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Marcus Lavendell
post Aug 28 2008, 11:44 AM
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Even though I’ve been playing guitar for many years, I still sometimes have this problem that’s holding me back: Sore fingers

When I play guitar on a daily basis I get kind of thick calluses/hard skin on the fingertips which really makes it painless to play. But if I take a break for a week, or even just a couple of days, it can be really painful sometimes when I pick the guitar up again. I heard an absolute beginner who said that it feels like the strings cuts the fingers like razor blades. And yes, I guess that's almost how it feel dry.gif

What I’d like to find is some kind of “magical recipe”, like… I don’t know… soak the fingers in lemon juice for ten minutes? smile.gif Or, put superglue on the fingertips and rub vinegar mixed with soap and salt? biggrin.gif Or, etc. etc… well… you get the idea! tongue.gif

Do you have any tips to share?

This post has been edited by Marcus Lavendell: Aug 28 2008, 11:48 AM


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Bogdan Radovic
post Aug 28 2008, 11:47 AM
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I also have this problem !! My fingers hurt if I don't play daily..Looking forward to those tips smile.gif


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ZakkWylde
post Aug 28 2008, 11:48 AM
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My advice is killing you fingers with a guitar that has at least 11 gauge (or thicker strings) on it in standard tuning. Playing on those heavy strings will hurt like hell, especially when bending a whole step etc... but at the same time it will make your fingers stronger and you'll build up a extremely thick skin on your fingertips that won't vanish soon.


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DeepRoots
post Aug 28 2008, 11:49 AM
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I'm looking forward to tsome replies here too...i have nothing to share though! dry.gif
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Marcus Lavendell
post Aug 28 2008, 11:49 AM
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QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Aug 28 2008, 12:47 PM) *
I also have this problem !! My fingers hurt if I don't play daily..Looking forward to those tips smile.gif

Yeah, I hope we can make a great list with "Do's and Dont's" here biggrin.gif


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Marcus Siepen
post Aug 28 2008, 11:52 AM
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I guess the easiest way to avoid this is NOT to stop playing for a week or even longer wink.gif Another option of course is to take a black cat, wait for the full moon on a friday 13th, then... tongue.gif
But seriously, I don't think there is a way to prevent this from happening. All of us have to take some breaks from playing from time to time and I guess all of us go through exactly the same thing then. It happened to me many times already, and the only way to fix this problem is to keep playing and building up this hard skin on your fingertips again. I really know people that used super glue, but in my opinion this is a bit over the top. The only time I had to use this super glue method was when I cut the tip of my finger while we were on tour. When I grabbed my guitar the strings were always opening the cut and actually cutting it deeper and deeper, so super glue was my only chance, but I didn't like it. But lets see if anybody else has an idea, I am curious too smile.gif


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Marcus Lavendell
post Aug 28 2008, 11:58 AM
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QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ Aug 28 2008, 12:52 PM) *
Another option of course is to take a black cat, wait for the full moon on a friday 13th, then... tongue.gif

laugh.gif laugh.gif ok, noted. Thanks! laugh.gif

QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ Aug 28 2008, 12:52 PM) *
The only time I had to use this super glue method was when I cut the tip of my finger while we were on tour. When I grabbed my guitar the strings were always opening the cut and actually cutting it deeper and deeper, so super glue was my only chance, but I didn't like it.

Thanks for sharing Marcus. Very interesting to hear that you actually did the super glue thing, and I guess that it's a quick way to solve this problem if we play live! smile.gif


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Emir Hot
post Aug 28 2008, 12:05 PM
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I havent practiced guitar properly for almost 3 years and never had that problem. The reason I don't practice is my full time job and other stuff I do. Maybe once in a week I spend 3-4 hours playing. I haven't noticed that I can't play what I played before. Somebody mentioned thick skin, that is a good point. I have that from acoustic guitar where the strings are much thicker. When I switch from acoustic to electric feels like I am wearing light trainers after 10 days walking in heavy boots. Probably because of that I never feel any pain.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 28 2008, 01:09 PM
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I also don't have problems with sore fingers, my tips are constantly hard. BUT if I were had these troubles I would go first to general doctor, and then to pharmacy and ask pharmacist about it. I'm pretty confident in their knowledge because they have to have degree in pharmacy, so they should know their chemistry well smile.gif

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Aug 28 2008, 01:09 PM


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Jose Mena
post Aug 28 2008, 02:14 PM
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I get sore fingers every once in a while, this is usually if I have stop playing for weeks and come back to it. But what really kills me and I really hate is that my 3rd finger gets hurt if I do to many bends, it's like the fingernail will separate from the finger a little bit and it stings, the worst is when by mistake a string gets in there (between the nail and finger), at that point I have to stop doing bends for the rest of the day.

