9 Best Thin Neck Guitars For Small Hands (Acoustic & Electric!)

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  • Wondering what are the best thin neck guitars for people with small hands?
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Thin neck guitars have allowed a wider spectrum of players to enjoy comfortable playing on acoustic and electric guitar hands.

For some players, thin neck guitars allow them a greater degree of expression and fluidity while performing.

There is a large list of thin-neck guitars on the current market, and selecting the right one for you can be a dizzying prospect.

We’ve done some research and put together a list of some of the strongest thin neck guitars for you to inspect. This list covers thin-neck models in both acoustic and electric departments and should suit a variety of needs and budgets. 

What Makes Up A Thin Neck Guitar?

As the name suggests, thin neck guitars’ primary defining characteristic is their smaller scale necks. While it might be tricky to identify a thin neck guitar on its own, they are easy to discern when compared to a regular guitar. 

Thin neck guitars generally feature the same scale body and headstock as regular guitars, to save manufacturers redundant costs on excess materials.

This factor is also noticeable on certain guitar models, as the neck may look out of proportion with the rest of the guitar build.

Who Do Thin Neck Guitars Suit Best?

Thin neck guitars are designed to allow players with smaller hands to access the fretboard freely. Regular guitar necks might be too wide, or too thick for certain players to comfortably fit around. 

  • Children, teenagers, women, and other players with smaller hands than most people.
  • Performing musicians that may require a small-scale guitar for a specific type of performance
  • Beginner players who might want to get comfortable playing on a smaller neck before upscaling to regular size.   
  • Players that experience strain, cramping, or an injury after using regular scale guitars for long periods of play. 

New to guitar? Make sure to check out 7 Easy One String Guitar Songs.

What Are The Best Thin Neck Guitars For Small Hands?

While it is incredibly hard to name the single greatest thin neck guitar for players with smaller hands, there are a noticeable group of strong contenders.

Choosing the right guitar will come down to a matter of personal preference, level of playing skill, intended use as well as your set budget. 

We’ve made a shortlist of the best thin neck guitars on the current market below:

  1. Fender Mustang (Our Pick)
  2. Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEM JR (Best Value)
  3. Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty (Premium Option)
  4. Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar NOS 3
  5. Gibson SG G9500
  6. Taylor 214Ce
  7. Martin LX Little Martin 
  8. Yamaha APXT2EW
  9. Ovation Celebrity Elite

Best Thin Neck Electric Guitars For People With Small Hands

1. Fender Mustang 

OUR PICK
Fender Player Mustang 90

Fender's Player Series Mustang 90 reintroduces one of the most popular offset body styles with modern updates that are a hit with a new wave of guitar players. 

Why We Love It:
  • Notoriously slick neck finish
  • Definitive sonic edge
  • An absolute must-have for small hand players
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Features

  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Rosewood – 22 Frets
  • Electronics: 2 X Yosemite Single Coil Pickups (Neck and Bridge)

Review

The Fender Mustang has legendary status amongst players with any hand size and has often found favor in the hands of some of music history’ smaller hand giants.

The guitar features Fender’s notoriously slick neck finish that makes playing nearly effortless for new and experienced players alike. 

Tonally, the Mustang provides a firm buttery tone that pays very well with classic tube-style amplification.

The Mustang’s single-coil pickups have a slight bite on the upper end, especially during lead playing. It’s this bite that gives the guitar a definitive sonic edge, and it should be welcomed in the music styles stemming from rock and blues.

The Fender Mustang comes in a handful of finishing options, the most alluring of which is a deep olive green that best represents its earthy tone and texture.

An absolute must-have for small hand players that also like to collect guitars. 

2. Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEM JR 

BEST VALUE
Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEM JR 

Steve Vai's signature guitars have become almost as iconic as the player himself, and now that mojo is more attainable than ever with the Ibanez JEM JR Steve Vai Signature.

Why We Love It:
  • Built for speed and performance
  • Designed by the legendary Steve Vai
  • Effortless playability
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Features

  • Price: $619
  • Body: Meranti
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Jatoba – 24 Frets
  • Electronics: Quantum Pickups (neck, middle, and bridge)

Review

Fewer names strike as hard a fear into the hearts of guitarists like Steve Vai. To give you an idea of his prowess, he was once cast in a movie as the devil who trades souls for musical powers.

