Every guitarist knows that one of the unwelcome side effects of learning guitar is toughening up your fingertips, or building up of calluses, from practicing the guitar. But it is in this callus strengthening that your fingers eventually learn to be able to glide over every rockin’ chord, or gently strummed arpeggio.
I remember my early sore fingertips when I first started playing guitar. It was a hard guitar practice in those early weeks, when I would have to pause and seek some comfort for my sore fingertips that the strings had cut into. And I wasn’t the only one either – my guitar playing pals also complained about the aches in our fingers.
But then a wonderful thing happens – your fingertips gain calluses, and these calluses allow you to start to master the art of bending strings, play solos and eventually do everything on the guitar that you can.
When you start to take guitar lessons in Scottsdale, it’s important to know the best ways to toughen up your fingertips.
Calluses and guitars
Guitarists gain calluses on their fingertips from practicing guitar. At first, as described above, the process is painful, but over time and practice, your fingertip becomes harder and thicker because of the increased pressure against the strings. Playing a few times a day over a period of weeks will help the calluses take shape and you will notice the results with better and smoother playing on the strings.
Most guitar teachers recommend to students to play guitar daily. In doing so, you will build up calluses and not even think twice about sore fingers after that.
Tips to Strengthen Fingertips
Here are some handy tips to keep in mind for building up your calluses.
Use the proper weight strings: Playing on lighter gauge strings will seem easier at first for a new guitarist, but if you play medium to heavy strings, you will build up your calluses over time a little faster, as these heavier strings work the fingertips.
Start with acoustic guitar strings: Most guitar teachers recommend to students taking guitar lessons to start lessons with an acoustic guitar over an electric guitar. Playing regularly on the steel strings will certainly toughen up your fingertips much more reliably than playing on an electric guitar.
Align your guitar’s action properly: Make sure that your guitar’s action (the space between strings and fretboard) is properly set up. The less force you need to press down on the strings to meet the fretboard will result in easier callus building. Once you get the action adjusted with your guitar teacher or a local guitar shop, you’ll find that playing your guitar becomes easier and more fun to play.
Scottsdale Music Academy can help new guitarists with private guitar lessons and more from some of the best music instructors in the Valley. We offer numerous guitar lessons for beginners, intermediate students and even adults who want to get better. And we provide band coaching, vocal work and other lessons to aspiring musicians. If you can practice guitar, we can help!