Finger tip indentations

So, I go through my stretches, do some strumming exercises. Then I’m ready to just do some simple chord progressions… they sound ok, actually good… wow I’m so in the groove. I stop. Now my middle finger tip has a major groove from the strings. This now causes the tip to slightly touch the string next to it… not sounding so good. I try to move it slightly, readjust if you will. Nope not happening.

Is this happening to anyone else? I’ve been playing for months. I have Calasus (sp) but I feel they should be so much harder. Yes? No?

Thanks for your opinions :pray:

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That happens to everyone, even people who’ve played years

Have you been playing long? I’m guessing not that long?

I remember this stage I think. Just keep playing, and adjust your fingers. Your calluses eventually get a bit more embedded and fingers get more accurate. Also, don’t push down on the strings super hard.


Yeah, as stated, pretty common; and particularly in the early stages as one; we all press too hard as beginners; and two, fingertips are still pretty soft.
As time goes on the tips will get more of a smooth leathery feel, and the touch ( hopefully) will get much lighter. Enjoy the ride.

Cheers Shane


I think JK nailed it… early on in your journey & you are probably pressing harder than necessary.
Justin mentions this in one of his early lessons, he touches lightly (pun intended) on practicing using the least amount of pressure required to get the note to ring out. Sorry, I don’t remember which lesson.
My advice is to pursue something else for a while like music theory or study song structure & give your fingers a break for a bit. One if my friends recommends using Finger Ease… he claims it helps to make his strings easier on his fingers… personally I think it’s “snake oil” but a lot of guitarists use it.


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What you’re experiencing is quite common among guitar players, especially those who are relatively new to the instrument. Here are a few points to consider:

Calluses Development: Building up calluses can take time, and even after months of playing, the process might not be fully complete. Calluses will eventually become harder and more resistant to the grooves created by the strings, but this varies from person to person.

Finger Placement and Technique: Ensuring proper finger placement can help. If your fingers are pressing the strings at a slight angle, it might cause more prominent grooves. Try to press the strings more with the tip of your finger, perpendicular to the fretboard, which can help in minimizing the grooves.

String Type and Gauge: The type of strings you use can also affect how deeply they press into your fingers. Lighter gauge strings or coated strings might be easier on your fingers and help reduce the grooves.

Practice Duration: Over-practicing can lead to more severe grooves as well. Ensure you give your fingers adequate rest and recovery time between practice sessions to allow the calluses to harden properly.

Finger Exercises: Continue with finger strengthening exercises and stretches. This can improve your finger dexterity and help you adjust your finger positioning more effectively when playing.

Filing Calluses: Some guitarists find that lightly filing their calluses with an emery board helps keep them smooth and even, which can reduce the impact of string grooves.

Consistency is key, so keep practising regularly, and over time, your calluses should become harder and more resilient.


I’ve had similar issues for sure. I’ve only been learning for two weeks but what you say sounds familiar. Yes I start off and all seems ok then after a while it seems to go off, muted strings, buzzing strings etc I’m sure everyone’s had it.
It does seem that after fiddling around with finger positions and thinking I wasn’t pressing hard enough that less pressure helps the most.
Now I’m no expert, far from it but I think in my case I was trying too hard. I need to relax my wrist and fingers and try to lower my thumb. All easier said than done.
Good luck though, I’m sure it will get easier


The calluses will get there. First there are no callouses and it starts hurting. Push through and they start building and stop hurting. But then they go through a stage of being a bit bulky and superficial. Here they indent, like you experience. There may then be a stage where they almost seem to flack off a bit, or can catch on things. You may even need to trim or file them a touch. After that they settle in and just are tough fingertips.

I am having a slight resurgence of noticeable calluses again, after switching to 13s on the steel string.