Vai’s Signature EVO model has long been thought to have the thinnest neck for commercial guitar use. This guitar might be a bit eccentric for most players, but his JEM JR is another terrific example of Vai’s dedication to crafting thin neck guitars to maximize playing potential

The striking white JEM JR is constructed using a series of lesser-known woods, a personal design choice from Vai.

The Jatoba wood used in the fretboard makes for an incredibly inviting play to most guitar hands, with the entire fingerboard feeling highly accessible on the first try.

The guitar’s Meranti body features a unique carry grip above the pickguard for practical use. This guitar is built for speed and performance and should be enjoyed by players that enjoy studying advanced styles of guitar playing such as fusion. 

3. Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty 

PREMIUM OPTION
Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty

With premium tonewoods, DiMarzio pickups with an onboard piezo option, a Custom JP Music Man tremolo bridge, and custom switching, the Majesty is ready to rock any stage

Why We Love It:
  • Incredibly sleek and ergonomic neck
  • Full expressive freedom
  • An all-round incredible guitar
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Features

  • Price: $5409
  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Mahogany + Flame Maple
  • Fretboard: Ebony – 24 Frets
  • Electronics: DiMarzio Rainmaker Pickups (neck), Dimarzio Dreamcatcher (bridge), Fishman Piezo (saddle)

Review

Guitar purists and highly advanced players have all come across a Music Man build at some point in their life (or at least have heard of one).

The Majesty by Ernie Ball is one of the most finely crafted guitars, centered around providing the best guitar for the best players possible.

The guitar also comes in at a considerably higher asking price than most thin-neck guitars, and should only be a consideration for someone that has this requirement and is looking to play full-time for a long term.

The guitar is a build backed by world-famous guitar virtuoso John Petrucci

The Majesty’s Ebony fretboard sits on top of an incredibly sleek and ergonomic thin profile neck. The neck itself is constructed using high-grade mahogany alongside a rare form of maple.

In player hands, this neck feels nearly weightless and is prime for navigating a fretboard for complex solos and chord phrasings.

Ernie Ball regularly pairs their guitar builds with DiMarzio pickups, and they have selected two of their finest versions for this model at the neck and bridge.

The rainmaker offers incredible sensitivity for full expressive freedom, while the dreamcatcher focuses more on sustain and clarity. 

4. Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar NOS 3 

Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar NOS 3 

The Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar is an exact replica of Kurt's famed guitar, down to the humbucking pickups and unique controls.

Why We Love It:
  • Two Dimarzio Anniversary edition pickups
  • Extremely abrasive
  • Versatile
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Features

  • Price: $1449
  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Rosewood – 24 Frets
  • Electronics: Dimarzio PP-103 and DP 100 Pickups

Review

The thin neck principle applies to players that are both left and right-handed. Thankfully, there are a few left-hand guitar players in history that popularized themselves enough to convince companies to invest in left-hand models.

One such pioneer is Kurt Cobain, who has been forever immortalized through the Jaguar NOS 3 that was built in tribute to his legacy.

Cobain himself has long struggled to find a guitar that suited his wilder style of playing and performing.

Even though he may not have had smaller hands, he enjoyed the feel of the Jaguar in his hands while he threw himself about on stage during performances. 

The guitar itself is a tonal wild horse. The Jaguar comes with two separate Dimarzio Anniversary edition pickups.

The DP-100 Pickup is specifically designed for heavy distortion and can be extremely abrasive when plugged into a guitar amp (as was the intention).

However, the Jaguar also has a much less explored gentler side and can be used on gentler dreamy music styles such as shoegaze, dream pop, or ambient styles. 

5. Gibson SG Melody Maker 

Gibson Melody Maker SG

Since 1959, the Melody Maker series has brought full and uncompromised Gibson quality and tone to top-grade electric guitars priced for the student, novice, or the pro on a budget.

