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hello all, some questions

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(@darkpixel)
Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Hi all, great site and nice forum here :) I'm pretty new to the guitar, but not completely new to music. I've been playing the piano for about 3 years, but that won't help any here except for some basic musical theory and a few other things.

Anyway, I've got an electric (no amp yet though) and have been playing the beginner lessons from the site here for the past week. And I'm finding it very difficult playing for more than 5-10 minutes because my finger tips turn dark blue and it feels like if I press the high E once more they'll start bleeding. I've wondered if I'm just suffering from newbie fingers and it's something I'll have to just live through. So what I've been doing also is trying to pretty much beat up my finger tips as much as I can during the normal activities of my day, mostly just stabbing the fingertips with my nails. So ya, a week of fingertip abuse and playing some basic E and A chords (trying to be patient with the conditioning before trying to learn anything) and I'm barely feeling a difference in tolerance in my fingertips.

So my questions I guess is how long does it take the average person's fingertips to get used to playing for more than 10 minutes and not feel like their strings are diamond-edge cutting knifes?

Since I'm not too hardware knowledgable I'll ask this too, is there a specific type of strings that I should have on my guitar when I'm learning to play (or that is recommended)? The guitar was my dad's, whos fingers are pretty worn out so he didn't mind the strings.

And for my last question (for now hehe), it's about excersizes. From my piano playing I would assume that to work on technique you'd pretty much be good with playing scales at first and getting familiarized with simple chords. Anything else that anyone would suggest just to get the fingers trained?

Well thanks for any input anyone gives :)

i suffer from newbie fingers :/


   
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(@andy130)
Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4
 

Im a complete noobie myself, but from what I've seen on these
and other sites its perfectly normal to get sore fingers until caluses
build up. Also heard nylon strings are good to get your fingers used
to playing before switching to metal ones. (not sure if thats acoustic only)


   
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(@musenfreund)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5108
 

Yep, your fingers will toughen up faster than you think. There's an urban legend that after playing the young Clapton would rub his fingers with rubbing alcohol to speed the formation of calluses. You might want to try that. Regarding your second question, the beginner lessons should do well for you. This is also a good resource for practicing first chords and changes: First Chords.
And welcome to the musical madhouse!

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Don't 'stab' your fingers with your nails. Caluses will build up with pressure, using sharp objects like nails will just pierce whatever little caluses you already have. The best way is just play the guitar for 15 minutes a few times a day. If it really hurts, stop immediately, and return an hour or two later. Scales and basic chords are indeed the way to go initially. A nice way is using David's 'beginner' lessons, they'll introduce many chords in an interesting way.


   
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(@darkpixel)
Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Well the only reason I stab my fingertips with my nails during the day is because it's the closest thing to the effect of pressing down on the B and high E strings (that high E really cuts in to my finger lol). Plus I have alot of time during the day that I don't get to play and my fingers dont get any abuse, thats why I just do that to keep them 'getting used to it'. I suppose a good question is how often should one rest between play sessions as a beginner, for the sake of their fingers?

Anyway, thanks for the input and the welcome everyone. Gonna keep plucking away till I get used to it :)

i suffer from newbie fingers :/


   
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(@stormymonday)
Reputable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 429
 

Yep, your fingers will toughen up faster than you think. There's an urban legend that after playing the young Clapton would rub his fingers with rubbing alcohol to speed the formation of calluses. You might want to try that.

I read an interview not too long ago that to this day, Clapton has difficulty in maintaining his calluses so he'll soak his fingertips in witch hazel.


   
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