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Old 01-24-2022, 05:59 AM
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If a guitar is not properly set up they can be verry uncomfortable to play.

A guitar with a properly cut nut and decent action.\, should not be too painful to play through.

And in a short time, you will build up a tolerance.

But the music has to become more important than the pain.
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Old 01-24-2022, 06:08 AM
rmp rmp is offline
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play thru it, daily.. the calluses will come back.

you really want that gunk on your strings, and into your skin?
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Old 01-24-2022, 09:46 AM
GGSanders GGSanders is offline
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Years ago, when I had less free time to play, I developed thick callouses on my fingertips. Now that I am retired I take advantage of the free time, play at least 1-2 hours daily, and 2-3 times a week 2-3 hour practice sessions with a neighbor banjo player, and a 3 hour open mike/jam session every Monday evening.

You would think I'd have thick callouses now, but I don't. My fingers do get tender after 3 hours or so, but that's ok. I'm thinking that as I've grown older I've lost the ability to develop those thick callouses I had when I was younger.
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:54 PM
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mcmars mcmars is offline
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If you have the interest, then pick up a uke or banjo, easy to learn and much less tension, but will build up finger strength, dexterity and calluses, as well as some mental musical cross training. Or electric guitar with lighter gauge strings. Or a shorter scaled guitar with light gauge strings.

I took a break when I dealt with intense rheumatoid arthritis nerve pain in my left arm when playing. But after a decade off, I decided to give it another try and started with banjo while I was laid up with a knee replacement, then after a few months to electric, then custom light acoustic strings, then to 12 gauge strings on 24 to 25" scale acoustics. My issue was not so much the calluses, but the nerve and RA pain, but I was able to get back to being able to playing with minimal nerve pain by modifying my style as the RA has stole much hand/finger strength and flexibility. Fingerstyle works well and no bar chords now.
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Old 01-24-2022, 11:30 PM
N4640W N4640W is offline
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I had a guitar teacher a long time ago that said “calluses were worse than useless”. That “they just got in the way”. I initially thought he was nuts. Been playing on and off since I was 8 yrs old, I’m now 70…… My teacher was right. Now I use a rough acrylic woman’s nail file to grind most of the calluses off. Keep a file in each guitar case. I can feel the strings much better. As you improve in technique you use less pressure. Play trough it. It will get better and easier. No substitute for just playing. Agree with above, shorter and more frequent practice sessions will help. Stick with it, the rewards are priceless.

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Old 01-25-2022, 03:29 AM
WmHulme WmHulme is offline
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Default Hand Lotion

Find a good hand lotion and put it on every night before bed, and anytime your hands are dry. This will help your skin build calluses and more importantly keep them from cracking during the winter. I use Seba Med, which has keratin in it and even strengthens the nails too, good if you use them for picking.

Just be consistent. A little bit everyday. Make sure your strings are not old, and if possible restring with softer feeling strings. I believe there is an entire thread next to this one on just that. I think Elixer makes some strings easy on the fingers. You can also tune your guitar down a half or whole step and capo if needed. The last the you want to be doing is trying to play a 25.5" scale standard tuned guitar with bare PB strings that are more than a month old.
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Old 02-01-2022, 11:01 AM
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polarred21 polarred21 is offline
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Thanks for all the responses. I have a few of these finger exercisers. My next thought was using some adhesive sandpaper and apply to the rubber finger tip area and get two for one.

Of course last week was 7x12 hour days working outside in 15 degree weather so calluses are coming pretty fast.
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