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Thread: Just an observation. Build callouses before you can seriously practice

  1. #1
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    Default Just an observation. Build callouses before you can seriously practice

    Long ago I played the violin (which I still have). But, forgot about callouses. My advice to a beginner is to build them up slowly with practice before you get frustrated or discouraged with sore fingers. Don't be too concerned with your fingering. Once they build up then you can have longer more meaningful practice sessions.

  2. #2
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    That is sound advice, but it I am surprised to learn that some people have a problem with sore fingers from fretting the ukulele. I never had that kind of discomfort and do not have any callouses or thickening of the skin on my finger tips. It was not a problem when I first started to learn. I once had a period of a couple of years when I never played, and had no problem when I came back to the uke.

    My mother had a quirky saying, "Where there's no sense, there's no feeling!". That might be what she meant.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    That is sound advice, but it I am surprised to learn that some people have a problem with sore fingers from fretting the ukulele. I never had that kind of discomfort and do not have any callouses or thickening of the skin on my finger tips. It was not a problem when I first started to learn. I once had a period of a couple of years when I never played, and had no problem when I came back to the uke.

    My mother had a quirky saying, "Where there's no sense, there's no feeling!". That might be what she meant.
    Really. No callouses? I wonder if most players fall into that category? I had them from the violin and now with the ukulele.

  4. #4
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    LOL, maybe it's a violin thing. I played the violin for 14 years way back when, then stopped. I don't remember having callouses but then again, I was a kid/teenager. Then played the guitar for a couple years after a long string instrument hiatus, got callouses at first, and then stopped playing b/c the steel strings hurt. And now many years later, I'm picking up the ukulele and have little callouses forming on my fingertips.
    Kelii gold label koa long neck soprano - July 2017 - Hilo black strings (as purchased)
    Lancer soprano made in Japan (at least 40 years old)

  5. #5
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    No callouses here, but my index finger gets sore if I practice whole-note bends for too long. Perhaps it is genetic. Or perhaps we need we need another word. I competitively lift kettlebells and I have callouses at the base of each finger on my palm. Those are hard, definite and sometimes I can even pull them off because they are so raised. Is that what you have on your fingertips? I assume not. However, before I removed them the steel strings of my baritone would put indentations in my fingers. I could see where maybe that would result in something closer to a callous. Perhaps my fingertips are a little rougher than the pads of my fingers; it is hard to say since the tips are bony and the pads are fleshy.

  6. #6
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    I certainly got callouses when I started playing. They are nearly gone now, though.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by robinboyd View Post
    I certainly got callouses when I started playing. They are nearly gone now, though.
    Why do you think that is? Has you finger technique improved? Lighter touch with better placement? or a uke with a proper setup?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyber3d View Post
    Why do you think that is? Has you finger technique improved? Lighter touch with better placement? or a uke with a proper setup?
    All of the above... Also, a guitar player once told me that after you build up callouses they tend to soften as your fingers get used to chording. Don't know why, but it's been my experience... I still have callouses, but they are pretty soft now.

  9. #9

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    I've played guitar for over 30 years and 4 years ago I took up the mandolin and then re-started learning violin and have been playing ukulele since February of this year. I've never had callouses -- not the thick build-up kind that start to peel or get caught on the strings. What my fingers have done is thickened the skin at the tips of my fretting hand, so they hold the strings down properly but without pain. Except for the ukulele -- I had finger pain when I started playing the ukulele. Mine is properly set-up, at least according to what I've learned on-line about string heights, it's easy to fret but there's something about ukulele strings which affect my fingertips differently from guitar, mandolin or violin strings. So when I lay off the ukulele for a week (like this past week when I was away on vacation) when I start up again I have some fingertip pain but after playing for a while it goes away. Very interesting how that is.

  10. #10
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    Ahoy

    new at it
    practicing about one hour a day
    last six months
    no callouses
    no finger pain to speak of

    except first finger
    right hand
    broke that in printing press
    30 years ago
    at times it will hurt
    then use ring finger to strum

    yours truly
    mac
    Last edited by dinghy; 08-12-2017 at 02:31 PM.

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