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  #1  
Old 09-23-2010, 12:01 PM
knuckle knuckle is offline
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Default Hardening finger tips

Hi all. I've been playing bottleneck for the past couple years and have not touched an acoustic. Two weeks ago, I bought a TAK EG643SC which I absolutely love. I got the action adjusted so that the strings are so close to the board/frets, that if I bring the nut down anymore it will buzz. So the setup seems perfect. Neck is pretty straight too. Minimal relief if any at all.

However I've been playing for a couple weeks now, about 3-4 hours per day. My 2nd finger or middle finger is hurting. There's always a big string dent in it and it doesn't seem to be getting as hard as the other fingers. I'm wondering if I should put some super glue on it. It stinks as I've got a bunch of songs I'm trying to learn and I have to stop every couple of minutes.

Any ideas besides "keep playing" ?

I've had acoustics before and don't remember it being this much of an issue.

Thanks In Advance.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:13 PM
JTFoote JTFoote is offline
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You might have bruised the fingertip (like a stone bruise on your foot), so if it hurts, letting a few days go by for the pain to dissipate might be a good idea.

I've been in the position of having to start over creating callous from scratch twice in my life, and I always found that soaking the fingertips in rubbing alcohol helps speed up the toughening process.

Filing down the callous and/or using a pumice stone, and rubbing them with a good, absorbent hand cream could help with the permanent "dents".

I'd probably not go the super glue route, not unless a gig was imminent, and the callous was torn or split.

Sound like, to me, that you have more a bruising issue than just thin callouses. Maybe an ice pack would help take down any swelling and lower the pain level, along with some ibuprofen.

... JT
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:18 PM
Ozwick Ozwick is offline
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"A tip from Eric Clapton supposedly: rub your fingertips with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol three (3) times a day for a week or two for a beginner or someone who hasn't played for a while. This will dry out the skin and help calluses build very quickly."

I haven't tried that, but I have read that it works.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:20 PM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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When going from an occasional guitar dabbler to and everyday obsessive, then again when switching from mostly nylon to mostly steel strings and most recently when taking up mandolin in addition to guitar at each stage I've had fingertip "bone bruises" and I've had discomfort while the calluses grow in.

For the sharp pain of an under-callus bruise the best regimen is a brief icing followed by heat (warm water) before playing, then a longer icing immediately after playing. Immediately like put the ice cube on my finger within a minute or two of putting the guitar down. If it gets sore enough to bother me hours later I'll do another ice-heat cycle to knock it back a little.

As for uneven callus formation or "dents" I find that sanding away a little bit of the callus every day to help blend it in with the uncallused part of the finger helps a lot. As does some heavy-duty hand lotion on the fingertips overnight. But make sure you get it totally off there in the morning before picking up the instrument.

That's what works for me. Once you get one of those under-the-callus bruises that's pretty bad I think the best option to zero use of that finger for guitar playing for at least three, preferably four or five days.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:25 PM
knuckle knuckle is offline
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Thanks. That sounds like what I have, bruising. It just is one finger and it doesn't seem to be getting better.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:40 PM
arie arie is offline
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sounds like a bruise. sorry -they hurt. I got one from playing a bass once and it lasted about 3 to 4 days.

you should probably layoff for a little bit while you heal. I might suggest that you try a lighter gage of string, or some strings that feel softer to play untill you get back up to spec.

as far as callouses go, i think i've moved beyond to basically not having any fingerprint on the tips of my left hand fingers. i can't explain

Last edited by arie; 09-23-2010 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:51 PM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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The last bruise I got was my index finger. I never let it touch a guitar string for six days and did the ice-heat thing. In the mean while I practiced the heck out of my barre chords!
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:04 PM
knuckle knuckle is offline
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Yeah I can tell it's bruised, I just iced all 3 on my left hand and the middle one (the one that is a problem) is throbbing now. Sunnava ***** 6 days?

Well I'll have to break out the bottleneck and play slide on one of the resos.

Thanks gentlemen.
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2010, 02:31 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knuckle View Post
Thanks. That sounds like what I have, bruising. It just is one finger and it doesn't seem to be getting better.
Time to amputate, then! Brent, you get the hedge clippers and I'll hold him down....


Wade Hampton "This Will Hurt You More Than It Hurts Me!" Miller

PS: Practice, man, practice is about the only longterm remedy I can offer. I've never tried the alcohol trick. You can try it, but I'd be afraid it might cause the skin to crack, which would leave you off worse than you started.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:00 PM
e8n e8n is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knuckle View Post
Hi all. I've been playing bottleneck for the past couple years and have not touched an acoustic. Two weeks ago, I bought a TAK EG643SC which I absolutely love. I got the action adjusted so that the strings are so close to the board/frets, that if I bring the nut down anymore it will buzz. So the setup seems perfect. Neck is pretty straight too. Minimal relief if any at all.

However I've been playing for a couple weeks now, about 3-4 hours per day. My 2nd finger or middle finger is hurting. There's always a big string dent in it and it doesn't seem to be getting as hard as the other fingers. I'm wondering if I should put some super glue on it. It stinks as I've got a bunch of songs I'm trying to learn and I have to stop every couple of minutes.

Any ideas besides "keep playing" ?

I've had acoustics before and don't remember it being this much of an issue.

Thanks In Advance.
Take a couple of Advil also about a 1/2 hr before you start playing. It won't help with the skin issues but will make the pain a bit easier to play with.

-Dave
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:59 PM
talonted talonted is offline
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I always takes lortab and drink a beer before I play if my fingers are sore from multiple gigs that week or something. Makes for some creative playing too! Of course I skip the beer if it's Sunday morning at church .
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2010, 04:46 PM
string1399 string1399 is offline
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There's a product available online called Rock Tips that you might want to check out. I used it after I had stopped playing for about 3 months, and it really helped with the calluses.

John
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:24 PM
knuckle knuckle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talonted View Post
I always takes lortab and drink a beer before I play if my fingers are sore from multiple gigs that week or something. Makes for some creative playing too! Of course I skip the beer if it's Sunday morning at church .

Loratab yes / Beer no. I can't play for crap when I drink beer, which is why I don't really drink because I'm always playing.
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:19 PM
mercy mercy is offline
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I tried the Rock Tips but it made my fingertip worse and when I tried to get the cap off it wouldnt come off. Thats what alwys happens to me with super glue which the inventor says it is. Just FYI
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  #15  
Old 09-24-2010, 05:12 PM
iplayguitars iplayguitars is offline
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just rest that finger for a few days and play with the other ones
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