Seeking Advice on Overcoming Finger Fatigue During Guitar Practice

Hello everyone,

I’ve been diving into practicing guitar more intensely lately, and while I’m making progress, I’ve been experiencing some finger fatigue.

Specifically, after extended practice sessions, I notice my fingers feeling tired and sometimes even a bit sore. This tends to affect my accuracy and speed, which can be frustrating.

I’ve tried taking breaks during practice sessions, doing hand stretches, and ensuring my guitar is properly set up for comfort. However, I’m still struggling to find a balance between pushing myself to improve and avoiding overexertion.
I also check this : sense

I’m curious to know if anyone else has encountered similar issues and if you have any advice or techniques for overcoming finger fatigue during practice.

Thank you all in advance.

Best regards,

Looks like you’re working hard but being sensible for the signals your body sends you.

I’m wondering how your practicing blocks look like.

Do you do long sessions a few times a week or is it spread out?

A good spread, alternated with rest and especially sleep, will impact the sustainability of your progress (and it helps your “regular” long term and muscle memory to settle in.)

Try to make a good distinction in the hature of the complaint when it happens

  • fingertip soreness?
  • fatigue in finger muscles?
  • strained wrist?
  • buring thumb when doing barres?

They all point to differnet things but the bottom line is always rest and care. (rest is the best care)

Check your technique

  • It could be that you need to check posture, hand and arm position
  • It could be so that you apply too much pressure when fretting. Go and find the gentle touch that’s just enough to play without buzzes
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My solution for dealing with this was short but frequent practice sessions. I often pick up my guitar several times in a day for 5-15 minutes at a time rather than trying to do a single 30+ minute session. I find this helps with mental fatigue too. Maybe this morning I’ll practice some finger picking, later some chord changes and then this evening try a few songs.

I do appreciate that not everyone has personal circumstances that allow such a fragmented approach but it’s what has worked for me.


Here are a couple of things that I have tried to incorporate into my practice to help reduce fatigue.

  1. Practice playing as lightly as possible. See how lightly you can press the string and how lightly you can pluck or strum. I find that after practicing this I tend to play a bit lighter the next time I play a song.

  2. Try to work on different things during each practice session. For a long time I would find that I was always practicing and playing using the same skills at one time. For instance, I would practice open chords and then play a lot of songs with all open chords, using my fingers and hands in the same way causing fatigue. Now, I try to practice some chords, practice some fingering exercises, practice some scales or arpeggios, work on some ear training, work through some music theory, etc. Each of these use my hands in different ways and I can keep practicing for hours because I am not just using one hand position or one range of motions.

  3. Practice holding each note or chord for the shortest amount of time. Even with callouses, I find that the longer I hold at note or a chord, the harder I need to press. Relaxing my hand a releasing the notes can add interesting rhythm elements and at the same time reduce hand fatigue.

I’ve also found that doing things that improve my overall hand strength can help a lot with fatigue when I practice and play guitar. I don’t do any specific exercises for this, but in the winter time I do a lot of skiing and I find that gripping the poles (making more of a fist around the pole grip) tends to strengthen some of the bigger muscles in my hand and forearm which helps to better support the small muscles that are used in playing guitar (more of an open handed grip). In the summer I get similar benefit from gripping the handlebars on my bike or the handle of a shovel or rake in my yard.

Even with all of this I still get hand fatigue over time and find that it’s good to take the occasional break. I’m on vacation this week and even though it kills me to be away from my guitar, I know that I will return feeling stronger and rested when I get back to it.

It sounds like you are getting more serious about your playing and it is great that you are looking to keep your hands healthy to play for a long time to come. Good luck!


There is good evidence that we learn better in short segments of practice anyway, so changing up what you are doing and taking frequent breaks is more efficient learning and better for muscle fatigue.

I also agree with practicing a light touch. Eventually you want that anyway. Be careful about static left hand positions. I find when I am practicing right hand technique, I tend to hold a single cord for way, way too long (I prefer a chord to open strings, but can’t concentrate on learning a new thing with the right hand while changing chords with the left).

As @LievenDV mentions, posture and other areas where you hold tension add to fatigue. Be attentive to all the tensions in your body, as best you can.

Developing strong hands is good, but I do find, as a lefty playing righty, that my left hand is also tired from all its other tasks and guitar adds to that. I am therefore more at risk of fatigue and injury. Balance.
And for heavens sake, why a death grip on your ski poles? Loose and relaxed, like playing guitar! Poles should hardly do anything most of the time, other than balance and form.

One thing I don’t see mentioned here is examining what you are doing before you practice. If your hand comes to practice with some fatigue already, you will feel it quickly. For instance, I cannot weed the garden then come play very long. My fingers are tired from gripping the weeds to pull out.

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I never said anything about a death grip and developing un balanced strength in your hand, just that you need to do other activities besides playing guitar to keep your hands healthy. Just like in guitar, you should use as light a grip as possible in skiing. When going downhill on smooth terrain, you can use almost no strength to grip your pole but for nordic and for ski mountaineering you spend a lot more time going uphill and will inevitably find times where snow conditions dictate you need some help from your poles. Even using proper technique in downhill skiing the hand movements will develop hand and arm strength that will balance out the fine movements used in guitar playing.

The bottom line is “more powder = better guitar playing”.

I am down with that!

Fair enough with the backcountry. It has been so long, I wasn’t thinking of that!

@Jamolay Agreed! My wife and I are skiing this week. Here she is yesterday afternoon. My guitar playing should be much better when we get home!

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Sweet! The more runs the better the licks!

Are you on touring or tele? I am a hold out tele skier, but no longer hit the backcountry. Bunny hills with my daughter this year, but I can ski most things that don’t involve air.

Got a cheap travel guitar just for trips to the mountains!

Thanks for sharing this mate as I found it very much informative.