Strum Guitar with Big Fingers: Myth or Reality?

October 21st, 2010

It’s true, we’re all created differently. It’s also true that some of us have bigger fingers than others. Thus, is it harder (gasp) if not impossible to play the guitar for some with large fingers?

Myth or reality?

Granted, GLC has received it’s fair share of people who claim that the guitar is just not meant for them.

Fact! The vast majority of guitarists will find a reliable excuse for not mastering the guitar. Fact! Fat fingers are a liability but one that you can overcome. In reality, learning the guitar with ”bigger fingers than average” is both a vice but not a complete hazard. You can rock with big fingers but it’s going to take a little extra patience. For now, here are a few tips for those who find big fingers an unwanted hurrdle to their guitar playing.

TIP #1: Buy a Guitar with a wide neck

The primary complaint with big finger guitarists is that “my fingers are too big or fat”. Thus, they have trouble fretting the strings accurately. The strings buzz because the fingers are too wide to fit the strings. Well, the easiest remedy is simply to invest in a guitar with a wider neck. Acoustic guitarists should look into a “jumbo” body guitar as they have the widest neck. Electric guitarists? How about a Gibson Les Paul style rather than a strat or telecaster style? Sure, it’s a minute difference but like football, every inch counts, right?

TIP #2: Use a Plectrum for the right hand

A plectrum is a nice aide for those with big fingers as the strumming and plucking will be substantially easier. Highly recommended for beginners, you’ll learn to strum well as you advance.

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TIP #3: Innovative Chord Techniques 

Cover the old-school guitarists because this is going to hit them hard. You do NOT have to play all chords exactly how the local guide or Internet expert expert advices. Simply, many chords may be played the exact same way with one less finger (the A major is a prime example). The bottom line is that if you find it easier to strum the chord with two rather than three fingers please strum the chord with ONLY TWO FINGERS!


Truthfully, you can master the guitar with fat fingers. In fact, some advantages even exist to having such a dilemma (bar chords anyone?). Regardless, we all find roadblocks in our attempt to learn the guitar. The point is to overcome those issues and enjoy something that not only you’ve invest time but also money into.


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