Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Laudiesdad69
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Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:57 am

I have a question for ladies with small hands. First some background. My wife is really small (5 ft tall). Her hand span from thumb to pinky is 6 inches, and her fingers are really small around. She plays a 610mm scale guitar and I have a question regarding string preferences.

If there are any of you reading that play a short scale guitar that short or shorter, what tension of strings do you use and what brand? Unfortunately, most of the strings we have tried are too big in diameter for her to play comfortably as she doesn't have much flesh to work with on her finger tips.

Mostly, we have tried various sets that I have used on my guitars in both medium and hard tension, but again, they are too big in diameter for her comfort. I don't know if low tension would work as the scale length is so short as too possibly be too sloppy.

Carbon? Nylon? Titanium? Please tell me what has worked for you. I can't even play on her guitar to gain some sense of how the strings feel on her guitar as she is left handed and plays a left handed guitar. She is about ready to throw in the towel on CG all together, and me trying the various sets that I've used on her guitar seems to be futile.

Any help is appreciated.

Scott

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Lysiane Chantre
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Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Lysiane Chantre » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:24 am

I'm 5ft tall too, and I play on a Alhambra 5P Senorita (7/8 guitar) since 7 years (I'm in the French forum)...I have asked many musicians, in summer "stages" too about what to do to have a correct tune. I changed strings many times and the last I kept were D'Addario Pro Arte exp 46 (hard tension) and Savarez cantiga (blue) Alliance (basses Cantiga high tension, trebles Alliance high tension). It was the best I found but the sound wasn't good...It's true I'm not a very good player...Anyway, I intended to find a guitar that sounded "good" (for me). I remarked with my teacher, that when I played her guitar (4/4), it was really better, but...I'm short, and I didn't feel comfortable with my hands. So,last week, I went in my guitar shop just to look at guitars. There was a presentation of Kremona guitars. I am fond of spanish guitars, and never intended to buy a Kremona. But I tried...I tried several models. Two pleased to me : the first (I don't remind the name) had a very clear sound as a flamenco one I would say, a 4/4 but very thin, and light, and I felt no difficulty to play (about 650 euros). The other one that I bought (yes !) is a beautiful Solea SA-C (cocobolo and ceder and ebene). The sound is really astonishing for someone like me, and my teacher who saw it and played, agreed it was really good. The strings are spanish ones Royal Classic Sonata medium. Every day since, I hear the difference. The price 1300 euros. I'm not at all someone of Kremona. I don't know anybody else with a Kremona, but I am really happy for daring of bying this guitar...and, although I thought the 4/4 was impossible for me (I tried many times other guitars), my tips find easily the notes...I can't explain why. I hope you will find something for you, but do't stop looking for...Bye !

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Beowulf
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Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Beowulf » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:40 pm

Perhaps try gut strings which may be a bit easier to fret?
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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jhapgood
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Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by jhapgood » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:03 pm

Hi Scott,

Check out LaBella fractional guitar strings. You can find them on the SBM web site. They have strings designed for use on various fractional sizes below a full-sized instrument, and that might work for you. Good luck in finding something. It would be a shame to have your wife decide to quit over an issue that can be fixed and addressed.

Kind Regards,

Joe
2008 Jose Ramirez 2NE
"So Much Music, So Little Time."

Annette
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Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Annette » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:07 pm

Hi,
I don't believe that fractional strings could be a real solution.
These strings must be thicker than strings for a normal scale, because they are designed to reach about the same tension as normal strings for a normal scale, but on a shorter scale.
And the thickness of the strings seems to be the problem for this lady ("...too big in diameter for her...").

Another idea:
Why not try low tension strings, for example Daddario EJ 43?
These strings are thin and work very well on my 63 cm-guitars.
Of course they could feel too loose on a 61 cm scale, but then you could just tune up the guitar (in f or f sharp ), and maybe this will feel and sound o.k.
If there's the wish to play together with this guitar you simply could use a capo on the "normal" guitar.
Yours Annette

P.S. And don't forget to replace the third string by a carbon string (for example Knobloch active medium tension) - carbon will be thinner and sound better!