It happened to me in one of my lessons that will be published soon, but I had already started, so I had to continue, but I was in pain.

I forgot to ask, any advice here?


This post has been edited by Jose Mena: Aug 28 2008, 02:15 PM


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wrk
post Aug 28 2008, 02:25 PM
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Your lessons have been a few times responsible for me having sore fingers:) You have a lot of strong bends in your playing style which are kind of demanding to keep the calluses in good shape. I have the same problem as i often don't play for a few days because of work etc...

As far as i know, calluses is a sort of "dying skin" .. when you play regular its a constant process of replacing it ... if you search the ground in front of your chair with a microscope you will find endless particles of skin you rubbed of .. smile.gif

Maybe try to get the habit to use at least something like a shredneck for a few minutes every day when you don't have the chance to play guitar. A bit like brushing teeth .. just add 5 minutes shredneck to the daily routine. I think it will help to keep the cycle of building new skin and rubbing the old skin of in balance.

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Marcus Lavendell
post Aug 28 2008, 02:33 PM
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Thanks for your input guys!


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audiopaal
post Aug 28 2008, 02:40 PM
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QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ Aug 28 2008, 12:52 PM) *
...take a black cat, wait for the full moon on a friday 13th, then... tongue.gif


Best tip yet, I'll definitely try this tongue.gif
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Kristofer Dahl
post Aug 28 2008, 02:48 PM
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Yes I get this on my right hand fingers when I practice tapping (I only do that once every three months... dry.gif )

My advice would be in the same lines as wrk - to keep your calluses up by exposing them to a similar scenario a couple of minutes, even the days you don't touch a guitar.

Of course I want to be extreme so instead of recommending a shredneck - I think you you should tap the fingers on a razor blade every day unsure.gif unsure.gif

Please don't do that we want to hear more of your awesome solos


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Marcus Lavendell
post Aug 28 2008, 03:05 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Aug 28 2008, 03:48 PM) *
Of course I want to be extreme so instead of recommending a shredneck - I think you you should tap the fingers on a razor blade every day unsure.gif unsure.gif

Please don't do that we want to hear more of your awesome solos

Well, yeah... maybe that's a bit extreme biggrin.gif But we could tap the fingers on something less sharp perhaps, like scissors?


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Oxac
post Aug 28 2008, 03:26 PM
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Do like tommi iomi. Cut your fingertips at work, then substitute them with forged iron.

-edit- Kris, did you get my mail?

This post has been edited by Oxac: Aug 28 2008, 03:26 PM


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Capt.Z
post Aug 28 2008, 03:30 PM
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QUOTE (Oxac @ Aug 28 2008, 10:26 AM) *
Do like tommi iomi. Cut your fingertips at work, then substitute them with forged iron.

-edit- Kris, did you get my mail?

That sounds painful... unsure.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif


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wrk
post Aug 28 2008, 03:48 PM
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hm .. could someone quickly do a "Razor Blade" lessen ... i have tried it together with the super glue on my black cat ... don't know how to tell, but something is not right ... huh.gif




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bubbafat
post Aug 28 2008, 03:56 PM
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Don't use hand lotions or soaps that soften the skin and break down callouses.

I've only been playing for a few months and had trouble building up callouses until I realized that the hand soap my wife was buying had a skin softening lotion that was reverting in seconds what took hours to build. Doh!

Once I switched to a non-lotion soap the callouses came on fast and thick.


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jacmoe
post Aug 28 2008, 05:01 PM
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I rarely rinse my fingers in hot water, always cold (or luke).
And I use a skin conditioner regularly, to keep my fingers moist and fit for fight.
You don't want your fingers too dry, or the might crack up and become sore.

Once in a while I get sore fingers, but that's a rare thing.
I should do more tapping! laugh.gif

I never allow myself to play with newly washed hands: they should be dry.
And any skin conditioners should be fully absorbed.

Well, that's the only 'tip' I can offer.. rolleyes.gif

QUOTE (bubbafat @ Aug 28 2008, 04:56 PM) *
Don't use hand lotions or soaps that soften the skin and break down callouses.

Hand lotions will indeed soften the skin, and that's a good thing.
Doesn't mean that your skin is weakened by it - to the contrary!
A high quality hand lotion will only strengthen your skin.
Just allow it to be absorbed fully before playing.

Soap can irritate and crack your skin, so use a mild one. wink.gif

My two cents. smile.gif


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