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Sore Fingers: Help For Guitar Players Sore Fingers

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 5

Are Your Fingers Sore From Playing the Guitar?

In this article you will learn several tips on how to stop your fingers from getting sore when you are playing the guitar. Most likely, you are new to the instrument. After you have been playing the guitar for a period of time, you fingers will develop calluses and no longer hurt at all.

Easy To Play Guitar

A good place to start is to take a good look at your guitar. Is it easy to play? Is the action low? The action of a guitar is the distance between the strings and the neck. If the action is high it's going to be very hard to play that guitar. You can take your guitar to a guitar shop to check the action. They can fix it there and also check your frets.

How about the strings? If you are playing a steel string guitar, try lighter tension strings. You may also look into strings like the Elixir Strings that are coated to last longer. You might consider using a nylon string guitar they are easier on your fingers. Electric guitars are also easier to play.

Before You Play Tips

Try soaking your fingers in vinegar for several minutes and dry them well before you play. Another solution is to hold ice on your fingertips for a few minutes. It will help to numb them from the pain. If they hurt a lot, you might take a day or two off from playing. It has also been suggested to use quilter's thimbles. They stick on your fingers are can help too.

Keep Playing

As you continue to consistently play your guitar, nature kicks in and your fingers will develop their own calluses. Then you can play for hours with no pain. Aim for at least half an hour a day. If you have an hour, that's even better. Keep it up and not only will your fingers stop hurting, but you'll start sounding better and better on the guitar.

Wishing you much success as you endeavor to learn to play this wonderful instrument. I hope it brings you many years of enjoyment as you become more proficient on the instrument.



Jul 22, 2010 7:03pm
Great tips! I started playing guitar 7 years ago, and nearly gave up during the first month because of sore fingers! Luckily I now have extremely thick calluses!
Oct 5, 2010 3:26am
Great suggestions here. I played professionally for several years and recently picked it up again after a few years of not playing - I could not believe how soft my fingers got in such a short amount of time. I can't even imagine what it must be like for complete beginners, hopefully they'll benefit from this article and not quit from the discomfort.
Oct 24, 2010 12:05pm
I am probably back at that stage of needing to build up my calluses again. I have been away from my guitar for 7 months. I only play occasionally when I get to borrow a friend's guitar. I have not played enough to get sore recently. But I remember very well each time I have had to go through the process. It is kind of like exercising...yes it hurts, but it is a good hurt.
Nov 21, 2010 12:15am
I remember when I was first learning (when I was a kid many years ago!) that I played until my fingers literally bled. My guitar had terrible action, but I was so motivated to learn that I wouldn't put it down. I was obsessed. My mom would get mad at me because I sometimes got blood stains on things. Once they started to bleed, though, I couldn't play any more until they got better. That stage didn't last really long, though. I got calluses (and I think I ruined some of the nerves) pretty quickly. Now, even if I don't play for months on end, I don't have any problems with sore fingers. I couldn't afford a better guitar back then, but I would highly recommend that anyone learning sets the action to make it as easy to play as possible, and if it can't be set to be good enough, to get a better guitar.
Nov 30, 2010 12:01am
Thanks for all of the comments. It definitely helps having an easy to play guitar. Get the action adjusted at a shop. You want it as low as it can go, without buzzing.
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