First fret B string feels like a razor

Hi everyone -

Still new… only 5 weeks in. My calluses have formed and I can play for longer periods of time, but I do have a question about the first fret, B string. When playing a C, Am or F, it literally feels like a razor blade cutting into my finger. I am not having “terrible” discomfort as I already have a decently sized callus, but it is still somewhat painful.

I have strong fingers, but I need to push fairly hard on that string to get a clean note. As this is a new guitar, could it just be that the action is high or I should just try lighter strings? The first fret high E string also gives me issues, but I don’t play that too frequently.

Any other thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.

Hey mate

Im assuming you’ve got an acoustic. The nut slots may also be a bit high. Could be a combination of things too. May be a good idea to have a setup done on it at the local guitar shop, if you’re in a position to do that.
Any sort of pain or discomfort is not good, plus its takes away from the enjoyment of it.


I go extra light string wise on an acoustic, which may help but +1 for setup, get the nut filed in…

If you are handy with the tools it is possible to knock it out and file the bottom. :scream:

Watch video for info on how to check if it’s high….

…. Strings:

Potentially, yes. A lot of cheap starter acoustics have a high action.

Putting on lighter strings is the easiest step - they have less tension, so they’re easier to push down. And it also reduces the action because there’s less tension on the neck, so double win.

What is think your guitar needs is a good setup. There can be a single problem for your guitar or can be multiple problems resulting to the issue. From what you have said I can say that maybe the action is high which creates the problem of having to press the string harder and getting the razor blade feeling. I would suggest you to get you guitar set up properly. Assuming you are new to the guitar and know little to none about guitar anatomy and what goes into construction it’s better to hand it over to a guitar luthier or an experienced person who knows what he is doing.

Do let us know how you feel after your guitar setup is done.

Personally, I find any string smaller than 11 feels like a razor, but 11s are to heavy for me on my electric, so I am trying to beef up my callouses. Low tension 11s or 12s on my acoustic are better.

I am “owed” a setup from the shop I bought it from (one free setup in the first year). I just bought some Custom Lights and restrung it. Much easier on my fingers… but maybe a little bit more buzzing…

Lighter strings pull more lightly on the neck and reduce relief.

If there is more buzzing, you probably need a small truss rod adjustment.

It is easy to do yourself, but if you are “owed” a set up, you may just have them do it now with the new strings.