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  1. #1

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    I am a serious fan of Hendrix...many folks have commented on his large, supple hands, complete with extra long, strong fingers...some say that is a real advantage for guitar players...what do you think?...I have noticed that other famous players seem to also have extra-large hands.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Django Reinhardt. As soon as we're talking about the benefits of large hands, Django comes to mind since he only had basically two functioning fingers on his fretting hand.

    Johnny Smith and Pat Matheny both have (or had, in Johnny's case) relatively small hands; and they played more guitar than just about anybody in the history of the instrument.

    Tal Farlow had enormous hands.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  4. #3

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    When I was much younger, I remember hearing a conversation that a doctor had with someone. The person said, "You must have long slender fingers to be able to do such precision work as a surgeon." The doctor held up his hands - and surprised the other person because the doctor's hands were HUGE and looked almost like hams. The doctor smiled and said, "A lot of surgeons actually have very large hands - but the difference between those surgeons and other people with large hands is that the surgeon's hands work PERFECTLY." Same with musicians, I would guess.
    S

  5. #4

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    Jimi played guitar all day and night until falling asleep with his guitar in his hands, and resumed playing when he woke. Musicians who work harder than others don’t have special hands.
    Ignorance is agony.



  6. #5

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    The largest hands I've ever seen belonged to Tal Farlow.

    I remember seeing him play a chord voicing once where his 1st finger was fretting the 1st fret on the 6th string while his little finger was fretting the 1st string 7th fret!

    His other two fingers were somewhere in between.

    Try doing that!

    Regards,
    Steven Herron

  7. #6

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    Some of Johnny Smith's voicings are impossible to play, and his hands don't look large in any way.

    I saw a Robert Johnson doc last night - they talk about his really long fingers..

    I wouldn't make anything of it. Don't people say the same about pianists?

  8. #7

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    Gary Karr is generally acknowledged as one of the five leading double-bass soloist ever. The Maestro is vertically challenged -- I dunno, maybe 5' 6" tops -- and his hands are proportional.



    What Gary has is on outsize joy of music. He once said that the way to play that opening phrase of that Dragonetti concerto was to picture signing,
    "I
    Am
    Here

    Oh good oh good oh good oh good oh good oh good oh good oh good."

    Just to say, how you're shaped is no excuse, and no more of an advantage than you personally make it.
    "Don't worry about that. Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you." - Branford Marsalis

  9. #8

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    If hand size is critical to being great...I am f***ed.

  10. #9

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    Big hands are a help and a curse. Try to fret a Gmaj full barre chord on the 15th fret, and you'll quickly see what I mean.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by curbozer View Post
    I am a serious fan of Hendrix...many folks have commented on his large, supple hands, complete with extra long, strong fingers...some say that is a real advantage for guitar players...what do you think?...I have noticed that other famous players seem to also have extra-large hands.

    All things being equal/exactly the same, I think it is an advantage to have large hands, however, things are seldom(never) equal/exactly the same.

    Check out the great guitar players, and you will see that the majority of great players does not have huge hands.
    I am playing a solo over my buddys new song, King of Lego

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKUeMfR0hgc

  12. #11

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    I think Eric Johnson has and Allan Holdsworth had large hands. I think if you have normal sized hands or even smallish hands you can still play wonderfully. I have what I would deem smallish hands but have a decent left hand stretch because that is something I have consistently worked on over the years. Pianist Keith Jarrett has small hands and is a monster player.

  13. #12

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    I could tell you a story about an attending physician I worked with once who had extraordinarily long fingers, but out of the sensitivities of this group I will refrain.

    I would think long fingers would help with a long-scale guitar especially playing near the nut. Smaller hands should be best for barre chords especially up the neck. I think it would all balance out.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  14. #13

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    Pasquale Grasso has large hands and he uses them to their absolute physical potential
    White belt
    My Youtube

  15. #14

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    And the winner is...

    SLIM GAILLARD - YouTube

    Chas Chandler tells of flat hunting in London with Hendrix & asking why He stood in the bathroom doorway before checking out the rest of the flat.

    'I'm making sure I can get to the bathroom with a guitar when I get out of bed in the morning'

  16. #15
    I'll point out the inverse. Mike Marshall has large hands with fingers that are not slim. Mike also has a collection of accolades for his mandolin playing.

  17. #16

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    It may be beneficial, but it is not a necessity. Check out Danny Gatton (average size hands at best) for instance...