guitar finger blisters

REVEALED: Can You Get Blisters From Playing Guitar?

Are you starting to play guitar and wondering if guitar playing can cause blisters?  You may be surprised of the answer.

Can you get blisters from playing guitar?

The answer is yes, but it depends on the type of guitar. For example, playing a steel string acoustic guitar with light gauge strings may cause blisters in your fingers.  This is due to extended periods of hand restraint and chords being played in a single position.

On the other hand, playing a heavy gauge classical guitar will not cause blisters because classical guitars have softer nylon strings.

Playing chords, especially single chord changes, for extended periods of time is the number one cause of blisters on the fingers.  Also, holding your guitar at an angle can cause blisters.

All of the above are caused by overuse of the hands while playing guitar. Taking breaks during playing is one way to avoid this problem. A break consists of removing your guitar from your lap for a period of time to rest your hands.

Should I Continue Playing Guitar With Blisters?

I would not recommend playing guitar for a few days in the same way that you usually do.  However, you can play simple things to help ease back into playing and build up your finger calluses.

Bending and vibrato is probably what will irritate your blisters the most so avoid this during your practice session.

It is a good time to work on your picking hand instead of your fretting hand.

Also, if you are an acoustic guitar player, maybe change to electric guitars for a couple weeks.  An electric guitar string is a lot easier on the fingers.

How Long Do Guitar Blisters Last?

If you follow the advice in this article to prevent blisters when playing guitar, your blisters will heal in a few days.

If you ignore the advice in this article, then your guitar blister can last longer than a week or even longer. It will also be uncomfortable and cause pain while trying to play guitar.

How To Get Rid Of Guitar Blisters

There are two ways to get rid of guitar blisters:

  1. Let it heal naturally.  Using this method, guitar blisters will probably only last about a couple days to a week. It will hurt while playing guitar and you may experience some finger numbness or dead skin during this time.
  2. Using over-the-counter medication.  This method is the easiest and the one I recommend, because you can play guitar while your blister heals.  However, I find that this can sometimes soften your calluses which is something you don’t want to do.
  3. Some people swear by apple cider vinegar for blisters as well.

How To Not Get Blisters From Playing Guitar

To avoid blisters when playing guitar, you should not play guitar in the same way you have before.  For example, instead of playing single chord progressions all the time, try switching to different chords every 10-20 seconds.

This will help you rest your hands and allow them to get calluses back. The more guitar calluses you get, the better you’ll be able to play. The more calluses that get back, the better it will feel when you play guitar.

Playing with lighter gauge strings will also help prevent blisters.


You can get guitar calluses and blisters on your fingers from playing the guitar. If you play with heavy gauge strings and hold your hand in a certain position for extended periods of time, then the chances of getting a guitar blister will increase.

However, you can prevent those blisters from forming by not playing for extended periods of time and not holding your hands in a certain way. If you follow this advice while playing guitar, then you can avoid getting blisters when playing.

Then, once you have a good callus base on your fingers, guitar players should never get blisters again!