Fretting issues

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Joined: 02/05/22
Posts: 12

I have been playing for a few yeas now and I still experience issues with the fingertips on my frettng hand. My skin in general is soft and my fingertips are no exception!

I play about an hour a day. I press right behind the frets and I try to only press hard enough to create a clear tone but find that I need to be pretty firm to make this happen. The skin on my fingertips indents quit a bit. As a result my fingertips become sore if I play a lot.

Does anyone have recommendations to harden the skin on my fingertips. It would be nice to have better calouses and apply less pressure to the fretboard while I play.


# 1
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Joined: 04/17/13
Posts: 679

The first thing that comes to mind is gear....You could reduce the action on your strings. You could reduce the gauge of your strings. You could play electric guitar, instead of accoustic. Any or all of these gear changes could help your sore fingers.

You are on the right track regarding using a light touch on the frets. When you play, using a light touch on your fretting fingers, work on strumming softer as well. This could help you reduce the pressure needed for clean notes to sound. If you are working to hold the string down lightly and strumming hard... you could be working against your own best interests. Practice using a light touch with your pick.

I am sure you have heard this, but it is still important to keep in mind....Time practicing, is probably the best cure for sore fingers. At an hour every day should be enough to eventually you develop callous, and a light enough touch, to reduce the pain. I am sure, after "years of practice" that you already are seeing an improvement to how your fingers hold up to stustained practice. I bet you could not practice for an hour when you first started. That will continue to develop, if you keep at it.

If all else fails there are "practice gloves" that can help with using sore fingers. I have not used them but I have heard good things about them. Maybe that is another gear change that could help push those boundries you are running into at this point.

Hope this helps.

Captcha is a total pain in the........

# 2
Drake the Red
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Joined: 10/12/11
Posts: 317

I recommend scale practice, perhaps for 20 minutes a day before your main practice. Scale exercises are guaranteed to strengthen hands and fingers.

Wow, it's 2023 already? Time goes fast.

# 3
Rumble Walrus
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Joined: 12/30/20
Posts: 311

Rchap82 -

I actually fret almost in the middle and have no tonal issues on any of my guitars: 6 string. 12 string, acoustic, electric, whatever.

Snojones is spot on about the gear, checking action, etc. Make sure your axe is setup right first. First try a set of strings suggested by the manufacturer, then go lighter if necessary.

The, as Drake said, get busy.

# 4
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Joined: 02/05/22
Posts: 12

Thanks for all the advice. I am playing light gauge strings and my guitar was recnetly set up and the actions is not too high. Certainly playing electric would be easier on my figners. Definitely strumming softer helps.

I have recently been working on fingerpicking and doing a of work with my right hand getting the patterns down. I noticed that I tend to park on one chord while concentrating on my right hand. I am finally getting to the point where I am getting more comfortable with chord changes while maintaining the pattern which is easier on my fingers.

# 5