on the specific size of your hand.
The typical nut width averages around 1.68”, so if the standard is too much, look for a smaller nut width. If you’re looking online, most retailers will allow you to narrow your search results with a corresponding filter.
Another thing to consider is the guitar’s scale length measurement. This refers to the length of the vibrating string between the saddle/bridge and the nut.
For instance, bass guitars typically have a long scale length averaging around 34” while the guitar averages about 25”. Guitars do come with a shortened scale length, which decreases the spacing between each fret.
If you struggle with finger stretches when playing chords, a shorter scale length might be of great benefit. Again, if you’re looking online, you’ll be able to narrow your search results with a filter.
Something else to consider is the radius of the fretboard. This refers to the actual curvature of the fretboard itself.
Guitars have a massive range of different radii, with some measuring around 7” and others around 20”. The only way to know what works for you is to try each guitar and hold it in your hands.
With that being said, rounder radiuses (7”) don’t allow for the guitar to be set up with low playing action. There’s also a chance that playing massive bends could result in the notes being choked out by the fretboard.
That isn’t to say that flatter radiuses are any better. Again, all of this is subjective stuff that will be unique to your own preferences.
The neck is perhaps the most important aspect of the guitar in terms of determining the guitar’s playability. Because of that, you’ll want to be extra discerning as to how the neck feels in your hand.
Every guitar has its own contour shape, which may or may not feel comfortable to you. Some of the common shapes include:
Aim to find a neck that provides the most comfort while also facilitating the most demanding techniques in your arsenal.
Along with the contour, take note of how the neck is finished and if the finish works for you. Gloss finishes can gum up and feel sticky while a satin finish can feel extremely smooth.
Construction & Craftsmanship
Of course, you’re going to want to pay close attention to the overall construction and quality of the guitar itself. The criteria does have some overlap between acoustics and electrics, along with some specifics for each type.
For acoustic guitars, you’ll want to give consideration to the actual wood used in the guitar’s construction. This will help to determine the kind of tones that the guitar itself will produce.
Woods aren’t as important on electric guitars, but you’ll need to be mindful of the pickup type. Single-coils and humbuckers sound vastly different, so try each to see what works with your styles of music.
Give a good look at the overall quality of the construction itself to make sure everything is in prime condition. Manufacturers are not immune from making mistakes, but small things can be remedied with a proper setup.
Your budget is going to play the biggest role in the guitar you’re able to take home. Resist overspending and try to stay within your proposed budget range.
Guitars are typically categorized by price in terms of overall quality as well as their intended players. A rough guideline is as follows:
- Beginners: $350 and below
- Intermediates: $350 to $700
- Advanced: $700 to $1100
- Professionals: $2000 and beyond
To save some money, consider buying a used guitar instead. You’ll be able to find current models at a discount simply because someone purchased them before you.
Best Brands For Guitars For Short Fat Fingers
It’s never a bad idea to have a feel for what the best brands are for certain things. A good reputation in the music industry doesn’t come easy, and the following brands are sure to deliver on quality.
Takamine is a Japanese company that primarily specializes in crafting acoustic guitars. The company is an innovator in the space, being one of the first to introduce electric pickups to the acoustic.
Ibanez is a Japanese company that is known for its world-class craftsmanship with its acoustic and electric guitars. This company has been fearlessly innovating while tailoring builds for the most virtuosic of players.
Top Guitars For Short Fat Fingers, Final Thoughts
Finding the perfect guitar can seem like quite a daunting task, especially if your fingers are extra fleshy. However, the ideal guitar will make you far more likely to dedicate yourself to the instrument.
Think of it like a pair of shoes. Would you willingly walk around every day in a pair of shoes that make it impossible to walk without strain?
The guitar is no different, and it takes a good amount of time and patience to find the correct fit.
Side note, do you want to learn to play guitar songs the easy way? Learn how here – results are guaranteed!