Why We Love It:
  • Incredibly reactive tone
  • Affordable
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Features

  • Price: $619
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Jatoba – 24 Frets
  • Electronics: 2 X 491T Humbucker Pickups (neck, middle, and bridge)

Review

Not everyone can afford to invest in a top-of-the-line thin neck guitar for their playing aspirations.

Also, some beginner players may want to invest in a simple thin neck guitar to develop their skill before moving on to a higher grade model.

The Gibson SG Melody Maker offers a healthy balance of all these benefits, as well as some serious street cred

The SG is probably familiar to many fans of classic rock styles from the 60s and 70s. The Melody Maker has an incredibly reactive tone that fits right in with these music styles, but with a smaller neck profile than most stand Gibson SGs.

This particular model is also notably lighter in the body than other SG models, which should also make it easier to play for players with small hands.

Beginner guitarists with rockstar ambitions should find it quite easy to better their skills on the thin neck version of the SG and should be able to practice or perform at length before experiencing much strain on the hands. 

Best Thin Neck Acoustic Guitars For People With Small Hands

6. Taylor 214Ce 

Taylor 214ce

With its gorgeous rosewood back and sides, solid Sitka spruce top, and built-in ES2 electronics, the Taylor 214ce is your ticket to great things.

Why We Love It:
  • Punchy and strong tone
  • Built with extremely rare wood
  • Warm tone
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Features

  • Price: $999
  • Body: Layered Rosewood
  • Top: Solid Spruce
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: West African Crelicam Ebony – 18 Frets
  • Electronics: Expression System Electronics

Review

Taylor guitars have one of the longest-standing reputations for building world-class guitars that produce a sound that’s hard to mimic.

Their 214ce model has been revered for its surprisingly punchy and strong tone, even with the thinner profile neck.

Taylor’s 214ce is built with some extremely rare wood, which contributes to its high asking price. The neck and fret are made using exotic ebony and mahogany imports and create a stunning playground for small and large hands to enjoy. 

The 214Ce is an electric acoustic with expression system pickups. The guitar sounds wonderful when plugged in or heard through microphones for studio recordings.

The guitar has an irreplaceable warmth in its tone, with exceptional resonant qualities thanks to a choice of textile and high-quality craftsmanship.

Several modern guitarists with regular size hands sometimes use this guitar for comfortable fingerpicking over music styles like folk, jazz, or classical. 

7. Martin LX Little Martin

Martin LXK2 Little Martin

Like its predecessors, the Martin LXK2 is built with the same Martin quality craftsmanship, with an emphasis on producing great sound in a smaller guitar.

Why We Love It:
  • Affordable
  • Competent performance quality and performance
  • An absolute breeze to play
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Features

  • Price: $399
  • Body: HPL
  • Top: HPL
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood – 19 Frets
  • Electronics: None

Review

Thin neck guitars also offer some benefits for anyone that may be traveling with space limitations.

These types could be touring musicians that need consistent practice, or recreational players that might want to take a guitar on a weekend trip or getaway.

Martin constructed the Little Martin LXK2 with these needs in mind, and the guitar offers competent performance quality and performance for its asking price

The Little Martin is constructed using high-pressure wood laminates as a substitute for traditional wood parts.

These laminates are included in the back, sides, and top of the body, and still allow the guitar to give off a clear, bright tone for intimate performances.

The guitar is an absolute breeze to play on and should be especially comfortable in the hands of smaller players.

There are no electronics included in this guitar, which might be something to consider for anyone looking for amplification options. 

8. Yamaha APXT2EW 

Yamaha APXT2EW

Based on the super-popular APX500, the 3/4-size APXT2EW is a fun and easy-to-play instrument that's perfect for smaller hands and those looking for a great travel guitar.

Why We Love It:
  • Lush and rich tonal response
  • Exotic wood finish
  • Great undersized design
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Features

  • Body: Dark Meranti
  • Top: Solid Spruce
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood – 21 Frets
  • Electronics: Onboard ART Pickups

Review

The Yamaha APXT2EW is a ¾ guitar and comes with the small scale neck dimensions that players with smaller hands should find very comfortable to use.

