Constant sore fingers

Hello everyone.
Other than the initial beginner soreness prior to developing calluses, is it normal to suffer from sore deep tissue soreness. After about an hour of playing my fingers really start to hurt and I have to give up.

Yep in my experience.

Depends what and how you’re playing.

I’m ~5 months in and I can strum chords for ages but an hour of bb king style blues with lots of heavy bending does my fingers in

Hi there. I’m also 5 months in and I struggle with pain in my 2nd and 3rd finger, playing mainly open chords. I had a 3 week break and now they are so sore again. I try to press as lightly as I can but so far the pain persists. I was just curious if anyone else suffers the same issues. Thanks for your input.

Hello and welcome to the community Gary. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I’ve been playing a just over a year and my fingers still get sore from time to time.

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Hello!! And thankyou. I suspect that I might have to mentally try and place less pressure on the strings. :thinking:

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Hi Gary,
Welcome ,…and and then there is still a good chance that if you think after a year that now I’m rid of those sensitive fingers (I never experienced it as annoying, it was part of it and was therefore satisfied with it)…and then it comes in a moment with a strange chord where everything is so crooked, you can start stretching again and have a nice prick(zere vingers …sairfingers…sore fingers :smile:) in your fingers back… :wink:
Good luck with it and most of all have fun,
Greetings ,Rogier

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I’m definitely enjoying my journey and the pain is bearable, I just wasn’t sure if it was normal. I’m trying barre chords and other new chords so it may help with the constant repetition on the 6 basic chords that I first learnt. :pray:

Are you playing acoustic? For me, depends what I’m doing. Barre chords on acoustic, sore very quickly. Same as some stretchy open chords. Electric, not so much.

Make sure to get a good stretching routine down and do it frequently.

Guitar is like a new sport and to need to build the muscle, gain the end our ace and maintain the health of the muscle l, joints and tissues.

Especially us older players. It makes me realize that I do have a degree of arthritis after all. Sigh.

I’m also 5 months in. And still having finger pain. I tend to press as light as possible, however when I start focusing on other things like strumming and singing. I feel I start pressing harder. I sometimes have to quit after an hour.

Welcome to the Community, Gary.

Are you talking about soreness in the finger-tips that becomes ‘deep tissue’ level or more than that?

If just through the finger-tips, then yes focus on just enough pressure but also take it slower until the callouses develop. I’d suggest play for shorter periods of time rather than a long session that has you gritting teeth against the pain. Over time the sessions will get longer.

If more than that perhaps be specific for more helpful comments.

Yes I am playing acoustic. I was using 12 gauge steel strings and now 11. My guitar has a low action and is set up for beginners. The bruising on my fingers is becoming quite annoying as my practicing is starting to suffer. Maybe i just press to hard. :thinking:

My hands sometimes get sore - fatigued sore - from some chord grips, but no finger bruising. Over time as I’m doing new grips etc, different kinds of barres, I need to build new calluses. I am 40 though so a fair bit younger. Also should say I’m about 8 months in, so no expert but a recent learner.

You did the right thing by switching to 11s. I did that on my starter acoustic. Now on 12s on a lower action, better setup acoustic.

Honestly I’d be concerned about injury if you’re bruising like that. Generally the way the body works is once it heals, it comes back stronger, but it needs the time to heal. E.g. if you start playing guitar and play through the pain you’ll cut your fingers before calluses can form, and then they won’t form. Same goes for muscle adaptation, downtime for healing and strengthening is key.

You might want to consider reducing or changing up your practice time until you heal. Maybe focus on things that are less brutal on the hands, e.g. scales or lead melodies. Or maybe get an electric with even lighter strings - mine came with 9s on it (10s on it now), and compared even to 11s or 12s it’s like butter. Plays well with a super light touch.

Hi, I struggle with sore fingertips too, and I know it’s because I press too hard. I’m trying to reduce the pressure I apply so it’s just enough, but concentrating on accurate chord changes makes me forget and I end up with sore fingers all too often! 12 gauge strings are pretty heavy - when I had an acoustic I discovered Martin Silk & Phosphor Custom 11-47 strings which are less heavy (they are a 10 gauge set with an 11 e string), and in addition are lower tension than normal 10s. You may need a truss rod adjustment if the reduced tension causes the neck to bow in the wrong direction, but they are a dream to play. Might be worth a try?

Thanks for the advice. I think I’ll give them a try as my fingers are becoming quite painful. Ill go to the guitar store and have it fitted properly. :pray:

I think you’re overdoing it if you’re feeling deep tissue soreness or pain, and an hour of practice is a lot for only 5 months in - and I’m guessing you are not as young as you’d like to be, and thus can’t subject your body to the kind of strain and stress that a teenager can.

Rather than taking a weeks long break, which may reset some of your progress, I recommend scaling your time away back - only 15 a day. You can still make progress with 15 minutes of focused practice.

Do that for a week, while also focusing on pressing the strings just hard enough to ring out (a hard skill to learn, but very worthwhile). If your fingers feel okay after a week, move up to 20 minutes for the next week. If they still hurt, move down to 10.

Good luck!

I think you are right as in I possibly practice a bit too much. I will definitely start doing shorter practice sessions and try to control my finger pressure.
Regards Gary

When I went through the sore fingers stage, I spent more time on strumming patterns and music theory. But clearly not enough…:man_facepalming:t3:

Hello. I’m playing acoustic with 11 guage strings. Ive now started to press as lightly as possible and my soreness is decreasing.


I can attest to similar. Pressing only as heavy as needed to get a clean sound is a art I am working on. Also as close to the fret as possible. I recently got a decent quality electric, which by the way I love, I was using the acoustic way less. I found after a couple months of heavy electric and little acoustic the acoustic would really hurt my fingers if playing for long stretches. there is defiantly a conditioning there. I have been trying to fold in more acoustic to make sure I keep up with it, but only for short stretches. Not the hours on hours done on the electric. Hope this helps.