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:31 pm

Annette wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:07 pm
Hi,
I don't believe that fractional strings could be a real solution.
These strings must be thicker than strings for a normal scale, because they are designed to reach about the same tension as normal strings for a normal scale, but on a shorter scale.
And the thickness of the strings seems to be the problem for this lady ("...too big in diameter for her...").

Another idea:
Why not try low tension strings, for example Daddario EJ 43?
These strings are thin and work very well on my 63 cm-guitars.
Of course they could feel too loose on a 61 cm scale, but then you could just tune up the guitar (in f or f sharp ), and maybe this will feel and sound o.k.
If there's the wish to play together with this guitar you simply could use a capo on the "normal" guitar.
Yours Annette

P.S. And don't forget to replace the third string by a carbon string (for example Knobloch active medium tension) - carbon will be thinner and sound better!
You know I just might try a carbon G. It is the G string that is the worst offender. I will go to SBM and check the diameters of the Knobloch trebles and the Alliance.

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:32 pm

jhapgood wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:03 pm
Hi Scott,

Check out LaBella fractional guitar strings. You can find them on the SBM web site. They have strings designed for use on various fractional sizes below a full-sized instrument, and that might work for you. Good luck in finding something. It would be a shame to have your wife decide to quit over an issue that can be fixed and addressed.

Kind Regards,

Joe
Thanksgiving. I will check these out.

Laudiesdad69
Posts: 1069
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:16 pm

Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:37 pm

Lysiane Chantre wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:24 am
I'm 5ft tall too, and I play on a Alhambra 5P Senorita (7/8 guitar) since 7 years (I'm in the French forum)...I have asked many musicians, in summer "stages" too about what to do to have a correct tune. I changed strings many times and the last I kept were D'Addario Pro Arte exp 46 (hard tension) and Savarez cantiga (blue) Alliance (basses Cantiga high tension, trebles Alliance high tension). It was the best I found but the sound wasn't good...It's true I'm not a very good player...Anyway, I intended to find a guitar that sounded "good" (for me). I remarked with my teacher, that when I played her guitar (4/4), it was really better, but...I'm short, and I didn't feel comfortable with my hands. So,last week, I went in my guitar shop just to look at guitars. There was a presentation of Kremona guitars. I am fond of spanish guitars, and never intended to buy a Kremona. But I tried...I tried several models. Two pleased to me : the first (I don't remind the name) had a very clear sound as a flamenco one I would say, a 4/4 but very thin, and light, and I felt no difficulty to play (about 650 euros). The other one that I bought (yes !) is a beautiful Solea SA-C (cocobolo and ceder and ebene). The sound is really astonishing for someone like me, and my teacher who saw it and played, agreed it was really good. The strings are spanish ones Royal Classic Sonata medium. Every day since, I hear the difference. The price 1300 euros. I'm not at all someone of Kremona. I don't know anybody else with a Kremona, but I am really happy for daring of bying this guitar...and, although I thought the 4/4 was impossible for me (I tried many times other guitars), my tips find easily the notes...I can't explain why. I hope you will find something for you, but do't stop looking for...Bye !
It seems I am going to need hard tension strings for her guitar because of the short scale. I just have to find some thin ones.

Laudiesdad69
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:16 pm

Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:58 am

Beowulf wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:40 pm
Perhaps try gut strings which may be a bit easier to fret?
I'll have to see if I can find a set that lists diameters

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:00 am

Annette wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:07 pm
Hi,
I don't believe that fractional strings could be a real solution.
These strings must be thicker than strings for a normal scale, because they are designed to reach about the same tension as normal strings for a normal scale, but on a shorter scale.
And the thickness of the strings seems to be the problem for this lady ("...too big in diameter for her...").