This guitar is one of the few electro-acoustic guitar models that make use of dark meranti for the body’s back and sides.

This meranti wood provides a lush and rich tonal response that is especially prominent over lively strumming.

The guitar would fit very well in the rooms of traditional country and bluegrass players that require a thin neck profile. 

The ART-based pickup preamp and pickup system in this guitar give it a reliable signal strength when the guitar is amplified.

Certain players that require a guitar for more complex styles of music may seek a separate model with a more forgiving fingerboard.

However, players that perform basic backing guitar arrangements should add the Yamaha APXT2EW to their list of prospective purchases

9. Ovation Celebrity Elite 

Ovation Celebrity Elite

The Ovation Celebrity Elite acoustic-electric guitar is packed with Ovation's legendary plugged-in performance, along with first-rate sound, style, and value. 

Why We Love It:
  • Unique design
  • Distinctive resonance characteristics
  • Highly playable neck
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Features

  • Price: $469
  • Body: Lyrachord
  • Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Ovangkol – 23 Frets
  • Electronics: CP-100 Pickup

Review

The Ovation Celebrity Elite comes with a shape and design to match its eccentric name. The guitar has a unique cut on the body, with a much more rounded back than conventional guitars.

The top features a few extra sound holes, and an extended cutaway to allow players to access all parts of the fretboard quite easily. 

The novel curved shape in the body of the ovation Celebrity Elite gives it some distinctive resonance characteristics.

Softer articulations are boosted by the guitar’s natural shape, while overly abrasive playing is limited – tuning a guitar into a kind of natural compressor.

This unique and quirky design comes with a highly playable neck and mixes well with genres like soul, R&B, and soft jazz.

Read our full, in-depth review of the Ovation Celebrity here.

Quick Tips For Choosing The Right Thin Neck Guitar

  • Thin neck guitars come in a wide range of designs and build types. Make sure to check and compare at least two or three of a similar nature (eg acoustic only) to ensure that you are making the right purchase. 
  • When checking your thin neck guitar, be sure to check the comfort level of playing on both strumming and fingerpicking levels. Also, make sure to check that the action is even all across the fretboard and that the intonation is consistent. 
  • Electric thin neck guitar models should have little to no electric hum or buzz when plugged into a PA or amplifier. The same principle applies to electro-acoustic models. 
  • Try to budget for guitars that do not use cheap wood substitutes or low-quality parts. It’s always wise to invest in a guitar that will cost you minimal expenses on maintenance and repair. 
  • Once you have decided on the right thin neck guitar for your needs, try to purchase a protective case immediately if possible. Keep in mind that your case will need to accommodate the thinner neck profile, and your guitar shouldn’t move around when locked inside. 

Final Thoughts

Thin Neck guitars have provided a reliable guitar build for players with smaller hands to enjoy and utilize.

Their thinner profile gives small-handed players a comfortable range of motion and allows these players to perform at the same level as regular players. 

Thin neck guitars are also a smart purchasing option for beginner players, as well as players that experience discomfort or pain easily when playing on a standard-sized guitar neck.

Certain guitarists may use these types of guitars as a secondary choice during their performances, particularly for more complex styles of music. 

It’s always important to try and test any thin neck guitar you wish to buy personally before making a final purchase decision.

More-so, it’s essential to try and compare a few options before final purchase, and if possible – to seek professional advice. 

If you enjoyed this article then check out 7 Best Low Action Acoustic Guitars (All Budgets).

FAQ’s

Are Thinner guitar necks better for small hands?

Yes, thinner neck guitars are specifically designed to suit the size and dimension requirements of players with small hands.

These players include women, younger players, players with disabilities, and even regular players that use this guitar type by choice. 

Which guitar has the thinnest neck?

For a long time, it has been believed that the guitar with the thinnest neck is Steve Vai’s Jam Evo. The guitar retails at around $7000 and is a signature model designed by the guitarist himself. 

Can you be a good guitarist with small hands?

Thin neck guitars allow players with small hands the same freedom of movement as regular players. This factor means that players with small hands can reach the same level of skill as regular-sized guitarists.