How To Minimize Finger Pain

Are your fingers killing you? Here are 3 ways to deal with finger pain!

View the full lesson at How To Minimize Finger Pain | JustinGuitar

The idea of only pressing the strings when ready to strum is a super helpful, non-obvious tip. Thank you!

@Justin and team, I’m curious if you have suggestions regarding the tired, “burning” feeling beginners may get in left forearm and side of left upper arm as we get used to stretching to hold chords. This is something that has always caused me to have to pause/stop practicing (like finger pain may for others), and I’m curious if it is a common feeling. Thanks in advance!

Hi and welcome to the community. I had a lot of that discomfort as well. I hadn’t really thought about it in a while, but now, 15 months in I don’t anymore. Huh. I guess it went away.

I did a lot of left arm and hand stretching for at least the first 6-8 months. There are a lot of videos you can look up on stretching.

I think of learning guitar a bit like a sport. There is a very physical side to it, a precise one rather than a power one, but it is still physical. Just like getting into any new sport or physical activity, we need to warm up, stretch and pace ourselves. Resting when needed and increasing the time of activity slowly or we risk injury.

To be honest, this could be the reason for me to stop playing guitar again right after the very first day. I followed the very first videos yesterday (Module 0 and the first 4 videos from Module 1). And now, after almost 24 hours, I still have that slightly “numb” feeling in the fingers. And if I touch anything with my fingers, it still hurts (also now while typing). It’s not that the pain is unbearable. But I really don’t like the feeling. It’s like when you accidentally cut your finger – a really unpleasant feeling.
And I also don’t know if I really want to voluntarily do something that causes me pain. My head is clearly saying, “No, why would you want to do that?”

Hello @adache11 and @Klimperer42 - welcome to the Community.

Honestly, the finger numbness, the finger pain, it reduces to nothingness sooner rather than later.
Stick with it.

“Maybe get a blister on your little finger, maybe get a blister on your thumb, man that ain’t working, that’s the way you do it.”
Hope that helps.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | Community Moderator, Official Guide, JustinGuitar Approved Teacher

Hi Richard,

thanks for the reply!

Well, at the moment I’m “forcing” myself through it. But that’s okay – so far. I had the first blister after five days. However, not on the left hand, but on the right thumb :wink: … I guess, I just don’t like the sound of playing with a pick :wink:


One suggestion: After you get confident with the chord shape, practice reducing the amount of finger pressure until the strings no longer ring out clearly. You’ll be amazed how little pressure it takes once your fingers are “in the right places”.


Hello everyone !

I’ve recently picked up the guitar and I’ve got very soft small hands. I can tell you the first week and a half was very painful ! But I expected that since it wasn’t the first time I tried learning the guitar (and the pain was one of the reasons I quit in the past too)

Well the pain and the numbness at the fingertips got away in roughly two weeks as the callouses started to form. At week 3 I went from playing only one hour to easily 2hours before it would hurt too much. After a month, I can play for over 4hours without having to stop !

If I can give an advice for the first weeks : don’t push to much, stop when it hurts and if you feel like your fingers need a day off, then take it ! You don’t want to have blisters either… Let the callouses form and you’ll get through it soon enough ! :slight_smile:


Welcome to the community :notes::guitar:

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Hi so this is my first guitar
and despite playing for a week straight my fingers are not sore, is this normal?
could it be cause i previously played a wind instrument?

Chanel, I can’t imagine that playing the wind instrument helped in that regard. I’m sure it will be helpful in many other ways.

What kind of guitar are you playing? An electric guitar and nylon stringed classical guitar are far less punishing on the finger-tips compared to a steel stringed acoustic guitar.

hi @DavidP
I am playing an acoustic electric
maybe my fingers are broken :see_no_evil:

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You are a lucky individual!

I felt the finger pain was a hurdle to go through. A tough one that some people don’t manage. Fortunately, it is brief, relative to the whole guitar journey, so totally worth powering through.

Hopefully it remains mild for you!

When I started playing, I didn’t have sore fingers either. Sure, the fingertips were numb and a bit reddish, but I’ve never felt any actual pain. I think moderation is the key in the early stages.

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I’m sure not :laughing: If the notes of a chord are all ringing out clear then all is good and keep on enjoying the learning.

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Hi @ChanelAndMyGuitar

Ain’t you the lucky one? No finger pain … just musical pleasure.

I see much talk about fingertip pain and building up of callouses, but what about finger pain that is a little bit deeper in the tissue of the tip of the finger? I can’t be the only one who gets sore tissue.

I feel it mostly in my 1st and 2nd fingers, and I really feel it when I am practicing the riffs (because they’re played on the thickest strings) and I even have 11 gauge Elixir strings! I’m on Module 5 by the way, I know this thread is in Module 1.

I’m assuming the tissues in the fingers also toughen up, or at least get used to the pressure and stop getting sore? How long does this take? I’ve already gotten some tough skin on the tips, that only took about 3 weeks to develop. But its the deeper part of the fingertip that hurts now.

Hi Stacy,

I’ve never had “deep tissue” pain when playing the guitar. You should try to apply less pressure on the strings, just enough to get them ring out clean.

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I definitely do try to use minimal pressure. I have always had sort of sensitive hands/fingers. If I were trying to pick up something heavy, I would have to put it down sooner based on my hands hurting from the pressure rather than my muscles getting tired.

Hey! After practicing for a few minutes, my rear right shoulder muscle in my back really starts to hurt. Do you have any tips to prevent this from happening or know where this is coming from? I try sitting straight up but its still hurting