Long Fingers vs. Short Fingers

I’ve taught plenty of guitar players who have gotten frustrated with one thing or another about their physical ability. Many things can be overcome, but some can’t, like this:

Some of us are born with long and coordinated fingers, some with long and slow fingers. Some of us have shorter fingers that can fly, and some with fingers that just don’t want to move.

I always encourage students to push to see what is possible, but at some point, most people figure out what they can and can’t do. Can you bust through beyond what feels like your limit? Maybe, and I don’t discourage anyone from trying.

But you also need to come to terms with certain physical realities. Athletes teach us that. Somebody who’s 5’6” is not going to be a center in the NBA.

We as guitar players are arguably doing athletic things, just with the small muscles in our hands and fingers. I’ve seen and shaken the amazing hands of guys like Alan Holdsworth. He had the physical make up to do incredible things that would be impossible for others.

I’m not being pessimistic, just encouraging you to work with what you have to make music. Your physical gifts – and limitations – can create a voice on guitar that’s really unique.


If you are serious about improving your guitar playing, there is simply no other program like FRETBOARD BIOLOGY. This is the only program that combines all the benefits of a structured professional guitar program with the low cost and convenience of self-learning.

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