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View Full Version : No Callouses.....And a solution



Karasu
11-14-2012, 03:48 AM
Hey,

Since I don't get to practice my Ukulele when I'm at work (silly, silly work), I haven't been able to develop callouses on my fingertips to the point of reduced playing pain yet. Since I love to practice during the precious time that I HAVE, I didn't want to miss out because I was in too much pain to play (I have sensitive fingers). So, with the aid of some duct tape, a short stack of index cards and 4 straightened paper-clips, I created:

Ukulele Simulator 1.0. As it's the first version, it has some drawbacks...the string area is not large enough to do full chord shapes for one thing.....but it serves the purpose. Now, at my desk or on the go, I can "fret" the paper clips and develop callouses just as if I was playing. It's already made a remarkable difference. I'm sure there's something like this available commercially...lol...but even though I am a classically trained pianist and wind/brass player I've never played a stringed instrument (piano doesn't count!) so i'm a complete N00b.

Anyway, there you have it....hope the picture is clear.

K

ukeeku
11-14-2012, 04:19 AM
Does it sit on the desk and you press your finger tips onto it?

Trinimon
11-14-2012, 04:48 AM
Necessity is the mother of invention rings true here. Cool. I use one of those stress squeeze things to strengthen the fingers for barre chords.

Karasu
11-14-2012, 05:37 AM
Does it sit on the desk and you press your finger tips onto it?

It can, or I can carry it with me to meetings or wherever else I go. Once my fingers have taken enough of a beating, I set it on my desk and come back to it when they are less sore. This sort of use seems to combine the effects of multiple short practice sessions throughout the course of the day. I'd love to be able to put in the PRACTICE that that would entail, but finger soreness seems to be an obstacle I can overcome with this device independent of access to my uke!

hoosierhiver
11-14-2012, 05:46 AM
I remember one year at NAMM, some guys were trying to sell what was essentially just necks with fretboards for practicing, but they cost almost as much as a real instrument. I don't think it took off.

caroljean
11-14-2012, 05:57 AM
I remember one year at NAMM, some guys were trying to sell what was essentially just necks with fretboards for practicing, but they cost almost as much as a real instrument. I don't think it took off.

See, then you might as well get a Peanut, and take it everywhere. Which isn't a bad idea :-)

Lalz
11-14-2012, 08:05 AM
Have you had your ukulele set-up? If it hurts when you play then chances are the action is too high, which requires you to press harder than necessary. Callouses are most often not a necessity when playing the uke.

gratefulbruce
11-14-2012, 08:15 AM
I play 3-4 hours a week (I think) and I wouldn't say I have callouses, but my figertips have toughened up a bit. I recently got a new uke, and the combination of tighter strings, and perhaps the strings sitting a bit higher has had my fingers feeling it a little, but not enough to slow me down ... why stop when you're having so much fun?

Karasu
11-14-2012, 08:50 AM
Have you had your ukulele set-up? If it hurts when you play then chances are the action is too high, which requires you to press harder than necessary. Callouses are most often not a necessity when playing the uke.

Indeed I have. I purchased my Kala KA-TEM from HMS; I understand that their setups are regarded very highly. However I have always had VERY sensitive fingertips, so I'm not surprised that I need to deal with a few "growing pains."

K

angiec
11-14-2012, 11:47 AM
LOL I love your invention Karasu.

Lalz
11-14-2012, 01:35 PM
Indeed I have. I purchased my Kala KA-TEM from HMS; I understand that their setups are regarded very highly. However I have always had VERY sensitive fingertips, so I'm not surprised that I need to deal with a few "growing pains."

K

HMS are indeed set-up pros. I guess you've been doing everything you could to reduce the pain then. Hope your fingertips stop hurting soon. Good luck!

ogg
11-14-2012, 03:04 PM
Hey,

Anyway, there you have it....hope the picture is clear.

K

Yes, the picture is very clear. Someone has stopped taking their meds. :D

dselbst
11-14-2012, 03:29 PM
I like your invention, just don't overdo it!

Also, I think taking long showers/baths can also keep your skin from callousing.

PhilUSAFRet
11-15-2012, 01:10 AM
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is pressing harder on the strings than necessary....the string only has to make contact with the fret, any more pressure than that just produces sore fingers, even for folks that have been playing a while. I catch myself doing it sometimes...I just ease up on the pressure and the pain stops.

Ipsofacto
11-15-2012, 09:23 AM
45379

I made this in work earlier... still a little work to do on how far apart the strings go / keeping tension in the strings (Its currently just knotted around a wheel arch, so it's not the best form of tension...), but it'll do for the desk!

Worker Bee
11-15-2012, 01:09 PM
Hello Everyone ,

The telephone handset can be used for practice also .

Most of them are too wide . about 50mm , but suitable for stretching exercises .

Best Rgs ,
:D

OldePhart
11-15-2012, 01:29 PM
Another tip that helps a lot and doesn't require any special equipment is to drum your fingers on a desk or other hard surface (obviously if you have coworkers who sit very close this might annoy them too much). Anyway, the idea is to desensitize the nerves in your fingertips and that works pretty good after a while.

I don't have real callouses since I've pretty much stopped playing guitar and ukulele frankly isn't enough tension to give me callouses unless I play for hours every day for several days in a row. But, the nerves in the fingertips on my left hand are pretty much dead anyway. I have to be careful cooking and whatnot because I can pick up stuff hot enough to blister skin and it will take several seconds for the "heat message" to reach my brain... (and no comments are needed from the peanut gallery, thank you very much) :)

John

big plucker
11-16-2012, 08:08 AM
Why not use your thumb? Just keep the left thumbnail long and press very firmly all over the tips of your fret fingers. It will also strengthen the muscles in your hand. Combined with desktop drumming, this has kept my fingers conditioned very well. I find this has become almost a habit or nervous 'tick' (it is my poker tell)

It is also very discrete. When i just started guitar, i wanted to keep it strictly between me and the woodshed until I was ready for others to hear without complaint...

Although, there is nothing as good a set of medium heavy steel strings to turn your finger tips to rock though... you could take up guitar as well....?