While you have started to play guitar a little longer before knowing it, your fingertips must be on fire if you don’t take care when you play. Everyone goes through finger pain in the beginning.
Is guitar bad for your fingers? No, but it takes awhile to work your strength up and get used to playing guitar – especially your fretting hand. It is a common question that runs in many newbies’ minds. Yes, this is normal, and it is not going to last longer. As the adage goes, no pain, no gain, you have to experience the pain at the start to learn the new skills. Devising strategies to get through the torture is eminent. Here are some essential tips and advice to help you when you play the guitar.
- Play guitar every day – Consistent playing guitar and persistent practicing gives fingers on your fretting hand a prime opportunity to develop toughness and calluses. Be careful while practicing, do not push the fingertip too hard. Practicing 10-15 minutes a day can be helpful.
- Bad pain and good pain – The soreness of fingers is expected and is feasible. Do not press hard with your fretting hand than expected. Pushing so hard can cause wrist and muscle issues besides severe fingertip soreness. Explore and discover a myriad of ways to hold your guitar and keep the wrist flat.
- String types – Most newbies like nylon-stringed guitars commonly identified as the best classical guitars since they are easy on the fingers compared to steel stringed guitars. Most electric guitars use lighter gauge strings, unlike acoustic steel-string guitars. Lighter gauge strings make electric guitars fretting notes pretty easier; however, lighter strings are available alternatives to use for all kinds of guitars. When pain persists, get your guitar re-strung using lighter strings at your local favorite music store.
- Take guitar lessons! A good teacher or experienced guitarists can help you take care with your guitar position posture on the fretboard to hold and play the guitar correctly. If this option does not work for you online video tutorials is another good way.
Fingertips soreness when playing guitar is temporary and lasts a week or more. No treatment is required; however, numbing an icing provides short term relief for your muscles.
Proper hand position
Guitars are user-friendly instruments that fit comfortably into the users’ arms. The fretting hand position on the fretboard with playing guitar that emanates naturally is the position you should play this instrument — getting into the habit of placing the guitar in the right position help to play well. Here are the right guitar hand positions for guitarists.
A range of things must be observed and applied when playing the guitar using the left hand (or fretting hand). Finger placement on the neck and relaxing (for chords and single notes) are the two fundamental things users to focus. Relaxation is essential. When playing guitar or practicing and start feeling excessive tension on the hands, arms, neck, back, and fingers, all you need to do is to stop and relax and do some stretches. Tension is hazardous not only to your health but also slows down your playing. Relaxed hands can move swiftly, quickly, and efficiently compared to tense hands when doing chord shapes. Besides, left-hand fingers must be appropriately placed when playing guitar. Appropriate finger placement on the fretboard is right behind the fret; therefore, it must be moved up till close to the fret. This makes it easy to play clean and clear notes. Your ears must help in determining the right finger placement. Small adjustments aid clear up buzzing. Remember to keep the left thumb in the middle of the neck back. It helps to eliminate tensions resulting from poor playing techniques.
Simple exercises can be used to help in focusing, relaxing, and enhance suitable finger replacement with your fretting hand. It starts by putting your first finger on the third fret of the sixth string. Stay on the low E string while playing the fourth fret with the second finger. Finish the E low string while playing the fifth fret with the third finger. This is the pattern to be used for all six strings. Continue the pattern with the D, G, B, and E strings. However, this technique seems pretty simple; it is not. While you forget the scale or this intricate pattern, consider focusing on the left-hand technique. Start a slow, exercise, and build up speed with time. Ensure you alternate picking throughout the training while you play the guitar.
It is essential to know how to place your right hand while playing guitar, especially for picking and strumming. When using an electric guitar exclusively, it is played with a pick whether belting on blues, rock, jazz, pop, or country music. Ideally, picks come in a range of shapes, thicknesses, and sizes. It is advisable to visit your local music store and buy a variety of picks to check what works perfectly with you. However, when not interested in purchasing picks, use medium thickness. Good medium picks work best for many people and a range of music styles.
Curl the index finger on your picking hand, placing the pick on the finger flesh between the first joint and the fingertip. Bring the thumb down lightly, pinching the pick to hold in place. Consider having a firm grip of the pick with the fingers, hand, and arm unconditionally relaxed while you feel excess tension generated in your picking hand stop and relax. Tension may result in cramps, tendinitis, and severe injuries while you play.
Place the pick on the low E string. Use a downward motion using your wrist, picking the string with a downstroke. Use an upward motion altogether with the wrist to pick the string with an upstroke. Consider going back and forth with downstrokes and upstrokes for a couple of minutes. Move the pick utterly enough to generate a sound from the string. Picking motions made from the wrist; however, pros use elbows and fingers to obtain picking motions.
Strumming is another technique enhanced using the right hand. Most of the motion is generated from the wrist; however, the elbows and fingers help when necessary. When you know the E chord, try strumming all of the six strings down and up. Practicing often is essential, relax, and keep learning to perfection.
What do you do when your fingers hurt?
Most newbie guitar players experience sore and intractable pain when learning to play guitar. The pain is a result of over and over the indenting of the skin on the hard guitar strings. Providentially, the pain subsides when calluses are built. Finger exercises are necessary at all times for all guitarists.
Stretch each finger joints without guitar using a table or chair edge. Keep the finger in with the table or chair top surface and straight. Slow push down carefully and slowly, ensuring the finger bends back and forth. Besides, finger stretch exercises can be done using a guitar. Start by creating a V shape amid two fingers. Push slowly against the guitar neck, stretching out the fingers.
Besides, the following steps are essential.
- Start slow – In the start, fingers are susceptible and quickly get irritated from string pressing. Practice in shorter periods throughout the day rather than long periods. Take a day off practice sessions to give the opportune time to recover and heal.
- Get the right strings – The thickness of the strings determines the pain on your fingers. The thicker the strings, the harder you must press. Strings are marked as light, medium, extra light, and heavy. Consider starting with extra light or light as they are easy to press down.
- Adjust your action – Action is the distance of the fretboard to the strings. Strings with higher actions are, therefore, further off the board, and they require a harder push. When the fingers start paining, consider lowering the action to stop pushing harder, which results in intractable pain. Lower your guitar action at your local music store and note the difference.
- Practice without string pressing – Practice your fingers’ shapes and positions without pressings the strings. This is essential to break the practice session when fingers are hurt. Practice your favorite songs this way, and be sure to have a productive experience.
- Allow the development of calluses – In the long run, your body will develop armor appearing in the form of calluses. When the calluses harden, playing becomes pretty easy and comfortable. Now, you are good to go!
How long does it take to build calluses?
Consistency and persistence are key factors leading to the faster development of calluses. Assuming one either will ideally delay growing of calluses longer than expected. With consistency and repetition in practice, full-blown calluses must develop within one month. In the first week, your fingers must be hurt severely but practice at least 15 minutes a day. Break the 15 minutes sessions into bits if necessary. In the second week, sharp cutting pain and deep throbs reduce; however, some uncomfortable sensations are felt when smashing the strings. Increase practice time. After one month, practice more time as the calluses must develop with the skin flaking and peeling off noticed.
Playing guitar gives a rewarding and satisfying experience, especially to the newbie guitar player. At the start, it can be intimidating, especially by the pain and hurt of fingers. Persistence and consistency in practice are rewarding in guitar playing — having the right tips on how to do it like a pro is eminent. The broader sense and knowledge presented by this article will help you know how to position your guitar in both hands; the action takes when fingers pain and get severely hurt. Before the calluses develop, practice without ceasing no matter how intimidating it will be. In the long run, you will become a pro.