Whimpy fingers

Guitar Tricks Forum > Guitar Basics > Whimpy fingers

Richardmcwhorter

Full Access

Joined: 06/28/17

Posts: 1

Hello Everyone

I'm new to playing the guitar so I'm wondering if anyone has some tricks to toughen up the ol' fingertips. My fingertips are killing me.

Thanks for any advice.

#1

Hello Everyone

I'm new to playing the guitar so I'm wondering if anyone has some tricks to toughen up the ol' fingertips. My fingertips are killing me.

Thanks for any advice.

Medalleon

Full Access

Joined: 07/21/17

Posts: 7

I wouldn't mind some tips too... I only practiced 40 minutes the first day and 20 minutes the second day, now I have blisters on my index finger tip! That's just embarrassingly wimpy

G'day from W.A.

#2

I wouldn't mind some tips too... I only practiced 40 minutes the first day and 20 minutes the second day, now I have blisters on my index finger tip! That's just embarrassingly wimpy

G'day from W.A.

wolfsmg

Full Access

Joined: 07/05/17

Posts: 29

Best Tip/Trick: Practice. You don't always have to strum or pick, you can just fret notes on the neck. It will take a while (depends on the person) to develop your fingertips.

Worst Tip/Trick: Summer of '69. Do NOT play until your fingers bleed. Scar tissue isn't the same as calluses.

If you develop a blister, let it pop, then keep practicing. Ther's no need to reshape the skin to remove the small divot. Practicing will usually wear your fingertip back to a normal shape.

Take it slowly at first with short practice sessions. You'll be able to increase your session length as your fingers toughen up. If you do have the desire to practice, but your fingers hurt a bit, take some time to watch some videos/read about the other important aspects of being a guitarist:

Posture. Just sit with your guitar in your playing position and work on staying upright. If you notice that you're getting some wrist pain after playing (a little is natural since you're holding your hand at an odd angle), work on finding a neck angle that works for you. (I tend to play with the neck "crossing" about mid-bicep since it's comfortable for me.)

Guitar Care

String Changing

Set-Up and Intonation: It's cheaper to do it yourself, since most places will charge you a price equal to a couple packages of strings. (I'd rather have spare strings than spend money on something that's easy to learn.)

Music Theory (it's never too soon to start)

Your Idol's Biography and other guitarists you admire too. Never know what you'll find out that may help your development.

Take a Walk! Get some exercise! Listen to music while doing so and work on your internal rhythm. I'll go for a walk while listening to music, making sure that one of my feet (always the same for the song playing) hits the ground on the first beat of each bar/measure. Then, depending on the tempo, it will usually hit the ground again on the third beat for slow songs (the other foot will hit on the third beat for really fast songs).

Eat and Rest.

Optional: Learn some about soldering parts if you're an electic guitarist. It'll help with repair and upgrades.

Hope this is helpful and have fun.

If you do experience pain while playing, stop and identify the cause of the pain. Then figure a way to not have it happen again. Some discomfort is to be expected, you're doing things with your fingers/hands that you probably haven't done before. Asking your fingers to spread and press down at the same time can cause some discomfort, but it goes away with practice. There are also some stretches that you can do help limber up (fingers, wrist, shoulders, neck are all helpful).

What is this "strumming" of which you speak?

Fender Squier Affinity HSS Stratocaster "Kelli"
Epiphone Les Paul Special-II LE "Callie"
Rogue RA-090 Concert Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar "Theresa"

#3

Best Tip/Trick: Practice. You don't always have to strum or pick, you can just fret notes on the neck. It will take a while (depends on the person) to develop your fingertips.

Worst Tip/Trick: Summer of '69. Do NOT play until your fingers bleed. Scar tissue isn't the same as calluses.

If you develop a blister, let it pop, then keep practicing. Ther's no need to reshape the skin to remove the small divot. Practicing will usually wear your fingertip back to a normal shape.

