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Old 10-28-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
ESP Axes Man
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Any tips for building up calluses again quickly?

So I've been playing guitar since I was 10 which was 7 years ago. Just the past year or so I've been having trouble with this nerve in my arm. I found out it was an issue I was born with so I had to get surgery to fix it. Because of this I couldn't play guitar for 3 months. I got just as good as I used to be in about a week but my calluses are non-existant.

I think it's worse for me than a beginner because a beginner at least plays like he doesn't have any calluses where as I play just as aggressively as I used to. Because of this I will rip my fingers apart in about 10 minutes and it takes a couple days to heal. On more than one occasion I've cut very deeply into my finger during a bend and that hurts like **** and makes any more playing that day impossible. It feels like I spend more time waiting for my fingers to heal than actually playing. Any tips for getting my calluses back quicker?
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:51 PM   #2
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I guess you'll just have to play not so agressive...lol. I don't think there's quite an "easy and fast" way of getting calluses.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:02 PM   #3
jon.peebles
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Originally Posted by jpc
lI don't think there's quite an "easy and fast" way of getting calluses.


This. Play your guitar.

Last edited by jon.peebles : 10-28-2012 at 11:03 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:03 PM   #4
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I used to put super glue on my finger tips as a temporary fix. Calluses form as a result of healing, and you can't super speed up the healing process. If you want to play now, try super glue.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:14 PM   #5
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Try tuning your guitar a step up from EADGBE to F#BEAC#F#, I usually keep one of my guitars ready for that in case I take an extended break and come back below par to my expectations. Try that or use thicker gauges and play with the highest tension you can tolerate, give it two to three days and you should be getting good calluses. Play with the pain.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldEscape
Try tuning your guitar a step up from EADGBE to F#BEAC#F#, I usually keep one of my guitars ready for that in case I take an extended break and come back below par to my expectations. Try that or use thicker gauges and play with the highest tension you can tolerate, give it two to three days and you should be getting good calluses. Play with the pain.


Wait. You have a guitar sitting and ready just for getting calluses after extended breaks?...Not sure if serious...
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:34 PM   #7
INSULIN
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became a diabetic .i check my blood.prick me fingers ha ha
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:37 PM   #8
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Playing on nylon strings (a classical guitar) and make sure to practice around with songs that use alot of varying chord shapes and that use all fretting fingers... Joe Satrianni's "Tears in the Rain" is a great song I use to build up my calluses.

even if you don't have a nylon string then use an acoustic. two one or two hour sessions and you'll start to get good firm calluses back.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:12 AM   #9
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Buy a bass.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:17 AM   #10
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jpcl
Wait. You have a guitar sitting and ready just for getting calluses after extended breaks?...Not sure if serious...


Yeah! I have eight guitars with different string gauges on them, all of them are in different tunings and one of them is specifically for that reason, it's the guitar I write with the least but enjoy practicing with the most. I do that with my bass guitars, too.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:30 AM   #12
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Put extra heavy strings on. That is seriously the only way I can think of that could make getting calluses quicker.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:33 AM   #13
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:43 AM   #14
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Steel string acoustic has always worked for me.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:22 AM   #15
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It may be an old wife's tale, but I heard that putting up a bowl of rice and rubbing your fingers through it whilst watching tv, or something, can build up calluses ..
Anyone have any experience with it?
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:15 AM   #16
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Either play a lot or use a finger strengthener while you're not playing. I think it helps.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:50 PM   #17
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Don't fire your guns all at once; It's wearing out your fingertips before they've had a chance to build up. Just play and they'll build up.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Gargoyle2500
Don't fire your guns all at once; It's wearing out your fingertips before they've had a chance to build up. Just play and they'll build up.


Exactly. Actually quoting the definition of calluses: "A callus (or callosity) is a toughened area of skin which has become relatively thick and hard in response to repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation. Rubbing that is too frequent or forceful will cause blisters rather than allow calluses to form.... Normally, a callus will form on any part of the skin exposed to friction over a long period of time."

That setback you get from playing too rough or using any of these "speeding up techniques" are these blisters or cuts on your fingers. Use thicker strings and they might not cut you anymore, but they'll give you blisters, and they'll just make you stop again because forcing to play after you start developing blisters is just a massacre on your fingers and pain dealing just to find your not getting anywhere.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:30 PM   #19
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In nutshell, callouses are a byproduct of healing and skin thickening due to repeated stress on that part of skin. If you overdo it you are just keeping your finger tips blistered, fleshy and bleeding, never even letting the callous to form.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:49 PM   #20
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You rip your fingers about in ten minutes?
You either have skin like tissue paper or your super agressive with your guitar.

I`d suggest playing stuff with chords that have lots of slides, that gave me calluses when I started playing, but once I stopped playing acoustic I lost them.

^also remember to take days off.
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