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View Full Version : Guitars hurt my fingers!



hotnanas
03-04-2008, 06:00 PM
So I took a break from trying to teach myself the uke tonight and picked up my girlfriend's guitar and tried teaching myself to pluck out stairway to heaven, and good God, Almighty, my fingers hurt! I think if I play anything else tonight on either the uke or guitar I am gonna have blood all over the instrument!

Guitar strings hurt!

Misguided Musician
03-04-2008, 06:24 PM
haha it's mostly cuz ur used to the ukes nylon strings. When I first started playing guitar, my fingers hurt like hell, but now, nothing really hurts my fingers. Just keep practicing and you'll get used to the steel strings.

Kateri
03-04-2008, 08:37 PM
Haha yeah, it's well worth it when your fingers get all calloused and nothing hurts. Not even when you poke yourself changing strings!

Misguided Musician
03-04-2008, 08:44 PM
Haha yeah, it's well worth it when your fingers get all calloused and nothing hurts. Not even when you poke yourself changing strings!
Haha yeah. Not having callouses and changing strings sucks! I got skewered by like how many E strings.

Regster
03-04-2008, 09:46 PM
i hear u man, im a beginner in the guitar n after a month of playing the guitar my finger hurts, but everybody say thats how u learn to play the guitar

davoomac
03-04-2008, 10:00 PM
hahaha you aren't alone. When I started playing the guitar, my soft ukulele fingertips couldn't take the guitar strings.

hotnanas
03-05-2008, 05:05 AM
ya, the tiny E string killed my first finger which I thought was rather calloused from the uke.

I think I am gonna learn guitar too! I wish my parents would have urged me to get into music when I was younger.

AdamTheHobo
03-07-2008, 04:02 PM
haha ya guitar string are unforgiving on virgin fingers man, u got to play alot and build up ur finger strength and get ur fingertips nice and hard

rayan
03-07-2008, 06:02 PM
Girls don't like it, but building those calluses are the only way to play steel string guitars well.

dafamcallsmebj
03-07-2008, 09:54 PM
i picked up a guitar a few times to try to teach myself...
i stopped because it hurts my fingers!!
haha
but its worth the pin from what i hear!!

Regster
03-07-2008, 11:16 PM
hahaha sometimes i would drink beer before practicing with
my guitar i only do this when my finger hurts too much cuz u see im a newb n i have steel strings in my guitar:D

Kateri
03-08-2008, 12:30 AM
I'm proud of my callouses and peeling fingers. :D

david98116
03-08-2008, 01:06 AM
The switch from ukulele to guitar is a real eye opener. If you want some super tough fingertips....keep playing with those steel strings.:D

Bruce_B
03-08-2008, 05:51 AM
When you first start with an acoustic guitar, try tuning down a half step or so to ease some of the tension until you get used to it.

experimentjon
03-08-2008, 03:52 PM
Girls don't like it, but building those calluses are the only way to play steel string guitars well.

Well...I guess the attractive factor of guitars gets partially neutralized by calluses eh? Well, yeah, I still can't handle playing the steel guitar strings...another ceiling I'll have to break through to playing guitar.

BUGOY
03-08-2008, 04:29 PM
If you're going to start playing guitar with steel strings, Change the strings out to Extra LIGHTS if you haven't already. Another option is to use Light electric guitar strings for an even smaller gauge. I use electric strings on my ovation until this day. Feels good, sounds good, sounds even better plugged in.

pakiboy949
03-09-2008, 06:23 PM
haha only my middle finger hurts for some reason, i'm a beginning guitar player also :eek:

Regster
03-10-2008, 11:30 AM
isn't there a lotion u can put on your finger that can harden your skin to ease the pain, i forgot whats it called?

davoomac
03-10-2008, 01:24 PM
isn't there a lotion u can put on your finger that can harden your skin to ease the pain, i forgot whats it called?

look up "Rodeo Cream" Thats the stuff that was used to toughen up some red sox pitcher's hands.

NukeDOC
03-10-2008, 02:08 PM
dont try to shortcut the system. work at it. and your fingers will develop. and then, if for some reason your body just doesnt respond and you dont build the needed callouses, or lose some of the sensitivity in your fingertips, then maybe you should look for some other means.

just keep practicing. when it hurts too much, stop. then when you feel better, pick it up again till it hurts too much. then stop. you're not quiting, youre conditioning. as you go, your tollerance gets longer and longer.

