3.9 Sore Fingers

Andy | August 24, 2015 | 12 Comments

Unfortunately sore fingers are going to affect us all (aching and pain) – even for the most experienced players who may decide to take a sabbatical for a month or 2.

The aching will eventually go away as you develop finger and thumb strength and you will eventually develop hard skin/calluses that will negate any once-sore digits.

Andy offers up some advice on how you can continue to “play” though the pain barrier:

You have to go through pan barrier and need to build up calluses on all 4 fingers

  Tips – Lighter gauge strings/Lower action on neck…….Not recommended as really a cheats way out

  Continue to play by using different fingers or different part of finger

  Perform exercises exerting no pressure such as muting or open string exercises.

We’re sure you’ll get through it!

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Comments (12)

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  1. jim crossland says:

    Soak tips of fingers in surgical spirit and that does work very well

  2. Gary Stout says:

    3.9 Sore Fingers: pain/soreness should only relate to tip of finger; joint pain or any other finger pain might indicate a problem they should investigate with a doctor.

  3. Jack Runnels says:

    I tell beginning guitars player to use light gauge strings.
    Finger pain and hand pain is a big part of learning guitar but for the beginner this is a major breaking point. Medium gauge strings add tone and sustain to acoustic guitars but make a guitar difficult to play for a beginning guitarist. Especially on entry level guitars that may not be as easy to play to begin with.

  4. Ronnie Holderfield says:

    The pain is real, but the rewards of going through it, are many. I think that the way you put it Andy, is great.

  5. Brian Armstrong says:

    My first guitar had nylon strings and found a great difference when I changed guitars. It was a shock when my figures became very sore and I staggered my practices between the guitars until my figure tips hardened up.

  6. Richard McKay says:

    Good ideas. Also, to get a little new agey, the pain is necessary and an important test. It’s the first step toward mastery. The first chance to quit. Don’t give in. Everyone who ever played had to get past this first test. It is a badge of honor to get past this phase. (Barre chords are the second big step, btw).

    I can always tell if a student hasn’t been practicing because their fingers hurt after only a few warm up drills. They know after I bust them a few times to keep it to themselves.

  7. Colin Rothery says:

    “You have to go through pan barrier and need to build up calluses on all 4 fingers” – Typo on pan as should read pain barrier.

  8. Bryan McAnnany says:

    The one thing I learned in the beginning was to soak your fingers in vinegar. I helps sooth the pain and build up callouses.

  9. Anthony Gable says:

    You WILL get callouses !!!!

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