How to Work Around Finger Pain as a Guitar Player

How to Work Around Finger Pain as a Guitar Player

When you first start playing the guitar, you're going to experience finger pain. This is unavoidable and a part of the learning process. There are ways that you can work around finger pain so you can minimize how much you experience while you are practicing. 

 

Some Pain is Normal

There is no real way to get around finger pain. It is going to be a part of the learning process. Your fingertips have to develop calluses. Once the calluses have developed enough, the finger pain will go away for the most part. Even with calluses, you may experience a little bit of finger pain. This is a part of playing the guitar. If you use thick guitar strings, you will experience more finger pain.

 

It can be to your benefit to use a lighter gauge string on your instrument, which will reduce instances of finger pain. You can experiment with different string gauges to find one that you like the most. Even with light guitar strings, you may still experience a little bit of pain in your fingers. Don't give up practicing if you have a little bit of finger pain.

 

Short Practice Sessions

If you experience finger pain, reduce the length of your practice sessions. Most beginner guitar players will get by fine with a 30-minute practice session. If you try to play more than this, you may experience more finger pain, and you might otherwise want. Reduce your session to a manageable amount of time, and this won't hurt your fingers as much. 

How to Work Around Finger Pain as a Guitar Player

Rest

If you find that your fingers are hurting you a lot after a practice session, take a few days off and then return again. This will give your fingertips time to heal. If you keep pushing your practicing when experience finger pain, you won't make much progress. It is difficult to learn the guitar when your fingertips start to hurt you.

How to Work Around Finger Pain as a Guitar Player

Warmup

Before you play the guitar, you should warm up your hands. This will help reduce finger pain. For example, you'll find bar chords difficult to play if you don't warm up your hand for at least 10 minutes before you start to play them. You can run scales up and down the fretboard, and this will help to loosen up your fingers. When your hand is warmed up, and your fingers are loose, it's much easier to play complex things on the guitar.


Avoid Plastic Protectors

Some people buy plastic finger protectors to go on their fingertips. This is not the way to go as you won't develop calluses if you have finger protectors over top of your fingertips. These devices will reduce finger pain, but they don't allow your fingertips to strengthen properly for playing guitar. You want natural calluses. It's much easier to play guitar with proper calluses instead of relying on gimmicks such as finger protectors. Some pain when learning guitar is normal.

 

Get Help for Severe Pain

If you find your fingertips or hand is experiencing extreme pain when you're playing guitar, this is not normal. You may be developing a muscle strain or tendonitis in your fingers. If you happen to experience severe pain when practicing, you should stop right away. Call your physician and have your hand examined to ensure that you're not developing any sort of stress-related injury.

 

This is why it's important to have shorter practice sessions. Don't push yourself too much to learn guitar. You can practice a lot, but this may result in a finger strain issue that you will have to address. If you allow the problem to get worse, you may not be able to play guitar for a long time as your hand will have to heal. 

 

Play Each Day

The fingers will develop calluses at a faster rate if you play all the time. This doesn't mean you should have lengthy practice sessions. A session of between 15 to 30 minutes on most days of the week is enough to develop your calluses to a high degree. If you go a long time without practicing, then your calluses will disappear. When you go back to playing again, you'll have to redevelop your calluses.  Try to play on a consistent basis, and you will see proper callus development.

How to Work Around Finger Pain as a Guitar Player

Conclusion

You should expect to experience some finger pain when learning the guitar.  If you experience a lot of pain, this is not normal, and you should have this address to buy your physician. Try to practice for a few minutes each day so you can develop your calluses. Make sure you don't overdo this As you don't want to strain your fingers. Take time before you practice to warm up your hand, which will reduce finger pain.