Guitar strings and finger conditioning

by RJ Sparks


Hi, RJ--

You don't mention if you are playing acoustic or electric. Acoustic strings are definitely harder on the fingers at the beginning.

There are a couple of things that you can do:

1. Make sure that the action on your guitar is as low as possible. The higher the strings are from the neck, the more it will hurt your fingers.

2. Try using a lighter gauge of strings.

Other than than, I am afraid that you just have to live through it until your fingers become used to playing. Callouses will develop and then you will probably want to file them down because the strings get stuck in them.

I am sorry I can't be of more help--sore fingers just go with the territory for a while.


I have only been playing the guitar for 10 months, but I've been playing 2 hours every single night out of pure interest and excitement. Please tell me why my fingers still hurt and cause me to quit my sessions.
I can't play certain songs all the way through. I have to cut my practice short. It makes no sense to me.


RJ Sparks

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Oct 14, 2008
Response to Lynne
by: RJ Sparks

Thanks Lynne for your quick response!

I play accoustic, and yes the action is quite high. It's a $120 guitar, so .... it's crap

But regardless, aren't strings strings? (light guage or not?)

By the way, thinking about callouses being so deep that strings get stuck in them, is hysterical! Oh God! aha haaa

RJ Sparks


LOL I see you got quite a visual on that one, RJ!

Actually I didn't mean like embedded to the bone LOL. Just like the strings catch on the callouses and cause the string to sound when you remove your fingers. But I am glad that you had a laugh--laughing is good for us!

The strings--a lighter gauge string will require less pressure. The problem is that if the action is very high, the gauge change might not make a difference.

There are some pretty nice guitars available for not a lot of money. Maybe you could treat yourself to a more suitable guitar--maybe even electric--if you are serious about wanting to play.

My students have been bringing in some really nice guitars that were moderately priced. Let me know if you are interested.

Best Wishes to you AND your fingers!


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