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  • sore fingers - need urgent help

    Right,

    so basically I properly started to learn how to play the guitar last night, for about a few hours.

    Today though, I planned on practicing all day. Well, an hour in and I noticed that when I was switching between the three chords i learned last night, the tip of a couple of my fingers were frayed to the point where it's essentially unplayable.

    This is where I'm stuck on...You know, if you can remember back to when you got to this point..How long did you take a break, to rest your fingers?

    By the way, I should note that my schedule is as follows:

    Workdays - 5 hours of practice a day
    non-work day - 8 AM-11:PM


    This is what also worries me, you know...I'm wondering if this can eventually bring irreversible damage to my fingers
    Last edited by zabrak; 06-05-2014, 02:25 PM.

  • #2
    You have to start slowly so that the calluses will have time to form on your fingertips.

    I would suggest practicing until the pain in your fingers "tells you" to take a break. Your fingertips will get stronger and stop hurting but you do need to give them time to heal. Until the calluses build up, the longer you spend practicing in a single session the longer you will need to let your fingers rejuvenate.

    It's important that you do not hurt yourself.


    you can't control the wind but you can learn to sail

    contentment is true wealth

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    • #3
      Initially keep longer practice sessions to alternate days.as per ^
      Also early on try to cultivate a lightness of touch, Remember all you are doing is holding the string to the fret, not strangling a chord out of it
      Try holding one string down with your middle finger and see how little pressure it actually takes.
      (We had a thread on this about 6 months back, I'll look for it)
      (Oh and make sure the action is set quite low, there's nothing worse that trying to learn as you trampoline about on a high action

      PS. Here it is

      http://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/...la-41/1103208-
      Last edited by Chordite; 06-05-2014, 03:18 PM.
      Less is more

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah - you can't just start practicing five hours a day from zero - you need to work up to it. Yes, you will experience sore fingers and tired hands but once your callouses build up and you get used to it (and make sure you aren't using unecessary force to press chords and notes down) you will do fine. Good luck!
        ________________________________________
        music projects are now available online at http://aliensporebomb.com

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        • #5
          Welcome to the club. No pain, No gain.

          When you're young your fingers heal quickly. In a few days they will be back to normal and you beat them up again. You'll eventually build up callouses and it becomes fairly pain free for at least 4~8 hours of playing. When you get older like myself the healing process slows down and what took a few days can take a week to heal when you overdo it.

          Just keep in mind. You should focus on aerobic exercising, not weight lifting. You have to have a certain amount of strength of course but most of the work should consist of multiple repetitions. Its more like jogging, not lifting dumbbells. If you go the weight lifting route you can actually stunt your own abilities to excel on the instrument.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by zabrak View Post
            Right,

            so basically I properly started to learn how to play the guitar last night, for about a few hours.

            Today though, I planned on practicing all day. Well, an hour in and I noticed that when I was switching between the three chords i learned last night, the tip of a couple of my fingers were frayed to the point where it's essentially unplayable.

            This is where I'm stuck on...You know, if you can remember back to when you got to this point..How long did you take a break, to rest your fingers?

            By the way, I should note that my schedule is as follows:

            Workdays - 5 hours of practice a day
            non-work day - 8 AM-11:PM


            This is what also worries me, you know...I'm wondering if this can eventually bring irreversible damage to my fingers
            No way! You're fine.

            Keep practicing through the pain. SRV played until his fingers bled. That's how you get good.

            I think 5 hours a day is ok for starters but see if you can squeeze in more time somehow. Maybe get up a hour earlier in the morning or take a guitar to work to play during your lunch break.

            I also suggest heavier strings like .12s or heavier to speed up your learning curve.
            **This space for rent. Inquire at office.**

            Comment


            • #7
              Workdays - 5 hours of practice a day
              non-work day - 8 AM-11:PM

              Sound like a good recipe for burn out.

              Comment


              • #8
                Ted Nugent always said 'practice till your fingers bleed'.
                "A guitar saved my life"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Virgman View Post

                  No way! You're fine.

                  Keep practicing through the pain. SRV played until his fingers bled. That's how you get good.

                  I think 5 hours a day is ok for starters but see if you can squeeze in more time somehow. Maybe get up a hour earlier in the morning or take a guitar to work to play during your lunch break.

                  I also suggest heavier strings like .12s or heavier to speed up your learning curve.
                  You are SO bad Virg.....Got a bit of the sadist thing goin' on huh?
                  www.soundcloud.com/alamojoe

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stringbender11 View Post
                    Ted Nugent always said 'practice till your fingers bleed'.
                    If Ted had been born Japanese in 1920 or so...He'd have been a Kamakaze pilot...He's a Madman....Good guitar player and a crack shot to boot...But crazier than Cooter Brown
                    www.soundcloud.com/alamojoe

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You've been given some straight up good advice here...Up to Virgman...Large grains of salt need to be applied after that..
                      www.soundcloud.com/alamojoe

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by aliensporebomb View Post
                        Yeah - you can't just start practicing five hours a day from zero - you need to work up to it. Yes, you will experience sore fingers and tired hands but once your callouses build up and you get used to it (and make sure you aren't using unecessary force to press chords and notes down) you will do fine. Good luck!
                        Top drawer advice here from a gentleman that can Freakin' play. Check him out on Soundcloud..Aliensporebomb that is not me. He's amazing!
                        www.soundcloud.com/alamojoe

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you have no calluses now, you should be either practicing about 1.5 to 2 hours each day or 3 hours every other day for the next couple of weeks. You'll need two or three weeks for calluses to begin forming significantly as well as finger / hand muscles to strengthen along with joints acclimating to new rigors that have never been present before. Besides the frayed fingertips, you can get muscle cramps and joint swelling from too much practice time in the beginning. After a few months of regular practicing, and no significant injuries from practicing, practicing 4 or 5 hour each day should be manageable.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dare I suggest quality over quantity? I agree lots of reps is important, but you are aiming to make music, not production line dome lights. If your fingers get too sore, play without a guitar. I recall seeing for sale a short section of neck, no strings, for just that purpose. The reps are there to establish pathways between brain telling fingers to move and actually doing it. Perhaps intense focus as to how each note sounds, alone and in combination. And the quiet times between notes.
                            I was kicked out of music class for passing notes...
                            Tuned out, turned in and dropped off

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Some good advice here. Just remember two things: 1. When you're starting out (with apologies to REM) Everybody hurts and 2. Once you've built up some calluses it won't hurt at all.
                              Last edited by Surrealistic; 06-06-2014, 01:36 AM.
                              http://www.surrealisticpenguin.com

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