Another idea:
Why not try low tension strings, for example Daddario EJ 43?
These strings are thin and work very well on my 63 cm-guitars.
Of course they could feel too loose on a 61 cm scale, but then you could just tune up the guitar (in f or f sharp ), and maybe this will feel and sound o.k.
If there's the wish to play together with this guitar you simply could use a capo on the "normal" guitar.
Yours Annette

P.S. And don't forget to replace the third string by a carbon string (for example Knobloch active medium tension) - carbon will be thinner and sound better!
You were right about the fractional size strings. They wouldn't be quite long enough

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Michael.N.
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Location: UK

Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Michael.N. » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:41 am

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:58 am
Beowulf wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:40 pm
Perhaps try gut strings which may be a bit easier to fret?
I'll have to see if I can find a set that lists diameters
It's a question of what you find acceptable in terms of string tension. The rest can easily be worked out with a string calculator, including diameters.
Everything else being equal the strings will run from (thickest to thinnest) 1. Nylon, 2. Gut, 3. Carbon
Nylon being the least dense, Carbon the highest.
Historicalguitars.

Alytw
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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:31 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Alytw » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:04 pm

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:00 am
Annette wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:07 pm
Hi,
I don't believe that fractional strings could be a real solution.
These strings must be thicker than strings for a normal scale, because they are designed to reach about the same tension as normal strings for a normal scale, but on a shorter scale.
And the thickness of the strings seems to be the problem for this lady ("...too big in diameter for her...").

Another idea:
Why not try low tension strings, for example Daddario EJ 43?
These strings are thin and work very well on my 63 cm-guitars.
Of course they could feel too loose on a 61 cm scale, but then you could just tune up the guitar (in f or f sharp ), and maybe this will feel and sound o.k.
If there's the wish to play together with this guitar you simply could use a capo on the "normal" guitar.
Yours Annette

P.S. And don't forget to replace the third string by a carbon string (for example Knobloch active medium tension) - carbon will be thinner and sound better!
You were right about the fractional size strings. They wouldn't be quite long enough
Length shouldn't be an issue, they come in different scales. My friend is really small, under 5' for sure. She uses either hannabach kinder strings or more recently savarez prodigie strings on her custom short scale guitar.

I'm not sure about the diameter, that might be an issue still.

Laudiesdad69
Posts: 1069
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:16 pm

Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:17 pm

Alytw wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:04 pm
Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:00 am
Annette wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:07 pm
Hi,
I don't believe that fractional strings could be a real solution.
These strings must be thicker than strings for a normal scale, because they are designed to reach about the same tension as normal strings for a normal scale, but on a shorter scale.
And the thickness of the strings seems to be the problem for this lady ("...too big in diameter for her...").

Another idea:
Why not try low tension strings, for example Daddario EJ 43?
These strings are thin and work very well on my 63 cm-guitars.
Of course they could feel too loose on a 61 cm scale, but then you could just tune up the guitar (in f or f sharp ), and maybe this will feel and sound o.k.
If there's the wish to play together with this guitar you simply could use a capo on the "normal" guitar.
Yours Annette

P.S. And don't forget to replace the third string by a carbon string (for example Knobloch active medium tension) - carbon will be thinner and sound better!
You were right about the fractional size strings. They wouldn't be quite long enough
Length shouldn't be an issue, they come in different scales. My friend is really small, under 5' for sure. She uses either hannabach kinder strings or more recently savarez prodigie strings on her custom short scale guitar.

I'm not sure about the diameter, that might be an issue still.
The length was at least too short with the LaBella 3/4 strings. They are only for guitars up to 58cm.

Alytw
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:31 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Alytw » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:51 am

I just checked and see what you mean with the LaBella. The 7/8 is too long and 3/4 too short.

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Beowulf
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Re: Question for ladies with small hands who play short scale guitars

Post by Beowulf » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:05 am

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:37 pm

It seems I am going to need hard tension strings for her guitar because of the short scale. I just have to find some thin ones.
Keep in mind that tension is proportional to thickness...in general increasing string tension is accomplished by increasing thickness.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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