Take it slowly at first with short practice sessions. You'll be able to increase your session length as your fingers toughen up. If you do have the desire to practice, but your fingers hurt a bit, take some time to watch some videos/read about the other important aspects of being a guitarist:

Posture. Just sit with your guitar in your playing position and work on staying upright. If you notice that you're getting some wrist pain after playing (a little is natural since you're holding your hand at an odd angle), work on finding a neck angle that works for you. (I tend to play with the neck "crossing" about mid-bicep since it's comfortable for me.)

Guitar Care

String Changing

Set-Up and Intonation: It's cheaper to do it yourself, since most places will charge you a price equal to a couple packages of strings. (I'd rather have spare strings than spend money on something that's easy to learn.)

Music Theory (it's never too soon to start)

Your Idol's Biography and other guitarists you admire too. Never know what you'll find out that may help your development.

Take a Walk! Get some exercise! Listen to music while doing so and work on your internal rhythm. I'll go for a walk while listening to music, making sure that one of my feet (always the same for the song playing) hits the ground on the first beat of each bar/measure. Then, depending on the tempo, it will usually hit the ground again on the third beat for slow songs (the other foot will hit on the third beat for really fast songs).

Eat and Rest.

Optional: Learn some about soldering parts if you're an electic guitarist. It'll help with repair and upgrades.

Hope this is helpful and have fun.

If you do experience pain while playing, stop and identify the cause of the pain. Then figure a way to not have it happen again. Some discomfort is to be expected, you're doing things with your fingers/hands that you probably haven't done before. Asking your fingers to spread and press down at the same time can cause some discomfort, but it goes away with practice. There are also some stretches that you can do help limber up (fingers, wrist, shoulders, neck are all helpful).

What is this "strumming" of which you speak?

Fender Squier Affinity HSS Stratocaster "Kelli"
Epiphone Les Paul Special-II LE "Callie"
Rogue RA-090 Concert Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar "Theresa"

Whune

Registered User

Joined: 10/16/09

Posts: 176

Originally Posted by: Medalleon

I wouldn't mind some tips too... I only practiced 40 minutes the first day and 20 minutes the second day, now I have blisters on my index finger tip! That's just embarrassingly wimpy

"wimpy" isn't really the best term.

it kind of implies that the thing to do is just keep doing what you are doing; and that's not the case.

A blister is fluid building up between layers of skin, to protect the body from all the wear and tear you are putting on it.

When the finger tissue is hard blisters don't form between it

(but you CAN develop blisters UNDER callouses)

If you are developing blisters it means you are both practcing too much AND too little.

The key is "little and often"

many short sessions

because it's not just blisters that you have to be concerned with

it's various muscles in your strumming and fretting arms; and just body in geenral.

now I can practice pretty much all day and it doesn't even feel like it; but that's because I've built my body up to be able to handle the load so to speak.

it's like working out in the traditional sense: you can't just dive right in to doing 300 push-ups a day

#4

Originally Posted by: Medalleon

I wouldn't mind some tips too... I only practiced 40 minutes the first day and 20 minutes the second day, now I have blisters on my index finger tip! That's just embarrassingly wimpy

"wimpy" isn't really the best term.

it kind of implies that the thing to do is just keep doing what you are doing; and that's not the case.

A blister is fluid building up between layers of skin, to protect the body from all the wear and tear you are putting on it.

When the finger tissue is hard blisters don't form between it

(but you CAN develop blisters UNDER callouses)

If you are developing blisters it means you are both practcing too much AND too little.

The key is "little and often"

many short sessions

because it's not just blisters that you have to be concerned with

it's various muscles in your strumming and fretting arms; and just body in geenral.

now I can practice pretty much all day and it doesn't even feel like it; but that's because I've built my body up to be able to handle the load so to speak.

it's like working out in the traditional sense: you can't just dive right in to doing 300 push-ups a day

Medalleon

Full Access

Joined: 07/21/17

Posts: 7

Some great advice there and some good ideas to fill the time while the blister heals. Rookie mistake obviously.. the blister filled after I stopped practicing. It wasn't even that painful while I was playing, certainly nothing to indicate I was overdoing it. Lesson learned

G'day from W.A.

