Guitarist Hands – Calluses and FingerNails

If you are a guitar player, your guitar is not the only one that needed TLC, Your hand plays a valuable part also. Whether you are a beginner, seasonal or regular player of acoustic guitar, you may realize now the changes your hands and fingers have to go through to achieve the playing skills you want.

Playing acoustic guitar can give fingertips sores and you can’t escape this. The adjustment of the hands and finger muscles have to go through, are part of routine one should learn when playing.

Knowing how to care for your hands will allow you to make your learning process easier and minimize the pain.



This is the thicker or hard skin formed at the tip of the finger tips, when you continually use a pressure or friction on the strings, this is where calluses will slowly form. Actually, gaining this kind of skin at the finger tips are the goal of most guitarists. Calluses can help protect the inner fingertips while playing the guitar strings, so one can make the fretted notes.

Expert says it would be faster to build calluses by washing your fingers with rubbing alcohol (2-3 times /day). Once you gain calluses, all you need to do is maintain them so you can continue learning to play the guitar with ease.


Maintain the Calluses for inner protection of your fingertips:

• Continue playing the acoustic guitar on your usual schedule.

• Don’t worry if the calluses will flake, this is normal. Just keep on playing and it will come back.

• Don’t wash or let your fingers soak in water too long. Water will make the calluses soft and can be taken off. Shorter showers and wear gloves when you need to wash something.

• When your hands are wet, allow it to dry-up before you play the guitar to avoid from breaking the calluses.

• If you are not playing for a while, you can maintain the calluses by pressing the fret finger on the rim of the soda can or anything like it.

Pain is a normal thing when your fingers and hands are in the process of adjustment. The witch hazel is said to help your fingers relieve pain. Soaking your fingertips until the pain goes away.


Finger Nails To Care

When learning about the finger-style guitar, your finger nails have an important role in this part. You can them for picking and strumming the strings. Due to these unnatural activities for the finger nails there are possibility that i could split, chip, crack, or just break. This means it is essential to protect your fingernails so you can be an effective guitarist.

Using the fingernails for strumming or picking when playing a guitar can give the guitarist the feel of the strings and the sounds they are producing. But on the other hand, they have to face the damage it can do to their fingernails.


The Different Method to Protect your Finger Nails (Strumming/Picking) when playing guitar:

• Use file at the edges of your fingernails. This can minimize the breakage and chips that could happen.

• Cover your nails with reliable nail polish (not all nail polish can do this effectively), apply it 2 to 3 times. Make sure you cover in and out of the nails to protect your fingernails. If you regularly play the guitar, make sure you apply it every 2-3 days. Once done with the nail polishing give it 4 minutes to dry up and cure your nails by dipping them in a very cold water for half the time. This will keep the polish-on from 3 to 4 days. Allow the nail polish to dry up to 2 hours before playing.

• Artificial nails can also help to protect your nails from the strings and an be used for finger picking.

• You can use a product for strengthening the nails, to avoid the damage. You can search online or go to the pharmacy.

• Eating healthy food, drinking 8 glasses per day and sleeping 8 hours during night time can also give your nails and yourself a boost for health.

• Use plastic, or meal fingerpicks that fit the ends of your fingers for plucking he strings for, you can give you the advantage of not damaging your nails.