HomeHow To Ukulele

How to play ukulele with small hands

Like Tweet Pin it Share Share Email
Unlocking Efficiency and Savings: The Benefits of Amazon Business Prime

Did you know that the ukulele is a small, guitar-like instrument that originated in the 19th century in Hawaii? It gained popularity in the United States and has since become a staple in pop and island music. However, for people with small hands, playing the ukulele can be challenging and uncomfortable.

With the rise of ukulele popularity in recent years, more and more people are interested in learning how to play, regardless of hand size. With small hands, it can be difficult to properly fret chords and reach across the fretboard. This has led to the development of techniques and adaptations to make playing the ukulele more accessible for those with smaller hands.

One solution for those with small hands is to look for ukuleles with a smaller scale length, such as a soprano or concert ukulele. These sizes have shorter necks and narrower frets, which can make it easier to reach chords and play comfortably. Another option is to seek out ukuleles with a thinner neck, which can also make it easier to fret chords and play with ease.

It’s important to note that even with smaller hands, it is still possible to play the ukulele and enjoy making music. With the right techniques and adaptations, individuals with small hands can find success and enjoyment in playing the ukulele. Whether it’s seeking out a smaller-sized ukulele or adjusting playing techniques, there are ways to make playing the ukulele a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Are small hands a disadvantage for playing the ukulele?

Playing the ukulele with small hands may seem challenging, but with the right techniques and adjustments, it is entirely possible to overcome any potential limitations. In the following section, we will explore various tips and strategies for players with small hands to comfortably and effectively play the ukulele.

Choosing the Right Ukulele

When playing the ukulele with small hands, it’s important to choose the right size instrument. Look for a smaller size ukulele, such as a soprano or a concert ukulele. These sizes typically have shorter scales and narrower necks, which can make it easier to reach chords and play comfortably with small hands.

  • Soprano ukulele
  • Concert ukulele

Utilizing Proper Technique

Proper technique is essential when playing the ukulele, especially with small hands. Focus on positioning your fingers close to the frets to minimize the reach. Additionally, experiment with different hand placements to find the most comfortable and effective positioning for your chords and fingerpicking.

Using Alternate Tunings

Another approach to playing the ukulele with small hands is to explore alternate tunings. By adjusting the strings to different pitches, you can create new chord shapes that may be easier to play with smaller hands. Common alternate tunings for the ukulele include D6 and A6 tuning.

  • D6 tuning
  • A6 tuning

Exploring Different Chord Voicings

Experiment with various chord voicings to find shapes that are more accessible for your hand size. For example, instead of using a traditional G chord shape, try a G6 or G7 chord, which may be easier to fret with small hands. Online resources and chord dictionaries can be valuable tools for discovering alternative voicings.

Seeking Professional Guidance

If you’re struggling to navigate the ukulele with small hands, consider seeking guidance from a professional instructor. A skilled teacher can offer personalized advice, tips, and techniques to help you overcome the challenges of playing with smaller hands.

According to a recent survey, 30% of ukulele players have reported using alternative tunings to accommodate small hands.

FAQs for How to Play Ukulele with Small Hands

What are some tips for playing ukulele with small hands?

1. Use a soprano or concert ukulele for smaller hand sizes

2. Experiment with different finger placements and hand positions

3. Consider using a thinner necked ukulele for easier reach

4. Practice stretching and flexibility exercises for your hands

Is it possible to play advanced chords with small hands?

Yes, it is possible with practice and proper technique. You may need to modify the fingerings or find alternative voicings for certain chords.

Can I still play the ukulele if I have very small hands?

Yes, there are many players with small hands who have found ways to comfortably play the ukulele. It may require some adjustments and experimentation, but it is definitely achievable.

Are there specific ukulele sizes that are better for small hands?

Yes, soprano and concert ukuleles are generally better suited for smaller hands due to their shorter scales and smaller bodies.

What are some hand stretches or exercises that can help with playing ukulele?

1. Finger rolls: Gently roll each finger from the base to the tip and back

2. Finger tapping: Use your fingers to tap on a flat surface to improve dexterity

3. Hand stretches: Gently pull your fingers back to stretch the tendons and muscles

Are there any specific techniques for playing with small hands?

1. Use your fingertips for fretting instead of the pads of your fingers

2. Keep your wrist straight and avoid unnecessary tension in your hand

3. Experiment with different thumb positions on the back of the neck

Can I still play the ukulele if I have arthritis or other hand conditions?

It may be possible with modifications and accommodations. You should consult a medical professional for personalized advice.

How important is the setup of the ukulele for players with small hands?

The setup, including the action and string gauge, can greatly affect playability for small hands. A professional setup may be beneficial.

Are there any specific songs or exercises that are good for practicing with small hands?

1. Simple two or three chord songs

2. Chromatic exercises for finger dexterity

3. Scale patterns for finger strength and reach


In conclusion, playing the ukulele with small hands is entirely possible with the right techniques and adjustments. By choosing a ukulele with a smaller scale length and narrower neck, individuals with small hands can find it much easier to reach for chords and navigate the fretboard. Additionally, utilizing alternative fingerings and using a capo can also help make playing the ukulele more comfortable for those with smaller hands. It is also essential to focus on hand and finger exercises to improve flexibility and dexterity, as well as experimenting with different playing styles to find what works best for individual hand sizes. Ultimately, with practice and patience, individuals with small hands can enjoy playing the ukulele just as much as those with larger hands.

Remember, the most crucial aspect is to find a ukulele that feels comfortable and natural in your hands. Experiment with different sizes and styles to find the right fit, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your playing technique. With determination and the right approach, playing the ukulele with small hands can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. So, don’t let hand size hold you back from pursuing your musical passion and expressing yourself through the beautiful sound of the ukulele.