Lesson: Get Better Faster with Lily Maase, Part 3

Let's talk about shapes! Also, let's take a look at my tiny hands.

If you watch this video, you'll see that my hands are small. Like, really small.

Smaller than they should be for someone my height, and definitely smaller than those of the average guitarist.

This is ok!

I can't tell you how many times I've heard a student say "well, I wanted to play the guitar but I gave up because my teacher said my hands weren't the right size to do it." If you are a beginning guitarist and your teacher says your hands are too large or small, beware–you've run into an amateur!

In my 15+ years of teaching at a professional level, I've run into exactly ONE student whose hands weren't suited for the instrument, and he was a retired construction worker who had been banging away at concrete with a sledgehammer for nearly three decades.

So, unless you spend most of your time knocking down walls with your bare hands, you are probably a pretty good candidate for being able to play the guitar. The biggest obstacle between you and your instrument is understanding how your hands actually work. Because the guitar is a series of straight lines (straight strings, straight frets, straight neck), we think of our hands as being a sort of a straight line as well.

But if you take a minute to look at your hand, you'll see that your palm is actually quite round. This means, each of your fingers is going to approach the strings at a different angle.

If you can learn to work with this, instead of forcing your hand into the unnatural shape that most beginners tend to favor, you might find your flexibility and range of motion increase quite a bit. In this episode, we examine my tiny hands, how I've learned to work with them instead of allowing them to work against me, and we take a look at my student Wes's technique as we make a few minor adjustments to take the pressure of his thumbs and wrist.

Learn more about Lily Maase at the following links:

Performance – www.lilymaase.com
Production – www.handmaidmusic.org
Composition – www.musicforrobots.org
Guns N’ Roses tribute band – www.rocketqueensnyc.com

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