Dave Byers Blog

My fingers hurt when I play guitar. Am I doing sometihng wrong / should I stop?

Welcome to the club! lol! So your fingers hurt when you started learning and playing the guitar eh? Well the strings are made of steel so your fingers just aren't used to that. It's like you went your whole life not wearing shoes and now you're forced to wear them. Ahh! This is awkward!

You're practicing so that's great. Here's the thing though, this pain could mean guitar issues to some degree.

Music is a ton of fun. Guitar was my first and favorite still though piano and drums are growing closer every day.

#1 Make sure the guitar is setup properly with low action. Take it to a areal music store and ask them if it needs set up and if it's a decent guitar. The 1st act, Estaban, Keith Urban guitars I hate.

#2 Go to a real music store (preferably locally owned) Ask that the guitar be strung up with .010 set of strings if you use acoustic or .08 on electric & make it easy on yourself getting started (at a real music store). It's not what I would suggest long term but pain doesn't main gain in music. Pain = not wanting to play it so much which = slow learning or worse yet you bailing out on this. I currently play .011 on electric and .012 gauge sets on acoustic. But you never start there. Makes no sense.

#3. Consider at least 2 - 3 months of music lessons with a real live person sitting in front of you one on one at a "real music store." Let's make sure you have all the fundamentals covered - proper hand technique etc. Make sure that you're practicing things that make sense and that your practices are organized and focused. Dorking around for 3 hrs might not get you far compared to organized and thought out practice by someone who can help guide you.

#4 Practice the positioning and don't press down. What I mean is finger the C chord for instance but don't squeeze it down this time. Just where your fingers go. Just lay the fingers on those strings. Then practice whatever like changing back and forth from the C to the G chord. again, don't press down like you would normally. This means you're not hurting the tips of your fingers but you still get to practice. This works the same for practicing scales, riffs, solos etc.

#5 Play less long stretches and more often for shorter periods of time if that's possible in your time allotment. This helps the fingers also.
#6 Relax and have fun. Music is a blast. It's not a competition - though many try and make it that for some reason... Enjoy the ride! :-)


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