12 Tips on How to stop finger pain when playing guitar, step by step in [ Details ]

So I'm gonna share with you 12 tips on how to stop finger pain when playing guitar. I know that when you first start playing the guitar that it can feel like somebody is trying to shove ice picks into your fingertips,

it hurt that bad, and if you're a newer guitar player, you may be wondering if this ever gonna go away? is it ever gonna get any better? 

well, I'm here to tell you today that it does get better over time, and something you may not know is that even more experienced players, people who've been playing a long time like me, get sore fingers every once in a while.

if I go from a session where I'm not playing a lot my fingers do hurt, just like when I was starting to play the guitar. 

How to stop finger pain when playing guitar
guitar finger pain

so today I'm gonna give you 10 tips on how to stop finger pain when playing guitar.

I want to give you as many tips as I can on how to avoid having a problem with finger pain and for a lot of people, 

it's one of the reasons why they give up because their fingers are hurting too much and they're not enjoying it so that's completely avoidable if you'll follow my advice.

How to stop finger pain when playing guitar 

  • Develop some calluses

How to stop finger pain when playing guitar

you have to 
develop calluses on your fingertips. some remember the strings whether you are playing an acoustic or an electric guitar they're metal and metal will dig into flesh,

that's the dark side of playing the guitar but over time fingers will develop calluses, and these calluses harden the skin which makes it easier to press down on the string

now a lot of time for a beginner, they can only practice for 10-20 minutes at a time because of the intense finger pain as there's nerve ending don't like being poked.

so it requires a few weeks to develop. so take your time and let that happen, that is a completely natural process and what you can do if you want to get your calluses going faster is use the 6th string of your guitar, 

the bass string you just have to rub your fingers along that string probably sound funny but you will be able to build your calluses a little bit faster.

  • leave your calluses along 

when they start to form on your soreness fingertips don't pick at them maybe try to stay away from long hot showers or staying in a pool if you like to go swimming for an extended period. 

During the season when your calluses are formed, if you leave them alone and let them do their thing, they're gonna get tougher a lot faster.

  • Takes breaks

Don't be afraid to take a break if your fingers are so sore that when you barely touch them it brings tears to your eye, don't be afraid to take a day or two off. 

you're gonna keep practicing four, five days a week but there's no shame if it's just really hurting to take a break, again it's just like going to the gym. 

you're not gonna have a leg day then maybe a recovery day or maybe you'll hit it again in another couple of days.

I recommend that you practice a little often and don't go too hard, I have heard from the people that I really wanna learn guitar so I practice for an hour a day and that is wrong for a beginner.

so you don't need to practice an hour a day your fingers are hurt and then maybe you won't want to play it anymore. 

so my prescribed amount of practice would be 20 min a day, Four days a week. so, for example, you know that your lesson one maybe on Sunday 

so you practice on Monday and Tuesday having Wednesday off practice then Thursday and Friday having Saturday off and do the same thing for a second week and so on.

  • Don't push down too hard on the guitar string

How to stop finger pain when playing guitar

And by that, I mean only use the minimum amount of pressure needed to make clean notes on the guitar. so what you can do is for example you make a 
C-chord and put just a little bit of pressure on there, 

to where it sounds bad, and then just start increasing the pressure until it sounds good and that's the minimum amount of pressure you need to make good sounding chords on the guitar.

if you press down too hard it can make the chords sound sharp and it's gonna put unnecessary strain on your fingers. so really experiment with that with your particular guitar.

  • consistent practice 

To be consistent with your practice, now you are gonna have sore fingers, there's no way around that. It's kind of a rite of passage for all guitar players but the more consistent you are with your playing, 

the easier it's gonna be for you, and the faster your fingers are gonna toughen up. it's kinda like going to the gym once a week and you hit the bench press, you're gonna be sore every week for a couple of hours.

you're gonna get sore and the next day you're gonna be like I don't wanna play at all. It's better to do a short little practice session maybe 20-30 min at a time 

and then take a break and practice more often like five or six times a week, that's gonna help you build up the calluses on your finger faster.