#5

Some great advice there and some good ideas to fill the time while the blister heals. Rookie mistake obviously.. the blister filled after I stopped practicing. It wasn't even that painful while I was playing, certainly nothing to indicate I was overdoing it. Lesson learned

G'day from W.A.

DrunkenSage

Full Access

Joined: 08/04/16

Posts: 2

Originally Posted by: wolfsmg

Guitar Care

String Changing

Set-Up and Intonation: It's cheaper to do it yourself, since most places will charge you a price equal to a couple packages of strings. (I'd rather have spare strings than spend money on something that's easy to learn.)

It's always a good idea to learn how your instrument works and some basic repair. It's also a good recharger when you need a break from the practice routine.

Most of the time it's not that complicated and youtube can walk you through it.

#6

Originally Posted by: wolfsmg

Guitar Care

String Changing

Set-Up and Intonation: It's cheaper to do it yourself, since most places will charge you a price equal to a couple packages of strings. (I'd rather have spare strings than spend money on something that's easy to learn.)

It's always a good idea to learn how your instrument works and some basic repair. It's also a good recharger when you need a break from the practice routine.

Most of the time it's not that complicated and youtube can walk you through it.

JeffS65

Full Access

Joined: 10/07/08

Posts: 1015

And here's the thing. It sorta happens to all of us. Even when you take time off. I am moving to a new house and trying to do all the updates to the new house and freshen up the old one.

What's that got to do with guitar?

Well, I just bought a new acoustic (Taylor Grand Auditorium cutaway...weee) and, of course, wanted to play the heck out of. Since it's been a while, blister city on my ring finger. I know better. It's kind of my lead 'bending/vibrato' finger. And if it's been a little bit, that bad boy will get a blister. Not so muc when I just chord and fret...bends for me....

So it happens to all of us.

So my advice is to stick with chords and strums. Toughness will come. Also, I mostly agree with wolf on this point 'If you develop a blister, let it pop'. I do just pop mine right away and flatten it out against the skin. It mostly readheres. The is not medical device and I assume any doctor would be aghast. Though I wouldn't always say to go back to playing. Depends on how much you overdid it.

That said, callouses take time and playing.

#7

And here's the thing. It sorta happens to all of us. Even when you take time off. I am moving to a new house and trying to do all the updates to the new house and freshen up the old one.

What's that got to do with guitar?

Well, I just bought a new acoustic (Taylor Grand Auditorium cutaway...weee) and, of course, wanted to play the heck out of. Since it's been a while, blister city on my ring finger. I know better. It's kind of my lead 'bending/vibrato' finger. And if it's been a little bit, that bad boy will get a blister. Not so muc when I just chord and fret...bends for me....

So it happens to all of us.

So my advice is to stick with chords and strums. Toughness will come. Also, I mostly agree with wolf on this point 'If you develop a blister, let it pop'. I do just pop mine right away and flatten it out against the skin. It mostly readheres. The is not medical device and I assume any doctor would be aghast. Though I wouldn't always say to go back to playing. Depends on how much you overdid it.

That said, callouses take time and playing.

petcricket262

Registered User

Joined: 09/08/17

Posts: 1

Originally Posted by: Richardmcwhorter

Hello Everyone

I'm new to playing the guitar so I'm wondering if anyone has some tricks to toughen up the ol' fingertips. My fingertips are killing me.

Thanks for any advice.

haha that's so common, you can't avoid it. Just acept and practice everyday, you will get used to it gradually.

Good luck!

#8

Originally Posted by: Richardmcwhorter

Hello Everyone

I'm new to playing the guitar so I'm wondering if anyone has some tricks to toughen up the ol' fingertips. My fingertips are killing me.

Thanks for any advice.

haha that's so common, you can't avoid it. Just acept and practice everyday, you will get used to it gradually.

Good luck!