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Finger care

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FrankB
(@frankb)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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Topic starter  

Has anyone addressed the problem facing new students about the care for the finger tips? I know callouses have to be developed but grooves also develop when practicing for extended periods of time. And finger tips flatten making it hard to keep from muting adjacent strings. Any suggestions? I work in construction so I don't have soft hands.


   
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Kroikey
(@kroikey)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Well I think you'll have an advantage since you don't have soft hands. I dont really think it matters much one way or another, just make sure you don't pick off any callouses that form. Tips do flatten slightly, but more right on the callous, which helps with the tone of your playing (in my opinion). Practice will stop you from muting adjacent strings, and only practice really. The indented lines you get from practice should help you get back in position quicker, as long as you practiced slowly and correctly.. you did practic slowly and correctly didn't you? :)


   
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AZgirl
(@azgirl)
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I have a similar problem...with finger "grooves". For example, when going from E to A, my index finger slides from the first fret to the second on the third string, then when trying to make an A chord, that string doesn't really sound because I can't push it hard enough. It seems to be the groove in my finger preventing that. It's a bit of a weird problem, I know, but if anyone has any suggestions...


   
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acousticfish
(@acousticfish)
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I have a similar problem...with finger "grooves". For example, when going from E to A, my index finger slides from the first fret to the second on the third string, then when trying to make an A chord, that string doesn't really sound because I can't push it hard enough. It seems to be the groove in my finger preventing that. It's a bit of a weird problem, I know, but if anyone has any suggestions...

Make sure you're using your fingertips and practice, practice, practice, your fingers will become stronger. :D


   
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clideguitar
(@clideguitar)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Use a fingernail file to smooth out your calouses (sp?) on your fretting hand (fingers). Personally, I use sandpaper but that freaks people out for some reason?

Bob Jessie


   
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AZgirl
(@azgirl)
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Thanks acousticfish! I've been practicing about an hour a day for about 6 months, so I've developed a hard tip on my first and second fingers, but the "groove" develops in the first finger after about half an hour of playing! Also the bit of hard skin on the fingertip sometimes flake off. Maybe that sandpaper would be handy for that... :D


   
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Hyperborea
(@hyperborea)
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Thanks acousticfish! I've been practicing about an hour a day for about 6 months, so I've developed a hard tip on my first and second fingers, but the "groove" develops in the first finger after about half an hour of playing! Also the bit of hard skin on the fingertip sometimes flake off. Maybe that sandpaper would be handy for that... :D

I had something like that when I started playing (and again when I took it back up again after a year plus layoff after playing for a year or so). Those "early" callouses are hard, they get grooves, and they can occasionally peel off in a single lump leaving the fingertip bare again. A nail file (either the metal ones or the sandpaper type) can help keep the callous in shape - get rid of flaky bits or smooth out rough edges that can grab a string.

However, somewhere after about two years of consistent playing - I don't remember exactly when and I'm sure it varies by person - those really hard plate-like callouses seemed to disappear. The callouses seemed to go deeper into the finger and while the fingertip is still hard it's not that same rigidity. So, this problem is just a temporary state of affairs until you develop the real "permanent" callouses.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


   
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TheRedd
(@theredd)
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Let me throw a monkey wrench in this discussion . . .

I have the opposite problem , I cant keep callouses on my fingers! My job (cook) requires my hands to be wet a lot of the time, and also a lot of handwashing. It seems I never form callouses because they are constantly being softened up. Any thoughts?


   
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David Hodge
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Actually the same thoughts the Hyperborea just put down. When I was learning to play I also worked restaurant jobs and my hands were constantly in and out of water. It was tough, but eventually the callouses took over even with all the "real job" doing its best to keep them away. It does take longer, but more practice helps you get there.

Sorry this isn't of more help.

Peace


   
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Kroikey
(@kroikey)
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I think the problem with softening the hands with washing up can be helped by using alcohol on the tips of your fingers to dry them out somewhat.


   
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axissupersport
(@axissupersport)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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Since you work with your hands a lot try to wear gloves as much as posibble. A little splinter can really cause problems if it's in the wrong place. Other than that, just keep playing and you'll be fine.


   
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ballybiker
(@ballybiker)
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I think the problem with softening the hands with washing up can be helped by using alcohol on the tips of your fingers to dry them out somewhat.

leave the washing up and drink the alcohol....NO PROBLEM :lol:

what did the drummer get on his I.Q. test?....

Drool

http://www.myspace.com/ballybiker


   
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Anonymous
(@anonymous)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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you know what's weird is that after a while, the callouses go away and you're just left with slightly leathery fingertips.
i just smoosh my fingers if there's a groove, and then it goes away.


   
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Sin City Sid
(@sin-city-sid)
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Check your guitar setup. A incorrectly setup instrument will require more effort and string pressure to sound good. You really shouldn't have to press to hard.


   
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