  • Get your guitar setup 

guitar action for fingertip pain

All setup involves is getting the 
action on guitar as low as possible to play easily without buzzing and the action on the guitar is just how high the strings are off from the fretboard, right?

if it's high off the fretboard it's gonna be very hard to push down and it's gonna make your finger sorer than they needed to be, right. 

To start playing guitar if the action is nice and low it's gonna be easy to play and it's gonna be easier to push down.

so you don't have to take it to get it set up by a professional if you have a more experienced friend that can help you out if they have some experience setting up a guitar. 

But it is worth to take it into a professional. you can have a great playing guitar that's not too rough on your fingers.

  • consider string gauge

consider what strings you're using on your guitar. Most Acoustic guitar setup with 12-gauge strings and as a beginner there's no shame in moving down a gauge to like a custom model which is like an 11 gauge and then working your way back up to 12 gauge if that's what you want.

It might not be as loud or the tone might not be as rich but it's gonna be easier on your fingers and you can always go back to 12s later on if you want.

The same things go for electric guitar if you're playing on a guitar with 10-gauge strings if it's tough for you if the bending's hard, 

go down to some nines and then try to work your way up to a set of ten gauges if that's what you want.

  • Only press your finger down when you need to 

when you're doing 
anchor finger changes or chords perfect stuff you shouldn't be pressing down with your fingers real hard you should get your fingers in the right position but don't press hard unless you're making a sound with the chords.

when you are playing the chords themselves the rest of the time you're just working on manipulating your fingers and getting them into the right spots.

  • Finger position

Make sure your fingers are positioned well that positive finger placement things I talked about where you get your fingers right next to the important fret 

the better place for your fingers is the less pressure you have to put on them to get good notes and therefore the less your fingers are going to hurt.

so learning to place your fingers well should be an important part of your mission in these early stages.

  • Improve Technique 

Improve your technique, Now all of us start when we're playing the guitar and our technique probably isn't very good. 

But if you work on consciously improving your technique, it's gonna make it easier to fret chords and scales and things like that.

so I have some technique tips for you as far as making some basic open chords that help you not have to press down as hard. 

  • Fingers placing technique for chords 

The first one is just making sure that you're right behind the frets when you are making these chords. For example, 

C-Chord makes sure that the third finger's right behind the fret it's gonna be a lot easier to get a clean note out of it than if you were at the back of the fret or in the middle.

That's just the way the guitar works.

  • Holding position

so you wanna be aware of that another thing that can make it easier to press down the notes on the guitar is to bring your elbow in, 

that helps you come down right on the tips of your fingers and it just makes it a little bit easier to get a really good angle on the tag on those strings so you don't have to push down as hard.

Related queries 

  • How long does it take for fingers to stop hurting from playing guitar?

There is only one way to prevent finger pain is to develop calluses and developing calluses on your sore fingertips takes 2 to 4 weeks for calluses to fully form

and to be more specific It takes about two weeks if you practice every day for about an hour. ( on a steel-string acoustic guitar.)

You can break up the practice sessions to a more comfortable time, like say 15 minutes 4 times a day this will help you to develop calluses faster and easier. 

  • Do your fingers ever stop hurting playing guitar?

your fingers will stop hurting from playing guitar when the skin on the tip of your finger starts to toughen up so that it can bear the pressure while pressing the guitar strings.

If you play a steel-string acoustic guitar, it may take about 3-4 week and also you need to avoid something at the beginning level

Try to avoid playing when your skin is saturated with moisture such as when you've just taken a shower or bath.

so these are my 12 tips on how to stop finger pain when playing guitar, if any of these tips help you out or if you want to share your experience on guitar finger pain then do share in the comment below.

Thank you for stopping by, 

Have a great day guitar buddies 

you may also like