Hey there. I’m only a month in so knowledge is sparse. What I’m hoping to find out though……from developing the necessary finger tip calluses, particularly my first finger, It’s almost like it’s become numb to the touch so I’m not really identifying the strings that it should be landing on. Is that just part of the natural ‘progression’, something that I’ll become used to?
Hi Cate, @CateB ,
You will need to go through his phase.
Very important that you do not back out, because of “soreness”.
This is the way to callous formation, and the acquisition of natural ease of finger comfort.
The finger soreness is always going to be part of guitar playing, especially is one is playing for a long time, like for 30 minutes to an hour.
I have been playing guitar for over 50 years now, and my fingers are still feeling sore at the end of a playing session. But I can play now for over an hour, and my pain level is manageable, still there!
Keep up the work!!!
Hi Rene, thank you for replying. My problem is that I actually don’t have the pain. Well not the OMG, can’t do this pain I initially had. I got through that after the first week or so and now have very calloused fingers. It’s more so that I don’t have the full sensation anymore which is why I’m not sensing the strings and if it’s the right string that I should be playing. I was hoping that’s also a phase your fingers go through.
Well, this is quite different from what I got on the earlier post.
On this matter, if you have a lot of callous, then the string sensation would be lessened, by natural physical sense.
When I stated playing the guitar for 30 minutes or 1 hour, I meant, in one sitting.
And I might be playing guitar for 3 hours in a day, about 30 minutes to an hour per sitting.
I do not think you are overdoing your playing at 2 hours per day.
One thing to do, is to stretch your hands, fingers and wrist, before and after playing.
You can also de this stretching of the wrist-hand-fingers more ofter, in the middle of your playing. The more the better.
My fingers can always feel the strings they are on.
At this time, because of my thick callous, I actually trim them down using a nail cutter, or a fingernail file on my fingertip callous, to lessen the thick skin formation.
You might want to try the metal or even plastic, or wood file that might be available to you.
I do not recommend the nail cutter, as this will actually remove too much skin if you are not careful.
I am hoping that this conversation is helping.
It absolutely helps me, thank you. They’re rock hard, which makes perfect sense that I’m not going to be feeling the strings. I’ll file them back, taking off the top ‘crust’ and see how that goes. I have MS, albeit in remission so was worried it may have been that but what you’re saying makes sense and of course makes me less worried about it. Thank you Rene. Super grateful x
My god, you’re a lifesaver. I just filed the tip back and hey presto….I can feel the strings. And re the exercises, I’ve actually been doing just that and boy it helps. I was struggling with the C chord stretch in the very beginning but since I’ve been doing the Pete Gunn exercise that Justin suggested, I’m able to reach each string and produce a relatively decent sounding C. Who’d have thunk it
Again, thank you so much Rene.
It seems that’s exactly what I was experiencing but not consciously aware of it being the normal progression. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense that the harder they got, the less I’d feel. I hadn’t even thought that all I’d need to do is lessen them but yes, what you said….I did. I actually filed them back a little too much, meaning I’ll now have to build them back up, albeit just a bit. Thank you very much.
I have to file mine periodically, particularly in the winter when my skin gets so dry, because they get so rough that they actually kind of snag on the strings. I file them to smooth them out. I find a glass fingernail file works best; much finer abrasive surface than a metal file or emery board.