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Callouses


JAD.

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I played three gigs during the weekend, which is a lot for me. Friday night, Saturday night (after 300km travel), then Sunday afternoon. I work as a school teacher Monday - Friday, so never gig during the week.

I wanted to ask the acoustic guitarists about callouses. Obviously their importance is paramount, and to remain calloused you need to practice or gig regularly. Do you guys keep calloused all the time, or have a couple of lengthy sessions before a string of gigs? Also, next weekend is my one weekend off for the month (always schedule one of these for family time) - if this were you, would you practice plenty to remain calloused, or let it slide? It's a bit like physical fitness; if you don't do any exercise for a couple of weeks, it goes away and is painful to get back.

Thoughts?

Luke

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Quote Originally Posted by lroyb

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Super Glue. I play every day and don't have finger tip problems. If I over book for a weekend and they start to get tender a little super glue will help keep me going.

 

Super glue, Crazy glue and other rapid set glues that contain cyanoacrylates and similar super fast setting adhesives can be highly allergenic. They can cause allergic sensitization leading to skin rashes or even respiratory allergies or asthma on re-exposures even months or years later. Just because you have not had a skin allergy reaction yet does not reassure you that you won't when you are re-exposed to Super glue in the future. As with most allergens, the sensitization happens only to a minority of people but it is not currently possible to predict with any confidence who will have a problem and who won't. The problem occurs while the glue is setting and once it polymerizes and sets up hard it is no longer allergenic, but putting it directly on your skin is not recommended.
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Quote Originally Posted by JAD. View Post
A guy I know recommended dipping fingertips in methylated spirits. Myth? Or can it do some good?

Luke
Yep, that's the same as denatured alcohol
I learned about it after reading that "slow hand" does it.
It dries the oil out of your skin and speeds up callous buildup
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Quote Originally Posted by Jorge7

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Super glue, Crazy glue and other rapid set glues that contain cyanoacrylates and similar super fast setting adhesives can be highly allergenic. They can cause allergic sensitization leading to skin rashes or even respiratory allergies or asthma on re-exposures even months or years later. Just because you have not had a skin allergy reaction yet does not reassure you that you won't when you are re-exposed to Super glue in the future. As with most allergens, the sensitization happens only to a minority of people but it is not currently possible to predict with any confidence who will have a problem and who won't. The problem occurs while the glue is setting and once it polymerizes and sets up hard it is no longer allergenic, but putting it directly on your skin is not recommended.

 

I recommend that you stay away from it, but it has worked well for me for years.
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Quote Originally Posted by JAD. View Post
He insists is toughens up the fingertips? Anyone have any experience with this?

Luke
All I know is that if you play often you will get the callouses you need. I play daily and over the years have developed my touch with medium strings to where I have very light callouses. Also, I have been playing 50+ years and have never needed to replace frets on any of my guitars even the one that I have played daily for years. It does not show any visible wear or denting on any of the frets.
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I've been playing acoustic regularly (5+ days a week, for probably an hour total) for almost a year. Obviously, I could only play for a couple minutes at first before the pain set in, but playing time increased and increased.

This was taken after a spirited session about a month after first playing:

alhfl3.jpg

As of four months in, I know the callouses are there. When I tap something with my left hand fingers, it sounds different than with my right. Tick vs thud. It is literally that different. And yet, my ring finger is still sensitive after a long session. cry.gif I play Earthwood Extra Lights.

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