Regster
03-10-2008, 02:29 PM
dont try to shortcut the system. work at it. and your fingers will develop. and then, if for some reason your body just doesnt respond and you dont build the needed callouses, or lose some of the sensitivity in your fingertips, then maybe you should look for some other means.

just keep practicing. when it hurts too much, stop. then when you feel better, pick it up again till it hurts too much. then stop. you're not quiting, youre conditioning. as you go, your tollerance gets longer and longer.

ohhh i didn't really do that its just something that i heard, i still practice with the steel strings, when i first started practicing some people tried to convince me to use nylons but i still went with steel cuz it sound really good with my seagul:D

NukeDOC
03-10-2008, 03:37 PM
ohhh i didn't really do that its just something that i heard, i still practice with the steel strings, when i first started practicing some people tried to convince me to use nylons but i still went with steel cuz it sound really good with my seagul:D

sorry, i didnt mean to direct that at any particular person. just in general, building callouses, developing dexterity, numbing fingertips, muscle memory, etc etc etc. it all comes with practice. hard work. perseverance.

blood sweat and tears! haha i sound like a drill instructor.

ChiyoDad
03-11-2008, 07:02 AM
dont try to shortcut the system. work at it. and your fingers will develop. and then, if for some reason your body just doesnt respond and you dont build the needed callouses, or lose some of the sensitivity in your fingertips, then maybe you should look for some other means.

You can take a bit of a shortcut by using a GripMaster with Ruff Grips (http://chiyostrings.blogspot.com/2007/05/power-up.html). I used it to build-up callouses and warm-up my fingers.

MikeO
04-18-2010, 05:43 AM
Well the Gripmaster doesn't really solve the problem of painful fingertips. Some people (like me) have sensitive fingertips even though they have calluses. To form new calluses, just practice for 15-20 minutes a day, ot until your fingers hurt :)

brickerenator
04-29-2010, 07:14 AM
Practice.

Also, a low action guitar is going to be easier on your fingers. My brother's cheap acoustic has a wtf-high action, my friend's Ibanez has a super low action, soooo smooth (i'm getting one myself, lol)

Vindelanda
04-29-2010, 07:37 AM
Haha, I thought it was just me. We have a couple of guitars lying around at our house, and every time I pick one up that highest string nearly kills my fingers. xD And I thought my callouses were fairly good from uke.
I wonder if there are "softer" steel strings out there, or at least something that doesn't cut as much. (I got a sort of paper cut from one of them, maybe it was an old string, though.)

GVlog
04-29-2010, 08:31 AM
I wonder if there are "softer" steel strings out there, or at least something that doesn't cut as much.
Most guitars are strung with Medium to Light tension strings. I would try Extra Light tension strings. Maybe use the Elixir 80/20 Bronze with Polyweb coating (thicker than Nanoweb). A capable guitar technician should have a look at the action and neck relief and adjust both if necessary.

The other option is to play a slightly shorter-scale guitar as this will reduce the tension. I play a Johnson Carolina JO-27 which is 24.9". It was properly set-up for my style and string attack when I bought it (usually a free service from good shops). It's not as "easy" as an ukulele but it's a lot easier to play than many other steel strings I've sampled with the exception of a top-end luthier instruments and some Martins costing $3000 and up.

The advice that many guitar teachers give is to start with a nylon string guitar (classical or flamenco). This will be easier on your fingers and allow you to build-up calluses. I'm in agreement with this advice. I started learning classical guitar and developed my calluses with little pain. When I play and ukulele it's like pressing down thread.

With beginning guitarists, the pain is really caused by pressing down on the strings too hard, even when they're flat on the fretboard already. This is natural and common. It takes a while to relax and adjust the pressure.

Skrik
04-29-2010, 09:22 AM
There is a machine that prevents you from developing callouses at all: it's called a piano.

brickerenator
04-29-2010, 11:40 AM
There is a machine that prevents you from developing callouses at all: it's called a piano.

A Theremin wins the no callouses dispute

Pippin
05-02-2010, 02:34 PM
Girls don't like it, but building those calluses are the only way to play steel string guitars well.

Funny isn't it. When I used to play with some well-known bands, we had groupies all over the place. They don't notice your fingertips when you are in the "band".

Pippin
05-02-2010, 02:36 PM
There is a machine that prevents you from developing callouses at all: it's called a piano.

Spoil Sport. :)