You think your hands are too small?

Think again. That’s not a shortscale she’s playing.


I never thought that, but it seems a lot of folks do.

Sure I’m kind of jealous of fingers as long as my whole hand, but I never once had the thougt that I would be incapable of playing bass. And after hearing about our 3-fingered community members I would honestly be a bit ashamed if I ever had.

I was always on the small side for a guy (171cm) but it never kept me from learning something or competing with someone taller.

Think about your advantages - there are always pros and cons to anything. We short handed people overall probably need less strength for the same fretting.
Now that I’ve written that out: How about a thread in which we point out that short hands aren’t only a disadvantage as one often thinks?.. On the other hand (pun intended) that was the only thing which came to mind. But then again - maybe someone else has some ideas what pros small hands provide.


This video made me stop worrying about hand size.


Yeah I’ve seen her before. Amazing!

1 Like

Her hands are bigger than mine. :rofl:


Yessss… her fingers are definitely longer than mine too.

1 Like

That’s my issue too! Short fat fingers :weary:

But not as short as the girl in the video with which I started this thread… right? :smiley:

Hand size my hand is definitely bigger.
Finger size probably similar but mine are like sausages and not nearly as agile :flushed:

Well agility comes with practice and for (relatively) short fat fingers look no further than Victor Wooten, idol of many bass players. There are some who say he changed the way we think about bass.


You definitely see a lot of bassists with smaller hands playing full size basses which is obviously down to good technique.

I do still wonder though whether it is “optimal” for long term playing comfort and health - a case of “just because we can, does it mean we should?”. And getting to that point of having perfect technique all the time isn’t overnight - during that learning period are people putting themselves at risk?

Looking at piano, reduced size 7/8s pianos are pretty much non-existent on the mainstream market (unless you pay top dollar for a custom build) meaning players with small hands have to compromise with many like me who can barely reach an octave being left unable to play certain pieces with adaptations.

By contrast in the bass world you have so many affordable short-scale instruments on the market so I do think people should be encouraged not discouraged to take advantage of this to find their most ergonomic instrument if they feel its right. Obviously there is the argument that this limits the choice in instruments and tone, however how many different basses does the average bassist play (I know I can’t afford ten different ones!).

I’m tempted myself to.“downgrade” to SS myself - playing octaves at the first fret (index and pinky) does create wrist tension, whereas at the third fret (where the first fret on a 30" shortscale would effectively be) its much more relaxed.

1 Like

Nothing wrong with shorties.

The only thing I would caution against is that I think most people go through a phase while learning where they are convinced that their hands aren’t big enough or suited for a full scale bass, and in reality I think this is almost never really the case and that in fact they are just going through new muscle usage pains common to learning tasks that require new dexterity which you have never used before.


I agree, @howard . . . we see that issue discussed over and over on these Forums! :neutral_face:

I don’t have particularly large hands, and I definitely prefer my full scale Jazz bass over my SS Gibson. Nothing happens overnight, and it’s really a matter of patience and practice!

Cheers, Joe


I agree with @howard, nothing wrong with playing a short scale. Give it time on the full scale and let your newly used muscles and muscle memory get used to it before jumping over to short scale.

I tried playing a short scale, and it felt weird to me because I’m so used to the full scale.


So I guess you agree with me, too? . . . :slight_smile: {lol}


Of course I agree with you Joe. That goes without saying :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Very well put, captain.


Nearly fell into that trap recently :zipper_mouth_face:
It may have been easier if I had stuck with that plan however as there are soooooo many full scale basses to chose from :scream:
I still sort of fancy a Fender mustang but as I’ve just realised the faux- Gibson SG I’m about to tidy up has a 30” scale I may make do with that